From the HBD Archive
From: "JEFF CASEY / (617)253-0885" <CASEY@ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU>
Subject: Re: plastic kegs
Date: 1990-05-23 14:51:00 GMT

Bill Pemberton asks:

>I recently saw a kegging system in one of the mail order catalogs
>and I would like to know if anyone out there has any experience with it.
>It is the brewcraft plastic 'pressure keg.' I would really appreciate
>any information/recommendations/etc that anyone might have with this

I bought one of these (I think it was Edme and/or Brewcraft, in any case
it had fake wood grain texturing on the sides) in the 3 gallon size. I
kegged about 5 or 6 batches with it, and had problems on at least 3 of them.
The spigot has a real problem with sticking, and needs to be disassembled
and cleaned EVERY time you use it - it is a funny two part valve. If you
don't, the upper part sticks and separates from the lower part, and then
strips when you crank down hard enough to stop the drips. I didn't discover
this until I blew out one valve (and half a keg of beer - I was kept busy
drinking...). It also helps to lubricate the upper valve pieces and threads
with vegetable oil every time too. After I figured that out, I had a problem
with the pressure valve -- it is a plastic plunger with an o-ring seal, and the
shaft broke off of the sealing disc. I discovered this after filling the keg,
and had to quickly wash a case and a half of bottles and bottle instead.
If I had kept using the keg, I would have also wanted to replace the pressure
valve with a weaker spring, to drop the 10 psi down to 5psi for a more
reasonable head (at the cost of more CO2 cylinder use). 10 psi is a little
ridiculous - all you get is foam. The keg is now in my basement collecting
dust -- if anybody in the Boston area wants it, you can have it for free, but
you'll have to replace the o-ring seal plunger.

I have since spent the relatively big bucks to buy a Cornelius keg. No
comparison -- all metal, simple apparatus, serving is easier with a tap
on a hose, and pressure control means that I keep under 10 psi for a good
head, and drop to 5psi for serving at parties. If it isn't clear by now,
my advice is to avoid the half measures, and do it right. You won't be
sorry. Jeff Casey
(617)924-0523 home (617)253-0885 work CASEY@ALCVAX.PFC.MIT.EDU

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