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JasonY

The Imperial Metric Brewery
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Ok as I am sadly passing another decade in January I have managed to convince my wife to buy me a keg system for my coming birthday (goodbye bottling!).

A quick chat with my local HBS puts a system with 2 x 20L kegs and parts (not sure on the details) at about $480. How does this compare with what other people have paid to get into kegging. I kinda like to idea of supporting the HBS and it makes it easier to get the lot in one hit.

Other question would be any advise on things to make sure I do or do not get with this system. I am planning to get one tap mounted on the beer fridge with the two kegs inside.

Any advise appreciated.
 

jayse

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that price is alright but getting everything together like that could be a little cheaper
typically to buy everything seperately you pay as much as.
kegs =$100 each
tap= $100
regulator= $100
gas and beer disconnect = $30 for the two.
the line should cost next to nothing.
and they should throw in some line cleaner as well.

so you could proberly find it for $50 cheaper than that if you looked around.but that price i guess is proberly the normal price.
 

GSRman

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Kegs, www.kegsystems.com - craig deacon, $70 each, if you are making a twin tap setup, you will want 3, these are all re-fitted and cleaned etc..

regulator, through either grumpys or kegsystems,for $100 or $120 depending on what one you want (the $120 can hook up to other reg's so you can have a dual reg system on 1 bottle)

taps, beerline etc, dissconnects, i can sell you, what kind of setup were you looking for?

single tap, 2 taps? 3? - going to mount it on the front of the fridge?



you also need to get a gas bottle, a bit of a ring around should find you the cheapest supplier.. (usually the company that does the pubs around where you are)

it generally ranges from $50 deposit and $50 a fill to $58 a fill and $116 a year rent..
 

therook

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Jason,

I asked Grumpys for a price and it was $330.00 for the system ( one Keg ) and $100.00 for extra Kegs. Free Delivery to Country Vic.

Maybe buy the Kit from Grumps and source extra Kegs from www.kegsystems.com for 70 bucks each.

I'm looking at buying mine next week

Mark
 

JasonY

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GSRMan, planning to have one tap through the fridge door with enough room for two kegs inside. Whatever I get I would like to make sure it is expandable so I could add a second or third tap to the system. Regulators I don't have too much an idea about, I would prefer to pay an extra $20 if its a better setup. Kegs I will start with 2 and build up from there.

Are there different connectors for different kegs? Do you have to make sure you get the same type of kegs to avoid having stacks of fittings etc? If so is there a preffered type?

I am in Perth so I am not sure what freight on kegs is worth. Really wanted a baseline to compare with, I don't mind supporting the local guy if its only $50 more ... if its much more than that then I will shop about.

Thanks all, great info so far.
 

GSRman

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The expensive individual pieces are the reg, the bottle, and the kegs, mainly the kegs, eg, for a single tap setup, you would want at least 2 kegs, that $150 of your setup straight away... (im guessing the grumpys one only supplies 1 keg?)

by the time you add the reg, thats another $100.. so you are up to $250,

before you even get a tap, dissconnects or lines.. or clamps or any of the 'goes inbetween' bits...


I can supply,

(1 ea) gas and beer dissconnects,
4mm beer line (2.5m),
6mm gas line (3m),
4mm beer line to 6mm converter
clamps
+postage ($10)

for either $100 with a twist tap, or $120 with a pull down (nominate your top 5 favoured handles and i'll see what i can do)


so for 350 you could get an extra keg..

or for 370 you could get pull-down tap..

or for not *THAT* much more you could have a nice 2-tap set...

most of the expense is in the bottle and reg, and you dont need to change that for a twin tap setup..

i should have my setup done within a week or so, (dependant on me finding a fridge) and i should be able to do a solid breakdown and some pics etc by then..
 

therook

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GSRman,

What can you do the lot for $$$$$$$, I'm keen to buy the lot. Email me

therook3659@yahoo.com.au

Mark
 

GSRman

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the rook, ive e-mailed you but haven't as yet got any response :)


anyone else interested in a setup? at the moment?
 

therook

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GSRman,

Havn't recieved it as of yet???????????

