50l Keg Setup

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ok i have been homebrewing for a few years now but the cleaning of bottles kills me as i have about 300 at any one time.

so i decided to move on to kegs.

im using 50l kegs because i got 3 couplings for free

they came with these big 1 inch pin lock male connections and the thread on the actual couplings was funny so i thought i wouldnt be able to use them. but i unscrewed the pinlock connections and there it was a metric converter.

im also getting 2 of those big gas cylinders for free.

for my disconnectors and connectors for the gas and beer line i am thinking of using air tool fittings as there cheap and i think they should not leak, etc. any body used them? i think there basically the same except they dont have that thing in the middle that stops any flow once you take them off, i think this will be ok as the actual keg does this when you take the coupling off.

one question- how do you get the air out of the top of the kegs as there are no preasure rtelease vaulves,? i was thinking that you could just put the gas on the beer line and the co2 would bubble up and exit via the gas line...except there is a non return valve in the beer line. i could take this out but am unsure if i have to. mabe i would have to drill a hole tap it and put a pressure release valve in but this would add 20 $ to each keg advice?

then with the cooling of the kegs i know i will have to have a fridge to cool befor carbination but i was thinking fo the actual beer line to have a lift top freezer and have it half full of water, set the thermostat at 0.5 -2 degrees and have coils of ss tubing, or copper or aluminium,,, have no idea if the last two would be bad for beer. then i can have the kegs at room temp , next to the freezer or in the next room etc.

how do i ge the beer into the keg, ? do i fill it through the gas line and the air would flow out the beer line?

cheers heaps alex
Your keg coupler should have PRVs built into them...if not you should add PRVs on the gas "side" of the coupler.

Best way to do this would be to drill a hole into it, tap it and then add a Rheem-style PRV.

the coupler looks like this

this is not mine but one of ebay but basically the same, are you saying i should put a pressure release valuve in the side of this? im not sure if that would be easy to do.... sure i wouldnt put it in the top of the keg?
I just fill mine right up so there is no air in it when i screw the top back in.

If i fall a bit short i top it up with sone water

a liter of water in 50 will have ninimal effect on the beer.

ohh ok i see it now . have you done this before? i would probably need a special die to tap it though as the ones ive used will be too long. any hints ?
I have been using 50L kegs for 2yrs now with basically the same couplings.
I have a standard female 'snaplock' attachment that screws onto my coupling. This works perfect without the 'PRV'

As for filling...

When my brew is finished i rack it into another fermenter. Then i stick that in the fridge for a few days/week to settle the yeast. I then remove the keg spear, purge the keg manually with Co2 and fill almost to the top with my cold beer. I then force carbonate it with Co2. I then leave that keg out the fridge. I pour room
temperature kegs thru a temprite or miracle box with no probs.

For your home made pouring hoses, Use Beer grade heavy duty plastic hose. You can get it from 'andale' in any city in australia. Use i think its called 6mm restricter hose at a length of 2m. This length is perfect for any home made or commercial keg. Any shorter and you will pour foam, longer and it will take a while to pour a glass. If you coil the hose and stick it in the water at 1-3'c as you planned, it will work a treat.

ADVICE: Remove the spear to fill the keg. That way you can clean the spear properly. If you dont take the spear out and fill thru the coupling, you run a higher risk of infections. (trust me, there is alot of gunk in the spear assembly)
If you need help with spear removal post a reply

Happy keggin,
Mudsta :beerbang:
hey mudsta,

thanks heaps for your reply. i would have been a bit nervous drilling and tapping the coupling.

i was always worried about just cleaning via the solution in the keg and swishing it around and i have removed a spear before but i would love an update and i have never put one back in. so if you could let me know how you do it i would be really appreciative.

thanks heaps

Nah, I haven't done that before...mine (on the way) has one fitted already :)

Use a "square" tap...these have almost no taper at the tip.

You can't use a die...dies cut threads on the outside ;)

ah yeah i always get them mixed up. i was worried as it would have been difficult to get the coupler flat to drill into as its a funny shape. do you take the spear out to clean the keg? im totally new to all of this.
thanks alex

Just give me a few days and i will get sum pics together for spear removal.
I hope the delay dosnt hurt your keg schedule :(
Till then,

Mudsta :beerbang:
nah not at all, im getting a freezer in the this week and the gas and all put together i probably wont be ready for about 3 weeks (the beer is almost ready and i hope i can get the kegs ready and not have to bottle again) but i like to know what im doing so i can think about it and figure it out in my head.

it would be great if you could do that it would be great

thanks for your help

hey mudsta
i was thinking of using 50 ltr kegs as well sure would like to see the pics you are sending garbodude .
as i have always wanted to know how to clean and fill the bloody things .
i kwon that with the newer kegs there is a snap ring inside the keg collar and once removed the spear comes out but filling them has been a bit of a challenge .
i have seen them filled on a automated machine and they are filled upside down via the gas inlet while purging via the spear outlet but would like to see how you do it .

thanks delboy :beer:
Their are two main ways of 50L keg spear removal, The grind mark and the drilled circlip.

:excl: WARNING!!! ALWAYS degass your keg before keg mods or cleaning/filling. Not sticking to this rule may result in death!! :angry:


Grind down to the top of the circlip and just behind it. Remove by tapping back of circlip with nail punch (go easy because those clips do break if hit hard)


Another way is to drill two holes into the circlip and extract it with a pair of circlip pliers.


Just like that :D


Spear removal is easy if you connect and engage your keg coupling. Pull up then twist.


I use a piece of wood with a hole bored thru it. Surrounding that i routered three rebates to suit the retaining clip pattern. Makes light work of undoing and doing up the retaining clip.


This is all the spear parts. I bet you will be surprized at how much crud and gunk live in these parts. Hence myself removing and cleaning all these parts.

Hope that helps anyone that needed a few pointers,

Happy Keggin,

Mudsta :beerbang:
ATTN: Garbodude

By the way i left out some very important info when i gave you those
specs of hose length and diameter for chilling/pouring.

The 2m info is fine, but you need a chilling hose before that.
On my set up i have about 8-10m of 8mm hose for chilling then that goes into my restrictor hose (2m length /6mm diameter) then onto my tap.

Sorry about the lack of info in my first post to you.

Cheers, happy keggin,

Mudsta :beerbang:
hey mudsta

thanks for all your help. it makes a lot more sense now. brout a fridge on ebay yesturday so just waiting on a few things now and im ready to go. do you put that locking ring back in after you screw the spear back in?

and what chiller pipe do you use? stainless , beer line? and how much was it per m.

thanks heaps alex
Sorry bout the late reply.

Yep garbodude you gota put the circlip back in. It holds the spear down to seal the external o-ring (can be a pain to put in sumtimes)

As for hose ive got approx 10m of 8/10mm Stainless tube coiled into my temprite for chilling. That then gets reduced to my restricter hose which is 2m by 6mm. This hose slows down the pour just enough to pour commercial kegs easy.

Hope that helps. :beerbang:

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