Thanks for the reply. Been reading a lot but have not had much time for posting/questioning the group.
Let's see. I was given a 5lb. tank full of CO2 with a high/low indicator regulator. You will have to forgive me for not having the terminology of the Sanke stuff down yet...
I am into (since the OP post above) my 6th or 7th fill of the half barrel. I have started doing 10-12 gallon batches (doubling up on my 5 gallon carboys) to reduce the CO@ it takes to carb the empty space in such a large vessel.
I am going through about 5 kegs full of brew before I have a refill of that 5lb -er. A tip I got from a local guy here showed me to make sure the keg is perfectly sealed (I have gone to ring clips as compared to that pain in the neck ring clamp), and then "sip" CO2 into the keg only as needed -- after it has absorbed all the CO2 it needs, and keeping the keg colder than drinking to help the absorption. Ling story short, I blast a few pounds into the keg as the flow starts to go down - and after a pour (Arogant Bastard clone) of whatever I have, I let it warm in the glass for a few minutes to get all the flavor.
A bit unorthodox, but I can't stand waist - it is a compulsion of mine. Efficiency is a sickness for me almost.
Anyway, I hope this gets us started. I'm happy to share anything I can - good or bad : )