How to get into kegging your homebrew - quick starter guide

My favorite homebrew was the first one I kegged. It was an APA, single hopped with Amarillo and light malt behind it.

It was perfectly carbonated, poured beautifully and crystal clear. All this just three days after kegging!

Kegging will make your life easier and your beer will taste better.

Why you should be kegging

One big bottle to clean – the beauty of kegging homebrew.

One big bottle to clean – the beauty of kegging homebrew.

Bottling was starting to be a major drag for me a few years into the homebrewing hobby.

I could brew fine, but finding time and energy to clean and fill bottles made it all too hard at points.

Now I have one big bottle to clean and sanitize (a keg!).

It is bliss. And pouring my own draught beer is one of the coolest parts of homebrewing.

How to start kegging homebrew

If you have the means, I encourage you to get into kegging. A modest starter set-up can cost less than $300 and will make your life easier.

If the one-off cost is not achievable, keep in mind that setups are modular. The parts can be bought separately and purchases spread out over a longer period.

A mate of mine put a wish list out before a milestone birthday. Friends and family divided the equipment between then. Now he has a complete keg setup and they have access to kegged beer. Everyone’s a winner.

Secondhand kegging gear also comes up for sale regularly, so you will be able to find a used set-up cheaply.

Gear needed for kegging homebrew

There are a few pieces you need for a homebrew kegging set-up. Here are the basics you need to start.

Typical cornelius kegs – two kegs are better than one.

Typical cornelius kegs – two kegs are better than one.

Cornelius keg. These are five gallon (19 L) ex-soda kegs and perfect for homebrewing. Make sure you are buying with fresh seals otherwise your beer can taste like coke.

Two kegs are better than one so you have constant beer in supply. Three kegs are better than two.

Regulator. Needed to carbonate and pour the beer.

Gas regulator fitted to a CO2 gas bottle.

Gas regulator fitted to a CO2 gas bottle.

Gas bottle. You can hire a bottle or purchase it outright. A five pound (2.2 kg) CO2 bottle will carbonate and serve 6-8 kegs.

You can make this go further by carbonating with sugar and only using the CO2 for serving.

Pouring tap. These vary a bit, but a simple plastic picnic tap is all you need to start.

If you are interested in kegging, check out our practical guide The Kegging Completion.

It is everything you need to know to set up and use your own homebrew kegging equipment.

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