Homebrew Keg Carbonation Chart

Enjoy a handy carbonation chart telling you which level of PSI to use when force carbonating your hombrew!

Find the temperature you're carbonating at, the style of beer in the keg, and voila! You now have a perfect range of PSI to finish the last leg of your next award winning homebrew.

Whether you are taking the slow route or shaking your keg to a quick carb, this carbonation chart will help you choose the appropriate amount of C02 for the style of beer you're making.

How to Force Carbonate your Homebrew

There are two primary methods of force carbonating homebrew. The first of these two methods is what many deem "slow" and the second would be considered "fast". Either method will produce the same end results, but be sure to carbonate your beer in a cold environment. Beer has the ability to absorb C02 at a much greater rate when it is cold. Knowing what temperature your beer is at will aid in allowing you to use our Carbonation Chart and decide the perfect C02 pressure to temperature ratio.

Equipment Needed

  1. 5 Gallon Keg - $58.95                       OR                           1. 5 Gallon Keg System - $119.95
  2. Liquid Lines - $11.95
  3. Gas Lines - $11.50
  4. C02 Tank - $69.96
  5. C02 Regulator - $43.95

Click to Expand!

carbonation_cart

Slow vs. Fast Force Carbonation

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When you want to ensure that you aren't going to pour a glass of foam on your first pint of homebrew the slow method is the way to go. However, everyone is a fan of getting from grain to glass as quick as possible. The fast method is exactly that, fast. We generally choose to take the later route, but either method will lend you the same results. A good note: your serving pressure will likely be much lower than your carbonation pressure, so make sure to adjust that before pouring your first glass!

The Slow Method

  • Rack your homebrew into the keg, ensure that everything is cold, and attach the lid. Then turn on your C02 in order to test the seal of your keg.
  • Using the chart, select the appropriate carbonation level by referring to the current temperature of your beer. Once the correct amount is found set your regulator accordingly.
  • Leave your keg in a vertical position, attach the gas lines, and leave it resting for the next 5 days or so. After approximately 5 days you will have carbonated homebrew ready for the drinking.

The Fast Method

  • Rack your homebrew into the keg, ensure that everything is cold, and attach the lid. Then turn on your C02 in order to test the seal of your keg.
  • Rest the keg in a horizontal position, turn up the C02 to anywhere from 15-20 PSI, and roll the keg for the next 5 minutes in order to agitate.
  • Re-situate the keg back to a vertical position and let it rest for the next several hours.
  • Once the keg has had some time to settle down use the chart to select the appropriate amount of PSI and set your regulator accordingly. Release any left over pressure that may have built up in your keg.
  • Let the keg rest at this pressure for approximately 24 hours and then you will be ready to enjoy your homebrew!

Reading the Homebrew Supply Carbonation Chart

Although these two methods vary at what part of the process our chart is used, both use it none the less. As you have likely noticed, the x-axis of the chart represents PSI, and the y-axis represents degrees fahrenheit. The numbers listed in blocks inside the chart will denote the volumes of C02 for each combination of PSI and temperature.

Using the chart is extremely simple. Find the color which best associates with the beer your are carbonating, determine what temperature your keg will be carbonating at, locate the point on the chart at which the temperature and color just found meet. This will be the appropriate range of PSI for your beer.

You will notice that there is no objective number or "single answer" found on the chart, rather a suggested range. So at a certain point it will boil down to preference. The further left, while still remaining in the range of color associated to your beer, the less carbonation you will receive, and visa versa if you move to the right side of the spectrum.

If you're interested in starting to keg your beer, you can find all the keg supplies you need in our kegging center. We carry everything you need to start kegging today. You can start with one of our kegging kits and go from there.

written by chris

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4 comments on “Homebrew Keg Carbonation Chart”

  • Handy chart!
    I know there's some sort of equation to compensate for altitude that should be considered, but I'm at a loss as to what that is. That small footnote would be beneficial for those of us not residing at Sea Level.
    In any case, I'm including this in my brew journal!

    Reply
  • Looks like a great chart and I'll give the 24 hour version a shot next time. OK , what about 20 minute force carbonation? :)

    Reply
  • There needs to be some clarification on the fast method. "Turn up to 15-20" means that amount + the number on the top of the chart? Then reduce pressure to the chart value for 24 hours?

    Reply
  • I wish more info had been provided on issues such as:

    1. The effects of headspace on forced keg carbonation.

    2. The pros and cons of running CO2 backwards through the keg

    3. Making sure to keep a supply of CO2 on the keg when drinking from it over time. Carbonation will escape the beer and occupy the less resistant head space, often taking hop aroma with it.

    4. Tools and methods to test CO2 levels in beer

    Reply
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