Low Pressure CO2 Regulator Build

Low Pressure Regulator and Gauge

So from the Big Badda Boom event, I decided I need to build something to help prevent over-pressuring and make it idiot proof. In my discussion with SSBrewTech, they make a recommendation to build a connector with a 5 PSI pressure gauge. This allows you to adjust the pressure from a CO2 bottle regulator with more precision, where a 0-60 PSI gauge doesn’t provide the resolution necessary. In their bulletin on pressurized transfers, SSBrewTech provide a parts list on the back of the page to build such a device. I decided to add a regulator body to the design as extra insurance against another BOOM, restricting the possible pressure into the vessel.

I already had a 1 ½” Tri-clamp fitting, but with an elbow and barb, so decided to work with that. I bought all of the parts listed in the link below and created a regulator that guarantees no more than 5 PSI is being added. The system quick connects to my bottle through a flare fitting – same fitting I use with kegging.

There are practical uses for a low pressure regulator. This allows me to keep my bottle regulator around 10-12 PSI for most normal applications. With the inline regulator, I am assured that I will not over pressure my conicals again, whether pushing beer for kegging or topping up headspace while cold crashing. Using TCs ensures that I can apply it to both SSBrewTech Chronicals and my MoreBeer conical.

1 1/2" Tri-Clamp with elbow barb

When kegging, I now have a quick way to attach to the gas post of a corny, pressurize and purge, and then quickly move the bottle to the conical to push the beer into corny (PRV released of course). At about 3 PSI, I can closed-transfer into a keg in just a few minutes and still not worry about contact with O2!

A couple of notes. The regulator uses 1/8” connections for gauges. The gauge I bought was ¼” so I had to add an adapter into the mix. You may be able to find the right gauge without the adapter. This gauge is fairly heavy, relative to the rest of the parts. I used a 8” length of silicon hose to tie the regulator/gauge to the TC nipple, which means this will hang free to the side of the conical. I will need to be careful it doesn’t get hit very hard. The one-way valve on the right is not necessary, just don’t want to lose it off the bottle. Those are handy for force carbing. Shop around. I decided to grab all of this off Amazon for convenience sake – but you can save a portion of the costs by looking elsewhere!

I tested the regulator by pressurizing my MoreBeer conical to 5 PSI and backing off. I was able to easily set the pressure to 3 PSI, adequate for most transfers. The regulator dial locks into place, so I can leave it in that configuration as long as required. I then tested it on the ½ BBL Chronical and it works great!

Parts List from Amazon (Smile for Charity!)

http://smile.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1MUVSR5YHM830

5 PSI Pressure Regulator Body

Low Pressure Gauge, 5 PSI

½” Barb to ¼” MPT Fitting

Half Union, ¼” Flare to ¼” MPT

¼’ Female NPT to 1/8” Male NPT

Gas Line Pipe Thread Tape

The total was about $85