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Old 01-03-2013, 03:21 AM   #1
MrSmug
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Default Regulators and PSI

New to kegging so I'm not quite sure what I need. Just bought a triple tap kegerator and I'm wondering how I should set up my regulator. Does it make sense to buy a triple body regulator with individual pressure guages or a single regulator with a triple outputs? Are most ales carbonated to the same PSI? What are the guidelines for PSI to style of beer?

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:50 AM   #2
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The pressure you need will depend on both the temperature and the desired carbonation level, so you'll need to use a chart like this one to figure out what pressure to use.

As for the regulator and carb level, it's really personal preference. I use one regulator and a manifold to carb all of my beers to the same level. It might be nice to occasionally carb a beer higher or lower, but it's not worth the cost of the secondary regulators for me. Another option you didn't mention is a dual body regulator, which would save money over the 3 body, and still allow you to have 2 pressures/carb levels.

There are general style guidelines for carb levels based on style, but they're really just suggestions, and you should figure out what carb levels you like for yourself. Stouts, porters, and a lot of British beers often have fairly low carb levels like 1.8-2.2 vol. BMC and the majority of commercial beer is usually carbed med-high, typically ~2.7 vol. Belgians, saisons, and hefe's are often highly carbed, sometimes as high as 4.0 vol, which can be a huge PITA to serve through a draught system.

From what I've read here, most people seem happy with med carb levels for most beers, and I see a lot of people shooting for 2.4-2.6 vol. I keep my keezer at 40°F and shoot for 2.5 vol, which requires a 12 psi serving pressure.

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Old 01-03-2013, 05:25 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
The pressure you need will depend on both the temperature and the desired carbonation level, so you'll need to use a chart like this one to figure out what pressure to use.

As for the regulator and carb level, it's really personal preference. I use one regulator and a manifold to carb all of my beers to the same level. It might be nice to occasionally carb a beer higher or lower, but it's not worth the cost of the secondary regulators for me. Another option you didn't mention is a dual body regulator, which would save money over the 3 body, and still allow you to have 2 pressures/carb levels.

There are general style guidelines for carb levels based on style, but they're really just suggestions, and you should figure out what carb levels you like for yourself. Stouts, porters, and a lot of British beers often have fairly low carb levels like 1.8-2.2 vol. BMC and the majority of commercial beer is usually carbed med-high, typically ~2.7 vol. Belgians, saisons, and hefe's are often highly carbed, sometimes as high as 4.0 vol, which can be a huge PITA to serve through a draught system.

From what I've read here, most people seem happy with med carb levels for most beers, and I see a lot of people shooting for 2.4-2.6 vol. I keep my keezer at 40°F and shoot for 2.5 vol, which requires a 12 psi serving pressure.
So in a set up with a dual body regulator would you have a manifold or a completely separate regulator and co2 tank for the third?
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:50 AM   #4
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I have three faucets and a dual body regulator. I have one gas line going directly to a single keg, and the other going to a two-position manifold. The idea is that I can run, say, a pale ale and an IPA at one pressure, and a stout or a mild at another.

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Old 01-03-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ong View Post
I have three faucets and a dual body regulator. I have one gas line going directly to a single keg, and the other going to a two-position manifold. The idea is that I can run, say, a pale ale and an IPA at one pressure, and a stout or a mild at another.
This seems the most practical. I don't see any triple body regulators out there but I do see 3+ body secondary regulators. Whats the difference and how come secondaries never come with a CO2 level gauge?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ong View Post
I have three faucets and a dual body regulator. I have one gas line going directly to a single keg, and the other going to a two-position manifold. The idea is that I can run, say, a pale ale and an IPA at one pressure, and a stout or a mild at another.
Could you also go with a single product dual gauge to a 3 product secondary?
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuanMoore View Post
From what I've read here, most people seem happy with med carb levels for most beers, and I see a lot of people shooting for 2.4-2.6 vol. I keep my keezer at 40°F and shoot for 2.5 vol, which requires a 12 psi serving pressure.
I do exactly the same. 40 deg, 12 psi.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:40 PM   #8
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Whats the difference and how come secondaries never come with a CO2 level gauge?
Secondary regs often can't handle tank pressure, so you need a primary at the tank to reduce it. You only need one tank pressure gauge, and since the primary is the one that can handle the tank pressure, that's the one you'd put it on.

And it's not a CO2 level gauge, it's a tank pressure gauge. Since most of the gas in the tank is liquid, the tank gauge doesn't tell you how much gas is in there. Since the vapor pressure is primarily dependant on temperature, it's closer to a thermometer than a CO2 level gauge. If you want to know how much gas you have left, you'll need to weigh the tank. It will however tell you if you have no gas in the tank, because it will read zero

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Could you also go with a single product dual gauge to a 3 product secondary?
Absolutely. Many people do just that. You could put the tank and primary outside of the fridge/keezer with a splitter, one line going inside to the bank of secondaries, and the other available for purging kegs, seating lids, and doing transfers under pressure without needing to open the fridge/keezer.
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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I find having independent control of each beer's pressure to be useful in controlling how much head a beer has. After a beer is carbed if it doesn't have good head retention I will bump up the pressure by 1 PSI until it pours with a nice head. Conversely, I will do the opposite if a beer has too much head. If I kept all 3 of my beers at the same pressure then some would have a nice head and others would not.

On my 4th tap I do a soda, which requires higher pressure.

You may or may not do soda, but have at least two secondary regulators will give you more options and flexibility than having just one regulator even with your beer.

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