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johnno

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I've been able to source some relatively cheap 18 litre kegs but I have to take them as they are. I wont be able to get to them for another couple of weeks so i havent seen them yet. Is there any telltale signs I should be wary of. I'm sure I will be able to change rubber seals and grommetts etc but I'm not sure if there is anything else I should look out for.
All feedback appreciated on this as I really dont have any experience with kegs yet. I probably wont be using them for a while but they are a good price so I want to get them and use them in the future.

cheers
 

Justin

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Hi Johnno, good work on the kegs!

Firstly, as you said you'll probably want to change the orings on all of them first up. You might as well do it from the start regardless of the condition of the orings already on them. You can get the oring kits from most HBS, I know Craig Deacon sells them for $9.95, I got mine for $3A from RCB equipment.

Secondly, look for major dents in them that may have gone so far as to hole the kegs. Dents are usually no more than cosmetic and you would expect all kegs to have some minor dents, also look for welding/patching jobs. Then make your judgement.

Thirdly, what parts do they need? This is the part to be wary of. Buying spare parts for these kegs here in Australia can run you well up over the price of a whole keg. I got three kegs for a very good price that needed various parts including posts, pressure release valves, poppets and diptubes. I had gotten prices for the parts from RCB equipment before I bought them so I knew what I was up for. I found that RCB had the best prices for parts, send them an email because they don't show all the stuff they have on the web. Or send me a pm. I have bought all the above parts so can give you prices. Shipping is 5/8th's of FA for keg parts.

Fourthy, if you have the option get kegs of all the same make. This makes buying parts alot more simple in future and when you clean them you don't run the risk of mixing up parts. It's no problem once you know how to distinguish the different makes/model and what parts fit which but if you have the option to get all the same then do it. The common makes of ball lock kegs are Firestone Spartanburg Challenger V or VI, and Cornelius. If the kegs are labelled Coca cola, then they are probably pin lock. The firestone and cornelius can also come in pin lock as well I think but thay are less common. If the kegs are missing fittings as above try to play about with the different parts to get as many parts as you can for the right kegs.


Fifthly, most stains and gunk can be removed by caustic soda or an acid based cleaner. These chew through the crud and you would be surprised what they lift. So unless they look absolutely terrible (and/or rusty inside) you should be fine.

Good luck. You'll love life with your new kegs.

JD
 

GMK

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Johno

Steer away from pin lock kegs - i think these are being phased out.
Go for Ball lock.
Also, make sure that all the kegs have presure relief valves.
The price of lids with these valves is expensive.
 

sosman

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Johnno - I am the official 8L keg safety officer around here. You should immediately forward the shipment to me for a safety inspection. They require hydrostatic pressure testing over a period of time.
 

johnno

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will do sosman.
Still haven't had a chance to get up to advance chemicals. :)
 

sosman

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johnno said:
Still haven't had a chance to get up to advance chemicals. :)
I'm gonna have to make another trip, I handed a bit too much LABSA out to the guys at the club.
 

Gout

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sos i'll give you some, only needed to ask and i'll bring it in.

Other wise i might get some more phos acid
 

sosman

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Ben said:
sos i'll give you some, only needed to ask and i'll bring it in.

Other wise i might get some more phos acid
Hey what a good idea. I am not out of it yet, to be honest, if I don't sling anymore sideways then I have only about 20 years supply left :)

If you want a litre of phos acid I have some in a bottle ready to go. You know you are supposed to mix the stuff with water. You must be spraying your hops with the stuff to kill the mold. I've only gone through about 200ml in 6 months.
 

johnno

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GMK said:
Johno

Steer away from pin lock kegs - i think these are being phased out.
Go for Ball lock.
Also, make sure that all the kegs have presure relief valves.
The price of lids with these valves is expensive.
Just bringing this post up again as I am desperately trying to get some of these.
I had a quick look at some the other day but they seemed to have the one valve dead center on the top.
What are these like? I cant find a piccy anywhere at the moment.
GMK or anyone elase that knows. What is the big difference in pin and ball lock.
This piicture I posted here is this an acurateindication of pin and ball lock.
All help appreciated.

bothkegs.jpg
 

SteveSA

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Johnno

As far as I can tell the only difference is the connections.

