cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

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bigdave

cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by bigdave » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:37 am

With a fairly large number of polykegs making their way onto the forum, there's going to be a lot of members starting to move over from pressure barrels and bottles to a polykeg style setup (myself included) and most of them will probably start asking fairly similar questions. I wondered if it would be a good idea to have a definitive thread written by those that are already using cornies or polykegs, to firstly help people buying these kegs but to also prevent lots of new threads on the same subject.

So the questions I can think of that might help people (please feel free to add to these):

• I've got my keg, how do I get my beer in?

• I've got my keg, what is it I need to connect to it to get beer out?

• Where do I get beer line and how much do I need?

• What gas do I use and where do I get it?

• Do I need a regulator on my gas?

• What are the options for dispensing beer? Do I have to have a beer engine clamped to a counter top?

• When I finish, how do I clean my beer line?

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Jim
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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by Jim » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:01 am

If anyone would like to put a guide together I'll be happy to publish it in the knowledge base....
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barneey
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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by barneey » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:07 am

So no-one doubles up on thread/workload - I`ll do a guide on keg couplers - use / taking them apart / cleaning.

Big Al

Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by Big Al » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:07 am

Thats a good idea, especially for the polykegs as I am tempted to get one of those myself but put off as I'm not sure how to set it all up

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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by barneey » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:44 pm

To start things off couplers..... The polykegs use a "S" sankey coupler so will only concentrate on those for this post.

The basics of a coupler is to connect the gas and beer line to the keg.

GAS = Side Port
BEER = Top Port

There are numerous sealing rings on a coupler.

There are also two one way devices on a coupler...
Gas one way is designed to let gas in but not out again.
Beer one way is designed to let beer OUT but not in again.

The Gas one way devices will either be a John Guest Nut (White) with a build in one way check valve OR a "duck bill"

The Beer one way devices will either be a "ball" or a "torpedo" both are held in position by a plastic ring. ( note the torpedo's can be used without the ring (ring is can be difficult to get out without breaking it)).

The coupler should be in the "UP" (OFF) position before attempting to connect it to the keg. Simply push the coupler onto the keg spear and twist clockwise. (reverse to disengage)

If you connect the coupler to a "full" keg without a beer tap connected to it (or stop piece) and engage the coupler YOU WILL have a beer shower as the beer will shoot out of the beer top outlet. Gas however will not escape through the gas port due to the one way device.

If you want to degas a keg simply make sure the beer outlet has either a tap or stop piece on it, remove the one ay device from the coupler on the gas side and engage the coupler - gas will then be released without beer.


Not to bore anyone further I have photo`d two couplers and reassemble them to show the various fittings and parts.

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This last photo show the difference between a "S" coupler stem and an American "D" coupler DONT buy a "D" type
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One final word if you are looking on eBay for couplers make sure they have ALL the bits with them - what might seem a cheap coupler MIGHT have various bits missing.

All the couplers I had use a standard 3/8 external beer / gas line. Others may vary
Last edited by barneey on Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by Heron1952 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:13 pm

Excellent thread and thanks for the tutorial and photo's Barneey.
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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by barneey » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:26 pm

There should also be a disclaimer / warning about the use of kegs :-

DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE TRY AND REMOVE A KEG SPEAR WHICH IS UNDER PRESSURE

Big Al

Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by Big Al » Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:34 pm

Very informative, I have learned a lot. I always wondered what they were and how they worked. Thanks

darkonnis

Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by darkonnis » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:46 pm

If its going to get stickied I'll do a guide for cornies. I have it down to a fine art :)

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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by barneey » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:47 pm

In the hope someone else might answer / photo tutorial of the other questions I can offer the following at the moment

So the questions I can think of that might help people (please feel free to add to these):

• I've got my keg, how do I get my beer in? - Unscrew the spear and pour / syphon beer into keg

• I've got my keg, what is it I need to connect to it to get beer out? see above coupler tutorial

• Where do I get beer line and how much do I need? Ebay, Me, homebrew shops - length very subjective depending on serving pressure required but a 1m of 3/8 + 300mm of 3/16 for a force carb at 1.5 bar 15 psi 3 to 4 days + 5 psi serving pressure suits my set up at 6c

• What gas do I use and where do I get it? CO2 - See Jims thread re gas companies - I have also a thread open for the possible use of sodastream cylinders and couplers

• Do I need a regulator on my gas? If its a gas company YES both a primary and secondary

• What are the options for dispensing beer? Do I have to have a beer engine clamped to a counter top? Anything from a simple "party tap" to beer engine to typical pub tap will do

• When I finish, how do I clean my beer line? I either rinse through will an oxi cleaner + starsan or renew

There is a lot more to the above items but these points cover the basics. The most important thread tutorial will be the spear removal one

Big Al

Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by Big Al » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:00 pm

I like the sound of the guide to cornies Darkonnis, every little helps :)

asd

Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by asd » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:14 pm

[quote="barneey"
There is a lot more to the above items but these points cover the basics. The most important thread tutorial will be the spear removal one[/quote]

The spear removal is dead easy on a Polykeg - they just unscrew. I hadn't seen one of these before I picked them up, and with the help of Barneeys pictures, and a bit of thought, I had the spear out in no time with a strap wrench. Of course, making a Barneey style spanner would be an elegant option, and a good "third party" hack for someone, but a strap wrench can be got from B&Q or the pound shop even.

A point I would make is that there is NO safety device on a Polykeg, and whilst a plastic spear probably is not as lethal as a steel one, DO PLEASE make sure you have degassed your kegs prior to spear removal, and keep your face out of the way.. Barneeys excellent tutorial on S type connectors tells you how to degas.



Simon.

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barneey
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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by barneey » Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:39 pm

On the safety side of things - if you are unsure if you have degassed a keg you can always check by pressing down the centre bit of the spear (see photo below looks like a brown ball). Even if the keg has beer in it and you have degassed it nothing will happen. However if you havnt released the gas you will get a nice beer shower better this than a piece of plastic hitting you.

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bigdave

Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by bigdave » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:38 pm

Another one:

• I want to have 2 taps with 2 different brews (eg, a lager and a stout) how do I do it?

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Re: cornies, polykegs.... definitive setup thread

Post by barneey » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:11 pm

bigdave wrote:Another one:

• I want to have 2 taps with 2 different brews (eg, a lager and a stout) how do I do it?
For the gas side of things, if you want two different pressures you will need a primary reg + 2 secondary regulators (you can daisy chain them together). If you want the same pressure in both kegs you will need a primary reg & ONE secondary feeding a piece of 3/8 gas line with a simple john guest "Y" splitter. For two taps your need 2 couplers.

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