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Kegerator odyessy (I need some help!)

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  • Kegerator odyessy (I need some help!)

    After years of tripping over bottles, my brother and I decided to install a kegerator in our new place. As price was a huge concern, we went with a fridge conversion. I found a small fridge on craigslist that was almost too small (we have to tap the keg outside the fridge, then carefully place it inside- no big deal though...) Anyway, on the maiden voyage, I hooked up the coupler, rotated it and pulled out/pushed down and the handle sheared off. Man, was I miffed. Anyway, I stuck a screwdriver in the coupler to keep it engaged, but after a night I realized it need to be pushed down further to keep the co2 from escaping. Basically, it was rigged well enough so that we could get through that 1st keg (it still was awesome!)
    So now we come to my question: I got the co2 regulator with the two gauges- one that they say to keep between 10 and 12 psi, and the other one is supposed to show how much co2 is left- it has a green area (good) and a red (running out) I just hooked it up last night (I got a new coupler...) and hooked up a newly filled co2 tank and its hanging right above the red at 600 psi (the red starts at 500) Is this normal? You'd think that it'd be well in the green. All my connections are tight. Am i doing something wrong?
    Thanks so much for helping out a newbie!

  • #2
    Do you keep the co2 cylinder inside the fridge as well (or maybe in a cold garage)? If so, the 600 is normal. That guage doesn't tell you how much gas is left, it just indicates that there is gas inside the cylinder. The needle won't move until you are nearly out of co2, and then it will drop rapidly, depending on how much you pour.

    The guage only changes if the ambient (room) temperature changes.

    Inside the co2 tank, there is liquid co2, and gas co2 occupies the head space of the tank. So when you use some of the gas by pouring a beer, some of the liquid evaporates, and this process continues until the liquid is completely depleted. Your guage measures the pressure of the gas in the tank, and that will remain constant until the liquid co2 is gone.

    You should expect about 8 1/2 barrels out of a 5lb tank of co2.
    Last edited by cubby_swans; 05-01-2009, 07:42 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

    Home Brew IPA


    • #3
      Yeah- the cylinder in inside the fridge. Whew- that makes me feel much better.
      Thanks for your help!