You’ll need to put the CO2 regulator together, but before you screw the cartridge in, be sure to turn the knob on the regulator counterclockwise to the OFF position. This was my first time to use a CO2 cartridge, so it was kind of cool to hear the air escape when I pierced the cartridge (it’s the little things, right?).
You can go ahead and slap the included label on your serving keg at this point, by the way.
The barbed regulator connector slides right into the carbonation adapter; it’s snug, but easy to push through. Notice how the pressure is zero at this point.
Now you’ll slowly turn the regulator knob until the pressure reaches 24 PSI; PicoBrew says this is the correct setting for most beers.
All that’s left to do now is to place the serving keg (with the attached CO2 regulator) into your refrigerator to chill and carbonate, which takes about 36 hours. It’s important to also clean the brewing keg and racking tube at this time.
Oh, this is what you’ll find in the bottom of the brewing keg — note the packages inside that held the hops I used to dry hop my beer; they can go right in the compost. There’s a lot of sludgy funk down there, so it makes sense that it’s important to clean the brewing keg and racking tube at this time.
The last thing you want to do is leave beer (and fermentation sediment) in a brewing keg for later cleaning, so if you can’t get to it right away, add some hot water to the brewing keg, place the metal top back on it; give it a couple of good shakes, and set it to the side until you can get to it.