Gas loss

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Hi I am new here so be gentle, also I am probably not supposed to be here at all as I am merely a humble home brewer, so tell me to pee off if I should not be here at all πŸ˜‰

I use a 14lb CO2 cylinder to push my 10 gall brews out through a manifold to my keg which sits in a converted upright fridge/freezer (my cellar) which is dodged-up to control the beer’s temperature at 12C through a control unit.

The problem is that this last year I am using increasing amounts of CO2, one used to last me about 4 months! This is made worse by the CO2 supplier mentioning no names (LWC) whoops! has just doubled the price of a bottle by 100% to Β£20 with no real explanation. (What do you think of this, should I quiz them)?

As an ex British Gas engineer I am sure that I have no gas leaks πŸ™‚

My brewery is in my garden shed, can the erratic temperatures in there create a problem with gas loss due to excess evaporation or whatever? Should I try to maintain the bottle’s temperature at cellar temperature also?

Please help; do I really want to get back to bottling the stuff… Nope!

Cheers guys,

John

5 COMMENTS

  1. Sounds like there is something a bit awry somewhere.Is it a rapid loss of gas or a gradual slow loss?

    A rapid loss makes a louder hissing noise than a gentle weepage that is difficult to hear.If you have any rubber seals on your system have a look at those first to ensure that they are sealing properly.

  2. Hi Alex, How you doin! Hope your keeping your thrust washers clean? Been a bit quiet on here since we redid the forum. Anyway nice to hear from you. Boz. Oh! and welcome to Inndoctor John. It has been known to buy a gas cylinder and it only be half full!! Weigh your empty cylinder then check it against it’s replacement, should give you an idea as to if it is properly full, or not.

  3. Hi Boz, ta for the welcome,

    Ha tell me about it, I have just slowly realised that some “new” bottles are not full.

    Whilst trying to suss out my gas loss issue I really didn’t need this new extra factor in the mix.
    Yesterday I took my bathroom scales! I felt a bit daft but sod ’em. (CO2 should weigh 21Kg full should they not)?

    The last bottle was full, I weighed it but only when I got back home, but it still only lasted a month instead of the 3 months I have been accustomed to, it’s a mystery is this πŸ™

    If this problem continues how’s about I prime the barrel with some sugar for a secondary fermentation, as well as an initial gassing-up of the beer with CO2, this should cut down on gas usage to push the beer out? What do you think?

    All this thought should not be necessary, all was great last year… Scratching empty head….

    Cheers all,
    John

  4. G’day Boz,

    Trickling gently as usual old chum,hope all is well.

    G’day John,

    This is still sounding like a leakage somewhere.That volume of gas is heading towards commercial usage amounts.

  5. Hi Tall Alex, thanks for the input, (are you really quite small)?

    Is it really that bad? I wouldn’t know I have never run a bar in my life.

    As I said I am retired now, but I was a gas engineer so I can spot a gas leak a mile off; this ability is finely honed by a lifetime of paranoia of perhaps blowing some bugger up, or even much much worse, getting the sack after some grueling court case!

    So it’s all very mysterious isn’t it?

    I have had confirmation kindly from you guys that some bottles are not full, but the last one was, I know that because I weighed it.

    I still have a niggling thought about the wildly fluctuating temperatures in my garden shed affecting things.
    For example a couple of winters ago the liquid CO2 in the bottle would not actually come out because the temperature in the shed was as low as -5 or whatever.

    So if my shed is sometimes mad-hot I suppose this could cause extreme increases in pressure, I have never seen any wildly high readings on my gauges but knowing what O rings are like could I be having intermittent leakage downstream? Hey that’s a thought !!!

    Oh sod it, let’s see how I go with this new bottle I don’t wish to ramble on and bore you all.

    Nighty-night folks,

    John

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