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How much life from a 5lb CO2 tank?

Hi all

I’m new to the forum. I started brewing just about a year ago and recently upgraded to a keg system (love the convenience!!!). I bought a 5lb CO2 tank and went through the whole thing in process of cleaning the kegs and getting two kegs of beer up to desired carbonation level. I was a newb on the cleaning and probably burned more CO2 on that than I will in the future. I just refilled my CO2 and hooked it up and it’s already going through quite a bit of the supply – now down to the top of the red “order gas” indicator on my regulator.

My question is: how much service should I expect to get from a 5lb CO2 tank with two kegs attached to it? I tried some searches on the forum but didn’t have very good luck.

Thanks!
Dug

Sounds like u have a leak, check everything with soapy water. I don’t know how many kegs I get out of one tank but I think about 10+or-

Is the CO2 in the fridge? That makes the level read lower.

Forgive me, but I have to ask: do you know if your regulator requires a washer and (if so) are you using one? Some regulators (e.g., Taprite) have a built-in o-ring and do not require a washer.

What cleaning are you using your CO2 for? Perhaps your process may need some fine-tuning to reduce CO2 usage.

Not sure how long a five pound tank would last doing triple-duty. I use a 20 lb. tank to carbonate and serve 6-8 kegs (each keg lasts 2-4 months) at a time. The last fill lasted about 10 months. I use a secondary 5 lb. tank for other miscellaneous activities, like purging kegs before racking. I usually have to refill the small tank 2-3 times per year.

Definitely sounds like you have a leak. I have a 5 lb with 4 kegs and have kicked 2-3 since the last time I filled a couple months ago. I removed the o-ring from my reg seal and use the felt washers so I can really crank down on that seal. Check all your connections and make sure they’re tight. Use soapy water or spray bottle of starsan to check for leaks. You’ve probably got a loose barb nut somewhere.

I have two 5# tanks which last a year or two but only charge kegs in the keezer which are waiting their turn to go into the kegerator.

My 20# tank runs 6 kegs in the kegerator and lasts 2 years or about 40-60 kegs.

Thanks guys for the responses! I’ll check my fittings for leaks and make sure everything is tightened up well.

For future reference, Micromatic has lots of good info on this type of stuff in their Draft Beer Learning Center
http://www.micromatic.com/keg-beer-learning-center-cid-3076.html
. Here’s the page on Kegs per CO2 tank: http://www.micromatic.com/beer-question … id-89.html

[quote=“CP83”]For future reference, Micromatic has lots of good info on this type of stuff in their Draft Beer Learning Center
http://www.micromatic.com/keg-beer-learning-center-cid-3076.html
. Here’s the page on Kegs per CO2 tank: http://www.micromatic.com/beer-question … id-89.html[/quote]Now THAT is some really interesting info!! Thanks for posting it.

[quote=“CP83”]For future reference, Micromatic has lots of good info on this type of stuff in their Draft Beer Learning Center
http://www.micromatic.com/keg-beer-learning-center-cid-3076.html
. Here’s the page on Kegs per CO2 tank: http://www.micromatic.com/beer-question … id-89.html[/quote]

From that site…

Why is that true for kegged beer and not for bottled beer? I thought a keg is a closed environment with a layer of C02 at the top just like a bottle. I’m not understanding this.

[quote=“mattnaik”]

Why is that true for kegged beer and not for bottled beer? I thought a keg is a closed environment with a layer of C02 at the top just like a bottle. I’m not understanding this.[/quote]

I’m not sure, but they seem to qualify the statements about kegs at 50°F+ on the page about pasteurized and non-pasteurized keg beer

. Pasteurized = no problem if it’s stored at room temp, Non-Pasteurized = transported and stored at less than 50°F from the time they are kegged until they are dispensed.

That being said, I agree…I don’t know why non-pasteurized bottles can be stored at room temp and not result in bacteria growth/spoiling and the same non-pasteurized beer in a keg would be different. I would hope that the kegging process at breweries is just as sanitary as the bottling process with use for home-brew, and the environment inside the key wouldn’t allow anything to spoil.

I do know that if a keg is tapped with a “party-pump” and not on CO2, it needs to be finished within 1 or 2 days because the party-pumps just force air into the keg, and all of the bacteria/microbes/etc (I’m no micro-biologist, so I have no idea if those are the correct terms) in the air start to feast on the beer. Scientifically, I don’t know what’s actually happening, but I do know (from my college years) that after a couple of days, even if it’s kept on ice, a keg on a party-pump gets rotten.

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