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My New Kegging System

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Trev

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Well folks, after much soul searching and penny pinching I've just started out on the next adventure in my brewing story - I've just gone out and purchased two kegs and all the paraphenalia to go with it.

I thought that I might keep you all up to date with the progress over the next few weeks, firstly so I can hopefully get help as and when I'll need it and also so that the next keg newbie can learn from my mistakes (oh God I think I'm gonna make some :blink:

The first and most difficult challenge is to convince ones 'significant other' that kegging is a good idea. I was presented with arguments that me having a kegging supply at home was like putting Dracula in charge of the blood Bank and a host of other objections.

I managed to clinch the deal though when I offered to buy a new fridge for the kitchen, complete with all the modcons, if I could use the old one for my kegs. OK, so far $1200 for a new fridge :angry: (we really needed it anyway, the old one, after 24 years was starting to rust out etc).

So, last Saturday down to see Craig Deacon at Keg Systems (extra helpful and I think a good deal after looking at other prices) and I got two kegs and all the bits and pieces to go with it. This includes two Taps and the S/S drip tray for the front of the fridge.

Yeterday I went down to BOC and got gassed up :D and my wife did the rounds of the shops to find her dream fridge.

The new fridge gets delivered tomorrow so tonight we'll be clearing out the old one and moving it into the garage were it will spend the rest of it's useful life devoted to the pursuit of happiness (and free beer for my mates).

I've got a couple of brews on the go at the moment that are ready to be kegged, a partial mash Dark Ale hopped with Fuggles, and a kit Cerveza.

The plan is to wash and sanitise the kegs tonight, drill the holes and fit out the old fridge tomorrow night, drop one of the brews into one keg straight away and let it chill till the next night.

The following night (Thursday) I should be able to carbonate the keg and on Friday night hopefully burp, repressurise and DRINK.

Tight timetable but heck, somebody's got to do it.

If I get that right, or close to, then over the weekend I'll rearrange the hoses and get the second keg on-line as well.

No doubt there's going to be a few hiccups but what the heck. I'll keep you all posted on progress (or lack thereof) - might even get some pix of the whole operation as well and post a new gallery (OK Fiscus?).

Trev
 

kook

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You'll love it.

Its the greatest homebrew investment you can make IMO.

Infact, I think I'll go pull a beer now :)
 

GMK

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Keg newbie suggestions.

Trev..

depending on the diameter of your beer line, will need as follows:
4mm - 2.5m at least from liquid disconnect to tap.
6mm - 4m of line....as above...something to do with pressure drop etc...

Quick proceedure for kegging Beer.
Rack into keg and seal.
Turn presure to 300kpa.
connect gas line - i use a liquid disconect on the gas line here.
wait 20 secs...burp keg 3-4 times - short sharp bursts.
Lay keg on it's side - rock gently back and forth for 5 mins.
place keg into fridge to get cold still on gas...leave for 18 to 24 hrs to get chilled.
turn gas to pouring pressure...vent excess pressure...pour beer.
Can turn gas to zero...vent...open tap and increase presure until nice flow is started...

Happy Kegging....

would have liked you to have got the recon taps from me... :angry:
 

Doc

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Hahahah, was reading your original post out to the wife last night regarding the justification to go kegging.
We reminised about when I was going through the same thing, but it was relatively easy as we remember. I used to get my wife to help me wash the bottles. I would clean them and she would rinse.
We were both getting sick of it (her even more so as she doesn't drink beer), so kegging was an easy sell :D

Enjoy your new keg system. No looking back now. And you have an automatic order for birthdays, fathers day and Xmas "more kegs".

Cheers,
Doc
 

therook

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Trev,

What sort of deal did all this cost, not counting the new fridge.

Mark
 

Indy

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yeah mate give us the details,
[idiot voice] tell them the price son, tell them the price... [/idiot voice]
also do you have a web page for craig decan?

cancel the web page, just found it, tried searching yahoo but couldn't find it before... http://www.kegsystems.com/

keep us posted
 

Trev

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Mark,

The basic kit was $340. This includes all I needed to get one keg up and running. I opted for a Tap rather than a Gun. This included the 2 gauge Reg', all the plumbing etc. I also did an upsize and got an extra keg and spill tray as well as the gas fittings for the second keg.

The CO2 cost $135, including a years rental on the cylinder. Each swap is about $30.

It all pales into insignificance compared to the new fridge that SWMBO got however - bloody hell fridges are expensive :(

Trev
 

GMK

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Keg systems Prices

I just set my mate up with his keg system.
Here is the costings:

dual gauge regulator - grumpys - 85.00 (now 100.00)
2 x taps with fridge attachments recond - GMK - 120.00 anndale or 80.00 twist taps - total
2 x 6mm brass "T" pieces (11.00 ea) 22.00
6mm gas vinyl line .80 pm - 5.00
4mm beer line - 5m - GMK - 10.00
4mm - 6mm converters plus clamps - GMK -10.00

From Craig Deacon - http://www.kegsystems.com/
3 x liquid disconects - 45.00
2 x gas disconects - 30.00
2 x SS kegs (75.00 ea delivered to Canberra) 150.00

Total cost for two tap setup with 2 kegs...
$477.00 with Anndale Pulldown Taps - which he has.
$437.00 with Twist Taps.

Optional extras...
Drip tray - GMK - $45.00
Pushblocks for fridge attachment $16.00
CO2 Bottle - no rent $100.00 initial purchase - $50.00 ea refill.
rubber backed Bar mats - assorted logos - $10.00 ea.

So, for $577.00 he got a fully working 2 tap sytem with a liquid disconect on the outside of the fridge for gassing/burping kegs complete with CO2 bottle.

A Very Good Deal.
What have other people paid...
 

