kegging and CO2

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kegging and CO2

Postby Jaeger111 » Wed Nov 07, 2001 7:03 pm

I am seriously considering switching to kegging (after brewing only one batch). I am looking at buying a whole kegging setug with CO2 tank, regulators and corny keg. I have a 20oz. Co2 tank from when i played paintball, would this work for carbonating the beer in the keg? also, i've gotten CO2 tanks filled before, and i can guarantee that the fills you get around here are not "food grade" and by no means free of impurities. Would this be bad CO2 to use for kegging? I don't know where else i'd get it filled around here with any cleaner gas, where do you guys usually get your tanks filled? has there ever been an instance where CO2 in kegging has contaminated a batch? thanks.

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CO2 is CO2..

Postby bredmakr » Thu Nov 08, 2001 5:25 am

There is no difference in the way the CO2 is generated for medical or mechanical use. The only difference may be in how it is stored. A 5 lb CO2 tank last a good while and if you buy it new you'll know it is clean. You can purchase bulk CO2 at any welding supply store, fire extinquisher service store, or bulk gas store. I've purchased CO2 from fire extinquisher services and medical bulk gas services and seen no difference in the quality of the gas or a problem with contamination.
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Filter your CO2 !

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:11 pm

To answer part of the question posed prior... no, 20 oz. CO2 cartridge fillers will not be adequate as a carbonation method because they don't contain enough gas to do the job, but they can be used for dispense.

As was remarked, yes CO2 is the same regardless of source. But you should always filter it with a .2 ~ .4 micron gas filter (about $ 8 USD) because rarely ever do vendors clean the inside of the cylinders. It is common for cylinders used in beverage service to not be installed with an in-line check valve. When this is the case, there is the potential that due to pressure differentials, a portion of the fluid will be siphoned into the cylinder. This can cause bacterial contamination as well as literally flavoring your beer with something that was drawn into the cylinder. This is especially true with the amount of gas being used to force carbonate a beer. Also, some of the CO2 is produced via fermentation. I have had gas that imparted a notable corn aroma into light lagers and ales because of this. CO2 recovery in distilleries and breweries is becoming more common because it is a way for these manufacturers to recoup some of their operating costs by selling it to gas suppliers when they have an excess.

By using the filter, you will eliminate these problems from occuring. The average life for one of these devices is about 3 20# cylinders before they clog and have to be replaced.

And while were on this one... always use a stop cock with a check valve in it so if you accidently connect to a keg with greater pressure than is in the cylinder, YOU don't end up filling it with beer.
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