Crusader vs Cornie

A forum to discuss the various ways of getting beer into your glass.
davew
Piss Artist
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:22 am
Location: Nottingham and Gods own country of Yorkshire

Crusader vs Cornie

Post by davew » Wed Mar 29, 2017 2:59 pm

Does anybody here use the 20L crusader Kegs.
Looking for opinions before I venture down the kegging route or Do I go cornie kegs.  I used to have a corny setup in a previous system before I sold up.
Where is the best place to get hold of the crusader kegs as I believe they used to sell them direct but appear to no more.
Fermenting: Wilkos Cider
Drinking: Wilkos Hoppy Copper (very nice)

gobuchul

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by gobuchul » Wed Mar 29, 2017 3:26 pm

They no longer supply direct, unless it's a large order.

You need to order through https://www.brewuk.co.uk/containers/keg ... -kegs.html

IMO they are superior to Corny's, I have both. I got a couple of 50l kegs when I bought a job lot of kit. They don't need pressure to seal but the fittings are much more expensive than Corny's.

However, personally I prefer the Cornys, much less faffing removing spears etc.

jaroporter
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:12 pm
Location: Garden of England

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by jaroporter » Wed Mar 29, 2017 4:44 pm

For me, crusader(euro/din) kegs are superior and more versatile, but the corny shutoff disconnect system is more practical. So i use euro kegs with corny connectors, obviously #-o
dazzled, doused in gin..

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7700
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by Kev888 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:21 pm

It seems a few people have bought smaller quantities from Crusader in person or via the phone, but otherwise yes - BrewUK have taken over selling small quantities to home brewers.

Both kegs and cornies keep the beer similarly well, the main difference is in the lid and connections. A keg spear will seal reliably with no pressure, which can be important if you like very low levels of carbonation, and can be handy if you like to prime. Corny lids 'may' seal with little/no pressure (especially if new) but it isn't what they are designed for and many/most used ones don't do so reliably. However, in compensation they offer a bit more visibility and let people get a (small) arm get in if required, keg necks are too small for that.

Corny lids are intrinsically safe, by not releasing whilst there is pressure. Keg spears are not, so (these days) they have a safety mechanism - some of these are easier to disengage than other types, and/or some people choose to remove the safety (but at their own risk). In theory a special spear removal tool should be needed, but people have made their own or a silverline/toolstation basin spanner can be used.

Corny disconnects come separately, you can just connect a gas line if you wish. Keg couplers are combined gas and beer, so to avoid beer showers it takes a bit of re-learning if you're used to cornies. The couplers aren't as small and fiddly as disconnects, and neither are the springs and seals in the spear as fiddly and leak prone as corny poppets and seals. The couplers have one-way valves in, which also takes a slightly different approach to things like venting gas; e.g. you may want an extra coupler with the one-way valve removed and the beer outlet blanked off (whilst a few imported couplers have pressure release valves, most UK ones don't).

Size is slightly different, 20L crusaders are a little fatter than most cornies, though not all cornies are the same. This has made them not fit in some people's keggerators width-wise, however height wise they may be better if you get low-profile couplers and/or angled beer line connectors. Crusaders lack the rubber ends, so can need more care if used in a cramped bathroom where scratches or collisions with porcelain are likely. Price can be slightly different, but there are not often used crusaders available so the second-hand market is still mostly the domain of cornies. Sankey spears etc are common so there needn't be a problem, but FWIW there are (currently) limited outlets to the general public for the kegs and spear spares, wheres cornies and spares can be bought from many homebrew retailers.

I'm slowly making the transition to crusaders myself, because I want/need their low pressure ability and I've never needed to get into a corny so the neck size isn't a concern for me. On balance I much prefer the crusaders, which is a relief - they are (IMO) more suited for the job and have far fewer fiddly bits and seals. However, using the spear & coupler is quite different to using corny posts, disconnects and lid, and takes a while to adjust to. Preference could easily go either way, and make or break it for you.
Kev

Secla
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 631
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2008 1:26 am

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by Secla » Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:15 pm

