My Best Co2 Regulator For Beer Dispensing – (2023)

If you are a beer lover, you know that the taste of your favorite beer can be affected by the co2 levels in a beer line or gas line. Too much co2 and your beer will be over carbonated. While too little co2 will make it flat and unappetizing.

That's why it's important to have a good co2 regulator for your beer. But with so many different types and brands of co2 regulators on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?

Are All CO2 Regulators The Same?

No. There are different types and brands of co2 regulators. Each with its own features, benefits, and drawbacks. Some are better than others. Some have a dual gauge regulator. Others have one. There are a lot of cheap ones, but we will talk about 2 that will work for you and my personal favorite.

But we are talking about the best co2 regulator beer-wise. These primary regulators read tank pressure using a dual gauge. While controlling the (psi) pressure per square inch delivered downstream to the beer system.

Co2 regulators can come in a single gauge regulator and control the gas pressure through gas lines. Often referred to as secondary regulators.

They also come in dual gauge regulators. Also known as your primary regulators, and these are the ones will be talking about further in this post.

Is a Co2 Regulator the Same as a Nitrogen Regulator?

The answer is no. A co2 regulator is not the same as a nitrogen regulator. There are two different fittings on each of these regulators that correspond with the type of cylinder tank inserts.

(Video) How-To Use a Draft Beer CO2 Regulator

To break it down easily. A primary co2 regulator regulates co2 and a nitrogen primary regulator regulates nitrogen. Both control working pressure psi and send the appropriate pressure downstream through a gas line or airline. The output pressure is regulated by a gauge on both of the regulators so that one can read the psi, and adjust if neccessary.

These regulators come in a low-pressure regulator. Have a shut-off valve. A regulator body and a pressure relief valve.

What is a Good Co2 Regulator?

A good co2 regulator has a readable and accurate pressure gauge. A gas shut-off valve, a pressure check valve and regulates carbon dioxide. Helping draft beer and a draft beer system pour properly.

Some of the premium regulators come with an adjustable wrench to manually increase the pressure on the regulator or decrease the pressure on the regulator. Some use a flathead screwdriver to adjust the psi.

These regulators can be used commercially or also used on a home draft system, but the importance of a co2 regulator is to regulate the right carbonation levels found in draft beer. So we achieve a 2 oz per the second pour.

Another important part of good regulators is the material, and what it's made of.

(Video) Kegerator Series Part 1: Gas & Regulators

Taprite has a model that's highly reliable. There are also similar products. Like Micro Matic's version, I'll talk about later in this post.

Can I use a CO2 Regulator For Beer Gas?

This depends if you're using co2 regulator to attach to a CO2 cylinder to feed a gas blender. Then yes you can use one. But if you're using a co2 regulator to mount into a premix gas cylinder the answer is no. The premix gas cylinders take a nitrogen primary regulator to attach because these premixed cylinders have a nitrogen primary regulator fitting.

What to Look for in a Beer Keg CO2 Regulator

When looking for a quality CO2 regulator look at the pressure gauge. Make sure it's readable but more importantly, that it's accurate. Check out the material. A heavy-duty regulator typically works better than the lighter plate ones. They'll also have a check valve safety blow off for higher pressure.

Another factor to look at is the quality of the materials. The ones from MicroMatic are made with high-quality material. These types of regulators will be a lot easier to maintain down the road.

They're also easier to install in my opinion. Price can be a determining factor. But usually, with the these higher quality regulators, a premium price is required. When it comes down to it. Price is outweighed by the quality and the longevity of a premium regulator, and is worth the investment.

How Do I Attach a CO2 Regulator to a Keg?

Start by grabbing either a crescent ranch or a CO2 wrench. What you want to do is take off the plastic piece on your CO2 cylinder. And then look inside your primary co2 regulator and make sure that there is a gasket or a washer inside.

Most of the premium models have them already built-in. Next, screw on the nut onto your CO2 cylinder. You want to turn that clockwise using a crescent wrench until everything is nice and tight.

(Video) MK4 Regulator - Beer Dispensing - CO2 - PBW

You don't need a ratchet down. You just want to make sure it's nice and snug and you can check to see if your connection is secure. By opening the CO2 cylinder. Turning the primary regulator into the shut-off mode. Open the cylinder completely and if no gas leaks you're good to go.

The Best CO2 Regulator

Now we're gonna talk about the best primary regulator for the money in my opinion and my experience in the field.

