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Paintball CO2 tanks work with kegging?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Cjames88, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Title says it all. Has anyone used these? Are they the same thing?

    I am beginning my journey into kegging and realized at work today I still have all my old paintball gear from long ago.

    thanks!
  2. inchrisin

    inchrisin Savant (425) Indiana Sep 25, 2008

    They're the same thing and there's a way to set up draft off CO2 cartidges I believe. If you do a paintball system you can have a 2.5 gal corny keg fit into a round 5 gal cooler. It's nice for on the road.

    Edit: If you have an extra fridge/freezer that's really the way to go, unless you go to a lot of homebrew events.
  3. dmamiano

    dmamiano Savant (410) West Virginia Nov 18, 2005

    I dont think total carbing with these is a good idea. In fact I dont think it will work. They are generally used to dispense a fully carbed keg if you take it to a party/talegate situation off site.
  4. lionking

    lionking Savant (310) Pennsylvania Nov 25, 2006

    check walmart they have an adaptor about $6
  5. sm0key

    sm0key Savant (315) Michigan Apr 24, 2009

    You can force carb, but it will just about empty a 20oz bottle. I've done it, and then swapped out another bottle to dispense. (I used to play a lot of paintball back in the day, so I have several spares...)
  6. I have force-carbed nine 5-gal kegs so far, and I just emptied my only second 20 oz paintball tank. I normally maintain pressure at 8 to 12 psi, depending on the beer style. I think it's a great setup, and it saves room in the fridge compared to the larger 5 lb tanks. I have a sleeve for the tank with a carabiner clip attached so it can hang from the fridge shelf above the kegs.

    Based on my kegging experience, you may have had a gas leak if you could only carb one keg out of one 20 oz bottle.
    I bought a second 20 oz tank right away, because I was skeptical and wasn't sure how long one would last. I was pleasantly surprised that I could carb and serve 9 kegs out of 2 tanks over the last year.

    I still bottle occasionally, but it's damn fine to be able to pull your own beer from a tap!
    Cheers!
  7. sm0key

    sm0key Savant (315) Michigan Apr 24, 2009

    I
    I'll check into that. Thanks!
  8. Nine kegs force carbed and served with 20 oz of CO2 is pretty impressive, IMO. I average about 2/3 lb per keg force carbing, serving, purging, seltzer, etc, etc, etc. (a 20 lb tank lasts about 30 kegs on my system). And I'm pretty obsessive about leaks. I guess it's time for another inspection.

    I'm not sure I would encourage people to use 20 oz tanks, though, purely due to the cost. A 15 oz SodaStream CO2 swap, for example, costs around $15. That's $1 per oz(!!!) Granted, this is proprietary and, no doubt, pricier than a 20 oz paintball tank, but the 20 oz tank is likely a far cry pricier per lb than a 20 lb or even 5 lb tank. ($25 and $20, respectively, in my neck of the woods). Given the more-or-less permanent nature of a kegerator in a typical home setup, the perceived convenience of a skinny tank is not worth the added cost, IMO (obviously, YMMV). My 20 lb tank (about the size of a corny keg) is in a closet adjacent to the bar - it consumes zero space in the fridge. Indeed, since there are no line length considerations, you could install the CO2 in the basement, the garage, or even the attic, if that's more convenient (at about 2 1/2 years between refills for my 20 lb tank, the attic would not be out of the question).

    All that having been said, it's nice to know there are options to suit virtually every need.
  9. sm0key

    sm0key Savant (315) Michigan Apr 24, 2009

    I can get a 20oz tank filled for $4.25 at the military surplus store. FWIW
  10. WickedSluggy

    WickedSluggy Savant (425) Texas Nov 21, 2008

    Can you use any off-the-shelf co2 paintball tanks? They don't put lubricants or other non food grade ingredients in any of these?
  11. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (695) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    As others said, it sounds like it could be convenient for dispensing, but less practical for carbonating. You could prime your keg with sugar and give it three weeks to prime, and then use the paintball CO2 for dispensing - there would be a learning curve to this, I'm sure. It would also be a convenient for dispesning in more remote locations - you wouldn't have to haul around CO2 if you wanted to take the keg to a friend's, picnic, etc.

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