Mini Kegs


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Feb 14, 2013
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I just got into kegging this weekend when I purchased four (4) mini kegs (1.3ish gallons each). Needless to say, I am very excited about starting this process but one part that had me shaking my head is filling it. I know to only fill the keg to within an inch of the top, but with all of the Star San bubbles, I could not really see. As a result, I underfilled my first keg and may have overfilled the second keg. So far the potentially overfilled one appears to be fine, so I may have dodged a bullet (or an exploding keg). However, it would be nice to take as much of the guess work out.

I even used a flashlight, but those bubbles made it entirely impossible to see how far up the keg I had filled. Does anyone have any tips for this or any tips for mini kegs in general? Keep in mind I am talking about MINI kegs, not regular kegs so there is no regulator, gas lines, etc. I only do 2.5 gallon batches, so I didn't feel it was worth going to a full-scale keg setup.

Anyway, thanks in advance for any tips you guys have! Happy brewing!
I have used those and you will just need to overflow a tad when filling them to be sure. You can get a plastic pincher for the fill line, or use a bottling wand so towards the end you can control the flow better.

Excessive head space could be a problem in the other one, so make sure to vent it before it gets over pressurized. The beer in that one could be over primed as well.

FWIW - you can get 2.5 gallon corny kegs! I actually stopped using these when I switched to kegging.
My LHBS recommends drinking the underfilled one first. How should I vent it? The kegs I have include the "gravity spigot" so I suppose I could invert the keg and let some pressure out with that without risking losing any beer to the process.

I've heard a lot of negative reviews of mini kegs, but I really want to give them a try. One thing I thought would help combat overcarbing would be to weigh out my priming sugar and boil it in water and to make a batch of priming sugar for each keg. This means a little more work, but a lot less worrying I think.

It was also recommended that I use a "dipstick" method to gauge the fill level. I can sanitize the end of a plastic spoon or something and attach it to the keg so that the end is about an inch from the bottom. Fill until it gets wet, all done. I just don't want to end up with an exploded keg, big mess, etc. I would rather bottle than risk cleaning up an entire gallon of spilled hard work.

I'm really hoping the mini kegs work out because I've seen at least one respected member of the Youtube homebrewing community use them with reported success and I don't have the money or space to upgrade to a full-fledged kegging system.