What’s the Difference Between Ball Lock & Pin Lock Keg Lids?
The containers we call Ball Lock and Pin Lock Kegs come from the soda industry. Also called Cornelius Kegs, Corny Kegs and Corney Kegs, they were originally intended to store and distribute soda pre-mix. The big soda companies decided on different style containers for their pre-mix. Pepsi landed on the Ball Lock style while Coke uses the Pin Lock style.
Homebrewers have since re-purposed these as homebrew beer kegs.
There are a good number of differences between the two main styles of homebrew kegs, here’s a look at how the lids are different.
Ball Lock Style Lid. Notice the pull ring. That is the manual PRV.Pin Lock Style Lid. No pull ring.
Generally speaking… Both Ball Lock and Pin Lock style lids are the same dimension and are interchangeable. You can use a Ball Lock Lid on a Pin Lock Keg and vice versa. A big difference are the PRV (pressure relief valve) functions between the two styles. Both have automatic safety PRV valves. That is, if the pressure gets too high, both will automatically vent for safety reasons. The difference is in manual PRV functionality. Ball Lock Keg lids have a pull ring that allows you to manually vent the keg as you’d like. You may want to do that for the purpose of removing the keg lid or to vent excess pressure in an attempt to get down to a lower pressure. Having a manual PRV valve is an advantage in my book and on this count Ball Lock Style kegs win. Again, these are general statements, check with the keg’s manufacturer or distributor for specific keg lid dimensions and PRV functionality. Note: There is another less common size of lid/keg called racetrack style. Those are not interchangeable with standard lids.
An Easy Upgrade for Pin Lock kegs
Since standard Ball Lock and Pin Lock Lids are interchangeable. A good upgrade for Pin Lock kegs is to replace Pin Lock style lids with Ball Lock Style Lids. Ball Lock style lids are, in my opinion, superior because the manual PRV allows you to easily vent your keg as needed.
New Cornelius Keg Lid with New pressure relief valve – via Adventures in Homebrewing
This write-up is part of my post comparing ball lock and pin lock kegs – Jump To This Section
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Make sure the components you use are compatible and rated for your intended application. Contact manufacturer with questions about suitability or a specific application. Always read and follow manufacturer directions. toppost:ballvspinlockkegslnksto lnksto:ballvspinlockkegs rp:lnkskeglids