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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > How low of psi until I should refill
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:27 PM   #1
MrWhleDr
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Default How low of psi until I should refill

I have a #20 tank that is at about 750psi. I am wondering when I should exchange the tank so that I dont run out one night with no access to another. I know a second tank would be ideal I force carb and serve at 12 psi. Have carbed and served 60 gallons with this tank. I have only forced at 30psi with 2 or 3 kegs. When does everyone decide its time to exchange/refill so that you know you can continue serving? Thanks

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:31 PM   #2
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I just keep a second tank around for swaps and never run out. Like propane tanks.

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
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The high pressure gauge on a CO2 regulator is pretty much useless.

It will show a constant pressure until the tank is literally almost empty, and then it will drop really fast. This is because CO2 is stored in liquid form in the tank. As long as there is any liquid in there, it will be the same pressure. Only when the liquid is all gone and you are down to the last bit of CO2 will the gauge start to change.

I just fill when it empties. IN fact, I dropped my tank a year or two ago and busted the hell out of the high pressure gauge, so I don't even have one on my regulator anymore.

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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Keep a spare or assume that when the pressure gauge drops you have minutes to hours or a day depending on usage. More than likely it will run out Saturday night so you have to wait until Monday for new gas. I bought two extra 5#'s on Craigslist for very little $$$ and it including regulators.

btw - weigh the tank and subtract the tare number from the tank.

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Old 08-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
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btw - weigh the tank and subtract the tare number from the tank.
I've always wondered.... does that tare weight include the valve? I know it does not include the regulator, but was unsure about the valve.

My guess is that it DOES include the valve, because it would be pretty hard to make use of the tare weight if you had to unscrew the valve on top.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:06 PM   #6
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On my 20# tank when the pressure starts to drop I have a little less than 2# left. (10% of a new fill) I use about 2.5# a month. That means when the pressure drops I have about 3 weeks to go. I weigh my tank when new and subtract the tare weight, so far the tare weight included the valve. If I weigh the full tank and valve with a tare of 28# it will show 48# when full. I then add my regulator and use a hanging grain scale to get the new weight. I write it on paper and tape it to the cylinder with the date. Any time I question how much I have left I simply hang the tank and regulator on the scale. I use the same grain scale to track propane use and to weigh bulk grains.

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Old 08-30-2011, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker View Post
The high pressure gauge on a CO2 regulator is pretty much useless.

It will show a constant pressure until the tank is literally almost empty, and then it will drop really fast. This is because CO2 is stored in liquid form in the tank. As long as there is any liquid in there, it will be the same pressure. Only when the liquid is all gone and you are down to the last bit of CO2 will the gauge start to change.

I just fill when it empties. IN fact, I dropped my tank a year or two ago and busted the hell out of the high pressure gauge, so I don't even have one on my regulator anymore.

I did the exact same thing not long ago. As long as there are no leaks, I don't really care about the high-pressure gauge; it was never accurate anyway.

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I just keep a second tank around for swaps and never run out. Like propane tanks.
Those tanks are pricey, no? I use this and this. I have them around anyway for camping trips and such, so when my CO2 tank dies, I use that to dispense until I have time to get the tank refilled. Just another option if the OP is interested.......
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I use about 2.5# a month.
Holy cow! My 5# tank lasts me about a year.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I use about 2.5# a month.
Dude, you either drink an ungodly amount of beer or you have a leak somewhere. Unless you use your CO2 to rack beer, I can't see how you could use that much.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:25 PM   #10
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Although the high pressure gauge can't tell you much, it can tell you when you are nearly out. When the pressure hits 300 psi (whether you keep it in the kegger or outside) there is no more liquid CO2 in the tank. At that point, you can still serve a keg, but you wouldn't be able to force carbonate. (well, maybe with a 20# tank).

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