What’s The Difference? Comparing AEB and AMCYL Ball Lock Kegs!

AEB and AMCYL manufacturer ball lock kegs, also called soda pre-mix tanks. Homebrewers use these for beer, cider and seltzer. Coffee shops use them for cold brew, Kombucha makers use them for kombucha and on and on.

A common question I see, or directly hear, is… what’s the difference between AMCYL and AEB?  It’s a great question. Both make new ball lock kegs, both go by abbreviated company names and both start with…. A.  Maybe they’re the same? This write up aims to answer the question and will give you a complete run down of what’s the same and what’s different.

Hands on Reviews of Both:

This post will give an overview of each keg with comparisons. If you want a deep dive into either one, I have in depth hands on reviews of both kegs.

AEB vs AMCYL Kegs, Compared…

Important Note: In this comparison, when two kegs are pictured, AEB kegs will always be on the left an AMCYL kegs will be on the right.

Country of Origin

AEB: A.E.B. kegs are made in Italy. AEB leans heavily on their Italian identity. That makes sense to me as I generally think Italian made = high quality. That’s a broad stroke, but my espresso machine was made in Italy and it’s amazing. So, fair or unfair, that’s where I’m at.AMCYL: The AMCYL Keg I received was made in India.

General Visual Inspection and Keg Imprints

Here’s a look at both kegs with keg imprints showing.AEB Keg ImprintAMCYL Keg ImprintTop down view

Side Note: Keg O-Rings

Since doing my post on reconditioning kegs, I’ve gotten into the habit of immediately replacing all o-rings with Valuebrew Food Grade Gaskets. I use green and blue for the posts to make identification quick and easy… green = gas, blue = beer. It’s worth noting that this isn’t something you have to do, I prefer food grade silicone and the color-coding and I have these on hand since I picked them up in bulk. Very little cost on a per o-ring basis making these upgrades.

Valuebrew has introduced a second custom color scheme options. Gray and Black o-rings. As the picture indicates these are designed to match standard gray and black keg QDs.  These have become standard colors on ball lock, pin lock (usually the bottom portion of the QD) and even recently released Kegland QDs (center portion).

Posts and Poppets

AEB: Unlike a lot of the newer kegs AEB keg does not feature universal poppets. The poppets are also… non-removable. Most of the AEB kegs I’ve seen have permanently installed/non-removable poppets. See my AEB keg review for more on this topic including warranty issues.

The keg I reviewed featured 7/8″ x 6 point posts. See: Hands on Review: Craftsman Deep Well Sockets for Ball Lock Keg PostsAMCYL: The AMCYL keg I reviewed features universal poppets. Related: Universal Poppet Tips & Trick.

The keg I reviewed featured 6 point 11/16″ posts. See: Hands on Review: “Ball Lock Keg Wrench” – 11/16″+7/8″ Ratcheting Wrench


My AEB keg was slightly taller than my AMCYL keg. Dimensions can be found in either review.

General Stainless Steel Appearance and Quality

The AEB keg features a polished finish, All AMCYL kegs I’ve seen have a matte finish. This makes AEB kegs look nicer. I can’t say that either stainless is a higher quality, but appearance-wise AEB kegs look better.

AEB – Check Current Prices, Models and Availability:

AMCYL – Check Current Prices, Models and Availability:

A Closer Look at Welds

A look at the bottom weld and rubber keg bottoms. AEB weld on the left is much cleaner.A look at the top weld and rubber keg tops. AEB weld on the left is much cleaner.AEB: A look at the T where the vertical and top most horizontal welds meet. AEB hands down looks better compared to AMCYL…AMCYL: A look at the T where the vertical and top most horizontal welds meet.Both kegs with vertical seem side showing. Click to zoom. The AEB keg’s weld is barely discernable.


AEB’s Laser Welds

From MoreBeer’s 2.5 Gallon AEB Keg Description:

The quality of these Italian-made cornelius kegs is undeniable. They are welded by laser under inert gas which means there are no nooks or crannies where bacteria can hide. They may cost more than kegs made in China but the quality difference is a perfect batch versus a ruined one. Quality is important because your beer may sit in these kegs for months. If bacteria gets into a bad weld they are going to very hard to kill.

Fit and Finish

Fit and Finish AMCYL Keg… I’m not sure if you can pick it up, but the posts on this keg are slightly angled. My guess is that this is not a build quality issue, that it’s by design and related to the angle that the straight dip tube needs to be to hit the center of the keg. But, I will say that it looks a little wonky. No real effect on the function of the keg, just something I would normally expect to be straight.

Inside The Kegs

AEB: The inside looks beautiful.AMCYL: A look inside the keg. You can see the straight liquid out dip tube. Some of the welds on this keg are less than A+ in my opinion, but the inside is where it really counts. and this looks great.


AEB is the clear winner as far as keg quality.

I’m guessing I’ve had 25 kegs go through my home brewery. Not that I have 25 now, I probably have a dozen. I’ve had shoddy kegs that needed bunches of parts, I’ve had kegs with lots of potential that needed to be rebuilt and I’ve had very nice kegs AND… the AEB keg I reviewed is nicest.

The AMCYL is also a good quality keg. It’s also NSF certified. It does have a couple fit and finish issues. Those are cosmetic and shouldn’t affect the function of these kegs in every day use.

Like many things, your decision on which keg to buy will probably be influenced by cost vs quality and features.  I have a $300 lab quality digital refractometer. I also have a $15 refractometer. Both work. Price and availability being equal, AEB is a clear winner. Those things probably won’t be equal. So, hopefully, I’ve given you enough information to make the right decision if you’re trying to decide between these two keg manufacturers.

AEB – Check Current Prices, Models and Availability:

AMCYL – Check Current Prices, Models and Availability:

Hands on Reviews of Both:

Should I buy a New Keg or a Used Keg?

Used kegs are generally sourced from soda bottlers.  They are built with commercial use in mind and designed to last for many years of rough duty service.

Brand new ball locks may not be made to the same standards.  However… We also don’t generally put our kegs through the same abuse that a soda distributor would.

Not withstanding price.  I think both options are valid.  If you’re up for a little elbow grease and replacing a few parts, used may be the way to go, if you’re more interested in convenience brand new is a good choice.  Practically, at least as of this posting, I think price will cause many to go the used route.

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Special thanks to Keg Outlet for providing the keg used for evaluation in this review.

Price, promotions and availability can change quickly. Check the product page for current price, description and availability.

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. tag:lnksfxd top:aebvsamcyl tag:tpr

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