Duotight CO2 Regulator Board Ideas/Planning

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418Brewing

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Okay, starting from this basic idea that is (obviously) not mine or original:
1635524667205.png


I'm thinking of putting something like this on the wall behind my kegerator, but I'd like it to be less plastic. I say "steampunk" not because I want it to look steampunk, but more metal, more "cool", more... professional. I'd also like to not rebuild it on a regular basis and have it turn into a months/years-long project.

So here's what I'm thinking:

First up, flip it upside down. Gas comes in the bottom and goes up. It's a 4 keg system and it never hurts to have a simple, easy extra line. So I want to plan for 5 lines.
I love the independent regulator setup, and it unfortunately looks like the best form-factor for building something like this is the plastic Kegland regulators shown in the picture above. So unless someone has a better idea, I'm thinking that's the best bet.

From there we need a shut off valve. Something with a check valve would be nice, but not necessary. (I could put a cheap Duotight check valve just before the ball-lock connector inside the kegerator where it wouldn't be seen.)

Above that I'm thinking elbow pointed back through the board to another elbow pointing down so the output lines run behind the mounting board and straight down the to the kegerator. I'm going to route them through some 3D printed parts to keep them neat and orderly.

A possible extra idea would be to switch the first elbow to a T with the 90deg leg pointing through the board so I can mount a Duotight pressure gauge at the very top as an extra verification of line pressure (which could vary if the shutoff valve were closed, or the regulator valve was just faulty.)

Not sure if shutoff valves at the manifold would be useful as well. Open to thoughts on that.


So. Ideas for making it look cooler:
1. Use copper pipe fittings for the manifold and anywhere else I can. I'd need to work out how to connect that to Duotight for the regulators.
2. Paint the Duotight hardware with metallic paint. Not excited about that - it seems like a decent way to mess stuff up. But, I think if I carefully mask off the ends (and disassemble the regulators) I could paint the body without much risk.
1635525626508.png

So mask along the red curved line I (sloppily) drew and then paint the part not crossed out.


Opening it up to any/all ideas on how to make this cooler, more useful, future-proof, etc. Stuff like "oh, you're going to thank yourself if you put in an extra CO2 line for carbing, bottling, etc."
 

McMullan

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A 'cool looking' regulator? Sorry, I'm not getting it. Be practical, is my advice. Don't complicate things by overthinking. No one is going to care how 'cool' a regulator looks. If they did they'd know SFA about beer, frankly. Focus on the beer ;)
 
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418Brewing

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I put in an extra regulator, and use it all the time. Also put a check valve at the tank. Also have them on the gas lines inside as well, probably overkill..but, whatevs.

IMG_3481.jpeg
Nice, that's really slick. I think we have the same (or at least very similar) kegerator. I want to push mine closer to the wall and (ideally) just leave it there so putting the tank on the mount on the back isn't ideal for me. I'm toying with the idea of running the line through the side of the cabinet it will sit next to at my wet bar, and then keeping the tank/primary regulator in that cabinet out of sight.

The check valve at the regulator is possibly overkill, but considering the cost of the check valve, and the replacement cost of the regulator, it's entirely sane IMHO. I'd definitely want them on each gas line, either "on the board" or at the ball-lock fitting - to protect the individual inline regulators. But throwing in an extra to cover the main regulator isn't crazy.

A 'cool looking' regulator? Sorry, I'm not getting it. Be practical, is my advice. Don't complicate things by overthinking. No one is going to care how 'cool' a regulator looks. If they did they'd know SFA about beer, frankly. Focus on the beer ;)
I am 100% function over form, but there's no reason you can't have both. I like the industrial aesthetic and exposed machinery where it's made to be neat and orderly. IMO the only thing better than an efficient, well-engineered machine is accomplishing that in a neat, aesthetically-pleasing way. Consider - it's possible to have two beers that taste amazing, and effectively the same, but one is cloudy and one is bright. Depending on style, one is "better" than the other.

Plus, the wife complains less if my stuff isn't messy. I'm an IT guy by profession, and just about everything else by hobby, so there's a lot of half-built messy crap she puts up with. (She's way overqualified for sainthood already.)

