Refilling CO2 Tanks

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by jeffpn, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    #1 jeffpn, Nov 20, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
    I filled my 20 lb CO2 tank today. Like I said in another thread, the company that fills my tanks charges the same price for a 20 lb tank as a 5 lb tank. This begs the question - should I invest in a filling system so I can fill the 5 lb tanks myself? I have two 5 lb tanks. Would it be more trouble than it’s worth to fill the tanks? I suppose I could sell the 5 lb tanks, and buy one more 20 lb tank. It sure is nice to have a small tank to take with me when I go mobile with a keg. Another option would be to sell a 5, buy another 20, and use the remaining 5 when I go mobile, filling the 5 with a 20. Have any of you fellow brewers gone down this road? What were your thoughts and decisions?
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Send me your spare I'm out of gas ATM problem solved:). As Mark suggested to me yesterday I think a soda stream bottle backup is perfect. I'm not sure what 20lb I've got a 6kg bottle probably similar.
     
  3. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    It’s not a spare, it’s a backup. I planned ahead! :p I’d have to buy the transfer system and a scale. What I picked out would run me $100. It’d take about 7 fills (~2 years) to break even. Sometimes it’s not about the money, though. Heck, if I knew someone like Trialben who doesn’t plan ahead, I could fill his 5 pound tank for the same $20 that he’d spend at the place here when it’s open. Quicker break even, and then, free gas!!
     
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  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

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    some times its just convenience and some laziness thats more important than money, I have a 5 and don't fill it because even though its a 15 mile drive its cheaper to exchange than fill here in town, Ive had it filled and found that the $23 filed vs $12 exchanged, even though it takes a hour it's worth it lol
     
  5. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I hope it’s clear I’m referring to filling the 5 lb tank myself at home, using my new 20 lb tank.
     
  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Well i attempted to find a snug spot on the bike to strap my co2 tank too:eek:! Yeah i didnt want to risk it hee hee hee:D i think i would have got some odd looks traveling down the HWY so plan failed i could only imagine the damage it would do if it came loose:eek:.

    So waiting for missus to come home from work so i can take it to HBS in the car safely...
     
  7. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Yet another case of us poor antipodeans getting rorted ! I paid $85 to get my 10 kg (~22 lb ) bottle filled
     
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  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I just paid 78$ for 6kg but beer is flowing so im appy;).
     
  9. Nugnut

    Nugnut Member

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    My 6.5 kg cost $50
     
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  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Pays to shop around i was desperate.
     
  11. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Ripped off ! I get mine through a mate in the fire service and even after shopping around was best i could do
     
  12. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I take it no one is refilling their own tanks themselves, right?
     
  13. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Another variable that I have to consider is that I wouldn’t have to fill the 5 lb tank often at all. One option is only to use it when the 20 lb is empty for a day or two until I can get it refilled, and when I go mobile with a keg. That 5 lb tank could probably go 2-3 years between fills. Then it wouldn’t hurt so much to get only 1/4 the gas for the money compared to the 20 lb tank.
     
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  14. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Like I've said before about that HBS he is overpriced but it's close and he was open so I didn't have much other choice.
     
  15. soccerdad

    soccerdad Active Member

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    Yikes - y'all should move here. Less than $30 for 20# refill. There are no jobs, we have no LHBS, you drive.an hour for decent shopping ... but we have good fishing all year, and cheap co2
     
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  16. fire60

    fire60 New Member

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    the problem with filling cylinders from another is that once the 2 pressures are equal the transfer will stop.

    We own a fire protection company and recharge fire extinguishers. our co2 filling rig actually pumps the liquid co2 under pressure. When co2 is pressurised it becomes liquid.
     
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  17. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    I already have an understanding of what it takes to fill a tank. I have no questions about procedures. If a tank can be filled at a fire protection company (like Silco, where I get my tanks filled locally), it can be done at home. I know the liquid CO2 has to be transferred. That’s what dip tubes (or upside down tanks) accomplish. I’m wondering if it’s more trouble than it’s worth. If I only use my 5lb tank when the 20 is empty, and when I go mobile with a keg, it could very well last 3 or 4 years. My refill equipment might never pay itself off at that rate!
     
  18. The Brew Mentor

    The Brew Mentor Well-Known Member

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    Having 1 extra tank is invaluable. I'd sell 1 of the 2 5# tanks and then only use the other in a run out situation and or for remote events.
    Refilling just because you can doesn't always make sense.
    You can likely sell the 5# tank for a good price if you're not in a hurry and what you have left will last a very long time.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Brian
     
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  19. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    One extra tank was always part of my plan. That’s why I have 2 five pounders. I definitely wouldn’t need 2 fivers now. I was already considering selling one when it’s empty. I think they’re selling for $60 on Amazon now, so I’d probably sell it for $30-40. They’re both in excellent shape.
     
  20. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    True, but a lot of what homebrewers do doesn’t always make sense! It’s just a system we like.
     

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