A Hands on review of Keg King Mini’s CO2 Regulator.
MoreBeer bills this as an affordable, easy to transport CO2 regulator that works with both ball lock and pin lock disconnects.
About, from MoreBeer: “Be the hit of the next party, tailgater, softball game, etc when you show up with a keg of your homebrew! Keg King’s compact, affordable Co2 regulator allows you to leave your heavy, bulky Co2 system at home. Use this small, portable, adjustable regulator along with a threaded 16g co2 cartridge (not included) to pour kegged beer anywhere! Depending on your style of keg you will either need a ball-lock or pin-lock quick disconnect.”
Why Use a Mini CO2 Regulator?
Portable Serving: As an on-the-go regulator.
Backup – I’m out of CO2 and I want to pour a beer! Use as a backup if your main CO2 tank runs out. Swap out the CO2 line for this regulator and you’ve got a temporary solution to keep you up and going until you can get more CO2.
Serve Beers at Alternate Carbonation Levels: This regulator goes up to 30 PSI. That’s enough to serve higher carbonation beers like Hefeweizens and Belgians. If you don’t have a dual or triple pressure setup, you could use this regulator to serve beers at higher pressures. You could carbonate using your existing regulator (and full size tank) or naturally carbonate with priming sugar. After the beer is completely carbonated, use this to serve at the higher pressure.
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A look at the box. Reads: Quality machined from brass, Regulated to give you hassle free pressure control. Easy to use and operate. Attaches to 1/4″ MFL disconnect. 0-200kPA Pressure Range (0 to 30 PSI). Warning – Do Not exceed 345kPa.
This uses 3/8″ threaded 16 gram CO2 cartridges. I used Leland brand that are rated for beverages. SEE: 16 g Threaded CO2 Cartridge – 6 Count KEG993
Installed on a 2.5 gallon Torpedo Ball Lock Keg
Installed on a Cornelius Keg with forward sealing stainless steel Intertap Faucet. You could also use a picnic tap/cobra faucet. This adapter makes the serving side of this setup possible. It threads onto most faucets and onto 1/4″ flare QDs, both ball lock and pin lock.
I noticed that the CO2 cartridge had a tendency to frost over when serving large amounts. It didn’t inhibit serving and, I think, this would rarely occur in actual use because people don’t typically pull a gallon at a time. I’m including this mainly because I think it’s a neat photo. Click to enlarge.
The regulator installed on a ball lock keg
16 gram CO2 Cartridge Estimations and Tip
How many 16 gram cartridges does it take to serve 5 gallons of beer? About 3. That’s for a full 5 gallons. I used a serving pressure of 6 PSI for this estimate. If you bump it up to 8 PSI, The estimate figures to about 3.5 cartridges. These are only estimates and will depend on a number of factors including temperature. If your beer warms up a bit while serving, you’ll use less CO2.
Cartridge Saving Tip: Consider adding some more CO2 to your keg’s headspace, prior to leaving home, from your kegerator’s CO2 tank. This will save on 16 gram cartridges. Of course you’ll want to do that within the stated limits of your keg and equipment. To prevent foaming, you’ll have to pick reasonable pressure for your setup.
Can you for carbonate using this setup and 16 gram cartridges? Yes, I estimate it would take about 6 cartridges to carbonate 5 gallons at 2.5 volumes.
Saving Partial Cartridges: Pin lock and ball lock QDs are valved. That means you should be able to save partial cartridges for future use if you leave the QD on.
Regulated Mini Regulators vs Injectors
This regulator is a… regulator. Speaking about handheld CO2 injectors (like these): Guests tend to squeeze those for fun and sport and empty cartridges in short order. You just need a couple of taps to keep pressure at an acceptable level for serving. The point is, there is some work and finesse required to use injectors. Contrast that with this regulator. This has a gauge that allows you to set the pressure right where you want it. Your beer stays at the intended pressure automatically. No expert intervention required. I would venture a guess that this will use less cartridges compared with injector type solutions.
Generally speaking, Keg King is changing the game with the products they are manufacturing – some examples linked below. High quality, reasonably priced gear with thoughtful design and features with the homebrewer in mind. To illustrate this compare these two products: Keg King Mini CO2 Regulator KEG966 and Leland Mini CO2 regulator. In fairness these aren’t the same regulator and don’t have exactly the same features. But… Will you pay about four times the price for the Leland?
This is a quality product that does the job it’s supposed to do. It looks great and works great. At it’s current price of around $35, it’s a great deal. LIke most things at MoreBeer shipping is free with a $59 order
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