Buy the gear that will last your lifetime.
This kit will hold its value well, and you can easily sell it for 80% (if not more) if you end up not wanting it. The regulator and co2 tank are refillable and will work for many years, and you can swap them out for more functional ones if you decide to upgrade.
The previous example I showed was the absolute cheapest way to start kegging. I’m not saying that approach is wrong, but I prefer to work a few more days and buy the right thing the first time. This is (minimally) it.
Adventures in homebrewing has a screaming deal on a single gauge regulator with a 10 lb co2 tank, a corny keg, and all of the fixings to connect everything and dispense beer. It sells for $155, and simply can’t be beat. If you can beat it, send me a message! (seriously)
Here’s the breakdown
- 1 used pin lock keg (with new o-rings included but not installed)
- 1 American Made Taprite single gauge regulator
- 1 10# steel co2 tank (That’s the best option – see below)
- 2 pin lock connectors (one for gas / beer)
- 1 cobra tap (like you’re used to on commercial hand keg pumps)
And it all goes for $155. As I said before. That deal is unbeatable. Here’s my rationale for everything
A single gauge regulator is cheaper, and since it’s always in or behind your fridge you won’t really use the other gauge very much anyways. Also, the tank pressure gauge gives you so little warning that it’s ridiculous.
The 10# co2 tank is a great bargain, and it can easily be swapped out at any place that takes co2 tanks. Some of the other sizes may need to be refilled (which is harder to find.) Even though you like the look of the 5# aluminum tanks they are simply a waste of money because most places want to swap tanks and you’ll end up with an ugly painted steel one anyways. Save your money and buy steel. 10# is better than 5# just because you get a better price on the refills and you go 2x as far in between refills.
Ball lock vs Pin lock
It’s your choice, but if I were just starting out I would go for whatever is cheaper. That is pin lock. 5 Gallon kegs are usually a minimum of $10 cheaper for pin lock. Save that and buy ingredients!
Some day I’ll do a post on potential upgrades for kegging systems, but save yourself some time and just go ahead and buy the damn thing right now.You know you want to!
I can shoot a hole in any plan. This one isn’t perfect, but I do think it’s a great entry point.
- If you’re looking at starting off with a shank through a kegerator you should upgrade to that immediately.
- Opening the kegerator door to pour beer is annoying and loses cold air.
- This plan only has one single keg, and none of my hallowed 3 gallon mini kegs (Don’t get me started on those guys!)
But don’t take my word for it.
Here’s a kit from northern brewer without co2 for $150
Here’s a link to an amazon search. Some are $100+ more expensive
Here’s a kit from morebeer (with 5# co2, not 10#) for over $200