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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * September 2, 2003 * Kegging dilemna < Previous Next >

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Josh S (198.208.223.46)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've decided to take the plunge into kegging, however I have a $200 spending limit (Not including kegs). Anything I don't spend on equipment, I'll use for ingredients; so I'm trying to limit my capital expenses and was hoping you guys can answer some questions I have:

-Is it better to rent a CO2 tank or purchase one?
-Does the CO2 tank need to be re-qualified every year?
-Is a manifold worth the money at this point or it is easy enough to transfer lines? (I plan on having 2-3 kegs ready for pleasure.)
-Is there anything else worth buying besides the essentials?
Thanks -Josh
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Tuesday, August 12, 2003 - 11:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

1. Depends on where you live. For me, you buy the first one, then just swap it out each time.

2. No. It's 10 years, and if you do as above, you never have to worry about it.

3. Easy enough to transfer lines (IMHO).

4. Perhaps more than one faucet line for different beer styles.
 

Joe Sandlin (216.12.26.172)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 12:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As Hophead says, it varies by locality. Around here, it's about $60 bucks a year to rent a twenty pounder, and about $130 to buy from either one of the local companies. Plus, when you rent, they hit you with a $5 haz-mat charge when you swap rented tanks that you don't pay if you own your own tank and swap. Never figured that one out...

You can add the manifold later, but be sure that you have a check valve in your gas line.
 

JT (24.169.131.212)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 01:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Look in the yellow pages under "Fire extinguishers". I bought a 15 lb used CO2 tank at a local fire extinguisher company. It only cost me $50 and it was tested and filled. $15 dollars to re-fill.
 

Mike Kidulich (66.67.219.144)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 02:25 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I bought both my cylinders, a 5# and a 20#. The 20# cost about $120, with dual guage regulator. I have them refilled, but I could exchange them if I wanted to.

In New York, the cylinders have to be hydro-tested every 5 years. YMMV.

If you want to dispense at different pressures, you'll need a manifold and regulators to control each line. If you can live with all your beers at the same pressure/carbonation, then a cheap CO2 Tee will let you split your line. A plastic tee costs all of $2.
 

Dan Mourglea (152.30.11.6)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I got all my 3/16" beer line and 1/4"gas lines as well as 5/16" tees, inline disconnects and some plastic buckets (for fermentors) for a good price at the US Plastics website (www.usplastics.com)--quick shipping too--NAYY. I just cut lines and added tees to make a 4 keg system from my co2 tank--those darn little clamps'll cost ya though I used atleast 20 of them at $0.60 each that was a cost I wasn't expecting.
 

Adam W (128.125.6.113)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 11:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

California requires hydro testing every 5 years too.
 

Connie (12.91.239.110)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 12:36 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Five years in Georgia and cost $17-20 for the hydro test regardless of tank size (well, 5#, 10# or 20#, anyway). Everytime you get a refill you have to pay a haz-mat fee of $5. That pushes a 20# tank refill close to $30 and it's almost not cost effective to have a 5# tank...
 

robert rulmyr (63.156.128.27)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 11:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think we have less government 'watching' over us in Texas. Last time I swapped out my 20# tank for a full one cost $12.
 

Josh S (198.208.223.46)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 01:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the info.
Local fire extinguisher store has only a 5 lb. tank - $75 filled. $15 re-fill charge. Is this worth it?
I found clamps at Menard's (hardware store) for .69 per 2 clamps, and vinyl tubing .15 per foot. The highest recommended pressure for the tubing is 15 psi, can I force carbonate with that or do I need to buy better tube to get to 25 psi?
 

Jim Keaveney (205.188.208.73)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 01:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

that is not a good price for the tank. shop around. 20# is much better, especially if you are going to run a couple of kegs. plastic or brass t's work ok for splitting the line. you need heavy duty high-pressure hose for your gas line and should use good quality hose for your beer lines also. that home depot cheap stuff is no good imo. tanks must be recertified every 5 years in nj.
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.200.231)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 02:18 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Josh,

Check your yellow pages under "Carbonic Gas" to see if you've got a CO2 supplier nearby (other than the fire extinguisher co). Or ask at your local hangout who supplies their CO2.

