Author Topic: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel  (Read 8979 times)

Offline mattes.dude

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CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« on: August 09, 2014, 08:31:02 PM »
Is there a real difference? I've heard aluminum was much better... but I haven't even seen steel ones.  What would the difference even be?

Thanks for the help!

Offline texasdan

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Re: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2014, 09:41:19 PM »
I had the same question when I decided to buy my tanks.  I decided to go aluminum.
Aluminum is much lighter, usually looks better visually and won't leave rust/stains where you sit them.
Other than that, I feel they function exactly the same.
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Offline brewfun

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Re: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2014, 10:56:22 PM »
+1 to Texas Dan's list. Same reasons I'd choose aluminum.
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Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2014, 11:09:10 AM »
I paid a deposit on a tank at the local gas and welding supply store, and then trade it in for a full one when it's empty. Sometimes I get steel, sometimes I get aluminum. Doesn't really matter to me.
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Offline texasdan

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Re: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2014, 03:06:23 PM »
I agree with that Maine Homebrewer.  Exchanging tanks may be dependent on availability so you may get aluminum one time and steel the next, but I decided to purchase a couple of tanks, mainly so I would have fairly presentable tanks. 
 Also, if there isn't any moisture/condensation to worry about, then steel tanks probably wouldn't leave stains.  Or you could put something under them I guess.
I was lucky and picked up 2 5# tanks for $45.  When one gets low I just fill the other.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 03:48:47 PM by texasdan »
Next Up: 
Fermenting: None
Lagering:     
Conditioning: #46-Special Helles
Drinking:       #45-Klosterbier, #44-Honey Ginger Lager, #43-Oktoberfest, #42-Festbier, #40 Ayinger Style Jahrhundertbier Hell, #41-Klosterbier

Offline mattes.dude

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Re: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2014, 05:04:50 PM »
Wow, $45 isn't bad at all!  I inherited a 5lb tank from my dad, which is now empty.  I found out that since it hasn't been inspected in 5 years they need to do that which takes a week or more and $35... and the possibility stays that it could fail inspection.  I've liked around the area to buy a new tank... I've come up with aluminum tanks ranging from $70-$100. Not sure if I should buy a new one, or have old one inspected.  Money is always tight with school loans and a little one on the way...

I haven't seen steel tanks for sale... nor have I looked into renting.  Maybe that'll be a good option?  Welding places you say, huh? Will have to check tomorrow.  There is a short down the road from my work...

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: CO2 tanks - Aluminum vs. Steel
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2014, 06:19:43 PM »
Quote
nor have I looked into renting

Do you have a gas grill? I do. Takes the same propane tank as the turkey fryer burner I use to boil my brew.  I refill the tank at the hardware store until it gets rusty, then I exchange it for a refurbished one at the gas station. Doesn't matter the brand. They'll take it and exchange it. The company refurbishes it. Theoretically on the next exchange I could get the old one with coat of fresh paint.

Same idea with the CO2. You're not renting it. You pay a deposit so they don't lose money if you never take it back. From then on you own it, and own the next one when you exchange it. But you're not married to the place where you originally paid the deposit. I found another place that exchanges them for like three dollars less than where I paid the deposit, so I go there now.

I think I paid eighty something about five years ago for the deposit on mine. I'm sure it's more now. If you can get yours fixed up for less, do it. Then call around to find the cheapest place to exchange it. I think I paid sixteen dollars and change the last time I gave them an empty aluminum tank that looked all new and shiny. They gave me a dull steel one that looks like it's been around the block.  Maybe the next one will be new.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2014, 06:21:31 PM by Maine Homebrewer »
"To alcohol! The cause of - and solution to - all of life's problems!" -Homer Simpson