Author Topic: Just bought a CO2 tank...  (Read 2602 times)

Offline darkmorford

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Just bought a CO2 tank...
« on: June 06, 2011, 02:47:41 PM »
I just got home with a 5 lb steel CO2 tank and dual-gauge regulator from the local welding supply shop. My plan is to use it with The Carbonater for now, and eventually I'll hook it up to a keg for my beer.

At this point I'm just wanting to make sure I have everything set up correctly. I used the yellow plastic washer that came with the cylinder and cranked the regulator on tight with a wrench. Then I opened up the valve on the tank and the high-pressure gauge read right around 800 psi. (Is this about normal for a 5 lb tank?) I didn't hear any gas escaping, so I think I've got it on right. I set the adjustment screw so that the low-pressure gauge read about 15 psi, then shut off the tank valve. As I understand it, if I leave it like that for a few hours and then check the gauges, they should read the same as they are now; any lower and I have a leak.

Am I on the right path here, or am I missing something?

Offline dbeechum

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 03:20:29 PM »
You're doing good.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 07:03:10 PM »
the high-pressure gauge read right around 800 psi. (Is this about normal for a 5 lb tank?)

It is if it's at 65°F. http://seanterrill.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/co2_pressure.png
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 05:32:26 AM »
Don't wait hours to check it-take a spray bottle of StarSan and coat all the connections.  If it leaks you'll see bubbles and you won't waste gas.
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Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 05:39:50 AM »
The plastic washer can slowly take a set.  Check the fitting agian in a couple of weeks.
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Offline darkmorford

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 08:23:07 PM »
Well, I checked the gauges this morning. While neither was at zero—a Good Thing, I assume—the high-pressure gauge had dropped a little, and the low-pressure gauge had gone up by about 3 psi! I'm guessing it has something to do with the temperature fluctuating overnight?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 11:32:28 PM »
The drop in the high pressure gauge makes sense if the temperature fluctuated a lot.  How much did it change?

The low pressure gauge . . . I'd keep an eye on it and hopefully it will stabilize.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline euge

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 12:00:32 AM »
Dude you are missing the whole point of the carbonator cap. Chill that beer and carb it up by shaking. Let the beer sit for about 10-20 minutes in the fridge and voila! Ready to drink or condition.

With the carbonator cap on and the beer level in the bottle at the "shoulder" of the bottle, squeeze it until it is empty of air. Then fill with co2 and the regulator on max (45 psi) and carb it up. Takes just a few shakes. You'll get of hang it.
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Offline darkmorford

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2011, 04:51:16 PM »
Thanks for the tips, guys. I'd had the tank sitting outside on my patio, so the overnight air temperatures were likely messing with the pressure. I've brought it inside where the temperature is more controlled and the whole thing seems to have stabilized pretty well. I don't actually have the carbonator cap yet—LHBS was sold out when I stopped in—so I've just been testing the connection from the regulator to the cylinder valve and the output valve on the regulator. Nothing leaking so far.

I do have a usage question about the cap, though. One thing I want to use it for is preventing a 2-liter bottle of soda from going flat. What sort of pressure should I be using for that? And once the bottle's filled with CO2, do I need to leave the carbonator on, or can I pull it and put the regular cap back on the bottle without losing too much fizziness?

Offline euge

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 05:50:04 PM »
I do have a usage question about the cap, though. One thing I want to use it for is preventing a 2-liter bottle of soda from going flat. What sort of pressure should I be using for that? And once the bottle's filled with CO2, do I need to leave the carbonator on, or can I pull it and put the regular cap back on the bottle without losing too much fizziness?

I let the bottle stabilize in the fridge for a few minutes and then vent the cap by pressing down on the poppit. 

I'm a shaker when it comes to the carbonater cap. It's no problem to do this at full psi, which is about 45 on these types of regulator.

Fantastic idea with recharging sodas. 

The carbonater cap is essential tool in my brewery. A great way to do quality checks on your brew right out of the fermenter.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline darkmorford

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2011, 12:11:50 PM »
Okay, now this is just getting weird. Since I still don't yet have the carbonator cap—I'm going to (hopefully) pick one up later today—I shut off the tank valve last night and dumped whatever was in the regulator using the relief valve. Both gauges read 0 psi, and all the valves were closed. When I got up this morning, the low-pressure gauge was reading 5 psi! Somehow the system managed to build pressure with everything possible shut off.

What's going on here?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2011, 10:20:56 PM »
Is there a check valve between the keg and the gauge?  If so it might be leaking and so picking up the keg pressure.  It's also possible that the tank valve was not fully sealed.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline darkmorford

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2011, 05:48:39 PM »
Check valve? No idea. I bought the regulator and tank from Central Welding in Redmond (up near Target and Home Depot), so it's whatever comes standard with what they sell. It's got the 0-2000 psi high-pressure gauge, 0-60 psi low-pressure gauge, a relief valve, and a 5/16" barb outlet with a shutoff valve. Maybe there's a check valve built into the shutoff, but I don't know and I don't know how to check. Incidentally, though, there's a "60" stamped on the relief valve. Just out of curiosity, I cranked up the regulator until the low-pressure gauge pegged (so it was definitely above 60 psi) and the relief didn't do anything. Faulty valve, or is this the wrong way to test it?

At any rate, I dumped the 5 psi that it was showing yesterday and 24 hours later it's still at zero, so there must have been something residual in the system somewhere. I've got the tubing and such I need for the carbonator on order, so hopefully they'll get here within the week and I can start playing around with it. I've got lots of ideas for stuff—mostly non-alcoholic—that would probably be better if it was fizzy. 8)

Offline darkmorford

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2011, 04:29:08 AM »
Finally got the carbonator cap in today. Got it all hooked up, no leaks, then put about 30 psi of CO2 on a bottle of apple juice. That made it nice and fizzy; almost like a soda, but much healthier!

So much fun stuff I can do with this thing now...

Offline oscarvan

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Re: Just bought a CO2 tank...
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2011, 06:52:22 PM »
Is there a check valve between the keg and the gauge?  If so it might be leaking and so picking up the keg pressure.  It's also possible that the tank valve was not fully sealed.

He has no keg hooked up, yet.....if I read this all correctly.
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