Steel vs Aluminum CO2 Tanks: Which One Is the Winner?

You are getting ready for carbonating while brewing. You went to the kitchen and ended up with an aluminum and steel tank. This can be pretty confusing, right?

So, ultimately steel vs aluminum CO2 tanks, which one to choose?

Between steel and aluminum CO2 tanks, steel tanks are heavier than aluminum tanks, perfect for heavy boiling. Again, Aluminum tanks are less corrosive than steel tanks, especially for water. Thus, aluminum can be used more conveniently in high moist places than steel tanks. Thus, goes the comparison.

To get the full idea about steel vs aluminum tanks, you need to dig in more.

And you don’t need to feel alone! I have brought this article just for your help.

So without further ado, let’s get started with the article!

Steel vs Aluminum CO2 Tanks: Quick Comparison

Let’s see what steel CO2 tanks and the Aluminum tank have for us in comparison.

Here are what you get:

Features to CompareSteel CO2Aluminum CO2 Tank
Water Corrosion ResistantNoYes
LightweightNoYes
High ThicknessYesNo
Use of Oxygenated CleanerUsableNot Usable
CO2 Corrosion ResistanceResistant against dry CO2Resistant against liquid CO2
PriceApproximately $10,000 USDApproximately $21,000 USD

This is a glimpse of the head-on-head comparison, sponsored by steel tanks and aluminum tanks!

Steel vs Aluminum CO2 Tanks: In-Depth Comparison

Previously we’ve seen a quick review of steel and aluminum CO2 tanks

However, that’s just the beginning. Now, it’s time to go for a more broad comparison and analysis.

After all, you have to choose the perfect tank to dissolve calcium carbonate, right?

Weight

When you are speaking of metallic tanks, weight is a common topic to speak about. After all, different metals weigh differently.

Technically, steel tanks are heavier than aluminum CO2 tanks. 

Basically, it’s the unit mass. The unit mass of steel is 7850 kg per cubic meter. 

Whereas, the unit mass of aluminum is only around 2700 kg per cubic meter. 

Because of this reason, steel CO2 tanks get heavier than the aluminum ones for one specific volume. But keep in mind that bigger the tank size, greater the weight.

Oxidation Resistivity

Metallic compounds have a chance of getting rusty. Because of this, metallic tanks are made to be rust-resistant. Let’s see how CO2 tanks got for us.

Aluminum CO2 is rust-resistant. They don’t get easily corroded by water. Because aluminum is a non-ferrous metal. And non-ferrous metal does not get damaged by oxidation. 

On the other hand, corrosion and steel tanks are an inseparable combo. Steel CO2 tanks are made of ferrous materials. This ferrous material gets damaged by the water. 

Source: sciencephoto

It happens because of the oxidation process. Thus, stainless steel CO2 tanks are not oxidation resistive. They can easily rust.

So, Aluminum tanks are the winner in case of rust-resistance. You might be confused which brands of tanks to choose from. Well, here’s our recommendation on that.

Environment for Use

Which environment is suitable for the CO2 tanks? This can be a question with varying answers. 

Aluminum tanks are rust-resistant. They don’t get damaged by water. 

As a result, in places where there is high humidity, these tanks can be used. 

Since high humidity places are usually wetter than other places. 

Be careful. Do not use these tanks for carrying water, especially on boats. Aluminum tanks can’t safely carry water.

Unfortunately, steel tanks are not a good option for any wet places. They can easily get rusty because of containing ferrous metals. 

Don’t worry though! Steel tanks are best for use in dry places, where moisture is less.

CO2 Corrosion Resistant

We are using a CO2 tank for homebrewing. But, it may happen that the sole CO2 for which you are using the jar, can corrode the tank. 

Generally, both steel CO2 tanks and aluminum CO2 tanks get corroded by CO2. Still, there’s some slight difference between the corrosive resistance.

Steel tanks are good against dry CO2. They can easily withstand the corrosion done by dry CO2. It’s because steel tanks are great for a dry environment.

Whereas, aluminum tanks can counter liquid CO2. Aluminum tanks are water-resistive and can work in a wet environment. 

Thus, they easily withstand oxidation because of the liquid CO2.

Because of this, Aluminum tanks are more corrosive resistant than steel ones. 

Price

Price can create a major difference between any product or models of products. So, it is one of the major criteria for aluminum vs steel CO2 tanks.

Steel CO2 tanks for breweries are kind of reasonable in the tanks market. The general cost of such tanks is around 10,000-11,000 thousand USD. 

Now let’s have a glimpse of the aluminum tanks. The aluminum tanks usually cost more than 20,000 USD.

It seems that for the same tank, aluminum tanks are more costly than steel ones. 

Well, it is for obvious reasons. Technically aluminum is approximately three-time expensive as steel. 

Moreover, general aluminum instruments have at least 20% more cost than steel ones. And that’s how the difference in cost takes place between these tanks.

Final Decision

That’s it brew-master! It’s time to select the perfect tank that won’t create problems at the kegerator

Both steel and aluminum CO2 tanks for the brewery are great. In fact, you can use any of them. 

If you are up for some heavy-duty boiling works for the brewery, then the heavy steel CO2 tanks are just the perfect thing for you. Plus, they are reasonable too. 

Or else, the aluminum tanks are there to help you. They are lightweight, rust-protective, and can be used in any wet conditions.

FAQs

Should I Use Chains to Keep The CO2 Tanks Safe?

Yes, you should. CO2 tanks are usually filled with CO2. IF they fall and get damaged, there can be several fatalities. Besides, if the tanks collide, there is a chance of explosion due to the friction of the collision. That’s why the tanks should be chained. This way, you can store them safely.

Is It Okay If I Keep Steel Tanks in The Kegerator?

You can keep the steel tanks in the kegerator. You have to maintain certain steps. You have to drill a hole. Kegerator is made of brass and the tanks are made of steel. Due to thermal expansion, certain leaks can take place. So, if you want to keep the tanks in the kegerator, make a hole. That’s it!

How Many Kegs Can I Get from a CO2 Tank?

For using a 5-lb CO2 tank, you can fill up at least 6 kedges to the full. After that, you have to refill the CO2 tank.  If you take a 10 lb tank, 10 to 13 full kedges are what you can have before refilling the tank. Based on the carbonation rate and time spent at the kegerator, the value can vary.

Can I Use a CO2 Cartridge for Carbonating?

Yes. Generally, you can 1cartridge CO2 to completely carbonate beer. The amount of cartridge can vary based on the beer. The whole process can take 2 or 3 days. You can boost up the process. Just shake the trail keg, often. This boosts the carbonation process, making it less time-consuming. 

End of The Line

The class ends here brewer-boy! Now you can find the winner of steel vs aluminum CO2 tanks

Still, got confusion? Don’t worry. Go for any brew expert. They will give you some heck of advice.

Now then I should go.

Happy carbonating!

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