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first time using my keg setup

Discussion in 'Home Bar' started by MPLSbrewer, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. MPLSbrewer

    MPLSbrewer Savant (315) Minnesota Dec 7, 2010 Beer Trader

    im sure this has been asked before but i couldnt find the thread. i have my keg in the fridge now with the co2 canister. the gauge that shows how much gas is left in the tank has dropped quite a bit in a day or so... is this normal because its cold? or do i have a leak im not finding?
  2. CASK1

    CASK1 Savant (475) Florida Jan 7, 2010 Verified

    The pressure will definitely drop when the CO2 tank gets cold. Doesn't mean you don't also have a leak! ;)
  3. NiceFly

    NiceFly Savant (430) Tajikistan Dec 22, 2011

    Usually once that gauge starts moving that CO2 fill is about gone. edit: unless it was way above red and is now at top of red and holding.

    Did you fill the tank when you got it? They usually do not come filled.
    If yes and the tank is about empty you may have a leak.

    Tanks usually have a tare weight (the weight of the can) so you can weight the can and see how much CO2 is left.
  4. Since PV=nRT, if you drop the temperature, the pressure goes down too. You could disconnect the CO2 and put it outside the fridge and see if the Pressure comes back up.

    You could have a leak. Spray all of the connections and the keg lid with star san and watch for bubbles. Make sure the regulator is tight to the bottle.
  5. The gauge doesn't tell how much CO2 is in the tank. It only tells you whether or not there's any liquid CO2 left. In that sense, it's a binary indicator. FYI (and this is a biggie), once it starts dropping, it means you don't have enough CO2 left for tonight's party.
    The pressure is sensitive to temperature. If you chill the Tank, the pressure will definitely drop (I don't know what the numbers are, but it's widely published). Mine reads a constant 700psi at room temperature.
    Bottom line is that you may be fine. Weigh the tank to determine how much CO2 you have left. Check for leaks periodically.
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poobah (1,030) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009 Beer Trader

    A leak will not make the high pressure gauge drop until the cylinder is empty (or at least on fumes). That's because the CO2 in the cylinder is actually a liquid, and the pressure remains relatively constant until it's gone.

    If you are comparing the pressure gauge reading between a warm cylinder reading and a cold cylinder reading, a drop is perfectly normal, as others said.
  7. MPLSbrewer

    MPLSbrewer Savant (315) Minnesota Dec 7, 2010 Beer Trader

    thanks for all the help guys. i did take it out of the fridge and check for leaks again, and there was a minor one but i doubt that was causing the drop. i fixed the leak so im going to just forget about it for now. the tank was filled recently so should be all good!