Congratulations! You have been brewing long enough to be sick of bottling or making so much beer or sharing so much beer you are thinking about kegs and growler fills!

This is a larger project than others on this blog with lots of variables so it is difficult to provide an estimated cost. This is just one way to do it

  • C02 Tank - $50
  • Regulator - $50
  • 3-Way Gas Valve- $30
  • Used Refrigerator - $50
  • Ball Lock or Pin Lock Fittings - I bought 4 ball lock fittings for $7 each
  • Food Grade Hose (gas and liquid) -$15
  • "Corny Kegs" - $50 each

I decided to go with ball lock fittings. For me, the former Pepsi kegs are easier to find and they are "skinnier," fitting in the refrigerator easier. If you are going with a keezer setup, the shorter pin lock kegs might work better for you. The fitting below is the "gas in" ball lock attachment, meaning the CO2 comes out of the tank and into the keg, attached to the gas line and secured with a simple hose clamp. The black fittings you see later are the liquid out fittings.

This is your gas tank, regulator, and ball lock connection. The gauge on the left shows how much CO2 gas is left and the top gauge shows the pressure in the line. You don't need them both but running out of pressure seems no fun when you are hosting a party or wanting to keep the beer fresh.

If you're new to kegging, this is really all you need. You can hook this up to your keg up to this, carbonate your beverage, and then attach a picnic tap to serve. This is a mobile, easy solution if you have a way to keep the keg cold.

We wont get into keg maintenance or cleaning here, but get rid of the grime, change out the O-rings, test the keg to ensure it holds pressure, sanitize, fill with beer, and carbonate! Now that I have 5 kegs ready to go, its time to come up with a plan for rotating them through fermentation, carbonating, and serving. I found an old fridge for $50. I like this model because it easily fits a couple of kegs and the gas all inside. It also has a small freezer for storing glasses and hops with room left in the door for a few competition bottles. It isn't much to look at but it will be soon!
Once I cleaned the kegs and tested they all held pressure, I built a simple "shelf"  inside the 'fridge to attach a gas valve. I didnt want to risk drilling into the side walls and hitting a cooling line, but also want to keep the hoses and valves up above the weight of full kegs. And this valve setup allows me to carbonate more than 1 keg at a time with only one tank. Better than a plastic or steel splitter this also allows me to close a valve when not needed or attach a third keg or bottling gun later. I like the clamps but they are difficult to remove without cutting the hose so I have 2 I will leave on long-term and the one I created a threaded extension for removing
For variety and to maximize the new setup you have to be able to regulate temperature. I went with the new Inkbird It's Pre-wired for Dual Stage Temperature Controller with Outlet Thermostats. This is a few dollars more but I really like the ability to program it. I recently did a pilsner, setting it for 50 degrees for 3 weeks, and then automatically dropping it to 35 degreeass for 4 weeks. The old fridge and new controller work great together. There are lots of more complicated ways to accomplish this and some ways are cheaper, but I really like the ease of use on this one.