The Pros and Cons of The Mini Keg

The main benefits of the mini keg are cost and portability. Most home brewers make about a 5 gallon batch and 4 mini kegs will do the trick. A typical mini keg setup will set you back about $50-65.

Cost Breakdown

  • Mini keg – $5-6 each. (Each mini keg holds about a 12 pack [144oz or 4.25L].)
  • Bung – $1 each.
  • Tap – $14-60 each.
  • CO2 cartridges (16 gram recommended) – $10-12 per box of 10.

In contrast, a typical corny keg system will cost you about $150-250 depending on shipping rates and other bells and whistles they may come with. In addition another bite out of your wallet will be the cost of refrigeration. Don’t get me wrong though; there are some pretty nifty mini keg fridges that can set you back a pretty penny too.

Mini Keg Dimensions

  • 14 3/4″H x 15 1/4″W x 10 1/4″D

If you are considering kegging your homebrew, but the thought of space shuts the option down, the mini keg offers a great solution to your storage problems—it will easily slide next to your eggs in a standard fridge.

Transporting Your Brew

Thinking about taking your homebrew on a camping trip or over to a friend’s house? Pop a couple of the mini kegs in the back of your vehicle and hit the road! I know that taking your homebrew in bottles is a pain. The bottles bounce around while in transit which disturbs the sediment. When you finally arrive at your destination, you have to wait for everything to settle back down again before you can pour. Also, lugging around a full corny keg makes my back hurt just thinking about it.

Cons

The biggest negative to the mini keg is that they are a bit tricky to clean and maintain because of their shape and size. The opening is very small and you have to be sure to completely dry the inside before storage. Also, there is a special liner in the inside that can be damaged it the keg is dented or roughly handled. If the liner cracks then the mini keg will rust and that would be no good. The recommendations I’ve seen online say that a mini keg has about 4-6 uses before they need to be replaced.

Conclusion

Like I mentioned earlier, the best part about the mini keg is that the initial cost is low and taking your homebrew on a road trip makes it easier and less messy to share. Once the mini keg is tapped it will last about 3-4 weeks so you have plenty of time to enjoy your homebrew.

 

Jason

About Jason

I'm a home brewing stay-at-home dad of two great boys and am excited to share my experiences exploring the homebrew keg and and everything related to home brewing.

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One Response to The Pros and Cons of The Mini Keg

  1. Kevin May 15, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    The other drawback is that they need to be primed with sugar. They can’t be force carbonated. That means you’re going to have sediment just as you do with bottle conditioned beer. Filling plastic bottles with a counter-pressure filler from a keg gives portability without yeasty beer.

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