Once you have all your parts, final assembly can be done in 10 minutes or less. Here are the connections you make:
1. Attach the regulator to your CO2 tank by lining up the threaded ends of each. Unless you're the Incredible Hulk, you'll want to crescent-wrench the regulator's threaded nut tight, using PTFE tape, to ensure a leak-free seal.
2. Attach one line of hose securely to the ridged metal piece (the "barb") on the bottom of your regulator. To the other end of the tube, attach the barb of your keg coupler. Hose clamps should be screwed tightly into place over each tube-covered barb for a snug fit. Congratulations, you're done!
Filling Your First Bottle
Now, for the grand finale. There are three points of gas control in our system: the tank's main on/off #$%$, the regulator's cutoff switch (right above the barb end (some regulators don't have this)), and the valve on your keg coupler. Gas only flows through the system when the Carbonator cap is snapped into the keg coupler (you can also reach inside the coupler and depress the valve with your finger if you want to torment the cats with a gust of CO2). If you fill bottles frequently, you can leave the tank's main on/off valve open and use the regulator's cutoff switch to turn the gas on and off.
1. Bring the system up to pressure by opening the tank's main valve and the cutoff switch (parallel to the gas tube is "open"). Your gauges will spring to life. Turn the pressure adjustment #$%$ or screw on the front of your regulator until the low-pressure gauge (the top one) reaches the desired level. I do my water at 35-40 psi. You'll want to dial up the pressure to 45-50 psi if it's fizzy cocktail hour.
2. Fill your soda bottle with cold liquid, but only up to the point where the diameter starts to recede at the top of the bottle. This leaves enough room for for the carbon dioxide.
3. With your Carbonator cap in one hand, squeeze the bottle until the liquid rises to the very brim. Holding it there, scr