Single or Dual Gauge Regulators?

This is kind of an interesting discussion. Single or dual gauge regulators and it just really depends. If we're talking about single gauge regulators. We are probably talking about secondary regulators and these are definitely very important to your system. Used downstream from a primary regulator.

Primary regulators are usually the starting point of where your gas enters your draft beer system. So they're both very important. I wouldn't say more important than the other if we're talking in terms of single gauge versus dual gauge regulators.

However, if we're talking in regards to single gauge versus double gauge or dual gauge primary regulators. There's no comparison. Dual gauge are supremely better because not only can you monitor the psi pressure coming out of your tank but you can also see where your CO2 level is in your tank.

CO2 Regulator (Taprite) - Dual Gauge

This has been my go-to primary regulator for years in the beer industry. I've used this gauge and had a lot of success. They have a simple shut-off valve at the bottom and they regulate tank pressure correctly. like I said they've been my go-to.

(Video) How to Set Up a Draft Beer Regulator to a CO2 Tank

Co2 Primary Regulator Micromatic- Dual Gauge

Enter Micromatic's new premium primary regulator. This is now my go-to primary CO2 regulator. It's got a very heavy duty outer body and this CO2 regulator is great for any type of draft beer system whether you're using quarter barrel units, half barrels, beer kegs you name it. It also comes with replacement parts if you need but the pressure is accurate and just the quality of the product is something that I really appreciate. Cost wise this primary regulator from Micromatic is usually around $100 mark. Taprite's, gonna be a little less. Around $70-$80 mark and one last thing the other reason I like Micromatic. The service they have at the company. Make them stand out compared to Taprite in my personal opinion


Wrapping this up. We talked about defining a quality co2 regulator how to install one. How to connect and what to look for and compare two of my favorite primary regulators are CO2 regulators that I've used exclusively in the field, but at the end of the day, my go-to now will be the Micromatic premium primary CO2 regulator. I'll continue to use this for a commercial installs moving forward. If you have any other questions please feel free to reach out to me here.

Also, I've got a bunch of other educational blog posts regarding draft beer dispensing. Equipment techniques and other things that I've seen over the past decade. That I've talked about on my blog. If you're looking for some products I also have a recommended products page. You can take a gander at it. Some quality components in the draft beer industry. Thanks for reading



What should my CO2 regulator be set at? ›

We recommend setting the regulator at 12 PSI. NOTE: On regulators designed for draft beer, turning clockwise will increase the output pressure, and turning counter-clockwise will decrease the output pressure. Under normal circumstances we recommend setting the regulator at 12 PSI.

Why is my CO2 regulator not holding pressure? ›

To correct the problem, make sure your regulator is set to the proper PSI. If it isn't, turn the adjustment screw clockwise to raise the pressure to the prescribed level. Otherwise, you should make sure that your CO2 tank is on and not empty, and that the the air line is not obstructed.

How many pounds of CO2 does it take to dispense a keg? ›

Generally speaking, it takes about 1lb of CO2 to dispense a full 1/2 barrel keg (1 barrel = 31 US gallons / 1/2 barrel = 15.5 gallons).

What is the best CO2 pressure for beer? ›

What pressure should my CO2 tank be set to? This will depend on the beer you are serving but most American breweries recommend a pressure between 10-14 PSI.

What pressure do you dispense beer? ›

Most ales and lagers produced in the US should be dispensed at 10 – 12 PSI. Stout and other nitrogen-reliant keg beers are usually dispensed at 25 – 30 PSI. For the specific dispensing pressure for a particular keg, check with your local beer distributor.

How do I know if my CO2 is too high? ›

As toxicity increases, a person may experience symptoms such as:
  1. Drowsiness.
  2. Headaches Skin that looks flushed Trouble concentrating or thinking clearly.
  3. Dizziness or disorientation Shortness of breath.
  4. Hyperventilation.
Dec 6, 2021

How do I increase the pressure on my regulator? ›

The screw acts as a water pressure regulator. If you tighten the screw the water pressure will be more and if you loosen the screw the water pressure will be less. Turn the screw clockwise to tighten it and increase the pressure, or turn it counterclockwise to decrease the pressure. Do not be too hasty.

How many beers will a 5lb CO2 tank pour? ›

If we're talking a quarter barrel of draught beer (7.75 gallons), it will take about half a pound of CO2 to dispense it. However, if you, like most homebrewers, prefer to use 5-gallon kegs ( Corny kegs), you will be able to dispense about 31 to 44 kegs of beer with a 5-pound CO2 tank.

