My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas

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My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas, with the option of
exchanging out whatever I need at our local homebrewshop ... since the kids
weren't really sure what they were getting. Anyway, they gave me the
regulator (two gauges on it so I assume that it is a dual-pressure system),
hoses, CO2 bottle, etc., plus a themostat and instructions for converting a
freezer, and one reconditioned 5-gallon 'Pepsi' cornie keg. Before I do
anything with this stuff, I'm looking for suggestions/advice regarding which
variety of keg is better -- pin-lock or ball-lock? I'm speaking now about
maintenance problems as well as availability of additional kegs and
replacement parts. Naturally, if I convert a freezer I'm going to want
several kegs ... all of the same type. Also, in regard to a freezer
conversion, I'm also considering the merits of something like a dorm-type
refrigerator with a jockey-box inside and just storing the kegs warm; any
comments about that will be appreciated, too.

Thanks for any advice. Boy, it's going to be nice to cut back on bottling. I
have three batches in secondary right now: an IPA, a California Common, and
a Cherry Wheat.

Cheers.

Bill Velek


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Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


Bill Velek wrote:
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Congrats on the gift.
As for the regulator, one gauge shows the tank pressure and the other is
the gauge you use to set the pressure going to the keg.
Cheers,

--
Michael Herrenbruck
Dragon Tail Ale
Drunken Bee Mead

Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


DragonTail wrote:
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And I might add that the tank pressure gauge is practically useless.
The needle is going to sit still until the tank is almost completely
empty, at which point it will plummet to zero. CO2 is actually a liquid
inside the tank. I'm not sure why people bother with a tank pressure
gauge, but it's the norm. Anyway, don't pay attention to it. Weigh your
tank fresh, so you know when it's almost empty (there's 5 pounds of CO2
in there).

Scott


Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas



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But you can use it to tell the temperature.

Bob



Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


Bob F wrote:

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Towards the end of the tank of CO2 the high pressure gauge begins to fall.
When this happens, I make sure I have a second tank filled and ready.  Its not
completely useless, just not accurate.

--
Dan

Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas



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kids
system),
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a
which

I have found pin lock easier to use. They seem to go on-off easier.
Sometimes the ball-lock fittings seem to bind a bit. Lubrication
might help this. It is also easier to tell the "in" from the "out" with the
pin-lock. Also, the pin-lock kegs I have use a commonly available
o-ring for the poppet seal rather than a specially shaped seal, so poppet
replacement might be less frequent.

All that said, I have several of each, and dual hoses on the CO2
to fit either, and a few of each for taps. Either keg does the job.
Whatever is most common in your area is probably best, but
don't turn down a freebie just because it is different. Hose fittings
are cheaper than kegs.

Bob



Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas



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Pepsi = Ball-lock = taller/thinner
Coke  = Pin-lock  = shorter/wider

I can fit three ball-lock cornies in my chest freezer with little
room to spare.  Ball-locks are problematic.  I have difficulty
getting them on and off.  

Dick

Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


Nice gift. Great kids :)

Ball lock seems to be more abundant and they work fine for me. A chest
freezer with a temp control works great or any old fridge will do.

You can look for them on:
www.craigslist.org

If you want to get fancy here's an excellent  site with DIY:
http://www.thegatesofdawn.ca/wordpress/homebrewing/kegerator/

I got lucky and found my 2 tap kegerator on craigslist and it was already
made. Just somebody getting out of the brewing hobby.

For me kegging beats bottling hands down.

Good luck and this group is a great resource for those "what do I do now?"
and also the you will not believe what just happened to me/what I did?"


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Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


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Maybe, but they're probably just high and low pressure gauges.  IE, the high
pressure gauge tells you the internal pressure of the tank.  That's the most
common type of dual gauge setup on these tanks.

If you really do have two low pressure gauges with seperate outputs, that's
really nice for serving different styles at different carbonation levels.

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I prefer pin-lock kegs, however they are getting much more difficult
to find.  By far, the "standard" within the hobby as far as availability
and parts is the ball-lock style.

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I use this method, but not many people do.  I've posted quite a bit
about it in the past, you could probably search through groups.google.com
on rec.crafts.brewing for "coldplate" and find lots of info.

Basically, it works well for relatively low consumption rates.  If you
try to pour too many beers through it too quickly, the coldplate won't
be able to keep up and the beers will start coming out warm.  It works
fine for my personal consumption, and I've had parties with 5 or so people
drinking a couple beers each.  However, it would fail miserably for
something like a frat party.  Also, the colder you want to serve the
beer the more sensitive it will be to needing "cool down" time between
each pour.


John.

Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas



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No one else has said anything, am I the only one that received an attachment
with this message?

Mark R



Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


Mark R wrote:
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The attachment was an 'big smile' emoticon, and it was attached to my
original email post by mistake -- not that the smile was a mistake, but
I did not intend for it to appear as a separate attachment instead of
directly in the text.  I never open attachments in newsgroups, and only
rarely in personal emails, so I can appreciate your concern.  Sorry
about that.

Also, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their
helpful replies.  I have been struggling with a few non-brew related
problems in the past couple of days -- such as replacing a computer
which was zapped by a power surge -- and haven't had the time to devote
to this thread.  Again, thanks to everyone for their advice.

Cheers.

Bill Velek

Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas



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I wasn't trying to be a news group cop or anything, just wondered. And I
don't open attachments either.

Sorry to hear about the confuser problems. In back to back thunder storms
one week apart I had a lightning strike come through the phone line and fry
my external modem (fortunately it stopped there) and the next week a one
second power outage caused a power surge that blew the power supply. After
changing the power supply I managed to stick my finger into the spinning CPU
fan and managed to knock a blade off the fan. After cleaning up the blood I
had to go back and buy a new CPU cooler. Good luck

Mark R



Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


Mark R wrote:

snip

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About a year ago I replaced computer #1 and took it's hard drives and
temporarily installed them into computer #2 so I could transfer files to
the drive on new computer #3.  When I finished, I was getting up from my
chair and my foot became tangled in the mouse cord from computer #2 and
ripped the socket loose from the motherboard enough that it didn't work
anymore; well, at least it wasn't the mouse to the NEW computer, or I
would have gone ballistic.  Fortunately, the computer I ruined was one
that I really didn't need anymore.

On topic:  today I am facing a real marathon.  Am going to bottle three
different 5-gallon batches (150 bottles or so) that have just finished
their secondary: Cherry Wheat, California Common, and IPA.  I guess it
will be a bit of time before I can start using my new kegging system,
since our second freezer (the one that I will convert) is filled to the
top with food, as is our other freezer.  A jockey-box doesn't appeal to
me enough right now for me to mess with that temporarily, although it
might be something nice to have for picnics and that sort of thing.  How
long can the coils be in the jocket box?  I seem to recall reading about
foaming problems based on pressure vs. length of hose, or something like
that.  I guess I'm going to have to do a good bit of reading soon about
kegging.

Cheers.

Bill Velek

Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas



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If it was just the mouse that didn't work, a USB mouse would be a solution.

Bob



Re: My kids just gave me a kegging system for Christmas


Mark R wrote:
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There was an attachmenbt on my copy. It's just a smiley face, it
displays at the bottom of the message in my reader.
-Rick

--
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