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Thread: Compressed air regulator for CO2?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    Spokane
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    4

    Compressed air regulator for CO2?

    I am not a big a fan of the micromatic style secondary regulators so I am wondering:

    Any reason why a compressed air regulator/filter would not work for secondary co2 regulator drops off main header around the brewery??

    Perhaps something similar to this https://www.imi-precision.com/us/en/...u-b07-234-a1ka

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Palau
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    2,024

    Hasn't worked for me...

    Don't know exactly why, but compressed air regulators don't work for CO2. I've had to rip out lots of failed compressed air regulators from cold room and replace with purpose-made regulators. Cornelius is my go-to now.
    Phillip Kelm--Palau Brewing Company Manager--

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Enterprise, Oregon
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    1,955
    The diaphragm material used in CO2 regs is different from that used in air regs. The air regulator diaphragm will break down after a while and the reg will stop working. It's sometimes possible to get a CO2-safe rebuild kit for your reg, but it's much easier to start with the right reg.

    To get fine control at secondary pressures--12-16 psi--you want a regulator that has the correct spring rate for those pressures. A broad-scale reg like the one you linked probably won't do a great job in that range.

    You should also have two regulators--a primary reg right off the CO2 tank to reduce the pressure to 30-40 psi, then the secondary to bring it down to delivery/maintenance pressure.

    We use TapRite secondary regs and have some that have been in use for decades without a problem.
    Last edited by TGTimm; 07-25-2019 at 09:10 AM.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Spokane
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    Great, thanks for the replies.

    Our plan was to adjust bulk tank regulator to about 100 psi - distributed to a main co2 to header which feeds various drops throughout the brewery - as well as the blending tank for the taproom.

    We still plan on using taprite or micromatic as secondary co2 regulators for dispensing beer, but I would like to find a secondary regulator for the various drops throughout the brewery that can deliver higher flow rates for production uses (purging tanks, keg washer etc). Maybe I'm mistaken, but the taprite regulators seem to be more limited in their actuall output capacity, even though the dial reading claims much higher.

    Thanks for the responses

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
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    Ah, I thought you were just asking about a draught system.

    We have a similar set up to draw from our big Dewars. We use a high-flow Rego Cryogenics for our primary, running 100-125 psi in the mains. For our brewery secondaries, we use Norgren R74G-4AK-RMG regs. They provide enough flow to pressurize a 110 bbl. ferm in a reasonable time, and enough control for carbonating. I'm not sure if the diaphragms are specifically rated for CO2, but they last for several years and rebuild kits are easily available and relatively cheap and easy to install. Be sure you have isolation valves for when you do need to rebuild a reg, and think about access so it can be rebuilt in place.

    We use double-shut-off SS quick-disconnects from Foster to connect to tanks and stones. Having the double-shut off means no leaks when disconnected, and no air infiltration. I back these up with CO2-rated check-valves, as a very quick way to trash a reg is to fill it with beer or wort. Our drops from the 2ndaries is 1/4"-3/8" OD MMWPE tubing--the white stuff. It's cheap, and using John-Guest style push-connectors, fast to replace if (when) it gets contaminated.

    Our CO2 and air mains were originally all copper, but I've been using O2-barrier PEX for the last few years instead. This is the stuff for hydronic heating systems. It's much less expensive and time-consuming to run than copper, but not as attractive. I can color-code (as long as CO2 is red) the lines. It handles our primary pressure easily, and doesn't sweat as badly as copper.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Spokane
    Posts
    4
    Quote Originally Posted by TGTimm View Post
    Ah, I thought you were just asking about a draught system.

    We have a similar set up to draw from our big Dewars. We use a high-flow Rego Cryogenics for our primary, running 100-125 psi in the mains. For our brewery secondaries, we use Norgren R74G-4AK-RMG regs. They provide enough flow to pressurize a 110 bbl. ferm in a reasonable time, and enough control for carbonating. I'm not sure if the diaphragms are specifically rated for CO2, but they last for several years and rebuild kits are easily available and relatively cheap and easy to install. Be sure you have isolation valves for when you do need to rebuild a reg, and think about access so it can be rebuilt in place.

    We use double-shut-off SS quick-disconnects from Foster to connect to tanks and stones. Having the double-shut off means no leaks when disconnected, and no air infiltration. I back these up with CO2-rated check-valves, as a very quick way to trash a reg is to fill it with beer or wort. Our drops from the 2ndaries is 1/4"-3/8" OD MMWPE tubing--the white stuff. It's cheap, and using John-Guest style push-connectors, fast to replace if (when) it gets contaminated.

    Our CO2 and air mains were originally all copper, but I've been using O2-barrier PEX for the last few years instead. This is the stuff for hydronic heating systems. It's much less expensive and time-consuming to run than copper, but not as attractive. I can color-code (as long as CO2 is red) the lines. It handles our primary pressure easily, and doesn't sweat as badly as copper.
    EXCELLENT!! Thanks Timm I will look into those regulators

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Enterprise, Oregon
    Posts
    1,955
    Oh, yeah: If you're going with bulk liquid CO2, Dewar or compressed, you'll also need a vaporizer sized for your system demands. Ours is passive, and sometimes in sub-zero weather I have to put a space heater on it.
    Timm Turrentine

    Brewerywright,
    Terminal Gravity Brewing,
    Enterprise. Oregon.

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