Author Topic: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow  (Read 2989 times)

Offline bigmoneymark

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co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« on: June 01, 2013, 03:17:35 PM »
Hi all,

Sorry if this is a duplicate, so many hits on 'regulator' out there.. if so pls point me to the right article..

I have a corny keg, co2 tank & dual head regulator, which I've used.. but am still not 100% on the operation.  I've seen conflicting articles on the net on what you should open/close when.  This can be dangerous so I want to be 100%.  So, can someone please comment & correct the following.

Assuming regulator is already attached to the tank, and tank valve closed:
Connect outlet hose to keg in.
Close the regulator's 'shutoff' valve (90 degrees out of phase with the hose to the keg)
Open the 'drum'/center valve completely in a anti-clockwise direction
Open the tank valve completely, this will register tank pressure on gauge 'A' (leftmost dial for me)
Clear gauge B by pulling the pressure release valve
Slowly close the drum valve until gauge 'B' registers ~12 psi
With outlet hose connected to keg, open the shutoff valve.

When done, close shutoff valve, tank valve, bleed pressure release valve, and disconnect from keg.

And thats it.  Is this the proper sequence?   


Couple of general questions while I'm here:
If the keg is unused for a while does it lose co2 pressure?
Is there any oxidation risk as co2 escapes (if possible) and is replaced by air?

Cheers!

Offline a10t2

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 03:56:13 PM »
Can you post a pic or link to the regulator you have? I'm not sure if you mean it's a dual-body model or if you're talking about the high- and low-pressure gauges. At any rate, this is how to set a regulator:

  • Close low-side regulator shutoff (red) valve.
  • Open CO2 tank valve fully.
  • Open regulator fully (turn anti-clockwise) until it reads zero and/or begins to leak.
  • SLOWLY increase regulator setting (turn clockwise) until desired pressure is reached - the gauge will lag several seconds behind the setting.
  • Open regulator shutoff to keg.

If it's a dual-body regulator, the only difference is that the regulator closest to the CO2 tank should be set to the higher of the two pressures.

If the keg is unused for a while does it lose co2 pressure?
Is there any oxidation risk as co2 escapes (if possible) and is replaced by air?

Only if there's a leak in the keg. Even if there is a leak, air won't be able to get into the keg until the CO2 tank runs dry and the keg pressure drops to ambient.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 04:01:38 PM »
I learned the hard way to always pressure check. I force carbed once and went thru a whole 5# bottle in one night. Disappointment and expensive

Offline bigmoneymark

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 04:48:36 PM »
Can you post a pic or link to the regulator you have? I'm not sure if you mean it's a dual-body model or if you're talking about the high- and low-pressure gauges. At any rate, this is how to set a regulator:

Thanks for the info!  This is basically it, so dual body I suppose..
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Co2-Regulator-Dual-Gauge-Heavy-Duty-Pro-Series-Draft-Beer-Kegerator-Brew-/360548301462

When the shutoff is open and the keg is pressurized, should the gauge for the keg pressure stay at ~12 psi (or whatever it was set to)?  Can't remember but I believe this dropped off when I opened that valve.

Cheers,

-Mark

Offline bigmoneymark

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 04:51:11 PM »
Another question..

If you had the regulator valve (the one to the keg) open, and accidentally allowed pressure to rise up to say 40 psi or something, what is the effect on the beer?  Is the entire content now over pressurised?  What does this mean for the beer?

Thx..

-M

Offline a10t2

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 05:16:43 PM »
That's a single-body regulator. You have a high pressure gauge (left in the pic) that gives the CO2 tank pressure. That will stay constant until the tank is about 10% full, so it gives you a heads-up that you're about to run out of CO2. The low-pressure gauge (top in the pic) gives the pressure on the keg.

When the shutoff is open and the keg is pressurized, should the gauge for the keg pressure stay at ~12 psi (or whatever it was set to)?

Yes. Even if the tank valve is closed, the system will stay pressurized as long as there isn't a leak.

If you had the regulator valve (the one to the keg) open, and accidentally allowed pressure to rise up to say 40 psi or something, what is the effect on the beer?

Pretty much nothing. If the head space in the keg gets over-pressurized, you can just pull the keg PRV to vent it. It takes roughly 7-10 days to carbonate the beer using only head pressure. A few seconds (or hours) won't matter.
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Offline bigmoneymark

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 05:22:32 PM »
Great info, thanks.

Quote
It takes roughly 7-10 days to carbonate the beer using only head pressure. A few seconds (or hours) won't matter.

This is very interesting.. are you saying that when co2 is applied for the first time it takes that long for all the beer to be carbonated?  Having only used it once or twice, I hooked it up, there was enough pressure to push the beer out, so I thought thats that.. and disconnected as I returned the 3gal keg to the fridge.

So best to connect the co2 and leave it attached/under pressure for at least a week to start?

Thanks!

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 05:33:20 PM »
Once I have vented out the air from a freshly filled keg, I set the pressure at serving pressure and leave it for a week. Normally that does the trick. If I'm in a hurry I bump the pressure to 15-20 and leave it 24 hrs then drop to serving.

This is the easy peasy house brew way for me but when you get into proper carb volumes per style it's another ball game out of my low tech home brew league

Offline bigmoneymark

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 05:58:40 PM »
Once I have vented out the air from a freshly filled keg, I set the pressure at serving pressure and leave it for a week. Normally that does the trick. If I'm in a hurry I bump the pressure to 15-20 and leave it 24 hrs then drop to serving.

This is the easy peasy house brew way for me but when you get into proper carb volumes per style it's another ball game out of my low tech home brew league

Thanks.. do you need to top up over the life of the beer or is good once set?  I have a sense that as you tap it, pressure will drop and the last drops will have less pressure in the keg to force it out.

What do you mean by carb volumes?

Cheers,

-Mark

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: co2 regulator usage, blow by blow
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 06:41:41 PM »
I'm a newby not expert, but I have my simple ways working. Once you set pressure you leave it with cutoff valve open to the keg. Pressure may drop over the first few hours, no worry just readjust it. Then run it like that till you blow the keg.

CO2 is an odd duck. Its liquid in that bottle. It evaporates and creates about 300 psi in the tank. Your regulator allows you to adjust that to lower amounts. The regulator is mechanical and when you set it then change something, like opening the cutoff valve, you might have to adjust a little.

Always leak check once you have it setup because a small leak can drain your tank in no time.

The beer has some CO2 in it even flat. Adding CO2 pressure causes the CO2 in the beer to equalize to that pressure over time. When you pour the beer it gets the bends and starts off gassing the extra CO2 in those lovely bubbles. How much CO2 you add is measured in volumes. I don't fully understand the math but a certain pressure applied at a certain temperature will add a certain volume. It's just a way to precisely measure. Some styles need more or less that others.

For me, with simple house lagers and ales, my system works great with about 8-10 psi, sit and carb for a few days, then enjoy. If it pours too fast I back it off a bit. Low tech is my way