1 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:51 PM

As some of you may have read on my Bo Pils thread, I've been given the green light to get myself a kegerator and have it set up on the back deck. I'm not after any particular advice JUST yet, however I thought I'd start this thread rather than derail the pilsner thread with kegging stuff.

I'll keep this updated in due course - there are some re-arrangements that need to be made before I can go and buy the thing and put it there, although I suppose I could get a CO2 bottle, regulator etc. and some kegs to put beer in and have ready to go when it is set up.

Looking forward to this new venture!

Cheers

Kelsey

2 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 9:43 PM

After my subtle prompting, I'm glad the following dinner table meeting with the folks went well Kelsey!

A kegerator is an easy non-fuss move up, but don't discount buying a chest freezer that you can mod easily to your own wants, needs, looks & that will house more kegs for a lower outlay.

Cheers,

Lusty.

3 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 9:51 PM

You can have some of the credit but I have been thinking about it for a little while - usually while I've been down in the laundry rinsing out fn' bottles!

That keezer option has not been discounted either - and it's something I will likely think about down the track when I am able to have a proper bar setup happening. For now though, a 3 tap kegerator will do the job nicely out on the deck without taking up too much space.

I actually do have one question though. If I was to buy a few kegs now, what else would I need to get in order to put beer in them and keep them until I can get the kegerator set up? I guess it would depend if they were naturally or force carbonated really.

4 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:08 PM

Go for it Kelsey,

Think big. I picked up a used frig last month. I put my co2 bottle inside with one keg. Kegging is the way to go so I picked up a second one. Now my goal is 4 to 6 kegs all with taps BUT the frig is way way too small for that. My point is once you get started a keezer is better unless space is a issue. Price wise it will work out to be about the same and you can add on more taps and kegs as you go.

This is only my point of view. I will keep the frig to cold crash but a freezer is now on the long list of things to buy.

Good luck,

Peggy

5 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:14 PM

Buy the kegs, taps and lines they end up being more expensive then the frig or freezer. I fill my kegs and put them on co2 for 3 to 4 days and they are ready to drink. Only force carb if you really need to. Beer is alive treat it gently.

6 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:21 PM

You lucky, lucky bastard!

Here's some suggestions I was given about 9 months ago when I was wondering about the cost of going the same way. I asked for costs on the basis I wanted to do it properly in the first place (ie. not on the cheap so I'd have to replace things in 12 months time). Maybe it will help you, you lucky bastard!

Units Unit Cost Total Cost
19L New Keg 3 119.95 $359.85
6KG Gas Bottle 1 249 $249.00
Gas Regulator 1 54.95 $54.95
Gas Manifold 1 39.95 $39.95
Gas Line 4 1 $4.00
MFL Pushins 7 5 $35.00
Gas Disconnects 3 16.95 $50.85
Liquid Disconnects 3 16.95 $50.85
Beer Line 9 1 $9.00
Carb & Line Cleaning Cap 1 19.95 $19.95
Perlick Seal Forward Taps w/ Long Shank 3 72 $216.00
Keg Lube 1 3.95 $3.95
Oetiker Clamps 8 0.5 $4.00
$1,097.35

7 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:25 PM

Yeah at the moment space would be an issue for a big enough thing to house 6+ kegs. I may keep the kegerator as it is, like I've done with my AG BIAB method. Some people like to move on to all the bling of 3V but I'm happy with the simple process.

That's sort of what I meant by force carbonating - maybe artificial carbonating is a better term there. What I was thinking is to get a few kegs now, so I can put beer in them and then have 3 available to be put on gas straight away when I get the kegerator, rather than get that first and then try to build stock while drinking it. My understanding is that a keg needs to be gassed somehow to keep it for a period of time, so I'm just trying to decide whether to add priming sugar and naturally carbonate these first few to gas them, or buy the CO2 bottle and regulator etc. with the kegs and just purge the headspace before storing them until I can dispense them.

Cheers

Kelsey

8 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:31 PM

antiphile:

You lucky, lucky bastard!




Thanks for that list mate, I imagine I'll need all of those things. Are shanks required for fitting taps to a font, or only for putting through fridge doors?

9 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:32 PM

I do not know if you have the option but I paid a 20 euro deposit for my co2 bottle and it costs 30 euros to fill it up. That way I do not have to have it tested every year. I just take it back empty and they give me a full one. 10 kgs of co2 will last at least a year if not longer.

10 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:35 PM

Yeah, Otter. I was (and still am) going to build my own keezer and collar. So the shanks would be for attaching the taps through the collar.

11 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:36 PM

Yeah, we do have a “swap n' go” system that sounds pretty much like that which you have described there. Yet to decide whether to buy my own new bottle and refill it (there are places near me that do this), or go down the swap n' go route.

