Corny Keg Setup

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Corny Keg Setup

Postby Pigswill » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:14

Hi all – hoping someone can help me out with my keg shopping list…

I’ve always bottled or (rarely) used pressure barrels for my brews, but I guess my family have had enough of my whinging on bottling day as last week they bought me 3 second hand ball lock corny kegs, disconnects, regulator and a CO2 bottle for my birthday.
I know virtually nothing about using kegs, the required pressures for carbonation and dispensing etc. but I’m learning fast. First step is to sort out the additional kit I need. I’m planning on ordering a full set of seals for each keg so I can give them a full clean and overhaul, but not sure of what else for gas and dispensing…

At the moment I’m planning to get;

    5M of 3/8” gas line
    5M of 3/16” beer line
    Various JG fittings including a ‘Y’ to split the gas line (or I could get a gas management board but they don’t look cheap).
    Some form of tap...
Am I missing anything obvious? Also on taps and beer line, I’ve seen various calculators for beer line length and generally come to the conclusion that the party taps with 12” of hose probably won’t do the job. Would a flow regulating valve or tap with flow control get over the guesswork with beer lines or is it best to just calculate your line length and stick a party tap on it?
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Re: Corny Keg Setup

Postby GrowlingDog » Tue Jun 28, 2016 13:13

I always used 3/8 beer line with my kegs for all the different beers. I had approx 3 foot of beer line between the keg and the tap.

As a rule I kept my kegs at 12 psi pressure at 12 centigrade.

I have an Enodis flow control tap if you want it, £10.00 including delivery.

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Re: Corny Keg Setup

Postby abeyptfc » Tue Jun 28, 2016 13:48

Craigtube on youtube filmed some videos on kegging, here is part 1, I think there are 4 parts.
cheers
https://youtu.be/hbjGjXVXqpw
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Re: Corny Keg Setup

Postby Pigswill » Wed Jun 29, 2016 09:06

Thanks guys,

I hadn't come across those videos before, very helpful to see the process from start to finish.

Thanks for the offer GD, but at the moment I'm probably looking at a loose tap - Hopefully I'll get a keezer build sorted eventually but I need to convince SWMBO that it can find a home in the house first. So are flow control valves effective in dropping line pressure and compensating for beer line length? I wasn't sure if they'd just lead to excessive foaming.
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Re: Corny Keg Setup

Postby PhatFil » Wed Jun 29, 2016 10:58

using dalex style flow control taps lets me serve with pressures upto circa 8 psi, above that they need a fiddle with every pour never quite finding the sweet spot.. I have read reports that the taps like GD's can perform better at higher pressures????

HOWEVER!! without chilling the keg or the beer via a shelf chiller or perhaps a jockey-box forget trying to pour till the keg temps drop below 12c...

I manage to serve without temp control over the kegs for 9/12 months but come summer i need to serve via a maxi chiller, if serving without temp control remember to vent a keg prior to attempting to pour as to remove any excess pressure which could have built up due to condition loss due to the storrgae temp.

when serving without temp control over the beer it is a dynamic process needing a tweak of the reg to follow the trend in ambient temps, you can expect to loose some condition from the beer when warmewr due to the lower serving pressure needed to serve without foaming, and when the temps drop over the colder months you can expect the beers condition to rise.

while you can 'correct' the beers condition by either revconditioning with a blast of higher pressure co2 Or remove excess condition with a few rock/vent repititions tbh i never bother and just acept the condition that the beers is @ and sup ..

If you have the room i urge you to get a keg fridge sorted asap as it will remove all the hassle from the process..

check a kegging table like http://www.kegerators.com/articles/carb ... -chart.php (iirc one using propper C temps is stickied over on Jims ) to sus the relationship betwween temp/pressure and condition :)
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Re: Corny Keg Setup

Postby Pigswill » Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:26

Thanks Fil - I have a small chest freezer with a heater wired via an STC controller at the moment for temp control during ferment / cold crashing and will add a collar to allow it to fit the kegs before I start using them. Hopefully that'll take some of the guesswork out of the temperature vs pressure conundrum.

It's getting the required permissions from SWIMBO to move the thing inside that will prove a challenge :-)

I was thinking the flow valve would help with fine tuning to suit different beer styles rather than changing line length. Might be worth a go for the minor additional outlay.
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Re: Corny Keg Setup

Postby PhatFil » Wed Jun 29, 2016 22:28

ahh your sorted then ;) well when you have convinced the 'Boss' that its a good idea.. fwiw folk have fed lines from out buildings to the main home before, My beer is stored in the what was coalshed now washing machine cupboard adjacent to the house so i simply feed the 4 lines through the wall to the 4 tap font in the kitchen ;)
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a recycled kit tin with top and bottom removed provides the conduit through the wall and old what were free carrier bags screwed up and jammed in seal up the void :)

If you need to bury line its better to lay a length of larger diameter conduit so you can feed the beerline through and simply replace it after a while if needed ..

rather than swap out different lengths of microline (3/16") for different beer styles most folk afaik simply employ a length that works with the highest condition level they need to serve and live with the nominally slower pour of beers served at lower pressures.

GD's tap above is a good price, my one reservation about taps of that style with a fixed spout is one of hygiene.
our home dispensing systems unlike the commercial versions dont get the use that can result in 2 or more keg changes between weekly line cleaning. So as long as the kegs dispensing post and its connector, the line and tap were sanitised sufficiently when the keg was attached the system up to the tap point is essentially an extension of the keg so line cleaning until the keg is removed is essentially redundant. HOWEVER, the tap spout will get a fresh coat of beer with every pour, and over weeks can accumulate some gunk, a situation i was unaware of until 1 very sweet ginger beer got used only for cooking liquor and was on tap for months,, one day trying to pour a bit to liquor up a chinese stir-fry it refused to pour, the tap spout had clogged up from the coatings of beer poured through and whatever had fed on it YUK!!! I now pull all my spouts for a soak afetr every pour and would urge anyone using fixed spout taps to consider a squeezy bottle to flush out the spouts regularly..
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