Well, it’s been a while since we’ve posted any fresh content here but we’re back! This post is particularly for all you homebrewers out there that either already keg, or maybe you are looking to switch from bottling over to kegging and are in the market for kegs. You could always go the “used” route and our favorite retailer, Kegconnection, has got those in stock OR maybe (like us) you’ve got your eyes set on a shiny brand NEW keg. Kegconnection just released a statement on their site and homebrew forum, homebrewtalk, regarding the arrival of their new kegs with some interesting literature on them compared to the cheaper Chinese kegs some retailers are offering. The whole release is below and is also available for download here.
AEB Kegs Made in Italy, 5 Gallon, 3 Gallon and 2.5 Gallon
vs Chinese made kegs entering the Market
AEB of Italy
These are the top of the line soda style keg on the market. They are made in Italy by AEB. They have been manufacturing these kegs in Italy since 1989 and their focus is on top notch quality. Here are some of the benefits and qualifications of these kegs:
- 304 Stainless Steel
- NSF Approved for Beverage use.
- Serial Numbers on each part with sanitary welds.
- ISO 9000
- MAA Approval by Coca Cola
- Manufactured by AEB since 1989 (23 years!)
***Note concerning Chinese kegs that have entered the market.***
When we decided to bring new kegs into Kegconnection we looked at four different manufactures. Three of these were from China and the forth was AEB in Italy. Of the four kegs the AEB stood out as the clear winner. At first our plan was to select one Chinese company in addition to AEB in order to have some choices for our customers. We found serious issues with all of the Chinese kegs we tested. Here are some of the issues we ran into:
- Some of the Chinese companies claimed their kegs were 304 stainless, but in testing them we found they were not.
- Many of the welds were not sanitary and I believe would have issues in the future.
- They failed much too soon in the high pressure test. None of them failed before the 130 PSI, but vessels that hold pressure are supposed to withstand much more pressure than they are rated for in order to be safe.
- They have no food or beverage grade approvals. This means that they are not authorized for this use in the United States or Canada for beverage and no one has independently verified that the materials being used are safe for this purpose.
- They are not ISO 9000 Certified. While this is not in my opinion always necessary I believe it is when dealing with a pressure vessel.
- The companies that manufacture these kegs could not provide me with any type of insurance in the USA or Canada. This is of great concern to me as a business owner because if someone were to have an issue that caused harm I believe it would be very difficult to get any type of help from a small Chinese company without insurance.
- Many of the Chinese kegs had very different parts that were not at all compatible with kegs currently on the market. I believe this is a serious problem because we have no idea which of these companies will be successful in making kegs and parts will be practically impossible to find for any that don’t make it.