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I just got my first kegs - a couple used, reconditioned corny kegs from beveragefactory.com, still smelling like soda (yay). I've been reading up on the process and it seems like it's a best practice to replace the poppets, along with the O-rings. Wish I knew that before I made the order, or I would have gotten those too.

There are several types of poppets.

How do I identify the the type of poppet I need for my keg?

Also how to I remove and replace them?

I found a couple pages that list some different types:

Also any recommendations on other cheap places to get the poppets would be great. eBay seems like it might be a way to go.

I have ball lock Pepsi kegs, and the lids say Corco on them.

tops of my kegs:

corny keg tops

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I imagine the safest bet is to unscrew one of the posts and get the same kind of poppet as the one you've already got.

It's hard to tell just looking at the top of the keg, so don't take this as certainty, but those keg posts look like firestone posts. I have pepsi kegs, with firestone posts, and use poppet nr. 1 from CHI.

You can also narrow it down by elimination. On the CHI page for #2, it says that #1 is a cheaper alternative, so we rule that out. I'm guessing you don't have a plastic insert, which rules out #3 and #4. You'll see immediately from looking at the poppet in your own kegs if it has long legs. I'm guessing not, ruling out #5 and #6.

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Can you point me to a resource on removing the poppets or just add a summary how-to? –  paul Jul 3 '12 at 23:42
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you need a long socket and a socket wrench. just unscrew the post with the wrench - the top of the poppet is the inner circle you see at the top of the post. see cruisenews.net/brewing/kegging/index.php –  mdma Jul 3 '12 at 23:48
    
Maybe worth mentioning that the poppets might get stuck inside the post. I always have to push hard with a tool on the top to get mine to pop out. Related: here's a video I've found helpful for reconditioning cornies: youtube.com/watch?v=RFmFbAWLmrY –  Galapagos Jim Jul 4 '12 at 6:51
    
@GalapagosJim, hey that's me :) –  JoeFish Jul 4 '12 at 20:53
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This may not work for every keg, but I've had great success with "universal fit" poppets on my Cornelius and Firestone kegs. They take the guessing game out of finding an OEM part by picture on a website or catalog. Here's an example, this is one that I've used. http://www.ontariobeerkegs.com/product_p/unipoppet.htm

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I did need to take the posts out to figure this out. Took a while to get my hands on the right wrench. Needed a 7/8" 12-point wrench, which was not available outside of an expensive set and the local hardware store or home depot. Ultimately ordered this one on Amazon for under $6, which worked. They look like the standard Cornelius/General Beverage ones (#2 from CHI). Expensive! Wonder if those cheaper universal ones work as well. Also looks like I'm going to need to replace the relief valves at some point, these ones are pretty grody.

poppets

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Regarding the tool to remove keg posts. I believe a spark plug socket fits all "pin-lock" (coke) style keg posts. You need to modify the socket to accept the pins by "cutting" out the all the corners of the socket (use a Dremel disk). –  David PGB Jul 24 '12 at 2:37
    
Hm, interesting, thanks for the note. Sounds like a lot of work though. My kegs are ball lock - one post is a 7/8" hex and the other is 7/8 12-point. I've heard most are 11/16 or 7/8, it just took me a while to find a wrench that wasn't really expensive looking in local stores. The one I posted from Amazon is cheap, well-made and has free shipping on Prime. –  paul Jul 24 '12 at 17:22
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