Which keg: corny or barrel?

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Which keg: corny or barrel?

Postby tkensand » Sun Jun 13, 2004 2:02 pm

I am looking into stepping up to kegging. I do not have a spare fridge and was looking into "kegerator" type systems. However, kegerators are built to hold barrel style kegs while all homebrew sites sell and/or discuss corny kegs. Is there there something particularly difficult or expensive or whatever about barrel kegs for the homebrewer? Specifically, are barrel kegs hard to fill, carbonate, etc? Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
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Kegs are kegs and barrels are barrels.....

Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:17 am


Lets do some defining. Brewery kegs are (almost always) constructed of 304 stainless steel. Some may have been alumininum with plastic liners, but not many.

Beer kegs come in six different types- American Sankey, European "Sankey", Hoff-Stevens, Golden Gate,Spears and stainless Casks. These are broken down in two major catagories - open and closed. Hoff-Stevens, Golden Gates, Spears (really old type, no longer in production) and casks are all open kegs. Sankeys Ammerican and European are closed.

Given that, here is how it stacks up for the homebrewer. Open kegs are easier to clean and maintain WITHOUT MUCH SPECIAL EQUIPMENT. They can be cleaned through ether the fittings or the bug hole..... Sankey kegs are closed kegs that require pressure cleaning, purging and sanitizing which requires some sort of fluid holding tanks. They are not very useful if you only have a few.

Cornelius kegs are open design type made for sodas. They are/were made by various companies (Cornelious, Firestone, Spartenberg) and have slightly differend parts and configurations.

If you want to buy a "Kegerator" and go with the Cornilious style kegs you will to cut the beer line to the tap and put in a product side quick disconnect for a "Corni" keg. You may be able to fit 5 or 6 in the cool- box. PS-use ball lock type kegs and fittings and not pin lock type.

Bars, taverns and breweries are requesting the new 'narrow' Sankey kegs in 1/4 and 1/6 barrel sizes to fit into "Kegerator" sized cool-boxes. They are expensive (not many are sold used yet) and you would still have the problem of cleaning them.

Decide on a type and build your inventory around that one type.

Good brewing,

Tom F.
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Postby tkensand » Mon Jun 14, 2004 9:39 am

Wow! Thank you for all of the great information. I am new (relatively) to homebrewing and had no idea there were so many variables regarding kegs. I think I will go with a kegerator loaded with corny kegs. Cheers.
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Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2003 1:08 pm

short answer

Postby xbrewer » Mon Jun 14, 2004 10:00 pm

Used fridge or even new one is way less expensive than kegerator. Soda kegs are by far a better choice for the homebrewer than regular beer kegs.
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