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Old 03-15-2012, 05:08 AM   #1
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Default How big is your CO2 Tank?

Currently with the setup I use there is a 20lb CO2 on a charging fridge while a 5lb CO2 tank on a 3 tap tower system (Ice chest, splitter, tank, tower)

We did our first tasting party with that tap tower and ran out of gas half way through the night but had 3 half filled corneys left.

First thought is we have a leak, the second is 5lb might be too small.

What does everyone else use? Or any tips with using a tap tower?

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Old 03-15-2012, 05:18 AM   #2
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I have (2) 5lbs, (1) 8lb, (2) 10lbs, and (1) 20lb

How long they last depends on how you are using them, like if you are force carbonating and serving. You didn't say if you had been using your 5lb prior to the tasting party. A 5lb bottle should be able to dispense at least 6 or 8 (5) gallon kegs of beer. Even using it to force carb you should get close to that. If yours ran out much sooner than that, then you have a leak in the system.

Generally the bigger tanks are better. They last longer, and they become cheaper to fill as they go up in size. It is only a few dollars more to fill a 10lb vs a 5lb, and a few dollars more for a 20lb. The issue becomes the space you have for your bottle, and the amount of money you have to purchase it.

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Old 03-15-2012, 05:25 AM   #3
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I have 2 5lb tanks. It would be nice to a have a larger tank but ..it won't fit in my keezer. Nice to always have a full back up. It sounds like you have a leak. I can get 4-5 kegs force carbed and dispensed on a single 5lb tank.

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Old 03-15-2012, 05:28 AM   #4
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Thanks for the response.

You're probably right with the leak, its really the only thing I can think of. We had filled it before the party and went and had another filled which used about half its gas finishing off the kegs mentioned above.

We just tore apart the air system because of the possible leak and that we were getting a different splitter for the taps. I moved a lot of that hardware to the charging fridge which so far isn't leaking but still watching it closely.

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Old 03-15-2012, 05:58 AM   #5
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I have
[standard aluminum CO2 tanks]
1 20#, 1 10#, 1 5#, 2 2.5#
[paintball tanks]
2 20oz, 1 16oz and 2 12oz

I use 2.5 and 3 gallon kegs. It took me a while to go through the first 5# tank of CO2. Since then, I picked up the 20# and 10# tank. The 20# is feeding the kegs in the brew fridge. The 10# is it's 'backup' tank. I use the 2.5# and paintball tanks for either pushing finished brew from fermenter to serving kegs, or to transfer to one of my aging kegs. I also use the 2.5# tanks to push cleaning/sanitizing solutions through the beer line/hose when a keg kicks.

I believe that a 5# CO2 tank should carbonate, and serve, several 5 gallon kegs. I had a leak in my gas side initially, which is why the first fillup of the 5# tank didn't last as long as it should have. To find the leaks, I simply set the regulator to feed 20+ psi through the system and then listened for the leaks. At 20-30psi a small leak will make itself known. I found the culprits to be the worm clamps I was using to hold the gas line to the fittings. I changed those for Oetiker clamps leaks have become a thing of the past. I also use MFL fittings (and swivel nuts) wherever possible on both the liquid and gas sides. This makes it easier to change things, repair the system, or break it down as needed.

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Old 03-15-2012, 09:30 AM   #6
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+1 to what Golddiggie said. At 20 psi you should be able to hear where you are losing co2 by listening by all your connections. You can also "paint" your connections with a diswashing liquid solution, or a leak detecting solution, or even starsan and watch for bubbles.

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Old 03-15-2012, 12:46 PM   #7
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I have a 20lb for my lager/carb fridge (where i'll push 30 to force carbonate, then down to 12 to normalize), two 5lb for the four tap kegerator, to serve with at 12 psi all the time. These last a while. You definitely have a leak. The soapy water/starsan is great. I had a hell of a time tracking down a leak until using that. Couldn't hear it, but could see it eventually!

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Old 03-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #8
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Yeah, you gotta have a leak. I have a 5# with three taps and I typically fill it up twice a year.

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Old 03-15-2012, 02:49 PM   #9
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Right now I have one 5 # tank for my 2 tap kegerator. I plan on picking up another 5 # tank as a backup. Would go with a bigger tank but I don't want to have to keep the tank outside the frig.

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Old 03-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #10
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I have a 5lb. tank that I force carb and serve with. I also use it to push cleaning solution, rinse water and starsan through my system every time I keg a new beer. I am on my third keg now. So it stands to reason a full 5lb. tank should be able to serve 3 kegs no problem. You have a leak, plain and simple. Starsan in a spray bottle will be your best friend,

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