From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <darryl@ism780c.isc.com>
Subject: re: kegging systems
Date: 1988-12-09 16:41:12 GMT

I outfitted myself for Cornelius kegs for about $100 from scratch. Look in
your phone book under bar fixtures for a company that specializes in draft
equipment. I bought a new 5.5 lb CO2 bottle, a used regulator, appropriate
hoses and a tap for about $80. The bottle is good for about 4 or 5 kegs and
costs $6 to refill. I bought a keg from the local homebrew shop to get started,
but I found various surplus stores had mounds of them for about $10-15 a piece.
Be aware that there are two different Cornelius fittings that are not
interchangable. (The "Coke" style has 2 pins on the inlet and 3 on the outlet
that the fittings lock on to; the other style has no pins at all and, since
I don't use it, I don't know how they lock down.) I recently bought a tee
fitting and some more gas line and another tap and now I can have two beers
on tap. My refrigerator can still lager a 5 gallon carboy with two kegs in it.

(As an aside, this began when I had a windfall of $100 that I decided was going
to get me a lagering 'fridge. I found one, older than myself, for $10 that has
run very strongly for the year that I've had it. What, oh what to do with that
other $90 burning a hole in my pocket...)

Beware of the large O-ring that seals the top. My experience is that it won't
seal without some pressure behind it. After I fill the keg with the primed
beer, I close it and hook up the CO2 bottle, and crank it to about 15psi. This
locks the top tight. I would replace all of the rubber O-rings and seals when
I got the keg because they never seem to give up the flavor of whatever soda pop
was in the keg.

For serving, I usually leave the regulator at about 10-15psi. This seems right
for Ales served British-style. I haven't had the opportunity to try a lager
out on it.

Now I've found a chest freezer that is going to serve as my lagering chamber
(for free, no less), and I'm considering a third tap. The two taps I currently
use have Anchor Steam and Porter tap handles that I got at the brewery. I
guess I'll have to go back to get a Foghorn tap or something... This brewing
thing is just too complicated. ;-)

--Darryl Richman
(Secretary for the Maltose Falcons Home Brewing Society)
(Sysop of the Falcon's Nest BBS 818 349 5891)

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