What Is a Co2 Cylinder

Co2 Cylinders for Bars and Pubs Explained

Bars and pubs that serve drinks such as beer and soft drinks in the London area prefer to use CO2 cylinder gas. Knowing all about a CO2 gas cylinder will enable you to make the ideal choice for commercial dispensing when it comes to beers, lagers, stouts, ciders, and carbonated drinks. Finding the right CO2 tank for your business is the first step towards taking your drink menu to the next level. Once you know how it works, you will be ready to make a new beverage design plan while always keeping safety in mind.

What is a CO2 Gas Cylinder?

Compressed gasses such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and oxygen are all gasses at room temperature. However, once these gasses get cold enough they become a liquid and this is how they are stored in gas containers. When these liquids experience a temperature increase, they also expand in volume. This is why it is a safety issue when handling these tanks because the CO2 pressure increases when the tank gets hotter. A CO2 regulator is also important to have to keep your tank from heating up drastically.

A gas cylinder is the beginning of the pressure side of your draft beer system. It is important to understand how CO2 provides the pressure to your system using a CO2 gas cylinder in order to know how your draft beer or other types of beverage delivery systems work.

A gas cylinder is usually made of aluminum so that it is lightweight and corrosion resistant and comes with a fitted valve so that it can turn on or turn off the flow of gas in the cylinder. They also come in a number of sizes and for ease of use in bars and pubs, it is a good idea to stick with 2 ½, 5, 10, 15, or 20-pound gas compression chamber depending on your setup and need. Since you will be moving, transporting, and storing the cylinders, size is a definite factor you want to consider when purchasing CO2 beer gas or any other type of CO2 tank.

At 880 pounds per square inch, the CO2 has lost enough energy and is cold enough to turn into a liquid. This liquid form is what the CO2 is when it is inside the gas cylinder and it remains in this state until the cylinder is opened. You should take note that the pressure of your cylinder should always be 880 psi and this is the pressure that is the driving force for your beverage delivery system.

You should also keep in mind that the tank is only providing storage at this pressure and once it is opened, the liquid will evaporate and become available to flow into the gas side of your beverage delivery system. The pressure is reduced by the attached regulator so that the released gas can be used at a more manageable level.

The top valve can easily be opened by turning the hand wheel or valve handle in a counterclockwise direction. Likewise, it can be closed by turning clockwise until it stops. You will also see a pressure relief valve that is built into the body of the valve. When the pressure rises above a preset level, the pressure release valve will automatically discharge the cylinder. There is also a threaded outlet that allows you to attach a regulator the valve body.

Pubs and bars usually use a filling service to refill the containers when they are empty. These services are helpful because they provide an extra cushion of safety since they regularly inspect the for damage and routinely check their last hydrostatic test date.

Any cylinder you use should have undergone a rigorous battery of hydrostatic testing. A cylinder that has not been tested within the last five years should not be used. In addition, you should never accept nor request to fill a damaged cylinder.

How It Works

CO2 expands rapidly when there is an increase in the tank’s temperature. This increase puts more and more pressure on the gas regulator which is also controlling the CO2 output. The CO2 liquid inside the tank is very cold (-57 to -78 degrees Fahrenheit). When the liquid is very cold, CO2 only puts off about 100 psi (pounds per square inch). At room temperature at around 70°F, the tank has an output of 850 psi. At hot temperatures around 110°F, the tank can have an output of up to 2000 psi.

Make a Design Plan

One thing you will need to consider in your design plan when getting a CO2 beverage delivery system is determining how much room you will need for your CO2 tank. The quality of your beer carbonation will depend on your CO2 canister and how well you can keep the beer keg cold. Keeping the keg and the canister at lower temperatures will help infuse your beer more efficiently.

Providing enough space for CO2 beer gas cylinder will ensure that your beer is not too foamy when it grows a head after pouring it into a glass. You also be able to have better control and maintenance on carbonation that is present in the beer you serve.

The size of the beer keg is also a consideration because you will need enough space for both the CO2 tank and the keg. The most basic bar and pub set up is where they use an external CO2 tank that is connected directly regular beer kegs. Sometimes the kegs will sit on ice or a kegerator (a conversion of a refrigerator for a keg) to stay at cold temperatures.

Safety Considerations

You should always remember that a CO2 cylinder is a powerful tool and must be treated with respect. It is always important to follow the proper safety guidelines when handling these tanks. You should also make sure that the regulator pressure is never turned up higher than recommended. Another tip is to make sure that cylinders are always standing upright when in use.

Finding the Right CO2 Tank for Your Business

Owning a bar or pub gets exciting when you find the right CO2 cylinder that will help you serve more outstanding drinks to your customers. Making your drink menu more exciting with CO2 may be just what you need to get an extra edge over other competitors.

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