Looking into buying a 5 gal ball lock keg, i have the Co2 tanks, a tap, and gauges/hoses. I want to save by just purchasing something to keep it all cool. Strapped on cash at the moment but want to keg. Dont have the $450 at my disposal right now. Any alternatives? literally have everything but the keg and a something to keep it consistently cold. ideas? experiences? or just save my money.
Keep an eye on Craigslist for a used refrigerator. You can often get them free or nearly free if you pick it up. That's all you need: take the shelves out, and you can keep your keg in there with a picnic tap. I did this for about 15 years in my basement. If you want to get fancy, you could get a kit to put a faucet through the side so you don't have to open the door.
Move to a cold country and leave the kegs outside. :p
I have a chillplate that I put into my fridge. I store the keg and CO2 on the one side of the fridge, beerline goed into the fridge, through the chill plate and out the other side to a mounted tap. Works like a dream. * I have NOT tested the system in the heat of summer (35C), but so far it is working fine in autumn and winter temps (25 - 10C).
If you want to use the keg occasionally then buy a plastic bin that is bigger than the keg, put keg in the bin and fill the bin with ice. I have seen a large plastic rubbish wheely bin converted to take two kegs, small CO2 mounted to the side and two taps built into the bin. Worked great (but it does look a bit odd).