My local company pretty much handed me a 20# CO2 tank, and only charged me for the gas. The last time I swapped for a full one, I had to pay the hydro test fee, since I'd had the tank so long. They even let me pick out the new full tank, and I got a nice, newly repainted Al cylinder.

This company supplies gas to most all the bars and restaurants in the city.

Also if you've got a Pepsi or 7-Up bottler in your area, check with them. One guy locally went to 7-Up and told them he had a soda system at home, and they handed him a full 20# tank for $15. He swaps it for a full one when he runs out of gas.
 

Brandon Dachel (63.238.222.190)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 04:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Another place to look is a welding supply store. That's where I get mine exchanged.
 

Vance Barnes (216.85.253.82)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 08:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

$15 to refill a 5# tank is high. I only pay $9 to get a 10# refilled. No Haz Mat charge either.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 01:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I had a 10 lb. CO2 cylinder refilled in Canada at a fire extinguisher service. The cylinder needed hydrostatic testing and they charged me $25 CDN for the test and $23 for the fill, plus the significant sales taxes (15 percent) up here. I don't know if that's typical or not, but I was surprised.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 02:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

But after the conversion to US$ that is something like $3.50 total. (you may want to check my math)

PTA
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 02:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive about the currency issue, but you have to remember that the overwhelming majority of people in Canada earn their income in Canadian dollars and have to spend it accordingly. It's difficult to make an item for item comparison and the situation varies (the exchange rate currently gives a 39 percent premium to the US dollar), but my very general estimate is that the overall cost of living in Canada is 10-15 percent above that in the US. This includes the increased income and sales taxes to pay for a higher level of public services.
 

Kurt Schweter (4.40.137.222)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 08:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

10 - 15 % hugh
so now you know how it feels
to live in So. Cal !!!
gas $ 1.71 - housing $$$$$
and yes, just kidding Bill !!!
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 08:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kurt, housing in Canada is just like in the US, highly dependent on location. There are areas where you couldn't look at a house for less than $350,000 and others where you could buy five for that amount. As for gas, I just paid 71.2 cents Canadian for a liter; that's $2.69 a US gallon ($1.94 if you are lucky enough to have US dollars to convert). Beer is not cheap either; "low priced" domestics like Labatt Blue and Molson Canadian are $11 for a 12-pack here in Ontario. On the other hand, the Unibroue beers are just about the same price as in the US.
 

Mike Huss (192.136.16.3)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 09:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Kurt don't feel bad, here in WI gas is only 5 cents cheaper than that. Of course housing is a different story...

But in WI if gas is at $1.66/gal about 1.655 of it is taxes!!

Bill I played idiot once in Thunder Bay on vacation. I couldn't believe how cheap gas was PER GALLON. Didn't realize until after I paid that it was per liter...DUH.
 

Josh S (198.208.223.46)
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 01:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul et. al.,
Thanks for the ideas. I was able to get a 20 lb. tank filled for $10. I called around, even talked to the local Lite distributor at the liquor store(almost had him), but eventually had a purchaser at work make a call for me. Bingo!
Scott - Thanks for the kegs. I can't wait to try the blueberry porter/imperial stout.

All in all, it will cost me about $140 for 2 kegs, 20 lb. CO2 tank, dual gauge regulator, valve, hoses, and all the hardware to carb. and serve two beers at once. Again, thanks for all the input.
Josh
 

Belly Buster Bob (142.177.94.218)
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 04:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes folks we may pay higher prices in The Great White North but when we pull a move like pouring boiling wort on our feet we don't get a bill after the Doc fixes us up. Well worth the extra few bucks IMHO

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