McEver Distributors

Month: September 2017

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What are the numbers and letters on my CO² tank?

Our more curious home brew clientele may be wondering what the stamped writing is on their CO² tank. The answer is likely what you might have expected, most of the information is regulatory. Consumers will find the most relevant information is the original hydrostatic test date and the service pressure of the tank.

For the benefit of newer home brewers  (and dispensers) – A Hydrostatic test is a test that determines the integrity of a tank to hold pressure. A typical CO² tank is required to undergo hydrostatic certification every 5 years. We’ve included the full breakdown of the information on a CO² tank thanks to Catalina Cylinders.

 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires cylinders made in compliance to their specs and be marked on the crown with certain information.

 

Below is an example of the current crown marking stamped on any CO² tank.

DOT-3AL1800FXXXXXXX M4002 07C08 B20 U18 T25.2LB TC-3ALM124 T11.5KG CATALINA

Marking Description
DOT-3AL U.S. regulatory authority and specification, 3AL, (required mark).
1800 Service pressure, in pounds per square inch (psi), of the cylinder (required mark).
FXXXXXXX Serial number of the cylinder. 
M4002 M-number or Manufacturers Number 
07C08 Original hydrostatic test date of the cylinder, month followed by year, performed at the time of manufacturing.
B20 Cylinder identifier (product name).  “B” for beverage, and capacity “20” 
U18 Cylinder outlet thread designation as specified in CGA TB-16.
T25.2LB or TW25.0LBS Tare weight (in lbs.) of the empty cylinder package. 
TC-3ALM Canadian regulatory authority, 3ALM, to which the cylinder is manufactured in compliance.
124 Service pressure of the cylinder expressed in metric units, bars (required mark).
CATALINA Name of the manufacturer of the cylinder.
T11.5KG Metric tare weight (in kgs) of the empty cylinder package. 

 

Tanks are certified before being shipped, new and used CO² tanks can be purchased in our online shop.

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Kegs Are Easier

We think kegs are easier than bottling. Certainly they’re both legitimate methods to accomplishing the same desired result (enjoying delicious brews). But we feel like the key points are enough to make kegging a preferred thing.

Time Invested

Bottling 5 gallons takes about 55  12 oz glass bottles which can take quite a while if you average 2 minutes per bottle (cleaning then filling). Readying all the bottles and lining them up can be time consuming. Switching from bottle to bottle can be a hassle as well.

Cleaning

Bottles require brushes, soaking, sanitizing, oh my. Not to mention the bottles need to dry, some people use racks, creating a space issue for those that brew in the kitchen. Kegs have a hand sized hole you can reach your arm into for scrubbing as well as only having to do it once instead of 60 times.

Carbing

Set it and forget it! You can add the precise amount of carbonation with a regulator unlike with bottles. Bottling requires one to be very careful with making sure you add the correct amount of priming sugar and yeast. Not to mention if you over carb a keg is less likely (way less likely) to pop than a bottle.

As always, new and used Corny kegs are available on our shop page here.

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Store Water in your Cornelius Keg During Emergencies

Being a Florida based company, McEver Kegs knows all too well the challenges of storing fresh emergency water during major weather events (in our case hurricanes). One of the essentials in preparation for a storm is to make sure you have fresh drinking water.

In advance of Hurricane Irma brewing into a threat we’ve put together a basic guide for how to re-purpose your Cornelius keg for long term water storage based on the FEMA and EPA guidelines for storing/decontaminating water for emergencies.

  • Sanitize your keg. Always sanitize your keg before storing anything you intend to consume.
  • Boil water for 1-2 minutes. A rolling boil should be maintained to ensure the water is safe to drink once it cools. Let the water cool naturally.
  • Attach it to CO2 to seal the keg Firm seals are important, they keep any bacteria from contaminating the stored water.

Used kegs are available for those that don’t currently own any and would like to start brewing or storing water.

As always, stay safe and plan ahead!