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  1. #1
    Kkenc35 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Buy or rent your CO2 tanks

    I plan to buy but I might not see the whole picture!

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    psychodad's Avatar
    psychodad is offline Super Moderator
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    Where I get my gas, it is cheaper and faster to rent than have mine filled.
    Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
    but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

    My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

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  3. #3
    mjn
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    Same here. Filling it takes a few days, or we can swap it out on the spot.

    I gave them my nice beatifully clean aluminum tank that came with the kegerator and got a nasty beatup old painted tank in return.

    But I swapped that one out yesterday and got my nice new one back.

  4. #4
    cubby_swans's Avatar
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    It takes one minute to fill a co2 tank. I never understood why some places only swap out. I get my own tank filled at a paintball shop. In and out in 5 minutes of less for $10 cash.

    The tank came with my kegerator. The advantage to me, is I have a nice clean brushed aluminum tank instead of a beat up nicked paint rusty trash heap looking tank.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby_swans View Post
    I have a nice clean brushed aluminum tank instead of a beat up nicked paint rusty trash heap looking tank.
    Sounds like my 15lber!
    "Stay thirsty my friends"
    - The most interesting man in the world.

  6. #6
    huey782 is offline Junior Member
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    On the flipside, I traded in my beat up POS and got a nice new (looking) one in return. $15 to get a 5 pounder filled, in and out in minutes.

  7. #7
    mjn
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    I had a terrible time finding a place. And I am near a few indutrialized areas?

    In Fact I got my Summit SBC-500B for under $100(never used) because they owner couldn't find anywhere to fill the tank.

  8. #8
    BrewGuru is offline Super Moderator
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    Anyone who hands someone a tank, and gets a 'fill in minutes' is being done a disservice.

    Physics and thermodynamics for this situation being fairly constant, it is safe to say that the ONLY way to get a complete fill is to properly chill the cylinder before filling.

    Some hack shops will partially fill the bottle and quickly vent this gas, which has the effect of cooling the bottle down slightly and allowing more in when filling, however this is not only in-efficient and irresponsible, it is also environmentally unsound. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and wasting it to cool the bottles down not only vents it into the atmosphere, but also wastes fossil fuels for the energy that was required to initially extract and compress it...

    Shops that do proper fills usually get the bottles to freezing or sub freezing temperatures to fill the bottle, and often only do exchanges, or drop off and pick up.

    If you have an accurate scale, weigh your cylinder after they fill it. You can only get ~1.8lbs od CO2 into a room temp 5lb cylinder without chilling, if you vent chill, you can get 2 to 3 lbs in the cylinder.

  9. #9
    psychodad's Avatar
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    It took a bit for me to get over the shiny tank syndrome too. but in the end, it hangs on the back of my kegerator where nobody even sees it.

    Dropping the tank off on Saturday and picking it up Tuesday wasn't a hassle. But psychomom trading it in and me drawing beer that evening is less of a hassle.

    And paintball shops... They aren't in the gas business. Like guru said, leave it to the pros.
    Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
    but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

    My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

    http://kegerator-social-network.micr...bygrouptherapy

  10. #10
    Skinsfan1311 is offline Senior Member
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    I "own" two 5lb steel tanks, so running out is never an issue.

    My buddy has a neighbor who works for AirGas, and he swaps out the empties , for free. I've never gotten the same one back, but they're always in good shape.

    I'm pretty sure that they're filled properly, because I got 8 1/2 bbls out of the last one.
    Hail to the Redskins!

  11. #11
    cubby_swans's Avatar
    cubby_swans is offline Super Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrewGuru View Post
    Anyone who hands someone a tank, and gets a 'fill in minutes' is being done a disservice.

    Physics and thermodynamics for this situation being fairly constant, it is safe to say that the ONLY way to get a complete fill is to properly chill the cylinder before filling.

