Monday 10 May 2021

Setting & Adjusting CO2 Gas Regulator (How to Guide)

A CO2 regulator is a critical part of any kegging system. As the name suggests, the regulator is responsible for regulating or controlling the flow of gas from your gas cylinder into your keg. The pressure inside the the CO2 cylinder is much higher than what is required to pressurise kegs, or dispense beer from them, so the regulator helps us set and control the pressure.

Here's a step by step guide to get your CO2 pressure regulator connected to your bottle and adjusted correctly.

Review the image below to familiarise yourself with the different parts of the regulator before beginning.

Diagram showing the key components of a CO2 gas regulator

  1. Ensure the gas on your cylinder is fully closed/off (ie. wound in a clockwise direction). Attach your gas line to the output of the regulator. Ensure you have a gas disconnect on the end of the gas line (but don't connect it to your keg yet). In the picture above, we're using a duotight push in fitting to connect our line to the regulator - you may have a barb connection which just requires a clamp to hold the line in place over the barb.

  2. Connect the regulator to the outlet valve on your gas cylinder. The standard fitting/connection in Australia for these is a Type 30 connection. Use a tap spanner to ensure it is sufficiently tightened to prevent any gas from leaking out.

  3. Unwind (screw anti-clockwise) the adjustment knob on your gas regulator as far as it will go. Unwinding this knob closes the output of the regulator.

  4. Fully open the gas valve on your gas bottle by turning the valve handle anti-clockwise. Listen for any hissing noises indicating a gas leak. If you do hear one, check all your connections are tight. At this point you should see a reading on the high-pressure gauge on your regulator.

  5. Once you are confident there are no leaks, you can begin slowly turning the adjustment handle on your regulator clockwise to start allowing gas to flow through. Do this slowly, and you'll notice the low pressure gauge on regulator start to move as it allows more gas/pressure to pass through it. For most beers, a pressure of 10-12 psi is sufficient.

  6. Check again for leaks - listen, feel and also try spraying connections and fittings with a soapy water solution and look for bubbles forming/popping. Even the smallest of gas leaks can lead to your gas bottle being drained overnight.

  7. If you have adjusted your pressure to high, close the valve on the gas cylinder and pull the pressure release valve (PRV) on your regulator to release the pressure and start again.

  8. Once you have your pressure set correctly, you can attach the gas disconnect on your gas line to your keg. You should be able to hear the vessel it is attached to begin to fill with gas.

  9. Another good tip to check for leaks is to set the pressure on your regulator with the gas line not connected to anything. Close the valve on your gas cylinder and leave it overnight. Check the high and low pressure on your gauges - if either have dropped to 0 then you have a leak in your system.
Check out my other blog posts which have more detailed instructions on checking for leaks if you get stuck.

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