PIctured: Used 5 Gallon Ball Lock Keg via Adventures in Homebrewing
Here’s a roundup of some of the best available sources for homebrew kegs along with some comparisons on types of kegs, features and benefits and a list of suppliers.
In this post:
- Used Ball Lock, 5 Gallon Cornelius/Corny Style Ball Lock Kegs
- Tip: Single strap handle vs double rubber handle kegs
- Brand New 5 Gallon Ball Lock Cornelius/Corny Style Ball Lock Kegs
- 5 Gallon Pin Lock Cornelius/Corny Style Ball Lock Kegs
- Smaller Kegs – 1.5 to 3 gallon
- One-Offs – Unique keg offerings or configurations
- eBay – Various Offerings
- Amazon – Various Offerings
- Your Local Homebrew Shop
- Recent Keg Finds
- Kegging Systems
- Compare Suppliers
- Learn More: Tips, Recent Keg Finds, Repair Parts & More
Used 5 Gallon Ball Lock Cornelius/Corny Style Ball Lock Kegs
- Adventures in Homebrewing: 5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) Used – Adventures in Homebrewing is one of the most reliable sources for used 5 gallon kegs. These are pressure tested and guaranteed to hold pressure.
- Austin Homebrew Supply: 5 Gallon Cornelius Keg (Ball Lock) Used – Austin Homebrew is a part of Adventures in Homebrewing, this is a similar offering to AIH. Prices, shipping costs and promotions can vary, so it’s worth a look at both spots.
- MoreBeer: Cornelius Keg – Pressure Tested w/o Gaskets Replaced (Ball Lock) Pressure tested, guaranteed to hold pressure. This sells in the $64.99 range. The great thing about this offering is that it falls under MoreBeer’s free shipping program. That means it ships for free to most US addresses. Availability of this offering is a bit touch and go. This offering from MoreBeer looks identical to me, other than it’s usually less expensive. Finally MoreBeer has a four keg offering, that is even more difficult to find in stock.
- Keg Connection: Used 5 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs – Keg Connection can have some pretty stellar deals on kegs, especially when you factor in their flat rate shipping. As of this posting, that applies to… everything.
- Beverage Elements can have some pretty great deals, especially when their class 2 and 3 offerings are available. These kegs can be on the rough side as far as appearance, but are still guaranteed to hold pressure. Since calculated shipping is in play, overall value and pricing is going to be dependent on your proximity to the Twin Cities.
Tip: Single strap handle vs double rubber handle kegs
Double handle kegs offer a couple of advantages. First, and most obvious… you have two handles to use when picking it up these kegs. Second, these allow you to easily invert the keg so that you can allow it to drain and dry after cleaning. This only applies to ball lock kegs, although they may exist, I’ve never seen a single handle pin lock keg.
Brand New 5 Gallon Ball Lock Cornelius/Corny Style Ball Lock Kegs
When this post was originally published back in 2012 brand new kegs were very expensive or poorly made. Since that time new kegs have become a viable option. Prices have come down dramatically while quality has, generally, gone up. In my opinion, the widespread availability of economical new kegs has contributed to the continued availability of used kegs.
- AIH New 5 Gallon Corny Keg Ball Lock [Hands on Review] – This brand new, NSF certified ball lock keg lists for $119.99 but can regularly be found on sale at around $75. Check out my hands on review for my information, but… this is a great keg. Also: via Austin Homebrew Supply
- 5 Gallon Kegland Kegs at William’s Brewing – Kegland kegs have a unique feature. The lids have an integrated stainless steel hang tap on the inside of the lid. This is for easily suspending hopping bags and hop infusers. From the description: “Precisely made with smooth robotically welded interior welds for ease of cleaning to stringent NSF standards.”
- Torpedo Ball Lock Kegs at MoreBeer available both in their original design and a slimline version in a variety of capacities. The original design has dimensions similar to pin lock kegs (shorter and wider) where the slimline versions more closely resemble traditional ball lock kegs. Both versions feature a stackable design. The nice thing about these is that all sizes ship for free to addresses in the lower 48 states.
- Brand New Italian Made Ball Lock Kegs via MoreBeer. If I had to generalize, my guess would be that Italian manufacturer kegs are a higher quality than Chinese made kegs. Have said that, I think that’s less true now than a time ago. Quality standards are now (again in my opinion) more similar than they were a few years ago.
5 Gallon Pin Lock Cornelius/Corny Style Ball Lock Kegs
There are a few differences between pin locks and ball locks, See: What’s the Difference Between Ball Lock Kegs and Pin Lock Kegs? but they accomplish the same purpose as Ball Lock Kegs
- Depending on current promotion and availability Adventures in Homebrewing has some of the best Pin Lock offerings available – Single 5 Gallon Pin Lock, Four Pack
- Austin Homebrew Supply – Single 5 Gallon Pin Lock, Four Pack
- Much like their Ball Lock offerings Keg Connection’s Pin Lock Offering can be an outstanding deal, especially when you factor in their flat rate shipping. As of this posting, that applies to… everything.