Rook
 

GSRman

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doh, give me a few days and i'll track it down and make it a bit more comprehensive :)
 

therook

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GSRman,

Send it to mmanchester@iprimus.com.au

Rook
 

Nearly

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JasonY,

This post may be a bit late... and it is rather long... also my opinions differ somewhat from the mainstream of members here who have consistently achieved excellent results with their kegs using different techniques to those I espouse below.

I am fairly new to kegging but after considerable research and some experimentation I do have a few suggestions for your consideration.

In order of importance:

1) Consider using the 'balanced' keg system.

2) Have at least one more keg than you have taps.

3) Buy an extra gas inlet post (the thing at the top of the keg that you hook the gas to)

4) Consider using the patient method of carbonation over any of the faster methods.

5) If choosing patient method 4 above then get enough 'T' pieces for the gas line so that all of your kegs are on the gas at once.

6) Choose a regulator that has an easy to use T piece handle over one that needs a screw driver to adjust pressure. (If you get the screw type then fit a handle to make life easier)

7) Consider having a gas 'T' piece, gate valve and gas snaplock on the outside of the fridge.

8) Whenever possible take advantage of option 3 to pre-fill any beer container with CO2 before transfer. (This is made much easier if you have also chosen option 7.)

9) Choose your keg fridge temperature (above zero) and dont muck about with it.

10) Keep your glasses away from detergent and store them in the fridge.


Easiest to explain first.... 2 is because you will want a keg carbonating/carbonated while another is being drunk so that when the first runs out there is always a replacement. You may not think so at first but this will become important.

If you use option 3 then you can shove a piece of plastic hose into the fitting and then pour out CO2 any time you want. This is useful if you want to rack your beer to another container because you can eliminate the chance of oxygenation by pre-filling with CO2.

Option 6 is because the regulator under some regimes (not the balanced system) needs to be adjusted regularly. Kegging is about ease of use as much as its about beautiful, clear, draught beer so lets make the pressure change easy to do.

Option 7 is because filling containers with CO2 is easier outside the fridge than having to open the door and pull off a gas line. Sounds a bit lazy but it all helps make kegging a joy.

Option 9 is because in kegging the reproducibility of the pour is important. You dont want foam one time and flat the next. Since the amount of CO2 that beer absorbs is very dependant on temperature if you continually change the temp then you will never get consistent results.

Now for the harder to explain options. I have had excellent results with the balanced system so far but still have a wee bit to go to get to my perfect sweet spot. I am attempting to match exactly what comes over the bar at the pub.

What the hell am I on about? Mainly two separate issues.... carbonating and pouring.

The patient method of carbonation is where instead of using high pressure and other techniques to force carbonate quickly (anything from 20 minutes to 2 days) you simply put the keg at the desired end result pressure and wait a bit less than a week for the gas and beer to come to equilibrium. (Most of the time most brewers have the luxury of at least a week before they need the next keg.)

The advantage of the patient method is twofold. Firstly it is always reproducible. Many of the quicker methods involve a bit of judgement and so can come unstuck... just read the posts all over the Internet about this... too much froth.... too flat etc. Secondly it is easier. (I am as lazy as, or lazier, than the next man.)

Using the patient method fits beautifully with using the 'balanced keg' system. In the balanced keg system the carbonating pressure and the pouring pressure are identical... they are balanced. This means that you never have to adjust the regulator. It means that the only work you ever do is to turn the gas on or off as needed. It means that at any time your tap is ready to pour a beer. None of the other systems can say that.

The idea of a balanced system seems to have originated in America. A number of sites there explain it better than I can... have a look at http://clbe.net/balancedkeg.htm or http://kegman.net/balance.html or http://www.stpats.com/Kegging.pdf or http://www.northernbrewer.com/docs/pdf/corny-keg.pdf.

