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Is co2 tank required for kegging

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jchancey

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I recall be at a keg party where there was a pump on the keg to creat pressure to draw the beer out.

If you naturally carbonate the beer with priming sugar is co2 tank required? I ask because I have a line on a 5 gallon tank for the price of an equivalent amount of bottles. I would rather have the keg but dont really want to drop all the money at once.
 

Sloppy Sam

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A CO2 tank is not required if you are going to naturally carbonate in the keg by adding priming sugar. However, if you use a pump dispenser you will be allowing oxygen into your keg. This means that your beer will oxidize.

With a keg party setup the keg is usually completely drained in a matter of hours so the oxidation isn't an issue. If you plan on dispensing the keg over days or weeks you want some sort of CO2 set up to push the beer out of the keg without allowing it to oxidize.

If you don't want to buy a CO2 tank they do sell those kits that use BB gun CO2 cannisters but in the long run you are just much better off buying the tank. It will cost much less and give you a whole lot more flexibility like being able to carbonate soda, and serve multiple kegs at the same time.
 

Fingers

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The CO2 generated by priming with sugar isn't enough to discharge the entire contents. Your beer will get flatter and flatter as you go. If you use an air pump, you pretty much have to drink the entire keg in an evening.

There is one exception and that is the beer engine. Authentic English ales are often served using a pump to force air into a cask. The pubs that serve this kind of product still need to turn over a keg every day or so to keep the product from oxidizing and going flat. However, from the nature of your post I doubt you're interesting in brewing authentic English ales served with a beer engine.
 
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jchancey

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Heh, I enjoy beer but an evening. I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and look for a co2 tank.
 

cnoyes

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Just thought of something...

In my experience with BMC kegs for parties, the reason it's no good after a day or two is because it either goes flat, gets warm, or both.

When you pump air into the keg, shouldn't the CO2 that's already in there from priming stay in a layer directly above the beer, since CO2 is heavier than O2, thus preventing oxidization?

I'm sure that I'm wrong, but just a thought.
 

TheJadedDog

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You could always naturally prime and then use a CO2 charger to dispense the beer (lots of places sell these and you can get the cartridges anyplace that sells airguns. The downside is you usually need 3-4 cartridges to dispense a whole keg.

If you are serious about kegging, just get a CO2 tank and do it up right.
 

malkore

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JadedDog is right and beat me to it. You could prime, and then use a $20 CO2 charger to dispense. you'll use 3-4 12gram bulbs to dispense the whole keg. over time, it'll cost more than a full CO2 setup, but it'll work for the time being.

and you can use the charger in the future to take kegs to parties without the bulky CO2 cylinder, regulator, and gas lines.
 
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TheJadedDog said:
You could always naturally prime and then use a CO2 charger to dispense the beer (lots of places sell these and you can get the cartridges anyplace that sells airguns. The downside is you usually need 3-4 cartridges to dispense a whole keg.

If you are serious about kegging, just get a CO2 tank and do it up right.
Plus, you generally need a good high-pressure hit of CO2 just to get the keg lid to seal up. And once you've pierced a cartridge, you've got use it up right away as they don't seal for very long.

+1 for doing it right, and getting a tank & regulator. If you can't afford new, keep an eye on Craig's list.
 

starman

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Anyone out there had luck with this no tank method? My neighbor gave me a couple ball locks and i already have the cornie charger for DIY carbonator capping hydro samples. A liquid fitting and a picnic tap are pretty cheap. I might use a cartridge to seal the lid after racking over.
 

Billybrewer09

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I used a CO2 charger for over six months and it worked great. The worst part was getting the keg carbonated correctly. I had a 5 and 3gal keg and the natural prime and charger were great until i built my keezer.
 

D_Nyholm

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I would just buy a regulator ($35-$50) and then rent a tank (by me it is $15 to fill and $100 deposit) or you can buy a tank for about $80 and get it filled. I have a feeling you will be wanting one in the future, so might as well get it done now.
 

starman

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D_Nyholm said:
I would just buy a regulator ($35-$50) and then rent a tank (by me it is $15 to fill and $100 deposit) or you can buy a tank for about $80 and get it filled. I have a feeling you will be wanting one in the future, so might as well get it done now.
You're right in a way, but a kegging rig is way down my priority list. I still like bottling and this seems like a way to utilize the cornies while building fermentation/lagering chambers, a sanke conversion, & grabbing another NG burner.

If the beer carbs up and dispenses OK without clogging or other disasters like oxidation then I'll be satisfied.
 
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