    Some hack shops will partially fill the bottle and quickly vent this gas, which has the effect of cooling the bottle down slightly and allowing more in when filling, however this is not only in-efficient and irresponsible, it is also environmentally unsound. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and wasting it to cool the bottles down not only vents it into the atmosphere, but also wastes fossil fuels for the energy that was required to initially extract and compress it...
    I get 8-9 1/2 barrels out of my co2 tank, that has been filled while I wait, within minutes. Yes, they vent gas off to cool the tank. But I assure you I get a full fill. I go through 1 co2 tank a year (about 8-9 1/2 barrels), and I use the proper co2 pressure setting (12psi or so, depending on the beer). So if 1lb or so of co2 gets vented once a year, to cool my tank, so be it.

    I can run down the list of things I do that are 'green', to compensate. I use low wattage halogen bulbs in my entire house, inside and out. I ride a scooter that gets 65mpg to the light rail train that takes me to work every day. I recycle nearly religiously. I re-use pop top beer bottles for my home brew, and re-use is a infinitely more efficient that recycling. I mulch organic discards for the vegetable garden in my backyard. I turn the A/C up a mile high when we're home during the day, and don't turn it back down until the sun is setting.
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    Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
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  12. #12
    fnmocurtis is offline Member
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    I have two 20lb tanks that I swap out. Less trips to the welding supply shop. It may be overkill, but I have never run both of them out. I use one tank for picnic taps for parties. All my friends call for the bottle and tap when they have parties. I sleep better at night knowing that no beer is being "skunked!" Sometimes I get the leftovers if I have room! Now that is a good friend!
    It's not what you do that's important, it's who you do it with!

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  13. #13
    cubby_swans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubby_swans View Post
    I get 8-9 1/2 barrels out of my co2 tank, that has been filled while I wait, within minutes. Yes, they vent gas off to cool the tank. But I assure you I get a full fill. I go through 1 co2 tank a year (about 8-9 1/2 barrels), and I use the proper co2 pressure setting (12psi or so, depending on the beer). So if 1lb or so of co2 gets vented once a year, to cool my tank, so be it.

    I can run down the list of things I do that are 'green', to compensate. I use low wattage halogen bulbs in my entire house, inside and out. I ride a scooter that gets 65mpg to the light rail train that takes me to work every day. I recycle nearly religiously. I re-use pop top beer bottles for my home brew, and re-use is a infinitely more efficient that recycling. I mulch organic discards for the vegetable garden in my backyard. I turn the A/C up a mile high when we're home during the day, and don't turn it back down until the sun is setting.
    I forgot something. One gallon of gasoline produces 19lbs of carbon dioxide. So taking two trips to the shop in a gasoline powered vehicle, if you leave your tank for a fill, will likely put more co2 into the atmosphere than the shop venting a lb of co2.
    Last edited by cubby_swans; 08-12-2009 at 08:14 AM.
    ____________________________________________
    Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
    Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
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  14. #14
    jhon is offline Member
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    I get mine filled at a place that services fire extinguishers. After 7 1/2 kegs, I decided to have it refilled whether it needed it or not. He put in on a scale and filled it up. No gas went into the air, and no tanks were chilled before filling.
    Just because you drop off your tank for a day, or you swap out your take does not mean that they are doing it any greener. But it does mean they are making it inconvenient.

  15. #15
    psychodad's Avatar
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    I walk to the gas supplier with solar powered sunglasses and I recycle the air I breath on the way.

    I think the OP just wants to know if there is a real advantage to keeping the shiny tank or if it is OK to not worry about it.
    Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
    but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

    My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

    http://kegerator-social-network.micr...bygrouptherapy

  16. #16
    fnmocurtis is offline Member
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    I was lucky that both of my CO2 tanks were given to me. When you "rent", you are paying the same price for the gas but leaving a deposit for the tank. After that it's no different than the deposit on the keg. Swapping tanks and swapping kegs. I hope I never get my keg deposit back!!!! That means I'm not drinking beer anymore!!!! That is a very, very bad thought!!
    It's not what you do that's important, it's who you do it with!

