A kegerator is a great way to have cold beer on tap at your house any time. Some kegerators are built with space for a CO2 tank inside, but others aren’t. While setting up your system, you may be wondering if it’s best to store the tank inside or outside of the fridge.
CO2 tanks can either be stored inside the refrigerator or outside of it because carbon dioxide doesn’t need to be refrigerated. However, most CO2 tanks are equipped with a safety that will trip if the ambient temperature goes above 120°F. In situations where it may be exposed to extreme heat, the CO2 should be stored inside the kegerator.
Read on to find out more about CO2 tanks and the pros and cons of your various storage options.
Should you keep your CO2 tank inside or outside of the kegerator?
Whether you store your CO2 tank inside or outside of the kegerator is dependant on your preferences and the environment in which your kegerator will be stored.
Carbon dioxide does not need to be refrigerated, but it will suffer no ill effects if it is. You may decide to store the CO2 inside your kegerator if you have the space available; however, it can be difficult to set up the first time, and it is important to store the tank carefully.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each method, but the good news is you can change your mind at any point as long as you have enough air tubing to re-run the lines.
Does CO2 need to be refrigerated?
CO2 does not require refrigeration, but it remains stable when refrigerated. In extremely cold temperatures, it will begin to solidify and turn into dry ice.
You aren’t likely to ever run into trouble with your CO2 tank getting too cold. Instead, you should be more worried about it getting too hot. Because of this, it may be wise to air on the side of caution and refrigerate it.
If it gets too hot, the safety on the tank will trip and begin to release CO2 rapidly. This can be dangerous so never keep a CO2 tank in a hot car or other environments that are likely to get above 120°F.
Does CO2 go bad in a tank?
So many homebrew ingredients are perishable, but the good news is, CO2 does not have an expiration date.
Carbon dioxide isn’t an environment where bacteria or any other undesirable elements can grow, so you don’t have to worry that a CO2 tank that has been sitting around for a while has gone bad.
If using an old CO2 tank, the tank itself is more likely to become damaged over time. Be sure to confirm that all mechanisms are in good working order.
Putting the CO2 tank inside the kegerator
If you have space in your kegerator, keeping the CO2 tank inside can be a good way to keep your homebrewing space organized. CO2 does just fine at refrigerator temperatures so there is no concern about keeping it cool.
Advantages of storing your CO2 tank inside the refrigerator or kegerator include:
- Effective use of space – With it inside the refrigerator, you won’t have to worry about it being knocked around in the way during day-to-day life.
- Less air hose – Less hose means that you won’t have to worry about tangling or damage to the line.
The primary drawback to keeping the tank inside the kegerator is the space it takes up.
The more space you use for gas tanks, the less space you have for beer.
Keeping the CO2 tank outside the kegerator
Some people prefer to keep their CO2 tank outside their kegerator.
This is also totally acceptable as CO2 is stable at most normal environmental temperatures, and tends to be just fine at normal temperatures.
The primary benefit to keeping your CO2 tank outside of the kegerator is conserving valuable cold storage space.
Keeping the keg outside means more space inside your kegerator for kegs. With that extra space, you can keep multiple types of beer kegged and chilled at once.
There are two main drawbacks to keeping the CO2 tank outside of the kegerator:
- Running an air hose into the fridge can be challenging – Some kegerators come with a built-in hole for running an external air hose, but if you’re using a chest refrigerator or another mini fridge, you’ll need to drill a hole and keep it insulated. Be sure that there are no rough edges on the hole that will wear into your air hose.
- The tank must be kept upright and in a cool, dry place – Because of the pressure inside the tank, it’s very important to keep your CO2 tank in a place where it won’t be accidentally kicked over or jostled around. Depending on where you keep your kegerator, it can be tricky to find an appropriate place.