A co-worker of mine had a roommate move out and leave his brewing stuff behind, including two 5 gallon kegs (pictured below). Co-worker ended up giving them to me for free.

Obviously you need a CO2 tank, and connectors, but what size CO2 tank and are the 'Ball Lock Connectors' the right one in general/these specific ones? Can I use the same cleaning/rinsing chemicals on these (PBW/StarSan)?

Since I am a complete noob to the world of using my own keg, what else do I need?

5 Gallon Kegs


Those are ball lock kegs. You can use PBW (or Oxiclean) to clean them and StarSan to sanitize. Common CO2 tank sizes are 5 gal. and 20 gal. 5 gal. are more portable if that matters to you. I use a 20 gal. and only need to get it filled once a year. Here is some excellent info on cleaning, maintaining, and using kegs....


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  • 1
    CO2 tanks are measured in lbs, not gallons. As you allude, the size of the tank does not matter other than how big it is / how long it will last between refills. – Hank Jun 26 '13 at 20:37
  • I have a 10# tank, it cost me about $20 more originally, but refills at my home brew store are $19 compared to $15 for a 5# tank. – Ugly Dude Jan 21 '14 at 17:13
  • A 5# tank is fine for serving at least 10 kegs, including purging of the kegs at least 3 times while racking beer into them. I also have had a slow leak completely deplete my recently filled tank. So I find that 5# tanks are a balance between occasional refills and the risk of losing all that gas due to a leak in the system. Another benefit is the 5# tank with regulator fits neatly in the kegerator where a 10# would not always... Lastly, I've taken it on a few outings since its easy to transport being a little 5# tank. So in conclusion I find 5# to be practical. – freshop Aug 15 '17 at 6:53

BYO did a kegging guide that may be helpful. http://byo.com/store/byo-special-issues/guide-to-kegging

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This is the a great kegging reference too!


Good pictures and informative reading with no fluff

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  • +1 on this article from Zymurgy. It's great and I refer to it often. The illustrations by Randy Mosher are nice too. – paul Jul 10 '13 at 19:41
  • Link is no longer valid... – Philippe Aug 8 '17 at 20:22
  • The link worked for me just now. As an aside, Cornelius style kegs have a lot (a lot!) of seals and O-rings that can leak if they're not in perfect shape. Keg lube--food grade silicone grease--is a cheap way to make sure they stay that way. Most homebrew suppliers carry the stuff. – Glasseyed Aug 15 '17 at 19:24

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