What’s the best way to carbonate my keg?


I’ve been reading a lot about kegging, but there seems to be a lot of very different recommendations on carbonating. Some use DME, others use Corn Sugar, and still others use their CO2 tanks. I also see varying reports on just how much sugar to use.


Well, all of those will get your beer carbonated sooner or later. Let’s take the last question first : if you are priming with corn sugar (or DME for that matter) use the exact same amount that you would use if you were bottling. We see a lot of people who recommend using only 1/3 the amount, and frankly, we’d like to choke the person (whoever it is) who originally started this myth. There is nothing magical about a keg which means you need less sugar. A volume of beer is a volume of beer, no matter how you slice and dice it. So use 125g (3/4 cup) plus or minus according to your own tastes.

The big question here is : why use corn sugar or DME to prime in the first place? This provides food for the yeast, which causes them to multiply and eventually flocc out, causing sediment in your keg. To us that just seems to be defeating part of the whole purpose of having kegs in the first place : sediment free homebrew! Yes, you can simply drain the first glass or two and pour it out, but that’s wasteful in our eyes.

If you are patient, simply affix the CO2 and set it according to the temperature of the keg, and the amount of CO2 you want in the beer.