28 Jan 2010

Kegs: Stainless vs Plastic


I’ve been doing a lot of research regarding kegs. There are pretty much three directions we can go. Buy brand new kegs from a distributor via China, buy used kegs off of an other brewery, or buy new plastic kegs.

Pros: Durability, preconceptions that the beer tastes better from steel, highly conductive, cheap when used.
Cons: Heavy, high scrap value, home brewer’s delight, expensive when new.
Pros: Light-weight, stackable, made in California, will not be stolen by devious home brewers, reasonably priced when new.
Cons: Misconceptions about taste, not as cool looking as steel, slower to cool down, cannot be turned into a brutus brew system.
What do you think? Plastic or Stainless?
5 Responses to Kegs: Stainless vs Plastic
  1. Ive never head of plastic kegs but that thing looks pretty cool. All about looks.

  2. Steel will last decades, while that same cannot be said for plastic. Plastic is not as durable as metal, metal kegs will last for decades while plastic the jury is still out.

    You also would potentially need to educate people about them, which might inhibit their adoption. However, on the flip side, this might be a marketing point you could use.

    Also, you could use plastic in a HERMs system, so I could see a homebrewer potentially wanting to use them.

    If it were me, I would do what Sierra Nevada did, buy used kegs and paint them until they got big enough to get there own.

  3. I think “slower to cool down” is the tipping factor. This would be bad for scaling up production. Seems like the best idea is to buy cheap, used steel.

  4. We bought SS new, then some SS used, and also some of the plastic ones new. All work just fine. New plastic was about 30 bux less than SS. Would have been even cheeper but we had to get them shipped to PA.

    Breaker Brewing Company

  5. I would choose SS. Less likely to be damaged to the point of leaking. Also the two plastic kegs I have seen (Tailgate) do not fit inside a standard kegerator…not sure if you will be selling kegs to individuals?


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