It doesn’t take long after you first learn how to make beer at home that you will want to put your liquid gold into a homebrew keg. Kegging your homebrew just makes life easy and allows you to enjoy your homebrew quicker than bottling. No longer will you have to clean and sanitize 50+ bottles and wait a minimum of 2 additional weeks to bottle condition the beer you made at home. Of course you could keg condition your brew, but the majority of home brewers like to force carbonate their beer so that they can get to the task of enjoying their creation sooner.
There are a few variables to consider when deciding to homebrew keg your beer and today we will look at two different styles of kegs available on the market. Now there are a lot of of places you kind find the homebrew keg. Some legal and others not legal and there are just as many discussion online about both the morality and legality of homebrew keg acquirement. In a previous article though, I listed some really great resources all of which are legal ways to find great keg prices.
Once you decide that kegging your home brew is right for you the next decision is which of the two keg styles to choose. In this article I will focus on the differences and similarities between the very popular corny keg and sanke keg.
Corny kegs are by far the most popular and widely used by home brewers. They are easily and cheaply available do to the soda industry abandoning them to go with syrup in a box or beverage in a box method of delivery. In addition they are easy to maintain and all of the associated equipment is relatively inexpensive and easy to find either online or at your local homebrew shop.
The sanke keg is also used by home brewers but not as common. They are very durable and much heavier than the corny keg because they use more steel within their folds and bends. The additional steel used makes the sanke keg more expensive than its cousin the corny keg. Mainly used for commercial purposes such as beverage distributors and breweries, these kegs are harder to find for making beer at home because they are still in use by industry. Some other disadvantages to the sanke keg are that the connectors used are more expensive and they are overall bulkier than the corny keg. This bulk doesn’t allow you to store as many homebrew kegs within a fridge. One of the biggest complaints I hear about the sanke keg is that they are much harder to clean and maintain because of the smaller opening available, however if you are meticulous with both your cleaning and sanitizing regimen then this may not be an issue for you. The real problem occurs when an empty keg sits for a time.
Other popular uses for the sanke keg are they can be turned into a brew kettle or mash tun. They are also great to use as fermenters because steel is impervious to oxygen and light and unlike glass carboys they will not chip or break.
Overall kegging your beer is fun and if you are able to find a keg price you are happy with pick one or better yet two up. You won’t regret it. Just keep in mind some of the above
Homebrew Sanke Kegadvantages and disadvantages of either homebrew keg when looking around.
If you know of any other advantages or disadvantages to the kegs mentioned here, please leave your comments below.