How long will a 5 lb CO2 last on a keg? ›

A 5-lb CO2 tank will last between 6-8 half barrels or full kegs before it needs to be filled.

How much CO2 does 5 gallons of beer make? ›

Say you want your five gallons (18.93 liters) of beer to have 2.5 volumes of CO2. That's 18.93 liters x 2.5 volumes = 47.32 liters of CO2.

How long to carbonate beer at 20 psi? ›

Steps to Force Carbonate your Beer:

CO2 dissolves into beer much more easily when the beer is cold, so ideally, place keg with gas line attached into fridge and leave under pressure for about 24 hours. Adjust pressure down to 20 PSI for 24 hours.

What CO2 pressure for Bud Light keg? ›

Answer: 12-14 PSI will do nicely for most beers. Remember that temperature is as vital to getting the proper head as the CO2 regulator setting. To keep your keg of beer tasting fresh, keep the regulator at 12-14 PSI. For more carbonation, go up to 15-16 PSI, but turn the temperature of the beer way down to 32 degrees.

What PSI does CO2 turn to liquid? ›

The Liquid State:

This is called the triple point. The critical point of CO2 lies at a temperature of approx. 31 °C (87,8 °F) and a pressure of approx. 74 bar (1'073,28 psi).

What is the ideal flow rate for beer? ›

Constant and uniform pressure is needed while the beer is on tap to maintain this natural carbonation. At 38ºF, the internal pressure of a keg is 12 to 14 pounds per square inch (psi). An ideal flow rate is about 2 ounces per second.

What is the CO2 pressure for Corona? ›

Corona products have a carbonation level of 2.7 CO2 volume. The recommended CO2 gauge pressure for Corona products should range between 12.5-16 PSI at 38 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level.

Why is my beer coming out of keg foamy? ›

Keg care basics for your bar or restaurant

Let the keg settle after moving it – If you move your keg, give it some time to settle down. If you don't, you'll probably experience excessive foaming when you tap it. Just like soda, beer is carbonated – and just like soda, it will foam when you shake it.

How can I test my CO2 levels at home? ›

With a CO2 monitor you are able to easily and affordably measure carbon dioxide levels in your home. These devices typically use a gas sensor technology at their core that gives the device the ability to measure the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

How can I improve my CO2 levels? ›

9 ways to increase your CO2 tolerance
  1. 1. Box breathing. Box breathing is also known as square breathing, 4-4-4-4 breathing, or sama vritti. ...
  2. Diaphragmatic breathing. ...
  3. Numbered breath. ...
  4. Nose unblocking exercise. ...
  5. Nasal breathing. ...
  6. Buteyko Breathing. ...
  7. Alternate nostril breathing. ...
  8. Pursed lip breathing.
Oct 17, 2021

What are symptoms of low CO2 levels? ›

Signs of an imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide or a pH imbalance include:
  • shortness of breath.
  • other breathing difficulties.
  • nausea.
  • vomiting.

What pressure should the regulator be set to? ›

In some cases, your pressure regulator is set too low and reduces the water pressure too much. The factory setting on a pressure regulator is normally between 45 to 55 psi. However, you may need pressure regulation between 40 and 70 psi to have proper water pressure throughout your home.

How do you calibrate a CO2 regulator? ›

You connect the cylinder with the zero gas to the CO2 meter using a pressure regulator and open the feed. After a minute, the measurement is stable and the CO2 meter will indicate a concentration of 0 ppm CO2. If not, then manually set it to 0 ppm.

Can pressure regulator get clogged? ›

Unfortunately, over time, a regulator valve may develop blockages that restrict flow beyond the intended amount. Such blockages often stem from high mineral content in your municipal water supply. These mineral deposits accumulate inside of the valve body, leading to lower-than-intended home water pressure.

What happens if you over pressurize a gas regulator? ›

One area you should never skimp on is that of your gas regulators. These handy devices work hard to ensure the gas flowing through the lines into the equipment does so at the right pressure. Too much gas pressure can lead to a catastrophic explosion, harming others and destroying property.

How do you increase the flow on a propane regulator? ›

  1. With a small amount of gas flowing through the regulator: Rotate the gas pressure regulator adjustment screw clockwise to raise the outlet pressure.
  2. Rotate the adjustment screw counter-clockwise to lower the outlet pressure.

