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I just bought two 15.5 gallon kegs yesterday from a local brewery that is closing its doors. They asked for $15 each so there was no way I could pass them up. They are in great condition.

I would love to start using them sooner than later, but someone else beat me to the CO2 systems or I would have bought those, too.

Anyway, where could I find a good, reasonably priced CO2 system to use? I tested the kegs last night and there are no leaks. My party pump worked great on them and there were no issues with them. I figure the first time I'll use one will be for my birthday party in late November, so I have plenty of time to save for a decent setup.

These are my first kegs as I've always just used bottles. There was no way I could pass these kegs up for the price. Any info and tips that any of you have are also appreciated.

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Do you have a fridge that can hold a keg that size? –  Tobias Patton Aug 6 '12 at 15:19
    
Btw - good score! They're worth more than that just as scrap. –  Tobias Patton Aug 6 '12 at 15:20
    
There was no way I could pass them up at that price! Also, I have an old fridge that I stripped out (and put a sturdy shelve in) that I use for cold crashing up to 2 carboys at a time. One of these kegs will fit into it comfortably. –  jsmith Aug 6 '12 at 15:25

2 Answers 2

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It's actually kind of difficult to use those kegs for serving, which is why you'll generally see homebrewers using 5 gal. keg for serving and reworking the 1/2 bbl. kegs into kettles. To use the to serve, you need to remove the ring and spear, clean them, and then fill them. You need to get the appropriate fittings for gas and serving. You might want to consider using them for something other than serving.

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Good point about filling and cleaning. –  Tobias Patton Aug 6 '12 at 15:26
    
I was able to get them opened and cleaned quite easily. Money really isn't an issue (but saving some/getting deals is nice), and I really would love to at least use one of these for serving. I was going to go with a 5gal keg, but there was no way I could pass these up. I like the idea of converting one of these into a kettle and may just have to do that. I know a couple of welders/fabricators that would do it for a 12 pack :) –  jsmith Aug 6 '12 at 15:30
    
There's a decent YouTube video that shows the process. –  Tobias Patton Aug 6 '12 at 15:32

You'll need a keg coupler, a regulator, a CO2 tank, a tap and some line. Usually these items are sold as a package with the title "fridge conversion kit", like this.

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Nice, that's actually a lot cheaper than what I was expecting. Is a 5lb tank enough for kegs of this size? Would there be any benefit (other than less refilling) if I went with, say, a 20lb tank? –  jsmith Aug 6 '12 at 15:33
    
5 pounds of CO2 will last longer than you think (unless you've got a leak!), six kegs at least. The smaller tank can also fit in the fridge with the keg, saving you the need to drill a hole for the gas line. –  Tobias Patton Aug 6 '12 at 15:36
    
Found a complete system on craigslist for $85 used. I'm thinking I may get it. Right now I can only brew to a capacity of 10 gallons. Would I be able to move my batch into the keg after fermentation without it going bad? I assume keeping C02 in the tank would prevent oxidation, but is there anything else I need to be worried about? –  jsmith Aug 10 '12 at 13:09

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