Homebrew CO2 Tank Tips – New or Used & Tank Size

1737Pictured: 20 lb CO2 Tank from MoreBeer

Part of Our Homebrew Tips and Tricks Series.  Check out the complete list – Homebrewing Tips, Tricks & Shortcuts!

New or Used?  Do you have a local spot to get your CO2 tank refilled or does your local provider swap empty tanks for full?  If you have a vendor that refills tanks, that’s likely your best bet.  In that case new or used tanks can make sense.  If your vendor swaps out tanks, I recommend considering a good used CO2 tank.  Don’t buy a new CO2 tank unless you’re certain that you have a good local source that will refill tanks.  It doesn’t make any sense to buy a shiny new tank and then swap it out for a used tank right away.

Get a big CO2 tank.  At my supplier, it costs around $20 to swap out an empty 5 lb tank.  It costs around $25 to swap out an empty 20 lb tank.  It’s more than 3 times the cost to refill the smaller tank!  With the example prices, 20 lbs of CO2 would cost $80 with a 5 lb tank vs $25 for a 20 lb tank.  That’s a $55 savings.  I recommend getting as large of a CO2 tank as you can for your space.  This will pay for itself in both in time and money.

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3 thoughts on “Homebrew CO2 Tank Tips – New or Used & Tank Size

  1. Seth

    Dont get a steel 50lbs co2 tank! Unless you’re the hulk or have access to a tank dolly or lifting device. I was paying $18 for my 20# swaps but I asked about getting something bigger. Only $8 more for 2.5x the gas! But the tank is huge and heavy. Well at least I don’t have to worry about running out any time soon.

  2. Mike

    It would actually only be $80 to get 20 lbs of CO2 using a 5 lb tank at $20 per fill since 4 x 5 lbs = 20 lbs and 4 x $20 = $80. Still, $80 – $25 = $55 difference.


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