I recently invested in an 128oz mini-keg that fits in my fridge door. This lets me serve my homebrewed beer more conveniently than filling individual bottles. The downside is you can't tell at a glance how many more servings are in the keg.
The solution? I weighed the keg empty (~ 4 pounds) and now I can weigh the keg, subtract 4, and since a pint's a pound the world around, the number of pounds is approximately the number of pints left (in this case 5 pints).
@raymondpost Unfortunately filling this mini-keg with carbonated beer from a larger keg isn't an exact science. Due to the need to regulate pressure to reduce foaming, but release pressure to allow it to fill, it doesn't get consistently full to the brim, instead I stop filling it once foam gets to the top.
@kyle I've been tempted to buy some mini-kegs for a while now, as for me bottling is the worst part of homebrewing.
Did you have any other inconvenience/problem so far with mini-kegs?
@draane Are you bottling directly from finished beer and carbonating in bottle, or do you already have a larger keg you carbonate in?
In my case I have the latter, and was filling bottles under pressure from a picnic tap attached to a larger corny keg in a fridge in my garage. Filling one min-keg is much easier.
The main inconvenience with this mini-keg is the need to re-pressurize the keg via the regulator and CO2 cartridge after each pour. But it only takes a second.
@kyle I'm carbonating in bottle. I started homebrewing just over a year ago so I have only the very basic equipment.
Is one CO2 cartridge enough to pour a complete keg or do you need multiple ones?
@draane A full-size corny keg kit w/ large CO2 tank might be better for carbonating the beer, and then can think about serving beer (maybe with mini-keg) later.
For a typical 5g batch you would need multiple of these mini-kegs, and at least one CO2 tank/keg to force carb (or you could seal keg and use yeast, like it was a large bottle) over 2-3 weeks, and another CO2 to serve. Cost adds up compared to regular corny keg setup + 1 mini-keg.
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@kyle Couldn't you just keep track of the number of pints you pour? Seems like less work. Enjoy the beer. You've got a great setup.