I went for crusader kegs, dont have expe for rience with cornies but ive never had a problem keeping the crusaders clean which is really there biggest negative.
as said theres less seals etc. to worry about on crusaders which imo makes them more reliable. also available in bigger sizes than cornies, if you require 30/50l are available

but as said if your looking to buy second hand equipment theres far more cornies available than crusaders

simon12
Hollow Legs
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by simon12 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Just wondered a few people said the crusader kegs are superior but the only reason given is there ability to seal without pressure, are there any other ways they are superior? I have cornies and king kegs and to be honest prefer the king kegs just due to not having to mess about with cleaning lines and adjusting pressure just add from S30 cylinder as needed.
Also just to note its strange how in home brew the kegs are called crusader kegs when crusader are nothing more than an importer.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7700
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by Kev888 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:39 pm

Superiority (or otherwise) is frequently a matter of preference, there are those who prefer both types of keg - some may also be comparing old cornies to new Crusaders. All you can really do is consider the differences (many of which I detailed above) and judge how these are likely to work for you and your circumstances.

It is very possible to use Crusader/Sankey kegs without gas (with a beer engine), or with minimal gas just to dispense or avoid oxygen being brought in. I've done this, and find them more suited to it than cornys since low pressure (or drops in pressure caused by the beer engine) does not cause leaks. But without a direct tap or (e.g.) S30 valve they are always going to involve some line or fittings to clean (short of adaptions or using inverted); there are good reasons for this, including the ability to balance the line, but its hard to beat the simplicity of a pressure barrel if that is what you like. I'm not sure that a crusader would be very much different to a corny in this respect.

They were at first sold direct by Crusader (so Crusader's kegs). Now BrewUK are the main small-quantity sellers the name has become less meaningful for a lot of people, but the reference has stuck - I believe they are still the same kegs after all. FWIW Mine are branded NDL, though potentially that could change too. More generically they could be called sankey 'Beer Kegs' (to distinguish from corny soda kegs, pressure barrels or casks).
Kev

Fil
Telling imaginary friend stories
Posts: 5229
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: Cowley, Oxford

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by Fil » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:29 am

A reason i consider the sankey type keg superior other than it needing no pressure to seal is its fewer seals and screw threads to leak. cornies have lids and 2 x posts each with orings that can perish and wear. Not a consideration until you loose a keg/gas bottle or proportion of one or both due to such a leak..

But the bigger kegs start to get quite heavy when full.
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

simon12
Hollow Legs
Posts: 445
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:58 pm

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by simon12 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 12:18 pm

Cheers Kev & Fil I just thought I might be missing something about the kegs.

oktaneza

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by oktaneza » Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:34 am

Never used the cornies, bought direct from Crusader a few years ago. They had a feature where they added engraved items on the side which was useful. BrewUK doesn't off that. 3 years on i love them and the intro of the 10l sizes means i can do smaller batches. The spear removal can be a faff without a 5p piece and the homemade spear removal that Barney on this site sold to me. Looks like MaltMiller are about to sell a more formal one. Easy to clean. Easy to service and couplers are easy to get hold of

bobsbeer

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by bobsbeer » Sun Apr 02, 2017 5:44 pm

I changed over to Crusader a few years ago when they first came out, and even had them delivered by Crusader. I had cornies and sold them all on fleabay. I got sick of the posts leaking if I'm honest. Never looked back. I suppose those that changed around that time were also lucky as there was a glut of sankey connectors on the market due to all the pub closures. Since then prices have risen, but back then connectors could be picked up for around £5, so I do have a few. :D While home brewers have different priorities, you need to ask yourself why has the commercial brewery trade adopted keg type systems, whether that be one of the many connections such as sankey etc, but all adopt the same spear type system. The answer is simplicity and reliability. So why do home brewers want things more complicated? Sankey is a no brainer in my eyes. The other advantage is that Crusader kegs use thicker stainless steel so don't ding as easily as do cornies.

McMullan
Drunk as a Skunk
Posts: 979
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2015 7:48 pm
Location: Here

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by McMullan » Sun Apr 02, 2017 7:11 pm

You can trace most opinions against cornies down to not using genuine parts (like lids, posts and o-rings) or the correct technique. I use AEG cornies and I haven't had any issues. I have reordered spare parts a number of times and they have turned out to be cheap imports, not genuine parts, which should be sent back or binned. I've haven't used Crusader kegs so I can't draw a comparison.