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  17. #17
    psychodad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fnmocurtis View Post
    I hope I never get my keg deposit back!!!! That means I'm not drinking beer anymore!!!!
    Or it means you quit the commercial beer and are making your own like I did. My deposit on a Bud Light keg was 80 bucks. I started home brewing and found that $80 buys a lot of grain and a couple of corny kegs.
    Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
    but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

    My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

    http://kegerator-social-network.micr...bygrouptherapy

  18. #18
    fnmocurtis is offline Member
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    One day. I still remember the last time I, "we" brewed our own! It was 1991 in the Gulf. Alcohol was illegal to have shipped in. We somehow managed to have a kit shipped in from a Field & Stream magazine. It hit the spot, but boy it was nasty!! Of course our control wasn't very good! We "bottled" it in two 5 gallon plastic water cans. We used silicone on the lids to seal them tight! We buried them in the sand to control the temperature the best we could. The cans were almost round after 2 weeks!!! We cut the lids off because we were afraid they would explode!! Had to be one of the worse hangovers I ever had! But it was one that I was happy to have!!
    It's not what you do that's important, it's who you do it with!

    My baby!
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  19. #19
    Kkenc35 is offline Junior Member
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    As the OPer, I was wondering if buying at tank would obligate me to have it tested and keep it maintained where as renting, the supplier is responsible.
    If all that is involved in buying a tank, is it better/cheaper/ easier to rent?

  20. #20
    fnmocurtis is offline Member
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    In that case you should talk to the people that will actually be doing the filling/swapping of tanks. That would determine what you can do. For me, the welding supply place I go to doesn't fill on site. So I have to swap. I would recommend "buying" a cheap tank on craigslist or ebay, then swap it out. It will probably be cheaper than the deposit you'll have to leave for the tank from the supply shop. They took two crappy tanks that were given to me and gave me a freshly painted tanks both times.
    It's not what you do that's important, it's who you do it with!

    My baby!
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  21. #21
    cubby_swans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kkenc35 View Post
    As the OPer, I was wondering if buying at tank would obligate me to have it tested and keep it maintained where as renting, the supplier is responsible.
    If all that is involved in buying a tank, is it better/cheaper/ easier to rent?
    If you bought a new tank, and you wanted to keep it, you will have to have it re-tested every 4 or 5 years or whatever the time period is. I found a SCUBA shop near me that will test my tank and replace all the valves/gaskets/whatever for $35. Many places will do the hydro testing for cheaper, but not replace any parts. It's worth the few extra bucks to me for peace of mind.
    ____________________________________________
    Our beer, which commeth in barrels, hallowed be thy drink
    Thy will be drunk, I will be drunk, at home as it is in the tavern
    ____________________________________________


    Home Brew IPA

  22. #22
    Kpt42 is offline Member
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    I got a 20 lb tank for free. It was already painted and beat up so I exchanged it. That was 2 1/2 years ago. Haven't filled it since. I think its getting near that time though. The high side appears to be dropping, more so than it normally fluctuates with ambient temp. I do have a 15 lb backup though so I'll run it until its empty.

    Quote Originally Posted by psychodad View Post
    Or it means you quit the commercial beer and are making your own like I did. My deposit on a Bud Light keg was 80 bucks. I started home brewing and found that $80 buys a lot of grain and a couple of corny kegs.
    Deposit? Commercial beer? My local brewery does not charge a deposit. They have recently started filling CO2 tanks as well.

  23. #23
    cm11599ps is offline Senior Member
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    My kegerator came with a 5lb tank about 2 days before a big party I was having. I wasn't able to get it filled in time so I borrowed my brothers 2.5lb tank from his kegerator that was empty at the time. There were already 3 kegs used on that bottle with mine being #4 so I knew it was probably due for a fillup.

