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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * September 2, 2003 * CO2 @ 6K FT? < Previous Next >

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Denny Conn (66.178.141.39)
Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2003 - 11:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK, this is probably obviously simple, but...

If I get a CO2 tank filled at sea level and take it up into the mountains at say, 6k-7k ft., is there any danger? I know that when I open bottles up there, they foam like crazy. It's probably OK, but I've been drinking, so somebody reassure me..
 

Bill Tobler (204.136.184.34)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 01:32 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi Denny,
I don't think you'll be in danger. There is just slightly less atmospheric pressure
@ 7000 ft, so you're gauges will be off a little. At sea level, atmospheric pressure
is 14.7 psi. At 6000 ft it is about 11.7 psi. Your gauges are calabrated to read 0 at sea level, so at 6000 feet the gauge will read 0 when you have 3 psi on the regulator. So just add 3 psi to the reading for the real pressure.

This is probably the reason your bottles foam too. They act overcarbonated because of the altitude.

I have only messed around with altitude and pressures when I was a diver in another life, and then only on one job. Most of my diving carrer was done in the Gulf.

Bill Tobler at work tonight.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 03:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill T's advice is correct. The CO2 cylinder is more than capable of handling the additional pressure at higher altitudes. The gauge readings will be slightly low, however. I recall taking some bottles that were filled at 800 ft. and opening them at 7400 ft. in Colorado. They foamed from the additional pressure but were otherwise fine.
 

Denny Conn (64.28.50.56)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 03:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks, gents! I knew that was gonna be the answer, but I appreciate the reassurance.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2003 - 05:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"So just add 3 psi to the reading for the real pressure."

no kidding... dang.. so i assume that when im pumping co2 into my manifold to serve my beer up here at 7500ft, when it says 10 psi, its really about 13?

This.. i didnt know.. but might be another thought to people with foaming problems on thier tapping system :)

Walt
----
 

Jake Isaacs (128.163.110.72)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 05:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One thing to keep in mind is that although the tank can take the pressure, there is also a safety burst disk on the neck of the cylinder valve. I had one pop the first time I got my tank filled (overfilled, obviously), and all the CO2 went away. Shouldn't be a problem, unless you just got your tank filled.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 05:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't worry about the effects of altitude on a full cylinder but I would be concerned about the safety disk blowing if it is in the trunk of a car parked in the sun on a very hot day.
 

Les Parti (207.141.188.253)
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2003 - 07:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The tanks hold what....3000 psi? I don't think the tank cares about 3 psia change due to climbing a mountain.

Gauges reference atmospheric pressure. They don't care if they operate at sea level or on a mountain. They just tell you the difference between what you're measuring and where you happen to be. So if you attach a gauge to a keg and drive up the mountain, it will read a few psi higher when you get to the top, not because the gause is out of calibration at higher elevations, but because air pressure fell and pressure in the keg stayed the same.

So leave the regulator setting alone. If you go down the mountain, shake the keg when you get there. If you go up, your first couple beers will come out with a little extra force.
 

Denny Conn (64.28.56.188)
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2003 - 04:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, I'm back from the camping trip to the mountains. I survived, as did the CO2 tank...alas, the keg is a goner. :)

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