Fermentation Riot All Grain Beer Brewing

How to Keg and Carbonate Beer

The following instructions will walk through how to keg your beer and properly carbonate for serving.

Assuming at this point you have a keg, carbon dioxide tank, and all the necessary accessories that go with it to properly dispense the beer the first step is cleaning the keg.

For a detailed description see How to Clean a Cornelius Keg

Leak Check

Following the detailed cleaning the first step is to make sure that your keg can hold pressure. This can be done be placing the gas in ball lock on the Cornelius keg and turning up the pressure regulator to 20psi. My preference for this check is to turn off the main CO2 supply valve on the top of the CO2 tank once the keg is charged up to 20psi. Leaving the ball lock on for 10 minutes read the pressure of the keg. If it stays around 20psi then you have no leaks. If it drops significantly then you know there is leaks and you may risk wasting all your CO2 if you plug into your keg. If there are leaks you may need to get soapy water and place over all seal locations to determine where the leaks are coming from. Try not to get soap into the keg as this will impact your head retention.

Rack Your Beer into Keg

Assuming your keg is leak free then you can rack your beer into the keg. At this stage rack all of the beer into the keg leaving the settled yeast behind. Be careful not to aerate (splash) the beer into the keg. It should be gently siphoned into the keg.

Purge Oxygen from Keg

After the beer is racked into the keg it is important to purge out all oxygen from the keg. This is done by connecting the CO2 tank gas supply ball lock and connecting to the keg. Pressurize the keg and pull the pressure release valve 3-5 times to purge out the air from the keg. Every time the keg is purged the oxygen content is reduced further. Oxidation of beer is never a good thing and this will help to minimize the effects.


Carbonate Your Beer

Carbonation is a function of temperature and pressure. Typically carbonation levels are measured in volumes. The typical range for carbonation levels in beer is 1-4 volumes. The following carbonation calculator will supply you the proper pressure setting based on your refrigerator temperature. It is very important that the keg be stored in a cool refrigerator for carbonating as the solubility of the beer increases with colder temperatures.

Enjoy Your Home Brew (Straight from the Keg)

Assuming your serving hose is not very long you will likely need to significantly drop your pressure levels from your CO2 tank to 4-10 psi for serving. This will mellow out the pour so you don't have a full glass of head. It also helps to pour into a cold glass as warm temperatures cause the carbon dioxide to nucleate out of the beer.














Yeast Information Database

Beer Glassware Guide

How to Keg Beer

Beer Exposure to Sunlight and UV

Importance of Aerating Wort

Steps to Reduce Chill Haze in Beer

How to Make a Yeast Starter

Beer Fermentation Time Lapse

Full Boil Versus Partial Boil

Why Home Brewers Need a Turkey Burner



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