Saturday, May 19, 2012

Force Carbonate Homebrew Without A Keg

How can I force carbonate my homebrewed beer without spending $35 on a keg? Spend $1 on a two-liter soda bottle instead, and $17 on a Carbonator Cap. There is a great video on Youtube for the construction of your own if you don't want to buy one here. The parts he recommends are food safe as the only part touching your beer will be chrome plated metal and a rubber seal. The image above is the force carbonation chart, the second image down is the Carbonator Cap.

Carbonator Cap

Here is a picture of it hooked up to my regulator and CO2 gas source. At the bottom of the image is the two-liter soda bottle you would put your beer into. To save money I also use a paintball CO2 tank and a converter available at any homebrew shop:

Regulator with CO2 line and blue adapter.

1. Purge the two-liter bottle with CO2 from your tank before filling with beer. Without purging, the beer may take on an off flavor of wet cardboard as it will become oxidized from oxygen left in the two-liter bottle.

2. Fill the two-liter bottle with beer.

3. Leave at least 3 inches of space at the top for the beer to carbonate properly.

4. Pressurize the beer according to the table at the top of the page. Look at the legend in the bottom left of the chart for the beer type you are carbonating. Find this value in the chart, this is your volumes of CO2 that the beer will pressurize at. Compare this volume value with the temperatures listed on the left. Choose the temperature that your beer will force carbonate at in your refrigerator. Go straight up from this value where temperature and volume meet to find the correct psi to carbonate to.

5. Let the beer carbonate for at least a week if the temperature is 36 degrees or less. Let it sit for two weeks if the temperature is above this. Everyday I shake my bottle for 30 seconds to help dissolve the CO2. I do this only the first few days.

6. Open and enjoy your homebrew!

7. After serving, just recharge with CO2.

I have included a full size picture of the chart below as the above chart may be a little small.

Leave a comment!


  1. Great article. I spent my spare time reading some blogs. And I found yours a great and knowledgeable content. Keep it up.



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