The Fundamentals of Regulators
The right pressure is the most critical factor when it comes to dispensing beer. Insufficient pressure will leave you and your customers frustrated to say the least. Finding the perfect Nitrogen or CO2 regulator is one of the hardest things to get right with regards to dispensing draft beer. Fortunately, regulators do a great job of totaling handling this rather complex task.
What Are Regulators?
To begin with, you need to understand what too much or too little pressure causes. For the former, you will have a large foam of beer gushing from your faucet, and the latter results in a dull trickle of unappetizing beer. A regulator is a device that links your air tube to your gas cylinder. The regulator is one of the most essential parts of a kegerator because it controls the flow of both Nitrogen and CO2 gas from the cylinder to the beer line. If your faucet is gushing with too much foamy beer, then you need to adjust the pressure. The regulator is essentially what makes it possible for you to adjust the pressure.
Making Correct Adjustments
The regulator is fitted with an adjustment screw at the top. This screw controls the partial closing and opening of a valve. To open the valve, turn the screw anti-clockwise and to open the valve turn the screw clockwise.
Basic Primary Regulator
The basic primary regulator aids in the control of either nitrogen or CO2 gas and is fitted with at least one gauge. The gauge measures the Output Pressure of the gas being dispensed. This regulator is mounted directly on the gas tank, and they are equipped with both a safety release and shut off valves. Note that Nitrogen and CO2 regulators cannot be used in place of each other. If you are going to be dispensing a separate keg that needs nitrogen, you will need a different regulator.
Secondary regulators are mainly used if beer is being dispensed to multiple kegs at varying pressure. This regulator is usually fitted after the primary regulator and is not mounted on the gas tank. Secondary regulators will also have anywhere from 1 to 4 adjustment screws that can permit up to 4 different dispensation points from a single tank. Similar to the primary regulator, they also feature different gauges to regulate different dispensation points.
Air Line Distributors
Airline distributors are basically secondary regulators that lack the ability to regulate pressure for each different dispensation point. Therefore, the output pressure of an airline distributor is constant at all dispensation point.