Trev

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Project Update

Well, weve lost a day on the project so far.

It took longer to get the fridge door modified. My son took it to work to remove the inner shelved panel (which was broken anyway) and replace it with a sheet of gal. Unfortunately, he %$#&^% forgot to bring the door seal home last night so we can't assemble it yet.

Damn I thought, this will put me well behind because I wont be able to chill the keg prior to carbonating till Friday night!

Hmmmm......
1/ SWMBO has just taken delivery of new fridge and has in beautifully installed in the Kitchen.
2/ New fridge is larger internally than old fridge and still only half empty.
3/ SWMBO is busy watching some lifestyle programme on TV (note to self - why aren't there any lifestyle programmes for us?)

So, working very quietly I dropped my Dark Ale brew into the keg, rearranged the food etc in the new fridge and found I could fit the keg lying down on one of the shelves. By the time my good lady found out, it was too late :D

So tonight hopefully we'll finish the fridge door and carbonate the keg so that Saturday night we can try it.

Stay tuned.


Trev


P.S. My set up cost a bit more than Ken has listed above :angry:
Complete with the two taps, spill tray and what have you it came out at $620. (plus new frdge!!!!!!)
 

GMK

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Trev

Did you get new or second hand taps...

What brand and are they single piece...
 

kook

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Should have got the andales off GMK. Theyre damn good taps. Love the convient pull down on/off action. I've got to try to get some new handles for them.

How much for the turned wood handles GMK?
 

Trev

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Ken,

I'm not sure about the brand. They're nice and shiny and brand new but were supplied loose in a box marked 'Harris', the same type of box that the regulator came in.

I'll lay my hand on a digital camera yet!


Trev
 

GMK

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Kook

As it happens i have 2 turned handles ready..
one walnut - single branch with a beutifull knot in it - pale brown
one light jarah...

for mates a do them at $25.00 a pair.

dont know about freight....
is there anything else you want/need.
 

GMK

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Trev


If they are single piece...i but they are Tru Flow twist taps.
Straight small shaft thru the fridge door.

only problem is, cant remove the tap to pull apart, clean etc without taking the whole thing off the fridge door.
 

kook

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GMK said:
Kook

As it happens i have 2 turned handles ready..
one walnut - single branch with a beutifull knot in it - pale brown
one light jarah...

for mates a do them at $25.00 a pair.

dont know about freight....
is there anything else you want/need.
What else have you got? :)

Do those handles just screw straight on to the andales?
 

GMK

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Kook,

The wooden handles fit inside the screw in parts of the Anndale handles...you keep the crome base and top.
Currently i have some bar top drip trays ...various sizes..one smallish one $45.00 that could be converted to a fridge door drip tray.

Bar mats...CUB and Lite Ice Extreme - rubber backed- bit fluffy but nothing a good clothes brush wouldn't fix - $8.50 ea.
I have access to beer fonts, single, dual and tripple.

if you tell me what you need/want - i will try and get it for you...can even get SS gate valves...

Hope this helps.
 

Spanner

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GMK, I've only just got a handle on making bottled beer(after 55 brews) ,how much of a hassle is it to make up kegs?
What with the gas and everything having to be exact etc, it seems like it would be a bbit of a pain.
I understand that you can drink your beer after a week instead of six like in bottles, but is that the only advantage?
Thanks,


Spanner.
 

Doc

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Here are just some of the advantages IMO.
  • You only have to sterlise the one bottle ( the keg ) over steralising 30 bottles.
  • You can drink it in 2 days. ( I force carbonate at 300kpa for 48 hours ).
  • A few kegs take up less space than the 200 + bottles I used to have.
  • You don't have to drink a full bottle. You can have a just a single glass of beer or mix beer from a couple of different kegs.
  • A keg fridge always gets the wow factor
It is the best thing you will ever do in brewing (apart from maybe brewing all-grain).

Cheers,
Doc
 

GMK

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Spanner,

I dont know of anyone who has regretted going to kegging.
I have been kegging for approx 9 months now. Great.

My advice on kegging is:
Get at least two taps...(i have three)
get at least one more keg than you have taps ( i now have 5)

By having an extra keg it allows you to the age the beer.
you need two taps - that way you can have two types of beer on tap.
I try to have a lager/pilsner, a killkenny/IPA & either a dark ale/stout in the last tap. ( i like variety )

My wife thougt that with a keg system i would be drinking more. I think that i actually drink less. You can have one or two glasses wich is less than a 600ml bottle/two stubbies depending upon the size of the glass a night. Where as with the bottles - you need to finish them. I still use bottles for my Big heavy beers and speciality beers.

If you want to check my keg setup out - come over one day...
I am brewing next weekend - give me a date and time ( iprefer Sat or monday - and you can come over and have a beer while i brew....
 

Trev

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SUCCESS

The new keg system is now on-line :) :) :) :) :)

I finally got the gas line into the Fridge on Saturday afternoon so I was then able to force carbonate till Sunday afternoon. Everything seemed to work out well, the first beer was just a bit too foamy but then it settled down well.

I'm thinking though that it may need just a bit longer with the force carbonation, mind you, I've drunk much worse commercial drops.

I invited a mate of mine around yesterday afternoon to sample the setup as he's just getting into the hobby (?) himself. Fine and dandy. Then lo and behold my son and 4 of his mates from footy show up to have a go at it as well - it's a bloody people magnet.

This week I'm going to bring the second keg on line but I have to cut the beer line and install the T piece to get running. One step at a time.

Ken, the taps have a shaft about 6 inches long, and if I unscrew the little chrome cap on top of the tap I can see a circlip. I guess I just remove the circlip and the assembly comes apart for cleaning?


Trev
 

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