Essentially the key to your beer keg is pressure. Without the right amount of pressure your beer will dispense improperly and you will find yourself (as well as your customers) very frustrated. Finding the perfect CO2 or Nitrogen pressure is, quite possibly, the most tedious task associated with dispensing draft beer. Thankfully, regulators are here to help ease and even perfect this dreadful task.
What Are Regulators?
First, you have to understand the problem of pressure. If you have too much pressure you will fire out a river of foam from your faucet. On the other hand, too little and you’ll only get a weak trickle of foam and flat, dull, unappetizing beer. A regulator is a device which connects the gas cylinder to the air tube. The regulator is actually one of the most important components of a kegerator, because it controls the flow of CO2 or Nitrogen from the gas cylinder through the beer line. If you find your beer has too much or not enough foam, it means the pressure needs adjusting. The regulator is where you make adjustments to find the proper pressure.
Making Proper Adjustments
In order to adjust the regulator properly, an adjustment screw is placed so as to control the partial opening and closing of a valve. To begin to close the valve, all you need to do is turn the adjustment screw clockwise. Turning the screw counter clockwise, will of course allow it to open.
Basic Primary Regulator
It helps control the CO2 (or nitrogen) and have at least one gauge. The gauge will measure how much CO2 or nitrogen is being dispensed and is often called the Output Pressure Gauge. Primary regulators are connected directly to the gas tank. They all feature shut off valves and safety release valves. Remember, CO2 regulators and nitrogen regulators are not interchangeable. If you are dispensing Guinness or anther keg that requires nitrogen, you will need a separate regulator.
You will need a secondary regulator if you are pouring from different kegs which require different amounts of pressure. Secondary regulators do not connect directly to the gas tank. They are additions which can be added after the primary regulator is already in place. These regulators have anywhere from 1 to 4 adjustment screws which means you can dispense gas into 4 different kegs with one gas tank. They also include the necessary gauges to regulate that many kegs.
Air Line Distributors
Air line distributors are great if you are dispensing multiple kegs and each keg uses the same amount of pressure. Air line distributors are basically secondary regulators except they don’t have the ability to regulate pressure at different amounts. They distribute pressure equally to each keg they are connected to.
If you need more help understanding regulators or other components of the draft beer line system, please contact us at Clean Beer, in Milford, MA. We can meet all your beer line needs, from installation to cleaning and maintenance. In addition to our services, we sell new and used beer line equipment, for your home or bar. Clean Beer is the home of the clean beer line experts, contact us about your home or commercial tap needs.