Corny Keg newbie advice please!

Discussion in 'General Home Brew Equipment Discussion' started by AdamGriff, Jul 19, 2018.

Help Support The Homebrew Forum UK by donating:

  1. Jul 19, 2018 #1

    AdamGriff

    AdamGriff

    AdamGriff

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NULL
    Hi all,

    So I've decided to take the plunge into Corny kegging, after a few years of mainly bottling but a little bit of pressure barreling. This has been prompted by my decision to brew for my wedding in November - bottling was out of the question (too many bottles...) and from my research it seems that you can get a more consistent pint with the Cornies that make the slightly increased price tag over pressure barrels worthwhile. I have just ordered 3 kegs off the homebrew company and I'm eagerly awaiting their delivery!

    I do have a few questions that I haven't been able to find definitive answers to, which I'm hoping somebody might be able to help me with:

    • Do any of you have much experience with the mini CO2 regulators that you can fit CO2 sparklet bulbs and sodastream bottles to? I'm considering one of these to be a good idea, as will need my setup to be fairly portable to take it to the wedding venue - lugging a gas cylinder seems a bit much.

    • The thing putting me off the mini regulator idea is the thought of needing a whole soda stream cylinder or loads of sparklet bulbs to force carbonate - is this correct? I would be happy to prime in keg then use the bulbs / soda stream cylinder to just push the beer out, does anybody have any thoughts on that?

    • Some of the mini regulators come with gas line attached between the cylinder and the keg, whilst others seem to screw the bulb / cylinder straight into the disconnect with no gas line - is there any advantage / disadvantage to either setup?

    • Beer line and tap requirements - I've seen a disconnect, 3ft beer line and party tap available on Amazon for a decent price. Is 3ft of beer line long enough to apply the back-pressure required not to pour pints of foam?
    Any help and advice on the above would be much appreciated!

    Cheers.
     
  2. Jul 19, 2018 #2

    Graz

    Graz

    Graz

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2015
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    429
    Location:
    Worcestershire
    If you want to force carb you'll need a proper cylinder or spend a lot of money on soda stream cylinders. Forget sparklet bulbs as they won't cut it.

    For the wedding why not force carb at home. The drop it to serving pressure and transport it to the venue, then at venue use soda stream or sparklets bulbs to serve it. Also are you going to be able to keep the beer cold as the carbonation will go if it gets too warm?

    Regarding the beer line you'll want one the reduces down to 3/16 line to reduce the pressure, 2/3m should be fine, go longer an you can always fine tune it. Like this: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Corneliu...53:m:m9c3kTpT_EHfJnutkBV0s_A&var=511416704669
     
  3. Jul 19, 2018 #3

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    522
    Location:
    Surrey
    Not sure it'll be any more effort than lugging three Cornies full of beer!?
     
  4. Jul 19, 2018 #4

    AdamGriff

    AdamGriff

    AdamGriff

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NULL
    Thanks very much for the advice Graz. I'm hoping to pop the kegs in a fridge at the venue overnight the night before at least, then either serve them from a fridge behind the bar or rig up some sort of cooling system. Any tips on good keg coolers / cheap methods of keeping them cold enough to serve?

    And Bezza, good point, might save myself the cost of getting 2 different regulators and just get a small CO2 cylinder... Think I was put off by the fact that it's £75 for a 5L cylinder from gas-uk (who appear to be the nearest stockist to me) pressurised to 60 bar - approximstely how many kegs would that be likely to force carbonate and serve?!

    Cheers!
     
  5. Jul 20, 2018 #5

    reddibaggie

    reddibaggie

    reddibaggie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
    Find your local hobbyweld stockists, a 6kg bottle that serves about 120 gallons of product is £65


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. Jul 20, 2018 #6

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    -Bezza-

    Landlord.

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    1,196
    Likes Received:
    522
    Location:
    Surrey
    Is their stuff food grade? They describe it as industrial grade.

    Also, is the £65 deposit non depreciating?
     
  7. Jul 20, 2018 #7

    peebee

    peebee

    peebee

    Out of Control

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    608
    Location:
    North Wales
    You do not need different sizes of regulator for different sizes of CO2 cylinder. One regulator will do whether its a tank on a lorry or a sparklet bulb - as long as you have the connectors.

    Explanations here: https://www.thehomebrewforum.co.uk/threads/co2-management-primer.67424/

    Here's an old piccie of mine showing similar diminutive regulators attached to big and little cylinders. These regulators (ignore the gauge and gubbins attached to it) are fixed output (3-4BAR) so supply "secondary" regulators to step the pressure down again.

    20160729_182249_WEB.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  8. Jul 20, 2018 #8

    reddibaggie

    reddibaggie

    reddibaggie

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
    No, they have food grade also, they may have to order it in for you. As for the deposit, it is what it is. You hand the bottle back, you get your deposit back. You keep it you don’t. You just pay for refills.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    -Bezza- likes this.
  9. Jul 21, 2018 #9

    Jakeyboi

    Jakeyboi

    Jakeyboi

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2016
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    194
    Location:
    Hastings
    it can be a bit tricky pouring beer from cornies without good temp and gas control. Putting cornies in the fridge the day before will effect the carbonation levels, which will effect the pour. My advice is to buy a 6kg co2 bottle and a decent regulator. If poss get a big enough chest freezer to fit all 3 cornies and rig it up to an inkbird 308 controller. U don't need to build a kegerator if u haven't time. I also suggest you brew and drink a couple of test batches so you can get use to using your equipment. Party taps are ok, probably a good idea for your applications as you can dispense quite quickly with them, but they are a nightmare for foaming. You will need to switch the beer line on them to 3/16 and or serve at a really low pressure 2/3 psi.
     
