A Cornelius keg or also known as a corny keg is typically made out of a metal and is a very popular keg amongst home brewers. They are often used a lot in home brewing due to the fact they’re easier to clean and maintain than the industry standard sanke keg.
Cornelius Keg

The corny keg was originally designed and built by the soft drink industry to hold and allow the transportation of soda. These were referred to as a soda keg however now the industry has moved to the cheaper plastic bag/cardboard box combination. You will now find that all of the kegs that were once used by these companies are now all pretty much owned and by members of the home brewing community.

There are two major different types of connections for this type of keg and that is the pin lock and the ball lock both which I will mention more on a bit more further down. Coca-Cola were the main users of the pin lock whilst Pepsi used the ball lock. The ball lock remains as the preferred method of connecting the keg’s up by most home brewers.

As you could imagine storing beer in a keg is a much better alternative than storing it in bottles. This is mainly due to the fact that you’re able to store and drink your beer faster. It is also a lot easier to maintain and keep clean a keg setup rather than lots of bottles. The only downside is the upfront costs of setting everything up so that you can dispense beer from a keg. You will find that it is a lot more expensive than just buying some bottles.

Cornelius Keg Parts

The basic build of a Cornelius keg is similar to most other kegs and consists of two ports that are able to be opened once a hose with the correct fitting has been attached. The connectors that are able to be attached to the ports can either be a pin-lock or a ball lock depending on the style you prefer. However, these are not interchangeable and will need a conversion kit to use the alternative type of lock.

The most popular keg attachment is the ball lock and it is used for both the gas and liquid lines. This is popular mainly because it is a lot easier to remove from the keg after use.

Corny Keg Parts

You will find that pin locks tend to get stuck and can be quite hard when you go to remove them. On the other hand, ball locks are easy to accidently put on the wrong connection. Placing the gas line onto the liquid connector can cause quite a few issues as well as no drink being dispensed.

Also located in the middle of the keg is a pressure relief valve and can be used to reduce the amount of pressure in the keg. This is handy if the keg becomes over pressurised or you need to remove the connectors.

As with pretty much any keg you will need to make sure you have a Co2 tank to hook up the keg. Without it you won’t be able to dispense your beer. If you can’t afford one or it’s just not very convenient then I recommended trying out an air pump. However, air pumps will spoil your beer very fast and aren’t recommend if you don’t plan on finishing the keg all in one go.

When it comes to cleaning it is important to make sure the keg and all the parts get a good clean and are sanitised correctly. Without proper cleaning your beer may become infected or contaminated with bacteria that can ruin a good batch of beer in no time at all.

If you’re after Cornelius keg parts, then you can find plenty of parts from a quality online vendor. Alternatively, you can find them also at any good home brewing store or keg supplier.

Corny Keg Dimensions

The corny keg dimensions’ range depending on the variation that you are looking at. As you can imagine there are plenty of different sized kegs each with their own pros and cons. The most popular variation sits in at about 23” x 9”. However, you can get many other variations that can hold more or less beer and of course have different dimensions.

You will notice that they all roughly have the same diameter and you will find that it’s mainly the height that will change. This is important to keep in mind if you need to place the keg into a spot where there are size restrictions.

Below is a table of the most common corny keg dimensions.

Gallons/LitresDiameterHeight
2.3 G/ 9 L8.25”15”
3 G/ 11 L8.5”17”
5 G/ 18 L8.5”24.75”
10 G/ 37 L12”25”

As you can see the amount of beer the Cornelius keg can hold varies from about 9 litres (2.3 gallons) right up to about 37 litres (10 gallons). It also has the two intermediate sizes. This means depending on how much home brew you want to produce will likely influence your choice in keg. A lot of kits you will find on sale will produce anything from 8 litres (2 gallons) right up to 23 litres (6 gallons).

You’re able to find corny kegs for sale at many online and offline vendors. If you do plan on shopping offline, then your best bet is to go to a keg retailer or a specialised home brewing store.

If you decide to go to an online shop I recommend somewhere such as Amazon where you can see reviews and much more on the specific keg.

If you’re an avid user of the Cornelius keg and would love to share your thoughts on them and if I have missed anything in this guide, then feel free to leave a comment below.

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