    After my party I brought both tanks in to a welding shop and they said to come back the next day about this time which I did. I wanted our tanks back because both were brand new. I go the next day at the right time, pay my bill up front ($28 for the 5lb and 2.5lb) and go in the back to get my tanks. They tell me they're not ready yet. WTF? So I'm waiting in the back for close to 30 minutes (thank God for slingbox on my eyephone) when the guy finally comes out. These tanks were ICE cold and absolutely DRIPPING with condensation. All was well, I hooked up my tank and my brother did his tank. This was about 2 weeks ago. Being in the back of that place with all the venting and noise and whatnot coming from the hug gas tanks is not pleasant. Kind of scary.

    3 days ago my brother calls to say his tank is empty. Weird after only a week. I told him that when I went to pick up a keg they had a sign for a local scuba shop that would refill your tank and this place was much closer than the welding shop. He went in and they filled on the spot. It turns out a washer was missing between the regulator and the gas line. Not sure where it got lost exactly but that's how it lost gas so quickly. He said they didn't do any kind of venting and his tank was not cold when he got it.

  24. #24
    psychodad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kpt42 View Post
    Deposit? Commercial beer? My local brewery does not charge a deposit. They have recently started filling CO2 tanks as well.
    This isn't just the brewery. Stores have had to start charging this deposit on everything from Bud Light to Sierra Nevada and everything in between. Not because the brewery makes them, but because that is just what they have to do to not eat the replacement cost of the kegs.
    Malt is the soul of beer... and yeast gives it life..
    but the kiss of the hop is the vitality of that life!

    My three favorite beers: The one I just had, the one I'm drinking now and the next one I'll have.

    http://kegerator-social-network.micr...bygrouptherapy

  25. #25
    GBEER11 is offline Junior Member
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    Cool Yep

    Yeah Physcho dad is spot on, the stores were losing money to people not returning the kegs or returning them to scrap yards and collecting the scrap money. My commercial keg retailer charges 30$ a deposit, but again if you swap out the barrel each time you wont get charged another 30$.

  26. #26
    Yuenglinger is offline Junior Member
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    I'm no expert but here's my $.02...

    I bought a 10# aluminum tank with my conversion kit and took it to a local welding shop to get it filled. It cost me $10 and was filled before I was done talkin to the lady behind the counter and givin her my cash. I would say that from reading this post, "your experience may vary".

    Obviously it takes minutes or less to fill a #10 tank but you are at the mercy of the people that run the place you are buying your CO2 from! If they are busy with other things or just in a grouchy mood, you might get crappy service. If you do, try someplace else. I was in and out in less than 10 minutes and everyone was nice to me.

    My advice would be to decide on what option u like best, (own or rent), and then find a place that caters to your preference. Good Luck!

  27. #27
    rdcollns is offline Junior Member
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    I did the math, and it is easier for me to rent a 4' tall nitrogen tank.

    It is $6 a month. Refills are $35, same price as refilling any size tank. A 10lb tank is $100 and I have to pay $35 every 3-4 kegs to refill it. Adding in that I would likely have to maintain or replace my own cylinder every 4 years, I realized that as long as I empty my kegs within a couple months rental is actually cheaper. The only problem is storing a massive cylinder, but I built it into the visual look of my bar, and people like to look at the regulator.

  28. #28
    fnmocurtis is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdcollns View Post
    but I built it into the visual look of my bar, and people like to look at the regulator.
    You can't talk about it, and not show it!! I want to see the regulator too!!!
    It's not what you do that's important, it's who you do it with!

    My baby!
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  29. #29
    Kkenc35 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by fnmocurtis View Post
    You can't talk about it, and not show it!! I want to see the regulator too!!!
    Thats hilarious! Thanks for the laugh man!

  30. #30
    whutever is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychodad View Post
    I started home brewing and found that $80 buys a lot of grain and a couple of corny kegs.
    Here here! ! !
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