Author Topic: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase  (Read 7177 times)

Offline icedbreeze

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Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« on: November 05, 2010, 07:58:31 AM »
Hey guys, maybe you have seen me around on the general forums but I have a question about equipment.  I'm still waiting to bottle my first batch of brew (called away on business and it should be ready to bottle).  But anyways the more I read on the various forums online the general consensus seems to be "keg it!".  I plan on using my bottles for the next few batches I make but in the mean time, maybe I can start stocking up on equipment. 

I guess the main challenge/question I have about kegging is CO2.  My "local home brew supply store" is about a 45 min drive north I've only been a couple times now.  I'm wondering where do you guys buy/refill your CO2 canisters, and how much does it cost?

Offline stlaleman

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 08:08:28 AM »
Any welding supply shop should be able to help. I get a 20 pound canister filled for about 23 bucks here in St Louis, Mo

Offline icedbreeze

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 08:32:24 AM »
Awesome thanks :)

As far as money/cheapness goes.  After all the major parts are bought in the long run, is kegging or bottling more cost efficient?

Offline gordonstrong

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 08:46:31 AM »
I go to a fire safety place. Costs about $12 for a 5 lb refill. More when they need to do a pressure test. Costs less per pound to refill a larger tank. I have a 20 lb for around the house and a 5 lb tank for portable uses.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 08:59:27 AM »
Awesome thanks :)

As far as money/cheapness goes.  After all the major parts are bought in the long run, is kegging or bottling more cost efficient?
After you have everything you need, time is what you're really saving more than money.  I've never run the numbers, my time is worth it.  But . . .

Kegging: CO2, o-rings, and occasional replacement parts.
Bottling: caps, priming sugar, replacement bottles.

I think bottling will be cheaper, especially if you're recycling commercial bottles for homebrew.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline icedbreeze

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 10:17:38 AM »
As far as money/cheapness goes.  After all the major parts are bought in the long run, is kegging or bottling more cost efficient?

After you have everything you need, time is what you're really saving more than money.  I've never run the numbers, my time is worth it.  But . . .

Kegging: CO2, o-rings, and occasional replacement parts.
Bottling: caps, priming sugar, replacement bottles.

I think bottling will be cheaper, especially if you're recycling commercial bottles for homebrew.

Thanks, as of right now I have lots of time and not as much money :P  I guess I'll be bottling for a while.  Kegging is definitely an avenue I want visit in the future.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 11:04:14 AM »
After you have everything you need, time is what you're really saving more than money.  I've never run the numbers, my time is worth it.  But . . .

Kegging: CO2, o-rings, and occasional replacement parts.
Bottling: caps, priming sugar, replacement bottles.

I think bottling will be cheaper, especially if you're recycling commercial bottles for homebrew.

Thanks, as of right now I have lots of time and not as much money :P  I guess I'll be bottling for a while.  Kegging is definitely an avenue I want visit in the future.
If money is tight, bottle.  The cost of entry for kegging is much higher than for bottling.

Build your kegging system slowly - look for deals on craiglist or ebay for CO2 bottles and regulators.  Check with local gas suppliers on the cost of a deposit on a 5 or 20 lb CO2 tank, and then don't pay more than that for a tank.  If you plan to swap your tanks, don't pay for one that looks nice.  Don't pay for a dual gauge regulator, the high-pressure gauge is more or less useless.  If you can find kegs locally for less than $40, get two or more.  Prices are likely to go up.  Once you have those pieces you can worry about faucets and hose and such.  If you have room, you can probably get a kegging fridge for cheap or free on craigslist, but it will probable suck power so will cost more in the long run.

HTH
Tom Schmidlin

Offline icedbreeze

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 11:11:33 AM »

If money is tight, bottle.  The cost of entry for kegging is much higher than for bottling.

Build your kegging system slowly - look for deals on craiglist or ebay for CO2 bottles and regulators.  Check with local gas suppliers on the cost of a deposit on a 5 or 20 lb CO2 tank, and then don't pay more than that for a tank.  If you plan to swap your tanks, don't pay for one that looks nice.  Don't pay for a dual gauge regulator, the high-pressure gauge is more or less useless.  If you can find kegs locally for less than $40, get two or more.  Prices are likely to go up.  Once you have those pieces you can worry about faucets and hose and such.  If you have room, you can probably get a kegging fridge for cheap or free on craigslist, but it will probable suck power so will cost more in the long run.

HTH


Your amazing!  I'm just putting all this into a word document and saving it for future reference! :D

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 11:24:56 AM »
I go to a fire safety place. Costs about $12 for a 5 lb refill. More when they need to do a pressure test. Costs less per pound to refill a larger tank. I have a 20 lb for around the house and a 5 lb tank for portable uses.

The fire safety place is good advice.
For the one I use in Ann Arbor:
5 lb.= $10 (was $9 before the last time)
10Lb= $13 (filled with the 5 lb)
20 Lb = $15 (but that might be $16 now)

The gas is almost free.  The paperwork, labor, and overhead are not.
Jeff Rankert
Ann Arbor Brewers Guild, AHA Member, BJCP Certified
Home-brewing, not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle!

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 11:38:11 AM »
The reason I prefer to swap is it's just faster.  I don't want to have to go back to the place twice, their hours suck around here.  8-4:30 monday to friday is typical.  AFAIK, the price is similar at drop off places as where I swap.

How much does the hydrostatic testing run?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline jeffy

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2010, 11:40:49 AM »

If money is tight, bottle.  The cost of entry for kegging is much higher than for bottling.

Build your kegging system slowly - look for deals on craiglist or ebay for CO2 bottles and regulators.  Check with local gas suppliers on the cost of a deposit on a 5 or 20 lb CO2 tank, and then don't pay more than that for a tank.  If you plan to swap your tanks, don't pay for one that looks nice.  Don't pay for a dual gauge regulator, the high-pressure gauge is more or less useless.  If you can find kegs locally for less than $40, get two or more.  Prices are likely to go up.  Once you have those pieces you can worry about faucets and hose and such.  If you have room, you can probably get a kegging fridge for cheap or free on craigslist, but it will probable suck power so will cost more in the long run.

HTH


Your amazing!  I'm just putting all this into a word document and saving it for future reference! :D

Careful, we don't want this to go to his head.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2010, 12:54:53 PM »
Careful, we don't want this to go to his head.
Too late  ;D
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 12:57:58 PM »
I fill mine at the welder's supply by work. Used to go the a fire extinguisher shop. I avoid places like Matheson Tri-gas that require me to leave the tank overnight since the others will do it in a couple minutes while I wait and for cheaper.  ;)

If you need a place to park beer you can use 2&3 liter PET bottles (soda, pop, seltzer) in a pinch. Even carbonate and serve out of them. Just store them in a dark cool place.

Careful, we don't want this to go to his head.
Too late  ;D

LOL
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2010, 01:01:48 PM »
I fill mine at the welder's supply by work. Used to go the a fire extinguisher shop. I avoid places like Matheson Tri-gas that require me to leave the tank overnight since the others will do it in a couple minutes while I wait and for cheaper.  ;)
You have places that will fill why you wait?  All of the places near me send them off to one of their other facilities to have them filled, so the wait is generally more than one day.   :-\
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Kegging and CO2 refills/purchase
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2010, 01:14:48 PM »
That sucks man.  :(

Since I prime and carbonate the beer in the keg now and just use the tank to push the beer my usage has gone way down. I filled my #5 tank back February and still have about 700psi in it.  ;D
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman