“Food grade” Co2?Posted by Jack Campbell on February 3, 2023 at 3:53 pm
Does the CO2 we use for homebrewing-level kegerators really need to be “food grade”? It’s way more expensive and I have an oxygen/gas shop near me that’s focused on construction/industrial uses, but they’ll fill a CO2 tank for like 30% less than the restaurant supply place. Does it really matter?
- 6 Replies
- MemberFebruary 3, 2023 at 4:35 pm
Don’t know if it counts as industrial grade or better but I have been getting my co2 tanks filled at a paintball place for like 5 years and haven’t died yet 🤣
- AdministratorFebruary 3, 2023 at 4:38 pm
One thing to consider is to make sure the place you get your co2 from is actually FILLING and not SWAPPING your tanks. When I first got into kegging I bought a really nice new shiny co2 tank and then it got swapped out for a horrible looking banged up old one. I was super bummed. Now I get mine filled from my local home brew store.
That said – I’ve done swaps at welding supply places and never had an issue with the co2. Not sure if there is any difference but I can tell you I haven’t been able to notice one if there is one.
- MemberFebruary 3, 2023 at 4:43 pm
No matter what anyone says here, you should consider the risk, the cost, and whether it’s worth it. It doesn’t cost much more to get food grade (especially per-pint). Bad CO2 can ruin your beer and if you get it really wrong, it could make you sick. There is definitely a difference between different grades of CO2. Not just the % of carbon dioxide/purity, but also what is allowed in the % that is left over. Pay very close attention when you get it filled or swapped because some places have it with argon mix. Make sure you know for sure what you’re getting!
- MemberFebruary 3, 2023 at 9:53 pm
Non-food grade may have impurities such as machine oil or other not safe for food things in it.
- MemberFebruary 4, 2023 at 2:22 pm
I get mine from a local welding supply shop and it is fine. They report that theirs is 99.98-99.99% pure. It is the best price around and so far I have not had any issues. Why would there be a difference between welding and food grade if there are only a few CO2 providers? Don’t pay extra for food or beverage grade. Only the most precise computer welds require that purity. 99.9% CO2 is fine.
- MemberFebruary 4, 2023 at 2:27 pm
This is not good advice. Food grade has to pass FDA inspection and has filtration to remove crap from it, The tanks are different than welding tanks. Food grade comes in a specialty tank that has to be certified food safe. Don’t use welding containers for it unless it’s NEW as you can get a lot of crap in them over a long period of times The filling valves usually are also different depending on where you are, size of tank, etc.
I’m not saying that the gas you get from a welding supply is definitely unsafe – just that it isn’t required to be. It may be that your local welding supply place is distributing food safe gas, but I don’t understand why it’s worth the risk to save a couple of dollars per several kegs of beer.