Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

New to Kegging/Kegerator Questions

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by hopest, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. hopest

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    So I've been brewing for a while and am finally making the swich to kegs. Just can't take bottle washing any more.

    I have:
    1 large white 90s kitchen fridge from my friendly neighbor
    1 pinlock keg from LHBS
    2 Quick disconnects for air/beer lines
    1 Air line
    5 gallons of Bavarian Hefe in fermentation

    I'm putting in an order now for a faucet, shank, BLC, beer line and new O Rings.

    Is there anything I'm forgetting?

    And does anyone have suggestions on faucet types? Should I get a perlick, and if so does SS vs brass matter? What about the creamer thing?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. mikehartigan

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Location:
    Illinois
    CO2 tank (how were you planning to dispense your beer?). Many people make do with 5#. But, unless you plan to put it in the fridge or are really cramped for space, there's really no point in getting a small tank. I have 2 20# tanks. Each is a bit smaller than a corny keg. The money you save on the first fill-up will easily cover the difference in the price of the bigger tank, if there is one. Start with Craigslist for a used tank (patience is definitely your friend here). You can also occasionally find a good deal on ebay.

    Perlick is definitely the better choice, and it really doesn't cost that much more than a good quality traditional rear sealing faucet. Brass looks nicer, IMO, but SS doesn't tarnish (FWIW, mine are SS). The creamer thing is nice, but it's easy enough to finesse a head using a non-creamer.
     
  3. DougC123

    Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Posts:
    1,974
    Likes Received:
    1,908
    Location:
    Connecticut
    You will need a regulator. Dual gage will show you the tank volume and the line pressure. You should also grab a small diameter brush for cleaning out the faucets. There is no substitute for stainless faucets, they are the best. Forward closers are better in my opinion, they don't get sticky like rear closers. I have Perlicks also.
     
  4. hopest

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    Right, got the CO2, forgot to list that, and a regulator. It's a 5lb that I got off craigslist, and there's a place close by that will refill.

    Thanks, I'll put in the order for the faucet today.
     
  5. mikehartigan

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Location:
    Illinois
    not to pick nits, but, to dispel a common misconception, a pressure gauge will not tell you how much CO2 is in the tank. It will tell you only if there's liquid in there. For all practical purposes, it's a binary gauge - yes or no. The only instrument that will tell you how much is left is a scale (a bathroom scale is good enough for this).
     
  6. billandsuz

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Posts:
    2,276
    Likes Received:
    1,917
    Location:
    New York
    i'll see your one nit and raise you one.

    the secondary pressure gauge will indicate the pressure inside the tank, before it has been regulated down to the out flow pressure. but yeah, that is essentialy the same thing you state, as it only tells you if there is liquid in the tank and will NOT indicate how much liquid remains. its not like a fuel gauge in your car, but maybe like the low fuel warning light.
    Cheers.
     
  7. mikehartigan

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Posts:
    2,358
    Likes Received:
    1,117
    Location:
    Illinois
    I was trying to come up with a good analogy. Thanks for that one.
     
  8. PortLargo

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Posts:
    1,737
    Likes Received:
    1,654
    Location:
    Florida
    1 large white 90s kitchen fridge from my friendly neighbor

    Sounds like you have the space, so it's almost impossible to stop with one keg . . . go ahead and start thinking about how you will expand. The biggest concern is how to pressurize multiple kegs. It's fairly easy to split off a gas line for an additional keg, but it's almost certain you will want to have more than one keg pressure. The hefe will be at a higher pressure than most anything else you will brew. This will require a secondary regulator (or two, or three).

    I also like the primary regulator with a wye and two shut-off valves. This doesn't give you multiple keg pressures, but allows you to have an auxiliary CO2 output. It's cheaper to get this on initial purchase than upgrading later. (Once you accept your addiction, the process goes smoother o_O)

    Ditto on the ss Perlicks . . . and spend the extra few bucks for ss shanks . . . respect your beer.

    When you order your gaskets, washers, hose clamps, swivel nuts, etc, go ahead and get at least twice what you need. This is the least frustrating way to start out . . . you will end up using them all. I keep an extra set of corny QD's and end up using them often.
     
  9. hopest

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Posts:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    On the CO2 tank, I have a 5LB but my brother in law has a 20Lb which I could borrow indefinitely. If I'm going to get the 5Lb filled, I should probably get both filled right? Or even just skip the 5 and use the 20? Also, any idea what a 5lb should weigh full? I'll weigh it tonight when I get home. I bought it used, so no idea if its full or not.

    To PortLargo's comment: if I go the multiple kegs route, would I just use the two different CO2 tanks? I ordered the 5" ss shank, and extra gaskets etc. The Pin Lock o rings were suprisingly hard to find. Seems everything is ball lock.
     
  10. VikeMan

    Beer Trader

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Posts:
    10,396
    Likes Received:
    6,404
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    The more tanks the better. You'll want a backup. A full 5lb tank will weigh the tare (empty) weight, plus 5 lbs. Sorry I can't be more definitive, but it varies. The tare weight should be stamped/etched on the tank.

    For two kegs (for example), most people would use a 'dual primary' regulator with a single CO2 tank. Or a single primary regulator, with a splitter. The former allows different pressures for each keg. The latter does not.

    My serving keezer usually contains 3 kegs. I use a dual primary regulator, and one of those primaries has a two-way splitter, for a total of three gas lines. Two of these gas lines (the ones coming off the splitter) have to be at the same pressure. The one that does not come off the splitter is independent. This is all with one CO2 tank.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe