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December 1, 2020

Corny Keg Parts-Understanding the Cornelius Keg

The Cornelius keg is a great addition to a bar or restaurant. It dispenses alternative products like coffee, beer or cocktail recipes. Understanding all of the corny keg parts will help you maximize the full functionality of this dispensing equipment.

If you would like a full rundown on draft beer fundamentals go here... 

After this post, you’ll have a full understanding of corny keg parts and the functionality of this keg. Hopefully, it will add some ideas or new products to better serve customers.  Let's get going.

Cornelius Keg Parts

Picture of a Corny Keg

Head Shot of a Cornelius Keg

Corny keg couplers

First off, there are different styles of couplers that are used for corny kegs. First off is the ball lock coupler. There’s a "gas in" coupler colored grey and there’s a black coupler for "product out". These couplers have a ¼” barbed fitting on the back end to attach airline and product too. Sometimes they will have screw on nut and hose fitting, but the hose fitting stays the same at a 1/4" I.D barb fitting.

Not all Cornelius kegs are set up for ball lock couplers, as described above. They’re others that are set-up with Pin Lock post parts. Like below.

Ball Lock Vs Pin Lock 

Picture of Ball Lock Vs Pin Lock Couplers

Pinlock and Balllock Corny keg couplers

Each corny keg has coupler attachments. Some come with coupler attachments for ball lock couplers and others come set up for pin lock couplers. I don’t think one is superior than the other. It’s more about a personal feel.

In the past I've set up cold brew and Nitro coffee systems. I’ve used ball lock couplers for those kegs and they work great. Inside the ball lock couplers there are 4 ball bearings that lock the coupler onto the keg post. 

For the pinlock couplers, they have knotches on the bottom of them where you can slide the coupler on and twist until the coupler locks into place.

Liquid “Out” Post Gas “In” Post

These are the two posts on-top of the keg and usually you can see “IN” on one side which is for the gas. Opposite is the “OUT” post for product delivered. Remember these posts will be set up for ball lock couplers or pin lock couplers. Make sure to you have the right coupler for the right keg.

Keg Lid

This lid has a handle you can unlock when you need to fill the cornelius keg with product. You can lift and pull handle up to unlock the lid. As you can see in the picture above. If the keg is still pressurized make sure you pull the pressure relief valve on top. It has the ring attached to it on top of the lid. Depressurize the keg then pull the handle up this should unlock the lid and you can pull it out of the keg.

Corny Keg o-rings

These are the gaskets that line the posts on ball lock and pin lock kegs. There is also a large o-ring for the keg lid. Now it’s important to know about these because from time to time they will need replacement. 

Replacement packs can be found on Amazon, and other on-line stores.  Here's a link here for you to get some here.

Specs of a Corny Keg

Cornelius kegs hold five gallons or 640 oz when full. They are very similar to sixth barrels, but just a touch smaller. The height of the keg is 23 inches with an overall weight of approximately 50 lbs.

What makes the cornelius keg so great is its utility to carry a multitude of products.


After reading the information you have a full understanding of corny keg parts and how they are used. There’s not a lot to it. In my experience people use or buy used corny kegs more often.  They can just replace the parts when needed.

However, there are always people wanting brand new ones.

Here's a link for 2 brand new stainless steel ball lock cornelius kegs here.  The corny keg is a workhorse in the dispensing industry, and can offer other products for customers at establishments.

If you have any questions you can reach me herePlease visit the Draft Beer Dispense Blog for more information on dispensing draft beer.

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About the author

My name is Kyle, I've been building, designing and installing commercial beer systems for 10 years all over the country. From small mom and pop places to some of the largest casinos and stadiums in the country. I've learned a thing or two and want to share it.

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