Benefits and Drawbacks of 5L Kegs

soda, or cider. Alternatively, you may have them pre-filled with beer and then reuse the container once the alcohol is consumed. They can contain 169 ounces, or 1.3 gallons, of beer. That’s the equivalent of fourteen 12-ounce bottles or ten pints.
Their level of popularity has fluctuated. These kegs were rather popular a few years ago, and a good number of brewers filled them for the dispensers, which were built by a number of manufacturers. Now, that number has decreased significantly. However, some of the recently developed nano/mini brewing systems are reintroducing them into their systems.

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I utilize mini-kegs, keg, and bottle. I employ the strategy that suits me the best in each case. Kegs are simpler and take less time to fill and clean than bottles, which make them ideal for sharing. Additionally, the cost of the kegging setup increases as you go up the ladder. My initial experience with kegging was with the mini-kegs. Over the years, I’ve used many little CO2 dispenser configurations to dispense from mini-kegs. And I still do, using them according to my intentions with the brew.

The use of 5L kegs has advantages and disadvantages. How you plan to utilize the keg will determine several things. Today’s kegs often have a bung that may be closed and a pouring outlet. Therefore, the application is quite simple and has few drawbacks if all you want to do is fill it with your fermented beer and add priming sugar. Generally speaking, your beer will go flat, so it’s preferable to consume it all in one sitting or very shortly after.

Things grow more difficult and expensive when you add equipment like CO2 dispensers and kegerators. If you are handy and/or want to cut costs, there are TONS of information online about making your own liquid and CO2 connections. This includes me. I adore creating things. In order to demonstrate a few of the possibilities, I’ve included a few images of some handcrafted items at the conclusion.

Benefits of 5L Kegs

Easy and Low Cost:

5L kegs range in price from $11 to $15, which is rather reasonable. While most local homebrew stores will order them if you ask, not many of them stock them. I discovered a $11 site to get them online. Usually, I spend around $20 on them and drink the beer that comes with them. There are several German lagers on the market, and Bell’s also produces a few different kinds. This is a better value for your money, plus beer tastes delicious, right? About four kegs are required for a five-gallon batch. This provides some much-needed headroom at the top. Depending on how many people are brewing and obtaining beer, I could get one or two kegs because I divide my batches with others.

Note that the amount of priming sugar required for these kegs is just half to one third. Avoid consuming too much alcohol. I’ve seen images of kegs that are leaking and bulging. It is not something you want to tidy up! Alright, this is all you need to read if all you want to do is pour your matured beer into it and then add priming sugar. You see, I merely bought you a little more time.

Reduce the amount of time spent cleaning bottles:

Only a few containers need to be cleaned and sanitized, not two cases of bottles. It really is a pain in the butt to clean bottles. This is a job no one enjoys doing. Soak, scrape, and sanitize all take time. You won’t completely escape this. However, there will only be 4 containers—not 50—for a quantity of 5 gallons.

They’re excellent for sharing:

Bring a 12-pack of beer to share during the gathering. To bring so much alcohol to a small party is reasonable. Alternatively, mix some excellent homebrew with the inexpensive, bubbly, yellow beverage that’s typically served at barbecues and such gatherings.

Excellent for tasting experiments:

Occasionally, I divide a batch across many mini-kegs and customize the tastes in each keg. For instance, a Russian Imperial Stout infused with chocolate, vanilla, and wood-chip-soaked bourbon, as well as an espresso that is cold-brewed. A single batch of multiflavored beans. Alternatively, you might prepare a summer wheat and use flavorings like raspberry, orange, and cherry to divide the mixture into kegs.

Maintaining the rotation of that tap:

When your keg is running low, you may also use it to empty it. You may save the final gallon in the mini to create place for your next batch of new ingredients if you use five-gallon kegs.

They’re Excellent Gifts:

The fresh kegs will be put to use when I gift beer. I’ll spray paint a keg and decorate it with labels and computer-printed pictures for special events. I’m going to utilize the waterslide decals that you used to apply to models to give them a really polished appearance. It is a unique and cool present that you are welcome to share or drink!

They work well for little quantities:

These could suit you if you only brew tiny amounts. Batches of one to two gallons work well for experimenting with new recipes. or if, like me, you share batches with other people.

They produce compact dispensers and countertop taps:

Beer is dispensed from miniature dispensers like the Tap-A-Draft and PartyStar, which employ tiny CO2 cartridges to keep the beer fresh by maintaining a layer of CO2. After that, store it in your refrigerator and have a beer whenever you’d want. Your beer will get flat if you remove the CO2 blanket.

These mini-kegs may be used with miniature kegerators. BeerTender, Edgstar, Avanti, Krups, and a host of others. Place it on your desk or surface and turn it on. Maintain it chilled, crisp, and fizzy.

Drawbacks of 5L Kegs

Leaks more easily when using smaller dispensers:

I think this is the largest issue by far. I force carbonate smaller batches in these kegs and use tiny CO2 cartridges to distribute beer. However, I have lost the whole contents of a CO2 tank because of a little gas leak. To ensure they are leak-free, every connection has to be double-checked and leak-tested using soapy water. To assist certain that the connections in the bung hole have a good seal, I apply keg lubricant. It also makes it a bit simpler to insert the bung into the keg’s top.

They are unable to withstand a genuine keg’s pressure:

Use caution to avoid overdoing force carbonate or priming sugar at too high of a PSI. Only 58 PSI is the buckling pressure and 87 PSI is the bursting pressure. It’s true that your regulator shouldn’t have been set this high in the first place, but you shouldn’t treat it like a conventional keg because it doesn’t have the same rating. These kegs have been forcibly carbonated, however I will only apply pressure to the keg up to 8–10 PSI.

The price of CO2 refills:

Certain tiny CO2 bottles used in micro kegerators must be replenished or changed. It is a little more expensive if you decide to utilize the little CO2 cartridges that the dispensers use. The 8–16 gram disposable cartridges that the little dispensers use cost one or two dollars each. Even if it’s not much, it adds up.

Changing out the kegs:

These kegs are not indestructible. They age and become worn out. Although they are internally coated, the coating may be removed by scratches or strong cleaning agents, which might lead to rust or an undesirable metallic taste in your beer. I’ve seen other articles that claim the keg may be used ten or twelve times. How well the keg is maintained will determine a number of things.

In summary

I simply wanted to offer some ideas for using these mini kegs. These come with prices and restrictions based on how you use them. There are probably more than what I mentioned. And, I have to say, I am starting to fill them with 2.5 gallons of beer because secondhand 5-gallon pin lock kegs are now available for amazing deals—between $25 and $35 apiece when they are on sale. Nevertheless, I still find applications for these tiny 5L kegs.