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Force carb problem

So I transferred my pale ale to a keg for the firs time yesterday. Let it sit overnight at 30psi with kegerator set to 38f. Poured smoothly this morning but with very little carbonation at all. I followed force carb. instruction from a youtube video and shook keg with 30psi gas line attached for about 3.5 mins. Put back in kegerator and left for 30 mins. Now pours straight foam, nothing else. I have disconnected gas line and burped keg. What can I do? Does it just need time?


Room temp for a while… CO2 comes out of solution easier when warm. I will get my keg cold… no CO2… Then, take it out hook up the gas to the liquid out post. Lay the keg on your lap, liquid side at the bottom, CO2 set at 40 psi’s and rock it back and forth 30 times… Set it up right, burp out the gas, hook up your picnic tap and pour a pint… see if its to your liking… You may rock it less, you may rock it more… You’ll find your desired pour. Sneezles61


Hello Brometheus89,

You will not regret moving to kegging (if I read this right)…

To get rid of the foam, release all CO2 from the Key then set your CO2 level to minimum.
You can also reduce foam by increasing the length of your tubing to match the CO2 pressure (different subject).

As for carbonation,
I am not a big fan of trying to establish proper carbonation in 1 day.
Always carbonate under low temp.

Another thing to avoid is too much carbonation.

When I first started using kegs, i got a free one from a friend.

Now I have 7 kegs, a Beer Frig with 3 taps (which I keep at 5 PSI).
I often turn the CO2 on let it charge then turn it off.
This seems to work just fine for my needs.

I also have a Chest Freezer (not quite a keezer) under temp control for initial carbonation (20-30PSI) and for fermenting lagers. I carbonate for a week before I drink it and have a rule of thumb that “If the beer frig is full, its time to brew”. Never have an empty tap. If the beer is not Awesome, I pitch it.

Hope that helps.

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My SOP is to set both kegs in kegerator and set regulator to 30 PSI for 24-26 hours. Then I drop it to 20 psi for 3-4 days. Then I start checking carb and turn it down to serving pressure when it’s where I like it. I never shake or rock my keg. There are also many who recommend the set it and forget it method of just setting it at your serving pressure for 2 weeks. I’m not patient enough for this. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Also, if you are overcarbed, the easiest fix is to turn off the gas and burp the keg, let it sit a while, then pour a pint. I have a dual manifold to shut off the gas to one keg or the other depending on carb level.

The other important question is, have you ever used this kegerator before? You will need to balance it to get it where you want. There are several calculators online that can help you get a baseline to work from. Here is an example from our host that’s worth a read.


My suggestion would be to get another keg or two let one carbonate for a couple weeks while you drink the other.

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Appreciate all the advice. This is my first time using this kegerator and I have not taken the time to figure out the line balance. Has anyone tried putting the gas onto the beer out post and carbing it at 15 psi and burping to force the excess carbonation out? Just saw it work on a YouTube video but skeptical of making things worse at this point.

That really wouldn’t work for a quick carbonate. Never had much luck with the quick carbonate method. Yea you can get some bubbles in your beer but it will go flat pretty quickly in the glass. I would venture to say most kegers do the set and forget method

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Yup, I just set and forget. Usually in 8-10 days I find it drinkable. I try to have another keg on my other tap so I can stay patient.


The way i do. 3 days at 20 psi. No shaking or rolling the keg at forced carbonation. After that set it to serving pressure and leave it stand for 4 to 7 days. It comes out perfect.

As a new kegger I used to do all that rocking, shaking, 30 psi stuff but I now find the set it and forget it method far more appealing. I have 5 kegs and 4 taps so I’m never in a hurry to carb 1 up.


I too am a set it and forget it carbonater. It takes at least 2 weeks for the CO2 to hydrate and create the heading properties you look for anyway, so…

Plus, there’s very little risk of over carbonating the beer and getting pure foam and carbonic acid bite.

If I am rushed I will do this:

  1. keg keg down to 33°-34°
  2. pressure on keg at 30psi for 48 hours
  3. unhook gas and pull PRV
  4. pressure back on keg at 20psi for 24 hours
  5. unhook gas and pull PRV
  6. gas back on at serving PSI for the remainder

Bro, you are pulling the tap handle all the way open? I just mentioned that because I had a house guest that poured nothing but foam until he saw me pull a beer.


