Author Topic: pin vs. ball corny kegs  (Read 3630 times)

Offline BeerNut

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pin vs. ball corny kegs
« on: June 28, 2015, 10:14:56 AM »
I want to start kegging my beer and don't know which to choose to buy.  Ball or pin?  What is the difference?  Any help is appreciated.  I just found a great little refrigerator at a garage sale to convert, but can't decide to buy ball or pin style corny kegs.

"This is grain... which any fool can eat. But for which the Lord intended, a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about..... beer."

Drinking vanilla porter, 90 IPA, 60 IPA, Irish Red Braggot. On Deck hefeweizen, Irish Red, Steam

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: pin vs. ball corny kegs
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 12:50:24 PM »
I happen to use both.  They each have advantages and disadvantages.

Pin type keg advantages:
  • Shorter than ball type, so they fit in keezers and kegerators that are shorter in height.
  • They usually cost about half of what ball type cost.  At least that is the case were I live.  The going price for pin type here is about $40, compared to $80 for a ball type.
Pin type keg disadvantages:
  • Fatter than ball type by about 1/2 inch in diameter.  Not as many may fit, compared to ball type.
Ball type keg advantages:
  • Not as fat as pin type, so sometimes you can fit an extra keg in a keezer or kegerator if using this type.
Ball type keg disadvantages:
  • Cost is usually twice the cost of a pin type.
  • Taller than pin type, so they sometimes won't fit in a keezer or kegerator because of height, even when width isn't an issue.

I personally use both types in my keezer.  I have a 7.2 cu/in. chest freezer that I converted into a keezer.  If I were to use all pin type, I can only get four kegs into it.  Three on the floor and one on the shelf. 

By putting three ball type kegs on the floor, the extra space saved from the narrow diameter of the ball type, allows me to have enough room to get two pin type or two ball type on my shelf, instead of just one.  That allows me to have five kegs in my keezer, instead of just four.  With three ball type on the floor and two pin type on the shelf it's a tight squeeze, but it works.

By using the pin type for my shelf kegs, I save $40 on each pin type and just squeeze them in.
Kegs:
 Red IPA
 ESB
 Saison Solera
 Dubel (Aged in Malbec Wine Barrel
Aging:
 80 Shilling (In bourbon barrel)
Bottled
 Peppermint Patty Stout
 Wee Heavy

Scott Ickes
https://creativebrewing.wordpress.com

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: pin vs. ball corny kegs
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 03:06:09 PM »
I've only used ball-lock kegs because at the time I purchased them they were much cheaper. That was most of a decade ago, though based upon what Scott said things have changed since then. Last I checked it the ball-lock kegs have more than doubled in price since I purchased mine. Seems like I got in right when Pepsi was flooding the market.

I use a chest freezer with a Johnson Controller to hold my kegs. Based upon what Scott said I'd probably stay with the ball-lock kegs. It's easy to make a chest freezer taller, but you can't give it more floor area.
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson

Offline RobbyComstock

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Re: pin vs. ball corny kegs
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2015, 07:03:07 PM »
I don't think it matters either way.  As long as you have the right connectors.  Just depends what you can find.
Robby Comstock
@comstockbrewing