- Reconditioned Pin Lock via Beverage Elements – again, because of shipping, proximity to the Twin Cities will factor in to total value
- Pin Locks at MoreBeer – From my experience, MoreBeer seems to specialize in ball lock style kegs. Along those lines the current price of their pin lock offering is… $64.99
New Pin Locks? To my knowledge, new pin lock kegs are not readily available to homebrewers.
Smaller Kegs – 1.5 to 3 gallon
These can be nice for splitting batches, small batch or small space brewing or to easily serve your homebrew on the go.
- William’s Brewing has 1.75 and 2.5 gallon ball locks – Kegland Kegs have a unique feature. The lids have an integrated stainless steel hang tap on the inside of the lid. This is for easily suspending hopping bags and hop infusers. From the description: “Precisely made with smooth robotically welded interior welds for ease of cleaning to stringent NSF standards.”
- MoreBeer’s Torpedo Kegs are available in 1.5 and 2.5 gallon sizes. Note that these kegs are stackable with fittings on. The nice thing about smaller Torpedo kegs is that they are reasonably priced, less expensive that larger 5 gallon models. Although it’s counter-intuitive it seems like smaller kegs usually cost more. That’s not true for Torpedo kegs.
- Brand New Italian Made 2.5 Gallon Ball Lock at MoreBeer
- Keg Connection has new 2.5 gallon ball locks available, again flat rate shipping is in play
- AIH has a 2.5 gallon size of their great NSF certified keg
- Austin Homebrew Supply: 2.5 gallon and 3 gallon brand new ball locks
- AIH also has a variety of 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs – double and single handle and both ball and pin lock. The pin locks have been offered at stellar prices in the past, although availability varies. As of this posting, pin locks are out of stock.
10 and 15 Gallon Ball Lock Kegs!
These size kegs are handy if you’re a larger batch brewer wanting to keg larger batches and… they work great as fermenters. I’ve used a 10 gallon ball lock for years and years as a fermenter. It allows me to ferment under pressure [See: Spunding Valve Build], do fermenter to serving keg transfers under pressure, it’s food grade stainless steel and it’s easy to move around. I’ve been a big advocate of this application of these hard to find kegs.
The only reliable source I’ve found for these is Keggle Brewing. Keggle brewing has sourced factory second and brand new 10 and 15 gallon kegs. Availability of these can be touch and go, especially for the factory seconds. The factory seconds save you quite a bit of money. Those are new kegs that have some blemishes, but are all in good usable condition and hold pressure. Check Keggle Brewing for current selection, pricing and availability.
One-Offs – Unique keg offerings or configurations
- Loose Handle/Bottom Ball Lock keg w/PRV Lid via AIH – Double rubber handle 5 gallon ball lock with loose handles or bottoms. One of the cheapest ball lock keg options out there. See our Tips Page (#19) for a step by step on repairing loose handles and bases. Availability can be very sporadic. Also: Search AIH for “loose” to see if other offerings are available
- Low profile ball locks – Ball Lock kegs that are similar in size to pin locks. Sometimes you’ll see these out there as converted pin lock to ball lock kegs, although AIH’s product description says they do not convert pin locks to ball locks.
- Converted Ball Locks from MoreBeer – Pin lock kegs that have been converted to ball lock kegs.
- Racetrack Ball Locks – These are ball lock kegs that have a size lid and different replacement parts compared to standard ball locks. These kegs are difficult to find in stock. Replacement parts can be hard to find. AIH generally has the best selection and has even contracted the manufacture of some of these parts. Search AIH for “racetrack“
eBay – Various Offerings
eBay can be a good source for used kegs. Standard eBay caveats apply. Look at seller’s feedback and total cost delivered. Search eBay for Ball Lock Kegs.
Amazon – Various Offerings
Amazon can also be a good source for kegs, although much like eBay offerings can vary. Search Amazon for homebrew kegs
Your Local Homebrew Shop
I’ve heard ups on downs on this on availability and pricing. Some local shops are expensive and some have great availability and great prices.
Recent Keg Finds
Check out our Recent Keg Finds for recent deals on homebrew kegs.
This post primarily covers kegs, however you may need a kegging system to get started. These generally contain a regulator, keg, tubing, fittings, disconnects and possibly a CO2 tank.
- Adventures in Homebrewing – huge selection of kegging systems
- Keg Connection
- MoreBeer – Most MoreBeer options include a CO2 tank. These systems also ship for free to the lower 48 US states.
- William’s Brewing – Kegland Ready Made Homebrew Kegerators – Review | Kegging Systems
These are mostly links directly to vendors draft or kegging landing pages, when they exist
- Adventures in Homebrewing
- Austin Homebrew Supply
- Amazon Kegs & Kegging Category
- Beer & Wine Hobby
- Bell’s Brewery General Store
- Beverage Elements
- Brewer Dude
- Brew Hardware – lots of unique fittings parts, and add-ons
- CRAFT’R – as a MoreBeer distributor CRAFT’R sometimes has deals on Torpedo kegs, they can also have some outstanding pricing on Intertap faucets
- Great Fermentations
- Keg Connection
- Label Peelers
- William’s Brewing – good selection of mini regulators, Intertaps & more
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