I know this sounds silly but I see it quite frequently. I’ll tellnthem fully open the tap and they’ll tell me that makes it foam. They figure they are slowing the beer down but they’re just causing turbulence and the CO2 to come out of solution.

Sorry drives me nuts! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I am fully opening tap (good tip though), actually got home last night, has been off the gas for about 24 hours, and I got 3 perfect pours. Still have gas off. Not sure when I should put it back on.

You pour until no more comes out… Turn the pressure down to zero, put the gas on, then start turning up the pressure until it comes out as you like it… Sneezles61


It may help to understand that CO2 actually dissolves into liquids like beer, soda or water, much like sugar dissolves into water. The amount of CO2 that will dissolve into the beer depends on both temperature and pressure. A carbonation chart will tell you how much will dissolve.

It takes some time for the CO2 to dissolve. You can speed that up some by agitating the keg, just like you can speed up sugar dissolving in water by stirring it. You can also increase the rate of CO2 absorption by increasing the pressure, but you risk over carbonating the beer - again see a carbonation chart.

I set the pressure as desired per a carbonation chart, cool the keg to desired temp, sometimes do some shaking, but without excessive pressure, and give it at least a week. As someone on this forum has said before, the waiting is the hardest part of brewing,

Here’s the silver lining - Every time you pour a pint, you depressurize and warm your beer. The CO2 that you had to wait to dissolve also takes time to come back out of solution. That lets your suds stay bubbly while you enjoy it. If the CO2 went in and out of solution very quickly, your pint would go flat as soon as you poured it.

You can make your pint go flat faster by agitating it too :slight_smile:


Great explanation, thanks. I will admit I started kegging with the thought process that I would no longer have to wait after fermentation like I did with bottling. Guess there’s still some waiting to do.

I do that with porters since a don’t have separate tank pressure the porters come out a little cooler and carbonated than I like so I pour into a snifter and swirl in my hand to warm it and release carbonation.

A few different things are going on here, but rest assured you can carbonate beer in a much shorter timeframe than the rule of thumb for bottle conditioning (3 weeks at 70°F, and longer if its cooler and for high abv and sour beers).

First of all, it sounds like you were using the “burst carbonation method”.

It helps to understand the relationship between solubility of CO2 and temperature: simply CO2 dissolves better in cold beer, and poorly in warm beer.

In your case, you tried to rapidly carbonate warm beer. It might have worked if you had chilled the beer fully to 38°F before putting the gas on.

Then when you found flat beer, you used the “rock and roll method” aka “crank and shake method” on very cold beer. One of the drawbacks to both the burst carbonation method and especially crank and shake is that it is very easy to overcarbonate the beer. That’s probably what happened to your beer.

The other common method is “set it and forget it”: set the psi for exactly the amount that the Zahm & Nagel chart for force carbonation of beer indicates for your beer’s temperature.

The method for burst carbonation is to start with cold beer, crank the psi up to a very high number (30-45 psi is common), wait a certain amount of time (8-24 hours is common), and then gently vent the head space, reset the pressure to the psi indicated for your carbonation level and beer temp, and wait another 6-12 hours for everything to equilibrate. The devil is in the details when it comes to burst carbonation, and you sort of have to figure out what works for you, being conservative rather than aggressive if you don’t want to overcarbonate your beer.

In terms of solving your current problem, which is likely overcarbonation, remove the beer from the fridge and warm it up and meanwhile vent the headspace every few hours, until the carbonation level is reduced. Then start over using one of those methods, remembering that you’re probably not starting from “uncarbonated” beer any more.

Another possibility that is mentioned is that your beer lines may be too warm – especially if you have a draft tower and the second or third pint is pouring fine once the line is cooled down – or too short. The beer line offers a certain amount of resistance per length (per foot), and if you for example have the regulator set to 12 psi, you are counting on dropping the pressure just enough so beer is barely falling out (instead of shooting out and foaming) due to a combination of gravity (pushing beer up to the height of the faucet) and resistance from how ever many feet of draft tubing you have. Many people find it makes sense to replace their beer line with 10-12’ of tubing, and then cut it back as needed to “balance” their draft system. Others do some reading online and find the line balancing equation and do it mathematically, rather than by trial and error.


Dirty greasy glas will do as well. Me force carb. At 20 psi 3 days. No shake. Just let it stand. Than set it to serving pressure. For 7 days. And ready to pour a beer

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