Homebrew Keg – An Introduction

If you are passionate about learning how to make beer at home, you will no doubt love the homebrew keg. It may take you a little time to get used to the new setup, but in time with familiarity, you will master the new techniques easily and will be enjoying your freshly tapped beer in no time at all. There are many reasons to add the homebrew keg to both your arsenal of brewing equipment and techniques. Below are some of the most popular amongst home brewers:

  • A time saver-no more sanitizing, filling and capping 50 or so Oz bottles.
  • Drink your brew faster-you no longer have to wait for natural carbonation. You will have the option to force carbonate using CO2. In addition you will have greater flexibility on carbonating different style beers at varying levels.
  • No more guessing-you have total control over how much carbonation is in your beer. No longer will you have a few highly carbonated bottles and a few flat ones.

Ultimately the main reason why many home brewers decide to move to the homebrew keg is because it makes your life so much simpler.

For those of you who may not know what a homebrew keg is, I wanted to share with you both a brief introduction and a little background information.

There are many types of kegs available on the market. First is the familiar half-barrel that is normally shipped to pubs all across the world. These half-barrels typically hold between 14 to 16 gallons (53-60 liters). The half-barrel empty weighs about 20-30 pounds and filled could weigh over 150 pounds. This keg is a beast to move alone and so not an ideal choice for the home brewer.

Next down the size scale is the “pony keg” or quarter keg. These kegs can hold 5-7 gallons (19-26 liters). This size is much closer to what home brewers are looking for, but the “pony keg” doesn’t allow for easy access for both cleaning and filling.

Finally we have the Cornelius Keg or “soda keg” that is both universally accepted and sought after by the home brewing community. The Cornelius keg was originally made by the IMI Cornelius Company. The “Corney,” as it is most normally referred, was used by the soft drink industry for easy delivery. Today instead of using kegs the soft drink industry has transitioned to using the boxed version or bag-in-box (BIB.) The BIB contains condensed syrup that is later mixed with water on location. Due to this switch in delivery methods, Corny kegs are more readily available on the market. Big score for home brewers everywhere!

In addition to the popular 5 gallon keg used by many home brewers, are other sizes available such as 3 and 10 gallon “Corney.” There are also two types of “Corney” kegs on the market. The difference between the two is in the connectors, but they both will function similarly. These homebrew kegs can easily be found at your local homebrew shop and with many online vendors.

In conclusion, I hope that you now have a better understanding of what a homebrew keg is and can identify some of the more popular kegs available on the market. Good luck in all your home brewing adventures and simply enjoy the process. Cheers!

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