New idea: I can 3D print "shrouds/covers" for all the plastic parts and tubing that I can finish to look like metal and then snap over the plastic just for looks. Bonus there is that if I work out the 3D models in a way that works well, I can share them online for anyone else who wants to do the same thing since the Duotight fittings are all the same everywhere.
 

tracer bullet

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Duotights are just push connect fittings right? Perhaps in metric sizes. McMaster Carr would probably have stainless fittings that are identical.
 

McMullan

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Well, all I'm going to add is I couldn't give a toss about how 'cool' my electric cables look behind the walls. Admittedly, I don't shine the carburettor in our car either, but I respect some people do. Honestly, I do :coff4:
 

Knightshade

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Nice, that's really slick. I think we have the same (or at least very similar) kegerator. I want to push mine closer to the wall and (ideally) just leave it there so putting the tank on the mount on the back isn't ideal for me. I'm toying with the idea of running the line through the side of the cabinet it will sit next to at my wet bar, and then keeping the tank/primary regulator in that cabinet out of sight.

The check valve at the regulator is possibly overkill, but considering the cost of the check valve, and the replacement cost of the regulator, it's entirely sane IMHO. I'd definitely want them on each gas line, either "on the board" or at the ball-lock fitting - to protect the individual inline regulators. But throwing in an extra to cover the main regulator isn't crazy.



I am 100% function over form, but there's no reason you can't have both. I like the industrial aesthetic and exposed machinery where it's made to be neat and orderly. IMO the only thing better than an efficient, well-engineered machine is accomplishing that in a neat, aesthetically-pleasing way. Consider - it's possible to have two beers that taste amazing, and effectively the same, but one is cloudy and one is bright. Depending on style, one is "better" than the other.

Plus, the wife complains less if my stuff isn't messy. I'm an IT guy by profession, and just about everything else by hobby, so there's a lot of half-built messy crap she puts up with. (She's way overqualified for sainthood already.)

New idea: I can 3D print "shrouds/covers" for all the plastic parts and tubing that I can finish to look like metal and then snap over the plastic just for looks. Bonus there is that if I work out the 3D models in a way that works well, I can share them online for anyone else who wants to do the same thing since the Duotight fittings are all the same everywhere.
Painting the plywood it sits on black so that it wouldn't be so ugly mounted against the kegerator was as far as I got. But then..you don't really see it anyways. Directly behind it, and close enough when I have my 10lb CO2 tank in there it feels rather unfriendly is the beer & hops fridge. Man..I need a bigger garage. Bigger house might be nice..but I NEED (really want) a bigger garage..
 
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418Brewing

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Hrm... something like this could work:

The problem is that unless someone knows for sure, I don't think I'd want to buy 5x everything just to find out. Maybe I'll get one to play around with and if it works out I can swap out my fake-metal-over-Duotight fittings if I decide the real metal ones look enough better that I care.

I mean, there's some geek cred to the whole "custom designed and 3D printed" side too.
 

franknbeans

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I've been toying with the idea of going this route for my keezer as well. Cost is the big issue with a 4-way set of Taprite secondaries being close to 200 dang dollars! Another thing I like is the thought of hard pluming the inside of my keezer as well and getting all these tubes out of dangle.. and pinned to the collar, up out of the way. I still have my tank sitting on the compressor hump inside, which is nice and out of the way, but it cramps the space inside being a 7cf with 3 kegs.
 

Reneauj62

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I have never been so frustrated than I became when using Duotight connectors. Loss of CO2 pressure and beer everywhen in kegerator, especially in those hard to reach areas. Then, on Amazon I bought Blue Clip For Locking Quick Connect Fittings 1/4" and 3/8" in Water Filter/RO System- 100 pack (100, 1/4"+3/8"). These eliminated all my issue... Just saying.
 
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418Brewing

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I have never been so frustrated than I became when using Duotight connectors. Loss of CO2 pressure and beer everywhen in kegerator, especially in those hard to reach areas. Then, on Amazon I bought Blue Clip For Locking Quick Connect Fittings 1/4" and 3/8" in Water Filter/RO System- 100 pack (100, 1/4"+3/8"). These eliminated all my issue... Just saying.
I have a pack of those, either 50 or 100, I forget which. Not to spoil the ending, but I'm pretty confident I can 3D print those. Not at any kind of cost savings, but if I can work out a viable way to incorporate them into the fake metal pipe design... well that'll hold everything on quite nicely, eh? (The big drawback is that could make it hard to install/remove the cosmetic stuff if you find yourself needing to mess about with it to fix something.)

