Wherever we go, we love trying the latest styles, concoctions, and freshest beverages from local craft breweries and pubs! We also love bringing our favorite finds home to enjoy later….. or with family and friends! One of the most common questions we get from new growler users is how to charge their brand new pressurized growler after their first fill!
In this article we will give you a nice break down and walk you through the steps needed to safely and easily pressurize your growler and pour your very first perfect pint from your growler. Let’s get started!
1. Turn The CO2 Regulator Cap OFF
The very first step prior to opening, closing, filling, or charging a pressurized growler is to ensure that the dial on your CO2 regulator cap is set to the OFF position. Check out the knob on the top of your regulator cap and give it a check turn to the right (clockwise) and in the same direction as the OFF arrow.
2. Install The CO2 Cartridge & Holder
Holding the regulator cap in your hand, turn the CO2 cartridge holder counter clockwise from the cap until the unit is loose and you can separate the 2 pieces. Sometimes this can be a little hard to turn, rest assured the cap and holder are made from heavy-duty plastics and stainless-steel and there is no need to be afraid of breaking or cracking it by applying pressure, you wont!
Once you have the cartridge holder separated from the cap, insert a non-threaded 8 or 16 gram food safe CO2 cartridge into the holder with the small end (looks like a post) sticking up. Now hold both parts (the regulator cap and the cartridge holder) vertically and screw in the holder clockwise into the regulator cap. As the cartridge holder twists into the cap, you will feel and likely hear the needle puncture the cartridge and with the hiss of CO2 as the cap pressurizes.
What if I don’t feel or hear the CO2 cartridge engage the cap?
Sometimes, depending on the brand of cartridge you are using or just by having a really great seal, you may not hear the hiss or feel the needle puncture the cartridge. If this happens to you have no fear, most likely you are good to go and just need to check your cap! Just turn the regulator dial SLOWLY to the ON position until you hear some gas hiss out. Once you hear the gas you know the cap is locked, loaded and ready for use!
3. Filling The Pressurized Growler
Now that you have the basics of how to get your regulator cap charged and ready, let’s get into everyone’s second favorite event, filling a growler with their favorite beer! Whichever size growler you have, we recommend filling them the same. Ask the bartender to fill your growler to the base of the neck, doing this leaves a perfect amount of head space to accommodate the cartridge holder when placing the regulator cap on your growler. If you accidentally fill the growler to high, no worries, just let the excess flow over the edges and continue (After cleaning up your mess of course).
4. Pressurizing The Growler
Once again, before adding the cap to the growler make sure the dial is in the OFF position.
Place the regulator cap onto the neck of the growler and screw it into place with a clockwise turn until you get a snug fit. Now we’re ready to pressurize!
To pressurize your grower to the desired PSI, slowly turn the dial toward the ON position. Once the growler starts to pressurize you will be able to view the internal pressure on the color coded pressure gauge at the top of the cap. For most beers and beverages you will want to keep the needle in the green part of the dial with a PSI of around 10 – 12 PSI. Anything over 15 PSI for beer will typically result in a very foamy pour.
Once you reach the desired pressure simply stop turning the regulator dial and leave it alone. Your growler will now maintain the set pressure and you are ready to pour your beer!
5. Pouring A Beer
Ahh, the best part of owning a pressurized growler is here! There is nothing quite like taking the taproom experience from your favorite brewery or pub home with you and knowing it will be brewery fresh for weeks to come. We also have a pretty cool ball lock keg adapter so you can plug a gallon of your favorite brews right into your home kegerator, I digress.
Pouring a beer from one of our pressurized growlers is a wonderful experience. Your beverage flows from our forward sealing faucet the same way it did from the pub!
Make sure your tap handle lock is not engaged. There is a thumb ring just below the black handle that lets you lock your tap handle when not in use. This keeps an accidental nudge from dispensing beer all over your fridge. The mechanism is very simple and just screws on and off with a few twists between your thumb and index finger, easy peasy.
Place your favorite beer glassware under the faucet and pull forward on the tap handle to release the malty goodness! When your glass is filled to your desired level, release the tap handle and let the well thought out spring mechanism push the handle back for you.
Enjoy your beer!
6. Beverage Refills
Refilling your pressurized growler is pretty straight forward. Start by turning your regulator dial clockwise to the OFF position. Once your regulator is off, pull the zipper tab to release any residual pressure in the unit. You should hear a hiss of gas as it escapes through the valve. Once there is no more gas hissing and you confirm that your color coded dial indicators needle is on ZERO PSI, you are ready to remove your cap, get a fill, recharge and go!
7. Replacing A CO2 Cartridge
If you want to change your cartridge, you must first turn your regulator dial to the OFF position. The next step is to release the pressurized gas in the growler before taking off the cap. To do this, simply pull the zipper tab next to the regulator dial. You will hear a hiss as any pressurized CO2 escapes through the valve. Once you there is no more noise you can check the color coded pressure indicator dial to confirm you have zero pressure in the unit. Now remove the cap.
now BEFORE you remove the cartridge holder from the cap, it is imperative to make sure the CO2 cartridge is truly spent. To do this, hold the cap (with the holder still attached) in one hand and slowly turn the regulator dial on.
If the cartridge is empty you will hear no sound, if it is not you will hear a hiss of gas as the cap releases the remaining gas from the CO2 cartridge. When the hissing stops or if there is no hissing at all, you are ready to remove the cartridge holder from the cap.
Rinse and repeat steps 1 – 6 and enjoy your growler!