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Thread: Non-Beer Grade C02

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Non-Beer Grade C02

    I'm a home brewer with plans to turn pro very soon.
    I just came to the realization that I have been using Non beer or food grade C02 for my draft system. I have been getting my cylinder filled at the local fire extinguisher joint.
    My question is,
    I just had my 20 lb cylinder filled. Should I empty it immediately and get beer grade? Or should I just use what I have and then switch? Am I drinking 10W30 with my beer? Will it make me ill eventually?
    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Andy Bishop
    Hope BC Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Lexington, KY, USA

    Clean gases for your beer.

    My first question was why did you have to resort to the Fire Station for the gas in the first place?

    I am unsure as to what else might be in carbon dioxide for purposes of putting out flames - some kind of dispense propellant? The gas must be fairly clean to get it to pressurize and dispense properly but it is probably not ideal for your beer.

    One issue brewers have is that a lot of their CO2 comes from corn fermentation and this can, unless scrubbed, contain DMS (corn flavor) and even hydrogen sulfide (rotten eggs). You should bubble some of the gas through clean water and smell and taste that water for any flavor impurities. I'd also look closely at the water and the surface for any evidence of oil droplets or other components not miscible with the water. If all tastes and looks good it might be OK to use that gas from the folks at the Fire House but you should still get specs on such grades of the CO2 and try and find a better source. Test it anyway. Most brewers do!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Minocqua WI
    1- Ask for thier MSDS on the product. They are requried to have them and provide tham when asked. That should answer if it is fda aproved, what you want too look for is "GMP" Good Manufacturing Process
    2- I have been told from multiple sources in the gas industry that most bulk Co2 comes from the patoleum industry and oillyness is the greatest concern. Ive never heard of Co2 being a source of DMS or cornyness in beer. GMP Co2 (or O2) should need no filters for food production use.
    Brewmaster, Minocqua Brewing Company
    "Your results may vary"

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