I ordered a ton of stuff, I'll start the mad scientist stuff once it arrives.
 

Knightshade

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I have never been so frustrated than I became when using Duotight connectors. Loss of CO2 pressure and beer everywhen in kegerator, especially in those hard to reach areas. Then, on Amazon I bought Blue Clip For Locking Quick Connect Fittings 1/4" and 3/8" in Water Filter/RO System- 100 pack (100, 1/4"+3/8"). These eliminated all my issue... Just saying.
Ive seen these referenced before in regards to duotight stuff. Have considered it might be a good extra piece of mind even though I’ve never had a problem. Do you need the 1/4, 3/8 or both or??
 

day_trippr

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I don't really get this. I had almost 50 PTC fittings installed for over a year before bothering with the first blue clip.
They didn't leak before and they still don't after, and tbh one shouldn't be relying on clips to solve leaks anyway.
Cut the tubing square, insert the ends all the way then pull back slightly, and that should be a stone solid connection...

Cheers!
 

Tom R

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I wonder if the installations that leak are caused by having the tubing pull sideways on the fitting? That's the only time I've had one leak, and I have bunch of them on my 6-tap kegerator.
 
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I would stick with duotight's stuff and just spray paint it. There is no guarantee that 3rd party parts will work well. KegLand's duotight stuff is highly proprietary and, for that reason alone, I would not buy "compatible" parts from other suppliers. IMO, it's just not worth the potential headache. Also, paint gives you as a lot more versatility in getting the exact appearance you want. Just make sure you don't paint the tubing until AFTER you have it properly seated in the fittings. I would worry that paint might screw with the integrity of connections.

FWIW, I recently did a deep clean on my keezer and, halfway through, I decided to give all my hose clamps and tubing to a friend, switching everything over to duotight. I gutted my manifold and switched every single line to duotight fittings. It's so much easier when I want to deep clean or mess around with the configuration. It's like LEGO for keg lines. I also replaced the lines for my fermentation mini-fridge to duotight. I use a Fermzilla all-rounder and run a gas line through the mini fridge door. I use the fermentation process to push Star-san from one keg to another, giving me a sanitized keg that is filled with CO2. I've been doing this for nearly a year now and the whole process is so easy and simple.

Two warnings when it comes to the KegLand duotight in-line regulators:
1. They ship with a pressure gauge that goes to 60psi. You can order gauges that are 15psi, but you have to order them separately. The plus side is that, like all of the duotight stuff, it is insanely simple to swap out the pressure gauges. Just unscrew the housing and swap out the gauge. The lower psi gauges also have less error; KegLand states their mini gauges are accurate within 10% of the max pressure. This means the 60psi gauge has an error of up to 6psi, whereas the 15psi gauge has a maximum error of 1.5psi.

2. The regulators are best for minor adjustments to psi. If you have your tank set to 35psi, you're going to have a bad time dialing in one in-line regulator to 12psi and another to 10. So, if you have a soda or water line that uses a notably different (higher) PSI, you would be best to run that off another regulator from the tank rather than trying to use the duotight ones.

I use in-line regulators on all 4 lines with 15psi gauges. I set my tank to 15 PSI and find it really easy to adjust to the right psi where I get great pours.
 

JJinMD

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I would stick with duotight's stuff and just spray paint it. There is no guarantee that 3rd party parts will work well. KegLand's duotight stuff is highly proprietary and, for that reason alone, I would not buy "compatible" parts from other suppliers. IMO, it's just not worth the potential headache. Also, paint gives you as a lot more versatility in getting the exact appearance you want. Just make sure you don't paint the tubing until AFTER you have it properly seated in the fittings. I would worry that paint might screw with the integrity of connections.

