The containers we call Ball Lock and Pin Lock Kegs come from the soda business. Also called Cornelius Kegs, Corny Kegs and Corney Kegs, they were initially intended to shop and distribute soft drinks pre-mix. The big soda businesses selected different design containers for their pre-mix. Pepsi landed on the Ball Lock style while Coke uses the Pin Lock style.
Homebrewers have since re-purposed these as homebrew beer kegs.
Initially, It’s essential to comprehend both do the same thing with slightly different and measurements and features. Note: All measurements in this article should be thought about estimated. There are different types and manufacturers of kegs. Their dimensions are typically approximately the same, however, many kegs and producers vary somewhat. There are numerous sizes of kegs available including 2.5, 3, 5, 10 and 15 gallons. This article focuses on the commonly used 5 gallon size.
The first thing you will observe is dimensions – Pin Lock Kegs broader than Ball Lock kegs. Pin Locks can also be smaller than Ball Lock Kegs. Ball Lock on Left, Pin Lock on Right. These two kegs use a ~5 gallon capacity.
Generally speaking… Each Ball Lock and Pin Lock style covers are identical measurement and therefore are exchangeable. You can make use of a Ball Lock Cover over a Pin Lock Keg and vice versa. A huge difference are the PRV (pressure comfort device) features in between the two designs. Have automated safety PRV valves. That is certainly, if the stress gets too much, both will instantly vent for safety reasons. The difference is in handbook PRV functionality.
Ball Lock Keg covers use a pull ring that lets you personally vent the keg as you would like. You may might like to do that just for removing the keg lid or to vent extra pressure so as to get down to some lower pressure. Possessing a manual PRV valve is surely an benefit within my book and also on this count Ball Lock Style kegs win. Once again, they are general statements, check with all the keg’s producer or distributor for particular keg cover dimensions and PRV functionality. Note: There exists another less frequent size of lid/keg psssmu racetrack style. Those are certainly not interchangeable with standard lids.
Because regular Ball Lock and Pin Lock Covers are exchangeable. An excellent update for Pin Lock kegs is to replace Pin Lock design covers with Ball Lock Style Lids. Ball Lock style covers are, in my opinion, superior as the handbook PRV lets you easily vent your keg as needed.
Ball Lock: The two main main post sizes for regular ball lock kegs. 11/16″ and 7/8″”. These can can be found in both 6 point and 12 point, compatible variations. For your bigger 7/8″” posts I’ve observed each 6 point and 12 point designs. A 12 point plug will work on a 6 point article, however, not the other way around. For that smaller sized 11/16″” posts I actually have only seen 6 point. Not to say that 12 point do not exist, I just don’t recall seeing any. I actually have observed a couple other dimensions – 5/8″” and 9/16″”, however i would personally think about these much more uncommon, and low-standard.
This is important from the device point of view. I would recommend a 12 point plug or wrench for bigger 7/8″” posts. Smaller 11/16″” post ought to work with either 6 or 12 point tools. Pin Lock: I am mindful of one standard dimension 13/16″. As mentioned before this involves an exclusive notched plug.