Empty C02 canisters at an old bar

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el Jammo

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Hey all, this is my first post here on the forum. I'm a college student and am interested in getting my own brewing setup going in the fall and have been using this site as a resource for my future brewing endeavors.

Anyways, I've read about the convenience of kegging versus bottling, but figured that I would definitely start with bottling foremost because it seems like the most basic way to get into brewing, and also because of the increased capital involved in kegging.

Well onto my question: I'm working for Barack Obama as a campaign organizer here in Chapel Hill, and our office is located in an old bar. Just for kicks the other day, I wanted to see if there were any kegs left over under the bar. No kegs, but I did find two C02 canisters strapped to the bar. They look pretty dated, evidenced by sugar stains the stickers being slightly faded.

Neither of them have regulators, but the valve threads look to be fine. Both bottles are labeled for C02 with the non-flammable green sticker, and on the side of one of the bottles it says 'property of Coca-Cola bottling company'.

This got me to thinking about how much the bottles could help me cut down on the price of a kegging setup if I'm interested in it after bottle brewing, but I'm really lost as to the value of the bottles themselves.

Obviously they're used, and without regulators, so I have no idea what the worth of a bottle is without a regulator, and how much this would actually help cut the cost of a kegging setup. Any information that you guys have on this would be greatly appreciated.

Also, I'm pretty sure that high pressure containers have to get hydro-tested in NC, and that the serial codes printed on the bottles can help reveal when they're certified until. Do any of you know what serial number will reveal the date that they're good until?

Thanks for your help,

Tony
 
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mmb said:
He ain't stealing, he's makin' a change!

:rolleyes:
Well I would "hope" so, otherwise the "audacity" of it is appalling!

To the OP, you haven't told us the size and construction (steel vs aluminum) of the tanks, but here are some price references from Beverage Factory.

If the tanks are truly abandonded, I suppose there is no harm in you "adopting" them, but I'll leave the ethical decisions up to you! :D
 
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el Jammo

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Oh, I'm not stealing the tanks.

Me taking the tanks is entirely conditional on permission from the landlord, but the tanks are definitely abandoned. The bar closed a while ago and we're currently leasing the place.

I appreciate your concerns, so to make it clear: I'm not stealing the tanks. They are abandoned. I'm only taking them with permission from the person that owns the property.

About aluminum vs steel, I'm no metal expert, but I want to say that they're steel. They're pretty heavy and have a 'speckled' appearance to them, in that the metal appears scaled when the light on it changes.

Edit:

To Blindlemon: thanks for the link to the beverage factory. That sure helps with prices. Is a 20lb tank defined by being able to hold 20lbs of C02?

I'm thinking they're either 15 or 20 lb tanks, because I think they're a little over 2 feet tall. I'll snap a picture of them and their serial numbers tomorrow to see if that will reveal anything else about their nature.
 

BrewDoc_Md

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The OP is not stealing, he's recycling! Giving poor, abandoned, unwanted tanks a new purpose and meaning in life. It's the American dream!

I love the idea of a campaign headquarters in a bar. You should suggest changing Obama's slogan from "Yes We Can" to "YES WE KEG!"
 

kinison_fan

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In this poor economy...people get bitter, and turn to kegs and homebrewing....
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Or, something like that.
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If they are given to you, get a hydro test and you should be good to go...
 

Yooper

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Some people here have mentioned that some gas companies won't fill a tank that says, "Property of Coca-Cola" on them, and some will. If they are free, you could certainly try.
 

gaffrig24

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I just swapped out an old coke CO2 bottle for a new one. It cost me $16 for the exchange and there were no questions ever asked. The tank was last tested in 95 and was given to me from a vending machine guy. Now it's back in the system, it can be turned in to coke by the place that fills them for a deposit or just tested and filled again. What's the harm in retuning it to service?
 
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el Jammo

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YooperBrew said:
Some people here have mentioned that some gas companies won't fill a tank that says, "Property of Coca-Cola" on them, and some will. If they are free, you could certainly try.
I thought that could have some bearing on getting them filled, but only one of the tanks has this printed on it.

Also, I read something last night from one the link someone posted about how many kegs of beer one of these tanks will fill, and realized that a 15 or 20lb tank will fill a lot more kegs than I expected.

Is there any reason that I would have for getting both tank besides getting twice as many fills?

gaffrig24 said:
I just swapped out an old coke CO2 bottle for a new one. It cost me $16 for the exchange and there were no questions ever asked. The tank was last tested in 95 and was given to me from a vending machine guy. Now it's back in the system, it can be turned in to coke by the place that fills them for a deposit or just tested and filled again. What's the harm in retuning it to service?
What type of business did you go through?
 
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el Jammo said:
Is there any reason that I would have for getting both tank besides getting twice as many fills?
Oh, absolutely! I have three tanks & regulators: one in my kegerator, one for slowly force-carbing in my beer storage fridge and one backup. A spare is also real handy for the actual process of kegging, as you need to purge kegs with Co2 and seal their lids with a shot of high pressure.

Most likely, the tanks belong to the beverage distributor that serviced the bar, and not your landlord. Still...I very much doubt they have any intention of collecting them, or are even aware of them. You'd probably be saving the tanks from a landfill or scrap-yard, I say put them to good use.

Good luck on the 6th! (He's up 15.5 points in the polls, I think it's in the bag.)
 
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el Jammo

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BlindLemonLars said:
Oh, absolutely! I have three tanks & regulators: one in my kegerator, one for slowly force-carbing in my beer storage fridge and one backup. A spare is also real handy for the actual process of kegging, as you need to purge kegs with Co2 and seal their lids with a shot of high pressure.

Most likely, the tanks belong to the beverage distributor that serviced the bar, and not your landlord. Still...I very much doubt they have any intention of collecting them, or are even aware of them. You'd probably be saving the tanks from a landfill or scrap-yard, I say put them to good use.
Alright. I'll see what the landlord has to say about them and then make a decision.


BlindLemonLars said:
Good luck on the 6th! (He's up 15.5 points in the polls, I think it's in the bag.)
Thanks.

olllllo said:
http://www.catalinacylinders.com/markco2.html

OP: Might have been wiser to leave out all of the extraneous details out.
Thanks for the link, and well said. Different forums go different ways I suppose.
 
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