How many corny kegs will I get from a CO2 tank and how do I properly setup a kegerator draft system?
A five pound CO2 cylinder will typically dispense around 15 of the typical 5 gallon cornelius kegs that are commonly used in beer kegerators. Most, homebrew draft systems will require a setting of around 11 PSI at 38 degrees Fahrenheit for draft lines around 6-12 feet - though exceptions will exist for draft systems with longer than typical draft line lengths, intererior diameter sizes and temperature settings. Other exceptions such as elevation (for those of us living in Denver and other Rocky Mountain areas) will determine your proper PSI setting. To guide you, there is a 1 PSI adjustment for every 2000 feet of elevation. Denver area homebrewer's would likely set their kegerator PSI higher than sea-level PSI to increase resistance and reduce foam during dispensing.
Generally, homebrewers are not only using their CO2 for dispensing their beer..they use CO2 to force carbonate as well. So depending on the PSI setting you are force carbing at and the duration of time ..you can definitely expect to dispense and carbonate far less than 15 cornelius kegs with one 5 lbs CO2 cylinder.
Beer needs not only to be properly carbonated and served at the correct temperatures, but also stored at the correct pressure to maintain carbonation. Force carbing chilled beer at 35-40 PSI for 24-36 hours is usually ample to bring your homebrew to carbonation. After this time, you will need to lower the regulator setting back down to 11 PSI to maintain the carbonation and properly dispense your homebrew beer.
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