Since I have read so much about how much easier it is to keg your homebrew rather then bottle it, I decided to go ahead and get myself a kegging system setup.

So, last week, after my beer was done fermenting, I went ahead and racked it into the keg and put it into my fridge over night. I should add that the beer I brewed is a highly carbonated Bavarian Hefeweizen. I have brewed and bottled this style of beer with success several times before. It is my favorite.
Anyway, on Saturday after the beer in the keg cooled down to serving temperature I went ahead and hooked up my CO2 tank to the dip tube and dialed the pressure up to 30 psi and started rocking it back and forth like I was supposed to for about 10-15 min. I then put the keg back in the fridge and left the pressure at 30 psi. for 5 more days. On the fifth day I decided to test my beer since I didn’t wanted to end up and over carbonate it.
To my surprise, it was barely carbonated?? Did I do something wrong? I read before, that if you don’t force carbonate and just let the keg sit in the fridge with the CO2 hooked up it takes about 4-5 days for it to carbonate. Well, I kind of did both, and didn’t get much carbonation from it. I thought, maybe it just takes longer then usual since it is a Hefeweizen. Has anybody tried to force carbonate a Hefeweizen before?

Like I said, this is my first time kegging. Any help would be appreciated.

  • wait, just re-reading this. Did you actually hook your CO2 up to the dip tube, or to the gas tube? Most cornies have each poppit 'tower' marked as 'in' or 'out'. Gas goes in, beer goes out.
    – Pietro
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 21:22
  • Yes, dip tube. I switched out the fitting on my gas line to fit the "beer out" to force carbonate. I have read and seen many people do it that way. I left it on there for the remaining 5 days as well.
    – user2870
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 21:36
  • Too many variables... I'd hit the keg with about 2-3 psi for a few minutes then detach the lines. Come back in the morning and see if you have pressure when you vent the gas poppit. This will give an easy indicator if you have a leaking o-ring (or other keg component). The lines you can submerge in a bucket of water to check.
    – Jason V
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 22:05
  • ok.....my "out" poppet is definitely leaking. But...should that even matter since the beverage line is always attached to it?
    – user2870
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 0:05
  • So you get spray from the beverage port when you gas the full keg with no beverage line attached? It shouldn't matter if the beverage line is attached, so I would check elsewhere.
    – Jason V
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 13:29

3 Answers 3


A few comments.

I've done this many times with success, although not with precision accuracy (you can see my latest question about controlling the precise carbonation level) where i have carbonated beer in about 48 hours. I usually hit my keg with 25 psi while rocking for 4-5 minutes then let it sit for 8 hours with the gas and bev lines detached. After the 8 hours, i hit it again with 25 psi and let it sit for 15-24 hours. I then bleed of the head pressure and hook it up to my manifold with serving pressure (5-10 psi). This has worked for me.

I would suspect that you potentially have a leak somewhere in your system (like the keg o-ring). To check it, you can try to spray something that bubbles (mixed star san?) on the top of the keg while hitting it with Gas to see if you see any bubbles.

If you are leaving your gas line connected during this 5 day period, it could also mean that you have a leak in your gas line, which would be even worse, since your CO2 tank and keg would be losing pressure. You can easily put your lines underwater to check for bubbles while the gas is on for this.


My money is on a leak somewhere in your system, because the steps you have taken would have DRASTICALLY OVERCARBED a beer. Did you hear gas flowing when you were doing this and/or the beer sloshing with a sound like mouthwash in your mouth? If so, I would put even more money on a leak.

FWIW, if needing to quickly carb in a keg, I hook up the CO2 (to a keg with cold beer), turn up to 30psi, rock back and forth for 3-5 minutes, then turn it down to 15psi, after 3-4 hours, vent, set it back to 1-2 psi (serving pressure -- just enough to push out the beer), and try it. Usually, its just about good to go @ 2.5ish volumes of CO2 (for a hefe, you probably want a bit more than this). If not, I'll leave it for another day at 15-20 psi.

Try doing a 'soap test'. take a solution of 90% water, 10% dish soap, and spray it on the keg, particularly the lid and connects for gas/beer lines. If BIG bubbles are forming, you have a leak. This is the same test people use on propane tanks.

If the leak is in the lid, you may need a new o-ring or to at least lube your o-ring. You can get keg lube, or in a pinch, use petrol jelly or food-grade mineral oil. Sanitize and re-assemble.

  • 1
    I like everything you have said here. BUT I would strongly suggest not using dish soap. If you do need to open the get to reseat the lid or something that soap solution will drip into the keg. This is were using sanitizer that foams is helpful. Starsan is great for this.
    – brewchez
    Commented Dec 1, 2012 at 19:02

I have had a similar experience in the past. I used 40psi for about 4 days. The beer came out 100% flat and 90% foam, (tried pouring at every reasonable pressure, 6ft lines). Turns out that it was so carbonated that it made the beer flat. Funny. If your situation is anything like mine, try de-carbonating.

Purge the keg to de-carbonate as needed. It took me a day and a half, purging every once in a while.

  • interesting...I wonder if there is a certain amount of pressure in the headspace, it doesn't allow the liquid to absorb the CO2/gas?
    – Pietro
    Commented Dec 7, 2012 at 16:36
  • Temperature has a lot to do with it, as well. If the beer isn't cold enough to dissolve the CO2, it's all going to come out when you pour and you'll get a flat beer in the glass.
    – JoeFish
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 21:07
  • I didn't take a temperature at the time, but it was super cold.
    – JHAWN
    Commented Dec 13, 2012 at 11:49

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