How do I know if my pressure regulator is working? ›

The easiest way to know if a pressure regulator works correctly is to install a pressure gauge on each side of the regulator. You can measure the inlet pressure with a pressure gauge above the regulator, and the outlet pressure with a gauge below the regulator, as shown in the image below.

How many PSI is a high pressure regulator? ›

High pressure regulators regulate the output pressure from 1 psi to as high as 60 psi.

How do I know if my pressure regulator is broken? ›

The most common signs of faulty pressure regulators include:
  1. Leakage between the device's housings.
  2. Misting or overwatering in some areas.
  3. Increased water and energy consumption.
  4. High-pitched squealing.
Aug 18, 2015

What size CO2 tank is best for kegerator? ›

A good middle-level CO2 tank is the 15 pound capacity tank. This will fit inside most kegerators, and carries enough gas to carbonate a couple hundred gallons of beer.

Do you turn on CO2 before tapping keg? ›

All you need to do is connect the coupler to the beer keg, turn on the CO2 supply, set the pressure, and start pouring. That's how to tap a keg in a kegerator!

What size CO2 tank do I need for homebrew? ›

Kegging Homebrew Basics

CO2 tanks and a CO2 regulator are used to carbonate and assist with dispensing beer in a corny keg. The CO2 tank can be easily refilled. We recommend the 2kg CO2 tank as a good size for dispensing up to 400 litres of beer.

Does CO2 for keg need to be refrigerated? ›

The co2 tank can go inside or outside the refrigerator.

How many beers are in a 5lb keg? ›

5 Gallon homebrew kegs have about 45-50 12oz beers depending on how high its filled and then also how much sediment might be transfered from the fermentor.

Does Walmart refill CO2 tanks? ›

Unfortunately, Walmart does not refill or exchange CO2 tanks. They do, however, exchange small CO2 cylinders, like the type used for SodaStreams.

What is the ideal CO2 level? ›

This means the average concentration over an 8-hour period should not exceed 10,000 ppm and the average concentration over a 15 minute period should not exceed 30,000 ppm.

What PSI should an oxygen regulator be set to? ›

Set the regulator at the correct working pressure (40 PSI) by turning the adjusting screw clockwise. Open the oxygen blowpipe valve and fine tune the operating pressure. Close the oxygen blowpipe valve.

What is the normal pressure for the CO2 tank? ›

CO2 cylinder pressure is about 860 psi at normal room temperature. Typical CO2 cylinders store about 50 lbs. of liquid CO2.

What level of CO2 is too low? ›

A carbon dioxide (CO2) blood test helps healthcare providers determine if the body is balancing electrolytes properly. Results outside the normal range of 20 to 29 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) may point to a more serious issue with the kidneys or lungs.

What is a good CO2 ppm? ›

Normal CO2 Levels

normal outdoor level: 350 - 450 ppm. acceptable levels: < 600 ppm. complaints of stuffiness and odors: 600 - 1000 ppm. ASHRAE and OSHA standards: 1000 ppm.

What is an unhealthy level of CO2? ›

This could occur when exposed to levels above 5,000 ppm for many hours. At even higher levels of CO2 can cause asphyxiation as it replaces oxygen in the blood-exposure to concentrations around 40,000 ppm is immediately dangerous to life and health.

How many PSI is a low pressure regulator? ›

The MEGR-230 Regulator is for low pressure, vapor propane applications (about 0.4 PSI, 11 inch WC) Replacement regulator for use with gas grills, camp lights, stock tank heaters, campers and more using refillable od disposable propane gas tanks.

What is the maximum safe regulator pressure for oxygen use? ›

Maximum pressure. Under no condition shall acetylene be generated, piped (except in approved cylinder manifolds) or utilized at a pressure in excess of 15 psig (103 kPa gauge pressure) or 30 psia (206 kPa absolute).

How do I know if I have too much co2 in my tank? ›

Signs that CO2 saturation is too high:
  1. Lowered Activity: Fish that are usually active hide or are less active, sluggish, signs of labored breathing, delayed reaction time in feeding.
  2. Position Change: Fish change their natural positions to favour positions closer to top of tank level or towards high flow areas.
Sep 30, 2019

What PSI does co2 turn to liquid? ›

The Liquid State:

This is called the triple point. The critical point of CO2 lies at a temperature of approx. 31 °C (87,8 °F) and a pressure of approx. 74 bar (1'073,28 psi).


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