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SlickRick07

Kegging, where to start?

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Do you recommend any sites or brands to buy a fully functional kegerator? To be honest, I don't know a great deal about kegging either but hate bottling. Even if I just got a small dorm fridge with one tap, I would be extremely happy at this point. I don't know if I have the time to invest in building my own, but would love to buy one that's completely ready to use.

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There is a thing called a Party Pig, which I have used. It's a small keg that holds a Mr. Beer sized batch and, based on one batch to date, works well. There's a second batch conditioning in it now. I got mine on ebay, and the LHBS sells the pressure pouches for it. Having home brewed beer on tap impresses guests. 

I have mixed feelings about bottling. I don't much like bottling, but I like having a variety of beers, for different moods, weather, and company. I can't afford, much less find room for, a keg system that gives me a half-dozen different beers on tap all the time. Using a bottling wand with the large PET bottles with screw caps and either sugar cubes or carbonation drops helps reduce the PITA factor, and a 1 liter or 740 ml bottle that's been opened and closed back up will stay good for a few days. I like the aesthetics of glass bottles, but PET is convenient, and if a PET bottle ruptures because of pressure (bottle bomb) it doesn't leave chunks of broken glass bottle on the floor. It has been said that there are 3 kinds of home brewers--those who have had bottle bombs, those who will, and those who keg. Keg bombs don't seem to happen, which is just as well because something that size exploding would be more than just a nuisance. 

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Northern Brewer advertises kegging equipment, including the parts needed to convert a fridge to a kegerator. Our friend Google can help find fully functional kegerators for sale, They are not what I'd call inexpensive. A Party Pig will fit in a dorm-sized fridge. If there's a good LHBS near you they're probably your best source, because if the ones near me are typical the staff will be VERY well informed about anything related to beer. 

I'll shut up now.

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I actually bought the Tap A Draft System this past year.  I must admit, you can pretty much use the 3 3L bottles and clear out a 5 gallon batch of beer.  It's essentially like you're only filling 3 bottles for a 5 gallon batch.  I must admit, it's a poor man's keg and the beer is very nice coming out of the CO2 dispenser.  It's made me think a great deal more about buying an actual kegerator.  I really don't know a great deal about kegging, the equipment involved though, or the cost involved.  I do have an old college dorm fridge but it's pushing 15 years old at this point.  It still works well though.  My biggest concern is attempting to figure out the conversion of it and then watching it die right about the time I'm all set.  Having a toddler and an infant also limits time to build.  I would almost rather buy new but spend more money, than waste time and energy I simply don't have currently. 

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If you are doing MrB sized batches you will need the smaller 2.5g kegs.  Those tend to be more expensive as there is not much of a used market for those as there is for the 5 gallon kegs that Pepsi and Coke come in.

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It all depends on what I'm looking at doing.  I still do the 2.5 gallon MB batches but have often doubled up to make a full 5 gallons at times.  I also have moved up to making the Northern Brewer 5 gallon batches as well. 

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