FWIW, I recently did a deep clean on my keezer and, halfway through, I decided to give all my hose clamps and tubing to a friend, switching everything over to duotight. I gutted my manifold and switched every single line to duotight fittings. It's so much easier when I want to deep clean or mess around with the configuration. It's like LEGO for keg lines. I also replaced the lines for my fermentation mini-fridge to duotight. I use a Fermzilla all-rounder and run a gas line through the mini fridge door. I use the fermentation process to push Star-san from one keg to another, giving me a sanitized keg that is filled with CO2. I've been doing this for nearly a year now and the whole process is so easy and simple.

Two warnings when it comes to the KegLand duotight in-line regulators:
1. They ship with a pressure gauge that goes to 60psi. You can order gauges that are 15psi, but you have to order them separately. The plus side is that, like all of the duotight stuff, it is insanely simple to swap out the pressure gauges. Just unscrew the housing and swap out the gauge. The lower psi gauges also have less error; KegLand states their mini gauges are accurate within 10% of the max pressure. This means the 60psi gauge has an error of up to 6psi, whereas the 15psi gauge has a maximum error of 1.5psi.

2. The regulators are best for minor adjustments to psi. If you have your tank set to 35psi, you're going to have a bad time dialing in one in-line regulator to 12psi and another to 10. So, if you have a soda or water line that uses a notably different (higher) PSI, you would be best to run that off another regulator from the tank rather than trying to use the duotight ones.

I use in-line regulators on all 4 lines with 15psi gauges. I set my tank to 15 PSI and find it really easy to adjust to the right psi where I get great pours.
Also, I believe you are not supposed exceed the psi of the gauges, so your supply line to the mini gauges can only be 15 psi if you swap out the 60 for the 15. I use a dual gauge regulator, feed my kegerator at 15 psi, and use the second external line for auxiliary CO2 needs which is often 30 psi or higher.

Correct me if I am wrong!
 
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Also, I believe you are not supposed exceed the psi of the gauges, so your supply line to the mini gauges can only be 15 psi if you swap out the 60 for the 15. I use a dual gauge regulator, feed my kegerator at 15 psi, and use the second external line for auxiliary CO2 needs which is often 30 psi or higher.

Correct me if I am wrong!
You are correct that KegLand says you should not use a PSI higher than the gauge's maximum. I don't know if this means that you cannot have the line from the tank set higher, but the gauges within parameter. IE: have tank set to 30psi, but in-line regulators dialed to 10psi and make sure it never goes above 15psi.

A psi too far beyond the maximum range of a gauge will break it, no matter what. But as long as the gauge is set within parameter, they will typically hold fine. Duotight connectors are able to withstand up to 100psi. IIRC, the specific maximum is 135psi, far beyond anything needed for brewing.

I was asked about this specific aspect by a friend the other day (same person I gave my tubing and stuff to) and was unsure of the exact answer. I sent an email to KegLand for clarification, but haven't heard back yet.

To be on the safe side, I would recommend doing exactly what you did. It just seems like the safer and smarter route.
 
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418Brewing

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The gauges in the Duotight inline regulator don't do anything but read the output pressure, correct?

In order for it to matter what the input pressure is, in terms of whether or not it damages that gauge, you'd have to have them connected in some way to the system before the regulator valve. That doesn't make sense to me.

What makes more sense to me - and correct me if I'm wrong - is that all the dire warnings are about damaging the gauge if you dial up the pressure past their max. I would think that you can put 60psi on a system feeding regulators with 60, 30, and 15psi gauges and there would be no damage provided you DID NOT turn the 30 past 30, or the 15 past 15.

To be clear - if you turn the regulator's output pressure up past the max, you damage the gauge. But it shouldn't matter what the inlet pressure is, right?

Otherwise we need really complicated systems just to provide pressures both above and below 15 psi with optimal accuracy.

The warnings are there - I believe - because if your inlet pressure is higher than the gauge's maximum you can damage it by turning it up too high. If you keep inlet pressure under the max, you're safe and can't create a problem.

Part of the reason I'm building my system with a check valve on the outlet side of each regulator is so that if, somehow, I built up too much pressure in a keg (for example incomplete natural carbonation that continues after the keg is hooked up) the check valve would close and prevent the regulator from being overdriven.

I'm also putting an extra gauge on each leg T-d off past the check valve so that I can tell at a glance if my keg pressure is higher than my regulator pressure (though it's mainly because this looks cool, not because I expect it to be useful.)
 
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