12 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:40 PM

Ahh right. So this thing is basically what I'm looking at putting on the kegerator so I can have 3 different beers going at once. Will be replacing the black handles with different beer ones if I can find them though.



I'll be sourcing pretty well all this stuff from Craftbrewer so I imagine they will set me up with the right stuff and give me the right advice on how to set it up and use it all etc.

In the meantime I need some zeds…

13 Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2015 10:45 PM

With 3 kegs it is always the one in the back that is empty. That means you have to take out the 2 full ones to change the third.

14 Posted: Friday, July 31, 2015 5:52 AM

Yeah, that'd be right, Murphy's law and all…

Anyway, I have decided that I'll go down to Craftbrewer next week and pick up some kegs, and perhaps some other bits and bobs I will need. This way I can start putting batches into kegs as they're brewed, and have at least two kegs ready to be tapped by the time the kegerator is set up and ready to go. My plan is to have the three on tap, with another one or two conditioning in wait - it's gonna be a busy time for brewing for the next few months methinks!

15 Posted: Friday, July 31, 2015 7:47 AM

Kelsey, have fun mate, the planning is the most fun part I reckon! Well apart from the first time not soaking all the bottles …

16 Posted: Friday, July 31, 2015 9:35 AM

Not sure but I think you need a blast of CO2 to actually seal the keg, so not sure if you can put beer in and naturally carb the in keg without your gas. Maybe this depends on the type of keg?

17 Posted: Friday, July 31, 2015 10:33 AM

The planning is fun John, although I must admit I do get impatient whenever I have a new plan for something. I'd rather just take a day off work, and go and get everything and set it up ready to go. But yeah… definitely not gonna miss rinsing so many bottles! I'll still have to do it occasionally but nowhere near as often as currently.


Yeah, no idea Headmaster. I'll ask about it at CB when I go down there next week. It's not much trouble for me to pick up a CO2 bottle and everything needed for that as well, so at least I've got it, and then I can purge the headspace with it and leave them to sit until the kegerator is ready. Then they can go in and carb up ready for drinking. I'd rather artificially carb them so I don't have to worry about waiting for the yeast to work and shit. But yeah I'll work it out with them, they may need to be carbonated even if they are just sitting there waiting.

18 Posted: Sunday, August 02, 2015 9:02 PM

Taps have been ordered. I ended up just going with the Perlick 650SS flow control ones. Have to order a triple tap font as well. The shanks I'll get from CB when I go there during the week for the kegs and CO2 stuff. I'm spending a little extra doing it this way, but like Phil said in his post, I'd rather just do it how I want it the first time rather than buy stuff I don't really need or want only to upgrade it straight away anyway.

Also picked up 3 different handles from eBay: Pilsner Urquell, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Spaten Pils. Probably will collect more over time though.

It looks as if this set up will all be ready to go around the time that this current batch will be kegged. It's gonna be a bit hard to resist tapping it straight away.

Cheers

Kelsey

19 Posted: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 1:03 PM

So, a little update on this ‘project’, or probably more accurately, upgrade.

I just got back from Craftbrewer a little while ago, got 4 new 19L kegs, Andale beer/gas line, Micromatic regulator, stainless tap shanks, disconnects etc., connectors, SS clamps and a no return valve for the gas line. On order I've got a triple tap SS font, the three taps mentioned in the last post, and three various tap handles to go on them (SNPA, Pils Urquell and Spaten Pils). Hopefully the tap handles all fit on there at the same time . Might have to look at a different style font if they don't.

I will return to get the kegerator itself once the stuff has been moved out of the way where it will be going, and also a piece of hose with a bigger inside diameter to fit over the barb on the CO2 regulator.

At this stage it looks like everything should be up and running in order to keg the current batch in the FV on the 23rd of this month.

Cheers

Kelsey

20 Posted: Wednesday, August 05, 2015 2:17 PM

I was/am in the same boat as you Otto…limited space.

I sold the idea of the Kegerator to the Financial Controller (wife) as a space/time saver and I picked up a full set up second hand in Jan this year for $700. It was only 6 months old…stoked. The bloke I bought it from was in the process of giving up drinking so didn't want it in the house anymore…ha!

Anyway, I love it. Ludicrously convenient and easy to use. There is a bit of trial and error involved with getting the CO2 levels right and all that jazz but it's pretty easy to pick up. When you suck beer up the CO2 line (it will happen eventually) don't freak out.

I have had a crack at force carbing, natural carbing and the “set & forget” carbing and have found the latter to be the best option.

I have a tap upgrade on my wishlist as the plastic set up it came with is sh*t. Having said that, they still pour beer so they can't be that sh*t.

Oh, this is also my first post…g'day all. Have been lurking for a long time, stealing your recipes and methods.

Cheers!