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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > 5 lb. CO2 bottle question
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:09 PM   #1
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Default 5 lb. CO2 bottle question

My first time kegging.I have read that a 5 lb. CO2 bottle can be used on about 15-20, 5 gallon kegs before it gets empty.I put a new bottle on last night,no leaks can be found,I discharghed about 8-10 beers from a 5 gallon keg.The bottle was at about 750-800 psi when full.I did notice it drop about 100 psi after it got cold.My bottle is arround 500 psi noe,I can't see it lasting more than 2-3 kegs at most.How long can I expect a 5 lb. bottle to last.I was at about 10 psi to discharge my beer,is that to high??Where should I be.

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:22 PM   #2
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The pressure drops a lot when it gets cold. Don't worry about it. I keep mine at 12 psi but there is a little trial and error and tweeking depending on your guage. Don't turn it down to that pressure. Instead turn it down and then back up to pressure. Using keg lube on the o-rings, mine lasts for months.

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Old 08-19-2012, 03:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Briano
My first time kegging.I have read that a 5 lb. CO2 bottle can be used on about 15-20, 5 gallon kegs before it gets empty.I put a new bottle on last night,no leaks can be found,I discharghed about 8-10 beers from a 5 gallon keg.The bottle was at about 750-800 psi when full.I did notice it drop about 100 psi after it got cold.My bottle is arround 500 psi noe,I can't see it lasting more than 2-3 kegs at most.How long can I expect a 5 lb. bottle to last.I was at about 10 psi to discharge my beer,is that to high??Where should I be.
The pressure reading on the high side of the gauge changes with temperature. It drops a lot when you put the bottle in the fridge. It will stay at that new level for months. When the bottle is very near empty it will start dropping a bit everyday.

PS. If you are force carbing your beer you will get more like 5-7 5 gallon kegs per 5 lb bottle. The number you quote is for already carbed (naturally carbed) kegs.
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Old 08-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #4
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I am still on my first fill of my 5# CO2 tank. I've had six beers and one Ginger Ale Soda on tap (over 5 months), and it's still going. I don't bother to read the bottle pressure gauge, it seem wildly inaccurate at 35F.

I was dispensing at 15psi but that seems a bit high for my short (3-4') lines. I just lowered it to 10psi.

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:09 PM   #5
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The gauges are kind of useless inside the kegerator.

I have 2 5# bottles. I use one for pressurizing and the other for serving.

My serving bottle is still going strong after more than a year. I've run about a dozen kegs through it. I keep it at ~10 psi.

The other bottle had to be refilled a few weeks ago. I use it for purging and force carbing. You go through a lot of CO2 that way. If you naturally carb your beers the 5# tank will last a long time.

BTW - last time I filled a CO2 bottle it cost me $9. I just paid $19. What happened? Did CO2 prices spike or something?

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Old 08-19-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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I filled co2 (5# bottle) about 3 weeks ago for $14. The time before that (in the spring) co2 was $5.

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Old 04-18-2013, 08:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alestateyall View Post
I filled co2 (5# bottle) about 3 weeks ago for $14. The time before that (in the spring) co2 was $5.
I just called my local gas dist and here in WA state it's $15.80 +tax for an exchange.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-boy View Post
The gauges are kind of useless at any temperature below 90F.
FTFY.

Below 90F, the high-pressure gauge may as well be a temperature gauge, assuming we're at less than 100% rated fill on the cylinder.

It'll stay very steady at 500 PSI until the last 15% of the tank. I pull mine once it hits about 50-100 PSI. Edit: I'm assuming storage is at 39F.

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Originally Posted by Howiedw View Post
I just called my local gas dist and here in WA state it's $15.80 +tax for an exchange.
I pay $22 for a 5# refill or $28 for a 20# refill. You can easily see that labor is the bulk of the price.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thadius856
You can easily see that labor is the bulk of the price.
Labor and transportation. They have to truck co2 in to most locations.
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Old 04-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alestateyall View Post
Labor and transportation. They have to truck co2 in to most locations.
Labor is assumed to be included in the materials price.

In my case, it's 40 cents per # of CO2 to manufacture and transport with markup. And $20 labor to fill, regardless of size.
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