Guide to Regulating Keg Compression

This regulator adjustment guide will help you with those final steps in assuring that your kegerator provides you with the highest quality tasting beer by walking you step by step through the regulator adjustment process.

Regulator Guide

Step-by-Step Guide:

Before you start, please make sure that your CO2 regulator is firmly and properly attached to the CO2 cylinder. This guide will primarily focus on using a single gauge regulator that is included with most kegerators; however, any regulator that can be used on a CO2 cylinder with a CGA-320 valve will work.

1. Open Gas Cylinder

Make sure that the brass shut-off valve on the regulator (1) is closed (as shown above), then open the valve (2) on the gas cylinder completely.

2. Fine-Tune Adjustment Nut & Screw

Loosen the regulator adjustment nut (3) by slowly turning the nut counter-clockwise until the screw becomes loose. Now, with a flat head screwdriver, turn the adjustment screw (4) clockwise until the desired pressure is shown on the output pressure gauge. 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. Other conditions, such as altitude or special beer type, may require some adjustment. Consult your keg distributor for recommended PSI settings.

3. Allow Gas to Flow to Coupler

Make sure the keg coupler is locked in the downward position. Open the shut-off valve (1) on the regulator to allow CO2 gas to flow from the regulator to the keg coupler.

NOTE: You will hear the keg pressurizing. The output needle on the regulator should drop momentarily until the pressure has equalized, then the needle will return to the previously set pressure.

4. Briefly Vent Gas on the Pressure Release Valve

The keg coupler is designed with a pressure release valve (PRV). Pull the ring on the PRV briefly to allow gas to vent.

NOTE: This will help gas flow through the regulator and help obtain a more accurate reading on the output pressure gauge.

5. Double Check the Output Pressure

Next, you will want to re-check the output pressure on the regulator, and if necessary re-adjust using step #2 until the desired pressure is shown.

NOTE: It is always wise to follow up any adjustment to the regulator with a brief pull of the PRV ring to ensure an accurate pressure reading.

6. Make Sure Beer Pours Properly

Check to make sure that beer pours properly out of the faucet. The beer should dispense at a normal pace. If beer is wild, cloudy, or off-tasting, check the owner’s manual for tips on how to remedy common dispensing issues.

NOTE: To check for CO2 leaks, drip some soapy water on the CO2 cylinder and regulator connection. If soapy bubbles form, you may need to tighten or re-attach the gold regulator nut connection to the CO2 cylinder.

Learn More:

Jeff Flowers

About Author

Jeff Flowers has been a self-described beer geek for over a decade now. When he's not chasing his daughter around, you can usually find him drinking a fresh brew and wasting too much of his time on both Google+ & Twitter.


  1. Pat ob says

    We have an igloo kegerator. Co2 is at 10 psi. We installed the keg but we are getting too much foam. The beer is not pouring properly any suggestions. Thank you

    • Chris says

      I was having the same issue with my keg and finally figured out that my beer line was too large of a diameter and causing the pour to go waaay too fast, causing foaming. I reduced the diameter of the beer line to 3/16″ID and increased the length from 3′ to 16′.

      Now they are nice slow pours with just the right amount of head on top. Also make sure the temperature is 38 degrees F and that the keg sits in the cooler for 24 hours after being moved. The jostling in transport can cause it to foam up as well. Your pressure sounds reasonable, I run at 15.5psi and have no problems.

  2. alan says

    constant foaming at the head pressure is regulated at 15 psi does this affect the foaming at the head or is it the temperature of the box temperature in the Box is right around 34 degrees

  3. Steve says

    I have a Danby keg. When I pour pitchers of beer I notice the psi drop and I constantly have to adjust the Psi. It will eventually drop to zero and no beer will pour. I adjust it back to about 10 psi and after several pours it drops back down. What would be my problem here. Do I have something hooked up wrong?

  4. Troy Duron says

    I have a double gauged regulator, and the high pressure gauge is right at 500 psi. The beer is coming out of the tap too foamy. Is my c02 tank running low?

  5. Jennifer says

    My husband says our kegerator needs a new compressor, but we don’t know how to buy one. You know–to make sure we get the right piece. Can you help? It is an Edgestar.

  6. david lundstrom says

    I bought a used kenmore kegarator. .I put a new bottle of carbon dioxide on..I noticed no leaks in the lines..I came back from work the next day at bottle was empty..I did notice
    pressure guage read 15 or so lbs going in..did it all dump
    into keg or leak somewhere? ( new to kegarator)

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