Irrespective of how we carbonate, in Australia we seem to mostly have one pressure that we keep the keg at for storage and a different, lower pressure for pouring beer. The beer would foam in most systems if you tried to pour at the storage pressure.

Basically the 'balanced' idea is that by increasing the resistance of the beer line you can slow the beer flow and control the pressure drop so that the beer doesnt foam if dispensed at the higher storage pressure. You do this in two ways... firstly use smaller than usual beer line (4mm internal diameter rather than 6mm) and secondly by having more of it.

I am still experimenting to hit my sweet spot but I have found that it will be somewhere around 4.1 metres of 4mm beer line and 100KPA of pressure at 4 degrees C. The Americans say that 100KPA is too high (maybe 90 95KPA is what they recommend) but I think that 100 is closer to the carbonation over the bar in Australian pubs.

If you have a balanced system then the T pieces in the gas line allow you to have spare kegs carbonating while you are drinking from the one(s) connected to the tap(s).

So in summary: Use the balanced system and you will simply fill your keg, hook it up to the gas line and then when you need it, connect on the beer line. Couldnt be simpler or easier and cant go wrong.

Hope at least some of this is useful to someone.
 

JasonY

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Nearly, thanks for the excellent reply. I have read a little (and I mean little) about the balanced system and that was what I was hoping to do. If you have some good links I would be keen to read through the stuff. I imagine my first keg will be carbonated a bit quicker so I can be away but the next one will definately be done as you mention above. I still have a couple of months to plan all this and do some research (and brewing!).

GSRMan, I went back to the local HBS and got more info. $450 for a two keg setup with dual guage reg, tap for fridge, lines and fittings. Sounds pretty fair to me so I think I will go with that and help support the local HBS. Thanks for the feedback though, appreciated.
 

GSRman

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JasonY: no worries, doesn't worry me in the slightest :)

so far my personal setup has cost me about $350, and will probably owe about $500 by the time its finished, but it will be a 2 tap 3 keg system :)
 

Nearly

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JasonY, As requested I have added some links to my long winded post about balanced systems. Unfortunately I didnt keep the various sites that I first found when looking into all this... some had much better explanations... anyway, hope these are of some use.
 

big d

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gday jason y
welcome to kegging
what ever you do dont add up the costs as it is a compulsive obsession.
1 fridge then 2 as you need to cc or lager
then i tap but hang on gmk sells andale so order one then it looks kinda lonely so order another one.now the fridge looks half decent.gee it could do with a paint job.
more money.
drip tray another story.
hey wife how would you like a new fridge...i will have the old one. no way she says
well worth a try.
what about me buying a spare keg or so.
gee how many do you need she says glaringly.
subject quickly dropped.
better get back in the good books and try again when shes in a better mood.
does this ever happy with women when we want to spend our money.
i thinks not.
whats mine is hers and whats hers is hers.
have fun
its worth it to get away from bottling
 

Gout

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Gee i must get off with it lightly.

I got my keg system and the misses said AHHHH my god what did that cost????

(never ask just buy then work your way out of it)

I told her and said BUT i wont have to bottle now, and it will increase through put and hence i wont need to buy CUB saving money, the time saving will mean i can spend more time with you :) hehe (or drinking)

then she bought me a bar matt and a few signs etc :)

P.S she is Blonde, but a very loving one

(i now have 6 kegs 2 friges 6 fermentors(some 2ndrys) and mash setups, i let her see a new part of brewing equipment now and then, and say ahhh i have had that for a yr or more!!!! :) I'm evil)

She has spent this + on makeup and ther female hobies hence it gives me firepower
 

GMK

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Ben

Nice to finally see your keg setup.

Nice to see another happy kegger.
 

big d

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very nice GSRman
the anndales look a treat
not a bad idea putting the taps on the side
 
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