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Old 01-15-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
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Default Newb needs help...

Keggin newbi here needs help.

I just got my lines and regulator hooked up this evening, and then transferred my Irish Red into the Keg. It was CRYSTAL clear until my siphon picked up some of the cake in the last 1/8 of the bucket... D'oh!

MY PROBLEM is I have a dual regulator ( (micromatic) that I picked up used that I see on their site they actually list it as a secondary reg not a primary. But I removed the hose barb on the high pressure side with the proper nipple/washer/nut to attach to my 10# tank.

I have my handles turned all the way in, which I assumed would be near zero pressure, but it is so STRONG that it actually triggered my kegs pressure relief valve and turning out doesn't seem to turn down the pressure either. Also, my low pressure gauges don't seem to be working right as one returns to zero and the other 40 when I detach the gas and clear the lines but neither really are giving me a good reading when I do have the gas on.

Any ideas?

In the end I gave the keg a few shots of co2, and purged to make sure I got any o2 out and then gave it another shot and purged until I felt there was just enough to keep the lid sealed.

So I am not actually carbing yet because of my regulator issue. But my FIL will be here Sat and Sun night and he is looking forward to trying this (as am I).

Oh, also I think in my haste to get the beer transferred and get my son to swim lessons on time, I may have watered down the beer. I had starsan in the keg, forced it out with co2 to sanitize the diptube, tubing, etc. and then immediately started to transfer without dumping what was/may have been still behind. I totally spaced that the dip tube doesn't pick up all the fluid and that there is always some left behind.

Again, D'oh!

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:28 AM   #2
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I was having trouble with my laptop a few minutes ago so I'll answer your questions a bit at a time so I don't lose a lot of text if I crash again. Feel free to post further questions or ask for clarification between my posts.

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Originally Posted by cyberbackpacker View Post

I have my handles turned all the way in, which I assumed would be near zero pressure, but it is so STRONG that it actually triggered my kegs pressure relief valve and turning out doesn't seem to turn down the pressure either.
It's the other way around. You turn the handle in to turn up the pressure. To start, turn the handle all the way out. Turn it so far that you don't feel any resistance anymore. Bleed off the pressure and your gauge should go to zero.

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Also, my low pressure gauges don't seem to be working right as one returns
to zero and the other 40 when I detach the gas and clear the lines but neither really are giving me a good reading when I do have the gas on.
They're probably not at the same position. Turn them all the way out and clear the lines. Start turning them back in slowly. The pressure will build. If you go too far, you can turn it down, but you have to bleed off the pressure in the line to see the effect.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:30 AM   #3
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Your biggest problem here is the configuration of your regulators. You need a regulator to step down the tank pressure and act as your primary. What you have are two secondary regulators. This is not to say that you can't reconfigure them to act differently, but you'll likely need another high pressure gauge.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:34 AM   #4
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For the sake of clarity, let's take one regulator at a time and describe how to set it up.

If you look on the back of your regulator, you'll see that two of the ports are labelled 'primary', and two are labelled 'secondary'. One of the primary ports must go to the tank and the other goes to the high pressure gauge. Then you put a low pressure gauge on one of the secondary ports and the other goes to your tank. That's the configuration of a single regulator and single tank system.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:39 AM   #5
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If you want more than one regulator, you have to gang your regulators. Instead of sending your second 'secondary' port to a keg, you send it to a set of regulators. That's the picture you posted originally. Those gauges are intended to receive pressure from a primary regulator.

So the primary regulator outputs a stepped down pressure, say 30 psi, into your ganged regulators. This stepped down pressure goes into the 'primary' port of the first of your ganged regulators. The second 'primary' port goes to the 'primary' port of the second regulator. Plug the remaining 'primary' port on the second regulator or use it as a 30 psi point to seal kegs.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:51 AM   #6
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Fingers, thanks for those answers.

I believe I get what you are saying. Once the kids are in bed I will run down to the basement to look at the regulators.

However, a little prematurely I know, do you think that I will not be able to use this regular right now to carb this one keg? I sure hope that isn't the case...

Nevertheless, thanks for the advice and I will def be back on here (hopefully about 45 minutes) once I get my kids down.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:51 AM   #7
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This leaves the 'secondary' ports of each of the two ganged regulators. One goes to a keg, and the other to a low pressure regulator.

So to summarize:

You need three regulators to have two low pressure outputs for your kegs. One regulator is to step the pressure down from the main tank and to let you know the pressure in tank, and the other two are to step down the pressure from the tank regulator and to show you the pressure in the keg.

Regulator #1:

Attach one 'primary' port to tank
Attach other 'primary' port to high pressure gauge. Gauge must be capable of minimum of 800 psi. 1000 is better.
Attach one 'secondary' regulator to intermediate pressure gauge. I use 30 psi and my gauge goes to 60 psi.
Attach the other 'secondary' regulator to the 'primary' port of regulator #2.

Regulator #2
One 'primary' port receives the stepped down pressure from regulator #1.
The other 'primary' port goes to regulator #3.
One 'secondary' port goes to a low pressure regulator. 20 - 30 psi is good but the higher end is negotiable. The higher you go, the lesser your resolution at the lower end.
The other 'secondary' port goes to keg #1.

Regulator #3
One 'primary' port attaches directly to one of the 'primary' ports of regulator #2. This 'primary' pressure from regulator #1 is shared by all the 'primary' ports of regulators #2 and #3.
The other primary port is plugged, or used as a high pressure seal for new kegs.
One 'secondary' port has a gauge similar to the one on gauge #2.
The other 'secondary' port goes to keg #3.

I hope that makes sense. I can try to draw a diagram if my explanation is confusing.

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Old 01-16-2009, 12:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberbackpacker View Post
Fingers, thanks for those answers.

I believe I get what you are saying. Once the kids are in bed I will run down to the basement to look at the regulators.

However, a little prematurely I know, do you think that I will not be able to use this regular right now to carb this one keg? I sure hope that isn't the case...

Nevertheless, thanks for the advice and I will def be back on here (hopefully about 45 minutes) once I get my kids down.
I hesitate to tell you to use the regulator on your tank because I don't know what it's designed for, but I think it would work. A couple of warnings though.

Take your gauges apart and use just one. Connect one primary to the tank, and if your gauge doesn't go to at least 800 psi, plug the other primary port or you'll blow your gauge.

Put your low pressure gauge on one of the secondary ports and the other one on your keg. Start with your handle on your regulator turned all the way out and with the line bled. Slowly turn the handle in until you reach 30 psi. This is way too high for serving, but it's your best hope of drinking beer tomorrow.

Shake the hell out of your keg. You'll hear gas hissing into the tank as you do it. Do this a few times today and then a few more tomorrow. When you're ready to drink, disconnect the gas and bleed ALL the pressure out of your keg. Re-adjust your regulator back to zero and turn it up to 12 psi BEFORE you reconnect the hose.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:58 AM   #9
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It's very important to bleed off the pressure before you serve or you'll get a glass of foam. It's also important to bleed off the pressure before you turn down the regulator or you can cause beer to backfeed into your regulator. Check valves will prevent this but you shouldn't rely on them or take the chance you might not have them when you think you do.

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Old 01-16-2009, 01:35 AM   #10
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Wow very thorough, thank you. I think I will have to read a couple more times to really digest it however...

Nevertheless, here is how I have it setup right now:



I went downstairs, checked out the regulators, turned off the tank, purged the keg of all co2, turned on the keg with the reg preset to 30 psi, and it is now set there.

It seems to be set and holding steady at 30psi.

What do you think?

Thanks again so much for the help.

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