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May 8, 2018
Last updated

Quick Carb: How to Carbonate a Keg in 30 Minutes

Owner of Clawhammer Supply
how to carbonate beer in a keg or kegerator

When kegging beer, you have several options as far as carbonation go. In this article we'll outline 4 methods for carbonating beer. The long way (7 days). The much shorter but still kinda long way (1 day). The very quick way (30 minutes). And the lightening fast, super quick way (5 minutes). You might be thinking, why would anyone wait a week for their beer to carbonate? The answer to that is that it's the easiest, least risky way to carbonate beer. As far as these methods go, the quicker the method, the more likely it is that you'll end up over-carbonating, which can be a pain to deal with.

The 1 Week Home Brew Carbonation Method

Keg the beer, purge it with CO2, apply gas at serving pressure (11psi, for example) and leave it sit at serving temperature (45F or so) for a week. This is the fool proof, no risk method. In 7 days, your beer will be carbonated.

The 24 Hour Beer Carbonation Method

Chill the beer to to serving temp (45F), keg and purge with CO2, apply gas at 45psi and leave sit for 24 hours. You should have carbonated beer in 24 hours. Assuming your pressure regulator is in working order and you don't forget about the beer, the carbonation level should be perfecto. Also, don't forget to drop pressure back down to 11ish psi to serve.

The 30 Minute Home Brew Beer Carbonation Method

Chill the beer to serving temp (45F), keg and purge with CO2, apply gas at 50psi. Remove from gas and shake for 5 mins. Re-pressurize, remove from gas, shake for 5 mins. Repeat 1 more time. At this point, sample the beer (don't forget to drop regulator back down to serving pressure). Is it adequately carbonated? If you like it, stop here. If it could use more, hit it with another 50psi and shake again. Do this until the beer is carbonated. But don't overdo it!

The 3 Minute Beer Carbonation Method

Chill the beer to serving temp (45F), keg and purge with CO2, apply gas at 50psi and shake while gas is still connected to the keg. Don't shake any longer than 3 minutes! Drop pressure back down to serving (11psi) and sample. When I employ this method i generally shake until it's "reasonably carbonated" then leave it sit at serving pressure to finish. This method is the most likely to cause over carbonation. But as long as you don't shake more than 3 mins, you should be good to go.

Kyle Brown is the owner of Clawhammer Supply, a small scale distillation and brewing equipment company which he founded in 2009. His passion is teaching people about the many uses of distillation equipment as well as how to make beer at home. When he isn't brewing beer or writing about it, you can find him at his local gym or on the running trail.

  • Does this also work when you carbonate with bottle sugar in a small 2 liter torp tap micro poly keg? don’t have any co2 available and i am a beginner homebrewer.

    Posted by Alex on August 05, 2022
  • You can turn the keg down to 30 psi and shake for a less aggressive approach but this all works!

    Posted by Matt on November 13, 2021

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