Home brewing just keeps getting more and more popular. There are a lot of people having great success fine tuning their recipes and impressing their friends with their new craft. If you are going to have a hobby you might as well have one that makes everyone love you. Who knows, it also might become a career, as many people have gone from basement kits to having their own brand being served around the city’s pubs. But making a good batch is just part of the process, you also need to carbonate your beer. Here is a look at some of the methods.
Carbonation in a Keg: If you want to have the full experience of being a brew master, nothing beats pulling down the lever of your own beer tap and seeing your pride and joy pouring into a glass, forming an attractive head of just the right proportions. There are two ways to carbonate a keg,
- Add CO2: for that you will need to have CO2 bottles available and a tap system. This is the most common method; you will only need CO2 cylinder refills after that to keep it working.
- DME or Sugar: The other method for carbonating a keg is old school, this is where you add sugar or dry malt extract (DME) to carbonate the keg naturally. This is the way it used to be done before CO2 bottles were easily available.
Carbonating Bottled Beer, unfortunately it is not as easy to carbonate a bottle of beer. Some people have worked out a method using a SodaStream machine, but it sounds messy and complicated. So, for bottled beer the methods are similar to carbonating a keg. There are four methods
- Sugar: Either corn sugar or refined sugar. Usually this is added just before sealing the bottles, the best method is to dissolve the sugar in a bit of distilled water first before adding.
- DME: Dry malt extract. This is used almost in the same way as sugar, but it has less calories and it doesn’t add the same kind of sweetness.
- Krausening: This is a method using something called wort. It requires formulas and can be complicated
- Carbonation Tablets: It is possible to purchase carbonation tablets that you add to the beer just before bottling. These are just sugar tablets, but they are convenient and premeasured.
If you need some help working out the calculations for carbonating beer, you can find the information online, or you can install home brewing software that will help you make your calculations. Enjoy your brew.