Forced Carbonation

Matching Carbonation Level to Your Kegerator

This calculator is a useful guide for determining Volumes of CO2 in kegged beer using the Forced Carbonation “set and forget” method. If you prefer using a chart instead of a calculator, they can be found on the Forced Carbonation Charts page.

It is advised to ensure that your Pressure and Temperature work within the set-up in which you intend to serve (i.e. it works with your kegerator). Otherwise, you’ll end-up serving your beer too foamy or too flat. The Beer Line Length Calculator may be able to help you with this.

Forced Carbonation Calculation Input Numbers

  • Regulator Pressure – The reading of your CO2 pressure regulator gauge.
  • Barometric Pressure – Find this in you local weather report. It is generally in units of millibars (mB or mBar) or inches Mercury (inHg) for the US.
  • Temperature of Beer – Beer temperature during forced carbonation.
  • Specific Gravity of Beer – From the brewery where the beer was made, or if the beer was home brewed from a hydrometer reading.
  • % Alcohol By Volume (% ABV) of Beer – From the brewery where the beer was made, or if the beer was home brewed from from a Original Gravity and Final Gravity reading input into the Alcohol By Volume Calculator.

Typical Carbonation Level for Various Beer Styles*:

(Units in Volumes of CO2)

  • British Ales 1.5–2.0
  • Porter and Stout 1.7–2.3
  • Belgian Ales 1.9–2.4
  • American Ales 2.2–2.7
  • European Lagers 2.2–2.7
  • Belgian Lambic 2.4–2.8
  • American Wheat Beer 2.7–3.3
  • German Wheat Beer 3.3–4.5

Note that the vast majority of the Forced Carbonation charts available in publication and on the internet are ultimately based-upon “Methods of Analysis” American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC), 5th Edition 1949. The data from that publication was based on empirical data which converted the Henry’s Law equation for water to an equation for beer. The method used in this calculator is not a best-fit of the ASBC empirical data, but uses quantitative data for improved accuracy.

*Source: Palmer, John J. (2017). How To Brew: Everything You Need to Know to Brew Great Beer Every Time (Fourth Edition). Boulder, Colo.: Brewers Publications.

Forced Carbonation
Forced Carbonation