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Old 12-05-2012, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default New to kegging - questions about the regulator

Hi,

After home brewing for a little over a year, I'm ready to ditch the bottles (mostly) and start kegging.

I bought some used pin lock kegs this summer, along with a CO2 tank and a three guage regulator. The regulator has one guage for the tank pressure, and two for the line pressures. I just bought an Edgestar BR2000BL for my kegerator, and I'm trying to figure out exactly how I'm going to set it up.

The edgestar has a hole in the back for a single CO2 line, which doesn't do me any good with my two line setup. Plus my lines came attached to the regulator and the pin lock connector, so I'd have to cut them off and reattach them after I fed them through the hole.

I'll have enough room in the kegerator to put a shelf in the very top position, which would allow me to put the regulator inside the kegerator. While I would be able to cram the CO2 tank in as well, it won't fit with the regulator attached. My questions are:

1) Is it possible to have an extension between the CO2 tank and the regulator? Ideally I'd like this to be some kind of flexible tubing so that it would be easy to check and adjust the regulator, but I don't know if tubing could handle the pressure directly from the tank. If not, I'm thinking I should be able to create some kind of metal tubing that would run from the CO2 tank, up the back of the Kegerator, through the hole and attach to the regulator inside. Any thoughts on this?

2) My other question, which could completely ruin this idea, is can a regulator be kept inside the kegerator?

Thanks as always for your help!

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:06 PM   #2
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1) Yes, you can buy high pressure hose, though it's expensive. Here's one quick example, I'm sure there are other styles/lengths that are different prices.

https://www.chicagobrewwerks.com/6-e...2-tank/dp/1017

2) Absolutely! Lots of us keep the regulator in the fridge.

Remember you're going to need to access the regulator, so make sure you can see the gauges and turn the knobs.

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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Thanks zachattack, that's exactly what I'm looking for. And you're right, they are pricey!

Does anyone know if a propane extension hose would work? I've found those for around $20. The connectors look somewhat different, so I didn't know if they are interchangeable.

Also, is anyone aware of a CO2 extension like zachattack shows that sells for less? I've tried searching for them and all I can find is his; all the other links are for propane extensions.

Thanks again!

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Old 12-05-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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Propane does use a different fitting, and propane is generally at a significantly lower pressure than CO2. So those are 2 reasons why it wouldn't work.

The fitting that CO2 tanks use (at least in the US) is CGA 320. So look for a hose with CGA 320 fittings. A welding shop might have them?

Here's another one:
http://stores.kegconnection.com/Detail.bok?no=291

It seems most of the hoses have the CGA320 on only one end, meaning you'll have to take the CGA nut off your regulator and screw this directly in. If you're comfortable doing that, it looks like this is what you want. Some regulators have left hand threads, some have right hand. Hence the 2 products shown there.
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Old 12-05-2012, 10:43 PM   #5
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Ok, I just took another look at my setup, and it looks like the CO2 tank will fit if I put it in the back on the little shelf where the compressor is. The nice thing with that setup is it puts the regulator close to the top, so I will have access to it over the top of the kegs.

That will put the CO2 tank right against the cooling coils in back, which I assume won't be a problem, right?

If I go that route, I'd like to figure out some way to hold the CO2 tank in place. It kind of balances on the compressor ledge, which I assume will vibrate somewhat when it's running. I wouldn't want the tank and regulator to take a header! The good news is it won't have very far to go as long as I keep two kegs in there, but still rather figure out some way to keep it in place.

Thanks once again for all your help!

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Old 12-06-2012, 03:20 AM   #6
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Just a quick note if you're going to keep your regulator in the fridge. When they get cold they often read lower so keep thy in mind. For example, when you get you tank filled it may say around 800-900 psi and then after a day in the fridge it may drop down to 500. Also when you hook your kegs up spray the fittings down with sanitizer, soap and water, etc. It will bubble if you have a leak. Nothing sucks more than a small leak that depletes your co2 over night

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:56 AM   #7
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Yeah, good point. Since the CO2 in your tank is mostly in liquid form, the tank pressure is a function of temperature until you're out of liquid CO2. Which means the tank gauge has nothing to do with how much CO2 is left in the tank! The pressure will drop to ~500 psi, but that doesn't mean there's less CO2. There are multiple posts a day where someone thinks they have a leak because the pressure dropped when the tank got cold! BTW, if the tank pressure drops it won't affect the regulated (keg) pressure.

Leak checking is always a good plan.

In terms of a strap, you might have to get creative. You could try sticking an adhesive hook or something in there, then running a chain around the tank?

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:24 PM   #8
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Thanks, this is all very helpful information!

I haven't filled my CO2 tank yet, but the high pressure gauge on my regulator goes to 2,000 PSI. It sounds like a full tank at room temperature may read 800-900 PSI? The gauge also has a red area starting at 500 PSI that says refill tank. If a cold tank drops to around 500 PSI, will it stay at that level until the tank starts running out and then start dropping from there? I'm just wondering how you know when it's time to refill a cold tank.

The EdgeStar has a 5/8" hole near the top for the keg tubing, if you have the tank on the outside. It has a rubber plug if you keep everything on the inside. I think I'm going to get a piece of wooden dowel that fits the hole, and put a hook through the end of it. That should allow me to loop a piece of chain around the tank and use that to hold it in place.

Thanks again for your help!

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Old 12-06-2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J2W2 View Post
Thanks, this is all very helpful information!

I haven't filled my CO2 tank yet, but the high pressure gauge on my regulator goes to 2,000 PSI. It sounds like a full tank at room temperature may read 800-900 PSI? The gauge also has a red area starting at 500 PSI that says refill tank. If a cold tank drops to around 500 PSI, will it stay at that level until the tank starts running out and then start dropping from there? I'm just wondering how you know when it's time to refill a cold tank.
The majority of the CO2 in your tank is in liquid form. The stuff that boils off is the gas at the top - which at room temp is about 750 psi. At 38 degrees it's closer to 500 psi.

Now, telling how much is left can be tricky. When the gauge starts reading below 500 that means you've boiled off all the liquid and the tank is only filled with gas - and it's almost empty.

CO2 tanks are filled be weight - which is the most reliable and easiest way to check how full they are. If it's empty take a measurement and write it on the tank. It will weigh the tank size + empty weight when full (ie 5 pound, 10 pound, 20 pound). You can do simple subtraction to see how much you have left.

It's really not a big deal to run out. The kegs will hold their pressure while you refill the tank.
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