Ball Lock vs. Pin Lock Kegs
Both styles are great kegs, and hug your brew with love.
The Quick Disconnects are different for ball lock and pin lock kegs. Ball lock disconnects use a steel ball that secures it tightly to the post. Pin lock disconnects use a pin to secure to the posts. They’re not interchangeable … sorry.
Height: ball lock kegs are 25″ tall and pin lock kegs are 22″ — a little shorter and fatter version of the keg. And no, that’s not why more people like ball lock kegs. It’s because they have a pressure relief valve built in! True ball lock kegs have pressure relief valves built into the lid, and pin lock kegs rarely do. With pin lock kegs there are a few ways you can release the pressure (including using a spare gas disconnect put onto the post).
New Keg Cleaning and Removal of Posts
New kegs should be cleaned before use. You don’t need to disassemble your new keg to clean it. All our kegs are built to food-safe NSF standards. They should be cleaned by you when you get them, but disassembly isn’t required.
Clean your keg by running sanitizer through it exactly as you would to dispense beer. Rinse thoroughly after using sanitizer – you don’t want to drink that.
If you do decide to disassemble your kegs, remember that disassembly of new kegs (including the removal of posts) can cause damage to the keg and may void your warranty, so take them apart at your own risk (and we can’t accept a return on them if you do).
If you choose to disassemble remember the following:
- DO NOT use power tools to unscrew keg posts and use caution when removing them, as stainless steel can gall.
- Removal of posts by any method can cause the stainless steel to gall, effectively seizing the post to the keg. Posts must be removed slowly and if tension is felt they should be screwed back on before backing off again.
- Since the posts are designed with an O-ring seal little tension is required to reseal the connection on reassembly.
- Removal of a post may void your warranty.
“My Keg is Leaky”
Hmmm … what’s that hissing sound?
There are a few things you can try: keep in mind, used kegs can be fussy but with enough tinkering (or swearing) you can typically get them back to the party!
To find the leak you’ll need to run the old warm soapy water test. Pressurize the keg to about 10 psi (or as close as you can get) and apply warm soapy water (dish soap works well). Rub it all over (the keg connections, of course), and the solution will bubble wherever the keg has a leak.
Many times the O-rings have cracked while cleaning, and sometimes even in shipping. It’s best to keep a set of them on hand … they always seem to crack at party time!
New vs. Reconditioned
As an investment, new kegs are the way to go. Although it can be tough to hide these shiny brew vessels in a fridge, in the long run they will keep you drinking the longest with the least amount of trouble. On the other hand, reconditioned kegs – kegs that have seen prior beverage use – are a great way to get started and/or save a little money.
Our Keg Class System for Reconditioned Kegs
To make it easy for you to select your next keg, we rate all our reconditioned kegs by our own class system — classes 1, 2, and 3.
All classes of our kegs have been cleaned, sanitized, de-labeled, and pressure tested prior to shipping. Parts are not replaced unless needed.
Reconditioned kegs come in varying conditions and configurations. They are “used” by definition and likely are scratched, dented, and have keg-to-keg variations.
For ball lock kegs:
- Class 1 is a dual rubber handle premium reconditioned keg.
- Class 2 is a single-handle reconditioned keg.
- Class 3 is a “cut rubber handle” keg – the “maybe had too much fun” keg. Defects are only cosmetic, but because of wear and tear, a single handle, different color handle and boot (blue, red, green) we discount the price. They work great and if you’re putting it inside a cabinet of any kind you wouldn’t know the difference … have another!
For pin lock kegs:
We only have one primary class of pin lock keg at this time, and it’s the best one — a Class 1 pin lock keg.
Class 2 pin lock kegs are also available from time-to-time.
- Definition: Pickling is a process used to remove impurities, contaminants, and oxides from the surface of stainless steel.
- Purpose: The primary goal of pickling is to ensure the cleanliness and corrosion resistance of stainless steel equipment. Stainless steel can develop oxides and impurities on its surface during manufacturing or use, and these can compromise the material’s integrity over time.
- Importance in Brewing: Pickling is crucial in brewing because it helps maintain the hygiene of brewing equipment. Clean surfaces are essential to prevent contamination and ensure the quality of the final product. It also helps to prevent the development of off-flavors in the beer.
- Definition: Passivation is a process that follows pickling, aimed at forming a protective oxide layer on the stainless steel surface.
- Purpose: The goal of passivation is to enhance the corrosion resistance of stainless steel by promoting the formation of a passive oxide layer. This layer acts as a barrier, protecting the metal from further corrosion and ensuring the longevity of the equipment.
- Importance in Brewing: Passivation is crucial for the long-term durability of brewing equipment. It helps prevent corrosion, which is especially important in the acidic and corrosive environment of brewing. Corrosion can affect the taste of the beer and compromise the structural integrity of the equipment.