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Keg shortage

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:11 am
by aleguy
Apparently virtually ALL used ball-lock kegs are gone. There are a few showing up on ebay, but the prices are spiking significantly. However, there are still a few loose pin-locks available by container load. ... cts_id=693
Is there enough interest that we could purchase one of these and split them up? I suppose we should get a rough cost estimate and find out exactly how many there are in each size container if enough of us are interested.
Also, new 3-gallon ball-lock kegs are selling from Chi company for about the same price as used 3-gallon pin-lock kegs are selling for on ebay.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 7:22 am
by aleguy
OK. Chi company just got back to me. There are "approximately 1200 units" in a 20-foot container. Cost is $19 each plus shipping. Personally I think that is too much considering the kegs are un-cleaned, un-tested, and we have to hand unload the container. However, they are currently the only reliable source for corny kegs. We could probably expect at least half the kegs to be useable.
I'm thinking if we do this, we need to ask for people to get lots of 6 or 12? That would be 200 lots of 6 or 100 lots of 12. Any comments?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 12:44 pm
by haasobrew
That does not sound like a very good deal. 19$ per pin lock is pricy considering you have to get 1200. Imagine the day of sorting through all those things. Hundreds of people taking turns picking for hours on end until your left with a couple hundred nearly worthless kegs that may never hold pressure. And it might average out to something like 30$ per useable keg depending on how many are busted. that being said I would still go in for a lot of 6 or 12 if the cash is hAndy simply because it beats the hell out of new keg prices. Ball lock would have been more attractive... But if theres no more then there's no more.

Ah I just looked at the website. They are sold as working as-is so they should nearly all be good to use after some pbw and new orings. This may be a good deal afterall...

What type of prices are we looking at to convert pin lock to ball lock fittings?

Those intrested in converting could get kegs with malfunctioning pin pock fittings since they'll be changing them out anyway.

Approximate shipping cost on that massive container?

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 4:41 pm
by aleguy
They should all hold pressure with new gaskets and poppets, the question is, how many will need that? Also, there are bound to be some that are dented so badly, no one will want them. A year ago I would have agreed that $19 apiece was too much for a container load of pin-locks. But then a year ago you could still pick up reconditioned ball locks on ebay for $20 +S&H. I don't know how much the shipping is. I didn't ask because it is bound to go up by the time we put this together, if we do at all. I'm thinking it will probably come out to $5/keg or less.
The thing is, either we get these now, or get stuck paying $60 or more for used ball locks or pay for new ones. I certainly would be interested in at least 12, and preferably 24 if finances allow. I would also like to get a few of the new 3-gallon kegs while the price is still so low. My bad. I should have loaded up on kegs when they were still cheap and available.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:17 pm
by aleguy
OK. I found these.
Really good prices right now. Pin-locks only.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:25 pm
by yeastmeister
Be aware for those not in the know. Pin lock kegs are slightly shorter and fatter than ball lock kegs. That means if your currently using ball locks in a fridge of some sort, and space is tight, you may not be able to fit pin locks in there. I believe the diameter increases about 1 inch from what a ball lock is.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:35 am
by aleguy
Also, the "ball-lock conversions" most likely use aluminum posts which cannot be cleaned with the usual brewery cleaners because they will corrode. Just buy some new flare fittings to make switching back and forth a breeze.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:20 am
by jimmiec
I don't understand the need for all this converting to pin lock to ball lock. Just buy the gas and liquid coupler disconnect 1/4" to change out based on the type of keg you want to tap.

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 12:48 pm
by aleguy
I believe that's what I said. Just buy the flare fittings and you can switch back and forth in a matter of seconds.