I have pin lock and I'm more than happy with it. However, I'm in the process of swapping these for ball lock. The reasons have nothing to do with performance but they seem to be much easier to get hold of in South Australia than pin locks.

Also, it makes sense to have ball locks if everyone else does. If I'm going to a show where others will have ball locks and I need a squirt of CO2 to replenish the head pressure it saves me taking my CO2 bottle.

It just comes down to personal preference.

Regards
Steve
 

Doc

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Johnno,

The one valve directly in the middle of the lid is the pressure release valve.
Pin lock connectors have two pins on the gas and beer posts and the connector for the beer and gas lines have slots that fit over the pins and then twist. Sort of like a reverse standard bayonet light bulb fitting and light bulb. eg. the bit on the end of the light bulb is on the keg and the beer/gas line fitting is the light socket.

Ball lock is just a round post and the fitting fits over the post with a quick disconnect.

HTH,
Doc
 

THE DRUNK ARAB

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johnno, I use pin lock and don't have any issues with them. I have four kegs and they are all set up with a 2 pin turret for the CO2 and a 3 pin turret for the beer out. No confusions that way.
I would ring around some of the brew stores in Australia and find out if they have spare pin lock or ball lock turrets. Try Dave at Goliaths, he has his finger on the pulse.
There is no advantage to either connections, there is advantage in kegging :p .

Cheers and bollocks
Mark
 

Justin

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All I can say again Johnno is try and get complete kegs, you'll save yourself a heap of messing around. What about ebay? There have been heaps of kegs sold on there recently and your bound to find some come up in Melbourne.

That valve in the dead centre of the top sounds like some of the ones I got. They are plastic 2 piece pressure release valves. If they work that's great, otherwise you'll have to get replacements from the states, you might be hard pressed to find parts in australia for this pressure release valve. These can be dear as hell ($15US), but mine cost me $2US for secondhand ones from RCB.

Cheers, justin
 

johnno

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Thanks for the feedback.
I was walking around just before and noticed these in a lane.
Is this style any good? I'm presuming not as I cant see where you would connect stuff .

keg_shot.jpg
 

Hoops

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Johnno

they look the same as XXXX and Tooheys keg connectors.
You could use them if you got a XXXX connector but it would be a pain in the arse to clean.
If they are "free" then all's good but I wouldn't get them over normal HB kegs if you're paying full price.

Hoops
 

Doc

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Those look like the Interbrew kegs.
That is what a lot of the Belgian beers come over in (eg Leffe).
I don't think the connector is the same as the Tooheys or CUB ones. But I'm sure you could get the right one on ebay or from kegman

Doc
 

johnno

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Thanks hoops and Doc,
Yeah I'm not to keen on this style.
Hoops like you mentioned, cleanng would be a pain alright.
I'd rather try and get the corny ones with that lid that come of. I saw em out the back of some place and thought I'd check em out.
In a lane of a lane in chinatown.

cheers
 

johnno

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Fellow AHB'ers
Its been a while since I posted this thread but I'm going to pick up 4 of these kegs tomorrow.
My only concern is that I spoke to the bloke on the phone and he didnt seem to be able to confirm wether they are ball or pin lock. He could confirm that they were the corny style kegs with the oval bit in the middle that comes off.
Whats the go with this fellow keggers. Do the Cornelius kegs come in both ball and pin lock?
As I have no experience with kegs yet I want to make sure I pick up the ball lock variety.
How do you identify the ball lock connectores. Is there a big difference from the pin lock?
I have posted a piccy earlier in this thread that I got from the net. Are all pin and ball lock fittings as shown in the picture.
All feedback needed from keggers.

cheers

johnno
 

Trev

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Johnno,

A picture's worth a thousand words. Here's the connectors and you can see that the Pin lock type has the two slots where the Pins from the keg post engages




When you look at the kegs, You'll see that the Pin lock has two little pins that poke out on the keg post, the Ball lock keg posts look like -



Note that there are no Pins - and I couldn't find a pix quickly of the Pin lock posts :eek:


Trev
 

johnno

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Thanks for the QUick informative post Trev,
I can see from the connectors of the pin lock and your description what to look out for now.
Very helpful.

cheers
johnno
 

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