  10. Jul 24, 2018 #10

    AdamGriff

    AdamGriff

    AdamGriff

    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2015
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    NULL
    Just catching up after a camping weekend. Thanks for the great advice all!

    I'm now thinking of getting a 6.35 kg CO2 cylinder from Chorley bottle gas (anyone got any experience of them?!). I have picked up a large size regulator peebee, so would be interested to find out how this can be used on soda stream cylinders - is there an adaptor readily available?

    I was hoping my kegs would fit in an old Beko fridge I have, but sadly the freezer section at the top takes up too much space... I'm going to investigate whether it has cooling lines in the bottom of the freezer section as if not I think I would get a couple of kegs in there after sawing it out!

    I've also ordered the party tap and 3m line recommended by Graz. Definitely looking forward to trying it out with a few test batches!
     
  11. Oct 17, 2019 #11

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Warrington
    On my Cornelius keg I connected a mini regulater to a soda stream cylinder using the Adaptor and attached the regulater to the gas tubing with a John Guest fitting. I then increased the psi to 10. Made sure no leaks. I then removed the beer line to clean which took about 10 minutes. When I got back to the co2 setup the regulater was iced up. Is this normal?
     
  12. Oct 17, 2019 #12

    peebee

    peebee

    peebee

    Out of Control

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    608
    Location:
    North Wales
    Erm … let me think ...

    You have disconnected the cylinder, haven't you?

    (EDIT: I should have said "isolated or closed the cylinder"; you don't want to be touching or messing about with that kit just now!).
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  13. Oct 17, 2019 #13

    BarnBrian

    BarnBrian

    BarnBrian

    Junior Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    915
    Likes Received:
    505
    Location:
    Southport, Lancs
    You might find you’ve drained all the CO2 from the cylinder, hence the freezing of the regulator.
     
  14. Oct 17, 2019 #14

    peebee

    peebee

    peebee

    Out of Control

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    608
    Location:
    North Wales
    That's what I was worried about! But my "new" head comes with a significant dose of anxiety, so I imagine a faulty and leaky regulator (leaky internally that is - that would miss the leak checks) connected to a Corny keg not fitted with a "PRV" (some don't have them, I have a few) gradually being pressurised to 850psi. Err … eek!

    With the cylinder freezing up removing it will probably prove that the valve is frozen open which will make for an "interesting" situation.

    (EDIT: Actually … the Corny keg is attached to the gas with JG fittings, and probably the usual MDPE tube. Both are rated to 10BAR, or 150PSI, so would possibly fail before the Corny keg).
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
  15. Oct 17, 2019 #15

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Warrington
    Ok connected the setup wth regulater off, then increased pressure to 10 psi. Left the regulater open and went away for 10 minutes and came back and all frozen. Put a glove on and turned off regulater and disconnected the feed to the Cornelius keg. No safety issues. Beer is very good but worried about freezing the regulater and John Guest fitting leaking as pipe moved. And thanks for your help.
     
  16. Oct 17, 2019 #16

    peebee

    peebee

    peebee

    Out of Control

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    Messages:
    1,525
    Likes Received:
    608
    Location:
    North Wales
    @Cheshire Cat … The freezing is due to the CO2 expanding in significant quantities (it's how a fridge works; expand the refrigerant to get cold, compress the refrigerant, blow a way the heat created by compressing, expand the refrigerant again … and so on). In the single stage regulators many home brewers use there may be no relief valve in case a leak occurs between high and low pressure side of the regulator (such faults do occur, hence aquarium users use more expensive dual stage regulators because such an event kills their fish).

    So significant ice on your regulator is a worry. But if caused by an external leak I'd expect you would easily locate it by the hissing! The regulator might still be the fault and is venting to atmosphere internally, or the fault is between high and low pressure side and the Corny keg's PRV is venting excess pressure.

    Oh. There's something I must do …


    (It's okay everyone, @Cheshire Cat is still here, it's safe to come out again.)
     
  17. Oct 18, 2019 #17

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Warrington
    Thanks peebee
     
  18. Oct 18, 2019 #18

    SteveH

    SteveH

    SteveH

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2018
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    63
    Location:
    Hampshire
    How is the Co2 cylinder orientated? I'm wondering if you're getting liquid Co2 into the regulator?
     
    peebee and Druncan like this.
  19. Oct 18, 2019 #19

    Druncan

    Druncan

    Druncan

    Senior Moments

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
    Messages:
    610
    Likes Received:
    218
    Location:
    Isle of Tiree, Inner Hebrides
    Yeah @SteveH! or, that's a lot of CO2 coming out to freeze. Keep the area well ventilated, co2 sinks. Get a spray bottle with washing up liquid spray regs and look for bubbles? I use dual stage regs, a further secondary and then splitter to four feeds. What delivery and secondary pressures are you using 10psi/5psi? I cold crash the cornies @ 20psi for three days @ 2-6*C - Then vent to 5psi with a spunding valve when serving. I do a check where I open the bottle and release all the keg couplers and cornie in connects. Close the bottle. Leave it -it should hold the pressure, or it's a leak. Anyone local that could check your set up?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
  20. Oct 18, 2019 #20

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Cheshire Cat

    Regular.

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2019
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Warrington
    Steve
    I think you're bang on the cylinder was horizontal and I saw liquid flowing. Therefore I assume in should be vertical.
     

Share This Page