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Of Kegs and hand-held chargers

Okay, did not have money for a keg AND a tank/regulator. So I got a keg, and some C02 charges, as a friend gave me his hand-held MFL threaded charger. I used this to purge the keg before putting my Maibok in. How high a PSI can those hand-held units pressure a tank to? Can I use one to carb my Maibok? ... id-89.html

According to the Micromatic site, it takes ~1lb to dispense a 1/2bbl keg. So that should be 1/3lb for 5 gallons. Roughly, I’m thinking it takes the same amount of CO2 to carbonate the beer.

Someone that is a scientist should be able to give the math if Google doesn’t provide the answer.

Those mini CO2 cartridges are going to drain your bank account. A major expense of the gas system is a tank. You can use a paint ball tank. You should be able to find some good deals on tanks on Ebay or at a local PB store.

I know about the chargers, It was just a temporary measure to allow me to put some beer in a keg.

I’m not sure about gas infusion principles, but everyone seems to do it at 30 lbs. If I can find MFL fittings locally, I may rig up a pressure gauge for it, but probably not. I’ll be getting a tank and reg soon anyway.

A volume of CO2 is 1 liter of CO2 at 1 atmosphere in 1 liter of beer. So to carb 5 gallons of beer to 2 3 volumes, you’d need (5 gal = 19L) * 3 = 57 liters of CO2.

The density of carbon dioxide at 1 atmosphere and 0°C (I’m too lazy to bother with adjusting for room temperature, so here’s the point where this back-of-the-envelope calculation starts to go off the rails) is about 2 kilograms per cubic meter. 57L = 0.057 m^3, so for 3 volumes you’re looking to dissolve 114 grams of CO2 into the beer.

Assuming 16 gram cartridges, that means a tetch over 7 cartridges’ worth dissolved into the beer, but you’re probably going to need a lot more than that (I have no idea, let’s say twice as much) to get the pressure in the keg high enough to force that much into the beer.

So assuming a retail price of $0.75/cartridge, let’s say $10 or so worth of cartridges to force carb as a rough estimate.

(And someone should double-check my math, 'cuz my coffee hasn’t kicked in yet.)

Personally, I’d just carb with sugar. And get a paintball tank first, 'cuz I can’t imagine it’s any fun (let alone cost-effective) just trying to get a keg sealed using 16 gram cartridges.

114 grams? Hmm, online converter: 114 gram = 0.251 326 978 89 pound

My napkin calculation was 1/3lb, yours 1/4 (though you mention possibly more). And that is just to carbonate it. Then the same to dispense it.

I would bottle a couple more batches and save up for a regulator. Then for a tank.

Why not use sugar and carbonate right in the keg??

It would be a whole lot cheaper! My experience with the small cartridges is that it takes 3-4 to dispense (NOT CARBONATE) 2 gallons of beer that had been carbonated previously. I have a small keg that I would transfer to for boating weekends. Eventually, I bought several paintball tanks and no longer use the small ones. It because a PIA.

Checkout this design I built. I got the part from Williams Brewing


Ding ding.
I have a similar plan for when I start kegging (probably the next batch)
I’ll use the charger to get a bit of pressure on top, to seal the keg, then let natural carbonation do it’s thing.
To serve, I’ll use the charger and mini-tanks. They’ll of course also come in handy when I need to bring beer somewhere and don’t want to bring the whole rig when I finally get around to (get permission to from SWMBO; get the space to) having a full size tank and kegorator rig.

From what I understand, the first couple pints will be cloudy from the yeast residue in the bottom, though I may try to play with that (carbonate on the side, then slowly turn over and slowly-er stand upright while serving to keep as much of that out of the glasses.)_

If you have the paintball tanks, skip the chargers. Why pay the higher price for the charger verse the PB tank?

Exactly. I assure you that using the chargers is not a sustainable way to approach kegging. A paintball tank would cost more and you need a regulator, but that will ultimately be cheaper than buying tons of cartridges.

I had an interesting occurrence with one of those chargers several years ago… I bought one to take a keg to a party and was hooking it up in the garage. I squeezed the trigger a few times but couldn’t hear any gas going into the keg. So I’m leaning over the thing, looking at it, and squeeze the trigger again… Next thing I hear is what sounds like a gunshot and I feel this searing pain at the top of my chest. There was some sort of occlusion in the connector on the keg and when the pressure in the connector finally built up enough, it blew the top of the connector off and it hit me right on the head of my left clavicle. Freaking hurt, to say the least.

So I’m standing there dazed wondering what the heck happened and my wife comes running out because she heard what she thought was a gunshot. She’s freaking out as I’m pointing at my chest asking, “Can you tell if something went in?” Of course, that didn’t help with the freaking out thing that was going on.

Then my left arm and left side of my face started to tingle and go numb from the vasospasm of the underlying artery. So my wife throws me in the car and we take off for the ER. On the way she’s screaming, “Who should I call??!!” As I was the only surgeon in town at that time, all I could say was , “me.”

Anyway, the spasm resolved and I was fine. If that thing would’ve hit me in the neck I might be drinking my beer through a tube and wearing a diaper right now.

Be careful out there. As they say here in Texas, “There’s a Commanche behind every bush.”

I also have one of these: ... B001VRDV0M

use a 1/4 barb with some tubing and attach it to you ball lock or pin lock fitting and crack the valve to bring up the pressure.
Great for beach trips!

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