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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Short CO2 Tank Life?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:42 PM   #1
scruff311
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Default Short CO2 Tank Life?

I just refilled my CO2 tank for the first time since originally setting up my kegerator 7 or 8 months ago. The first tank only lasted us 5 cornys. Beverage Factory (where I bought all of my equipment from) says a 5lb tank should last like 12 half-barrels! I didn't even get through 1! I am trying to figure out the problem.

I have no visible/audible leaks. I've fastened the clamps as tight as possible on all hoses. The regulator nut I can only tighten by hand because I don't have a wrench large enough to tighten further. Should I pick up a large enough wrench regardless even though it does not appear to be the problem? What steps should I take to track down the issue?

Thanks.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by scruff311 View Post
I just refilled my CO2 tank for the first time since originally setting up my kegerator 7 or 8 months ago. The first tank only lasted us 5 cornys. Beverage Factory (where I bought all of my equipment from) says a 5lb tank should last like 12 half-barrels! I didn't even get through 1! I am trying to figure out the problem.

I have no visible/audible leaks. I've fastened the clamps as tight as possible on all hoses. The regulator nut I can only tighten by hand because I don't have a wrench large enough to tighten further. Should I pick up a large enough wrench regardless even though it does not appear to be the problem? What steps should I take to track down the issue?

Thanks.
I think you should be able to dispense roughly 2 kegs per # of CO2. You definitely need that regulator nut tight. Have you sprayed all the connections with soapy water to check for leaks?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #3
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It takes more co2 to carb and push beer than it does to just push beer.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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Soapy water, brush it onto everything from your tank valve back down to your gas disconnects, with pressure at like 50psi. Move the shut off valve, shift around the tubes, do whatever movements would normally occur on your tank setup.

This will show you where any failings are, if there are any.

Check your kegs too, with your gas disconnects on it and pressure high, see if you get any leaking from the kegs.

If nothing shows anywhere, it could be you got a low-fill on that first tank.

I've got two 5 pounders and they stretched themselves for a full year or more, some 120+ gallons and a lot of pushing sanitizer and stuff. One of them is just on it's last legs now, the other I had to refill at around the year mark, maybe 3 months back.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:49 PM   #5
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You can track down leaks with a spray bottle of soapy water when the gear is pressurised.
I would recomend getting a spanner to tighten the reg nut.
Also when they say it will last 12 sankes I think they are just refering to pushing the beer out (5# tank?). Depdnding on CO2 volumes I think it is around the 5-10 cornys mark that a 5# tank usually lasts, a lot depends on how you purge, other uses, etc. though.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scruff311 View Post
Beverage Factory (where I bought all of my equipment from) says a 5lb tank should last like 12 half-barrels!
Pushing beer from a pre-carbonated, prepackaged half barrel keg, that will probably be stored ice cold and pushed out at 10 or so PSI, uses much less CO2 than a non-carbonated Corny keg, with a couple rounds of purging, stored at 40 degrees and pushed at 12 or so PSI. The general rule of thumb is 1-2 corny kegs per pound of CO2. As others mentioned, you didn't say the size of your tank. If it's a 5 pound tank, you did OK. Look for small leaks, and try to eliminate any excessive venting (generally caused by overcarbonating or having a serving pressure that's below the carbing pressure), since that just wastes CO2.

And FWIW, a half barrel is about 3 corny kegs. So you got through more than one.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:30 PM   #7
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Yes, it's a 5# tank. Didn't realize that I left out that detail. Good point about the carbonating AND pushing requiring more gas. That hadn't crossed my mind. That might be the difference right there. Still haven't had time to do the soapy water trick.

Will a 1-1/8" wrench do the trick? Largest I have is 7/8". Even though I don't hear or see any gas leaking out from the reg nut.

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Old 02-06-2013, 03:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by scruff311 View Post
Yes, it's a 5# tank. Didn't realize that I left out that detail. Good point about the carbonating AND pushing requiring more gas. That hadn't crossed my mind. That might be the difference right there. Still haven't had time to do the soapy water trick.

Will a 1-1/8" wrench do the trick? Largest I have is 7/8". Even though I don't hear or see any gas leaking out from the reg nut.
Yeah just checked and it looks to be 1 1/8" Just get yourself a 10 inch or 12 inch crescent wrench. Always good to have around.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:25 PM   #9
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Will a 1-1/8" wrench do the trick? Largest I have is 7/8". Even though I don't hear or see any gas leaking out from the reg nut.
How did you tighten it the first time? By hand? That might be the issue.

I don't think 5 kegs sounds too far off of what I get actually.. not positive, but it sounds close. Best bet is to just find a cheap place for fills and not worry about it.

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Old 02-07-2013, 12:30 AM   #10
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Thats why i have two tanks now

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