What Are the Different Sizes of CO2 Tanks?

Every bar or restaurant serving beer needs a CO2 tank. It provides proper cooling, storage, and dispensing of alcoholic beverages.

However, for your beer dispensing system to work correctly, you should get the right size of CO2 tank. You need to consider a lot of nuances: suitable gas and pressure, connection features, and, finally, the size of the equipment.

Let’s figure out what the optimal size of the cylinder for your establishment is.


What Sizes of CO2 Tanks Are Available?

When choosing a CO2 tank, one of the first things you have to decide is what size you need. It is important to understand that the dimensions and volumes of CO2 cylinders are not the same things, although the gas is calculated in pounds (volume).

Here are some of the most common CO2 tanks sizes available on the market:

  1. 2,5 pound (3½’’W x 18¼’’H)
  2. 5 pound 5¼’’W x 17½’’H)
  3. 10 pound (6⅞’’W x 20’’H)
  4. 15 pound (6⅞’’W x 26’’H)
  5. 20 pound (8’’W x 27½’’H)

There are also large tanks for 50, 75, and 100 pounds, but they are not as in demand as the above-mentioned models. They are often purchased for particularly large industries. As a rule, they are difficult to find and, because of their rarity, such equipment is quite expensive. 

CO2 Tank Dimensions: What Size CO2 Tank Should I Get?

It all depends on whether you are a homebrewer or produce this alcoholic beverage on a commercial basis.

There is a huge selection of sizes of CO2 tanks for homebrewing: from light and compact ones to very heavy and large ones.

Most homebrewers prefer to use a 5-pound cylinder: it is quite ergonomic, easy to carry, transport and use.

With this type of tank 6-8 half barrels or about 3-4 full-sized barrels can be dispensed.

For commercial purposes, you should opt for larger tanks of 10 or 20 pounds. One 10-pound cylinder of carbon dioxide should be enough for about 10 to 13 full barrels.

These are the approximate numbers. How long does gas in the tank last depends on:

  • carbonization features of the beverage;
  • frequency of use of the kegerator;
  • features of the entire draft beer system configuration.

You don’t need to buy a new cylinder every time your old one runs out of gas. It can be refilled at the nearest draught beer store, welding supply store, fire extinguisher store, or any other place that sells CO2 equipment.

The choice of the optimal size of the CO2 tank is also influenced by:

  • Material and weight

Most of these tanks are made of aluminum or steel. Fiberglass cylinders are rare.

If we talk about small containers of 5-20 pounds, we recommend choosing products of aluminum. It is lighter and more corrosion-resistant.

However, large enterprises and breweries working with tanks of 20 to 50 pounds or more should pay attention to steel products because they are more durable. 

But consider that steel products are quite heavy: for example, a 50-pound empty tank weighs 120 pounds. In turn, an empty aluminum 20-pound cylinder weighs only 20 pounds.

  • Type of beer and pressure in the cylinder

If your bar or restaurant serves regular beers, then you can install a carbon dioxide tank. But if you also dispense Guinness and various stouts, pay attention to the nitrogen tanks.

Each type of gas requires a certain pressure. So for carbon dioxide, it’s in the range of 10 to 12 pounds per square inch, and for nitrogen it is 30 to 40 pounds per square inch.

The right pressure level in the tank is the key to successful brewing. It affects the foaming, the taste of the drink, and even its stability during storage. To control the pressure the regulators are used. With them you can set the required output pressure before supplying nitrogen or carbon dioxide into the barrel.

For stouts or other nitro beers manufacturing, you need a Nitrogen Regulator. But you can use a CO2-nitrogen adapter instead.

  • Location

You can install the tank both inside and outside the kegerator. Often the choice of the appropriate location depends on the ambient temperature – it can affect how many kegs you get out of your gas tank.

Is the room cool enough? – You can install the tank outside the kegerator. 

Is it hot in the room? – Then it is better to place the cylinder inside the kegerator.

To buy the most reliable and high-quality CO2 tanks, visit the Beverage Craft website. Here you will be helped to choose the right size of equipment, so that very soon you will be able to pamper your customers with the most delicious, fresh, and aromatic beer!


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