User avatar
Kev888
So far gone I'm on the way back again!
Posts: 7700
Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2010 6:22 pm
Location: Derbyshire, UK

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by Kev888 » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:36 pm

A lot of used cornies have quite aged rubbers too, even the 'refurbished' ones seldom have poppets replaced unless they are obviously quite bad. Which creates a slightly unfair comparison against new crusader kegs. New, branded cornies such as AEB (which are quite lovely things) would be a much more equal comparison. I'd still choose proper beer kegs myself, but the decision is not then night and day.

Though for financial reasons many people will still be deciding between used cornies and new crusaders (since the latter are rarely available used). In which case, I'd suggest to be safe including in the financial comparison the price of: new corny O-rings for posts, dip-tubes and some lid rings (unless these were all already replaced by the vendor) at least the occasional new poppet (for types where the poppet rubber isn't an O-ring), and possibly the odd PRV too. I had a couple dozen used cornies at their height and it became impracticable trying to keep track of and pander to all their individual foibles and weaknesses; things became much better and more uniform after all poppets and rubbers were replaced.

This doesn't always bring them up to 'new' standard as some people suggest, because (aside from cosmetics) the necks are frequently no longer as true as they once were and posts (which are also replaceable) can be worn, but it goes a long way to reducing frustration with reliability and leaks. Its particularly worth checking for any dings on the corny posts; if anything has been bashed the lip in such a way as to cause a protrusion it can score the plastic disconnects and stop them sealing, the first time this happened I tried a few disconnects (wrecking them all) before I realised why the leaks were occurring.
Kev

Rhodesy
Lost in an Alcoholic Haze
Posts: 678
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 2:09 pm
Location: Glasgow

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by Rhodesy » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:12 pm

Kev888 wrote:A lot of used cornies have quite aged rubbers too, even the 'refurbished' ones seldom have poppets replaced unless they are obviously quite bad. Which creates a slightly unfair comparison against new crusader kegs. New, branded cornies such as AEB (which are quite lovely things) would be a much more equal comparison. I'd still choose proper beer kegs myself, but the decision is not then night and day.

Though for financial reasons many people will still be deciding between used cornies and new crusaders (since the latter are rarely available used). In which case, I'd suggest to be safe including in the financial comparison the price of: new corny O-rings for posts, dip-tubes and some lid rings (unless these were all already replaced by the vendor) at least the occasional new poppet (for types where the poppet rubber isn't an O-ring), and possibly the odd PRV too. I had a couple dozen used cornies at their height and it became impracticable trying to keep track of and pander to all their individual foibles and weaknesses; things became much better and more uniform after all poppets and rubbers were replaced.

This doesn't always bring them up to 'new' standard as some people suggest, because (aside from cosmetics) the necks are frequently no longer as true as they once were and posts (which are also replaceable) can be worn, but it goes a long way to reducing frustration with reliability and leaks. Its particularly worth checking for any dings on the corny posts; if anything has been bashed the lip in such a way as to cause a protrusion it can score the plastic disconnects and stop them sealing, the first time this happened I tried a few disconnects (wrecking them all) before I realised why the leaks were occurring.
Great post. I have 2 20L slim Crusaders and 5 used 19L Cornies (I had 8 at one stage) as well as a 9L Corny. I dropped a bottle of co2 due to a dodgy seal on one Corny which was painful. I love my Crusader kegs as I can seal and leave to self carbonate & age like the RIS & Tripel I have in them at the moment. Unfortunately my Keezer cannot hold 4 Crusaders but 2 x Crusader, 2 x 19L Cornies and 1 x 9L Corny otherwise 4 x 19L Cornies and 1 x 9L Corny. As a result I will keep a mixture of both however I plan to phase out the used ones and get brand new ones over time as they are much better. The 9L Corny was brand new and you can tell the difference, the lid is airtight once sealed and such a tight fit that when depressurised you sometimes need to still knock it down gently and with care using a rubber mallet.

davew
Piss Artist
Posts: 184
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2008 9:22 am
Location: Nottingham and Gods own country of Yorkshire

Re: Crusader vs Cornie

Post by davew » Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:51 am

Looking further into this it looks like you need a regulator with a PRV as the crusader kegs don't have one. Does anybody have a link to something suitable?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Fermenting: Wilkos Cider
Drinking: Wilkos Hoppy Copper (very nice)

Post Reply