Carbonating Cocktails (or Ginger Beer, water, etc) with a Keg

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Now that I”m enjoying making these little instructional videos, here’s the first part of two where I show you how to carbonate cocktails (or anything, really) with a keg.

16 Replies to “Carbonating Cocktails (or Ginger Beer, water, etc) with a Keg”

  • Andres says:

    I’ve been trying to carbonate vodka and water. When I attempt to dispense it I get loads of foam and then a flat product. I’ve been struggling with this for sometime now. I’ve heard I need sugars in it, something to do with surface tension, maybe my psi is too high. I’ve tried dispensing at a range of pressures. If I ladle it right out of the keg its carbonated. If I dispense it through a picnic tap through 3, 8, 20, 30 foot of hose it still comes out as foam. Is there something obvious I’m missing?

  • Andres says:

    Thanks so much for your responses.

  • Andres de Hibris says:

    What could be the issues if your keg isn’t carbonating? I’m pouring my red grape seltzer (I know, I know, it was a special request) and as soon as I pour it through a picnic tap it comes out foamy and flat.

    • Andres – You’re either A) Not getting it cold enough before carbonating it, B) Not shaking it long or hard enough to completely dissolve the CO2, or C) Attempting to serve it at too warm a temperature. I would bet one it being one or more of those scenarios.

  • Andres Ortiz says:

    What bottles can be safely used for high psi carbonated cocktails? Old coke or Topo Chico bottles come to mind

  • Katarina Rae says:

    Am sure you know this, but we buy big funnels at auto parts stores that they sell for changing oil, etc., and use those when filling kegs. (Assuming someone didn’t take it to dish and it disappeared.) Thanks for the great vid!

  • Alf del Portillo says:

    Hello Jeff (I don’t know if people is allowed to called you this),

    Thanks for the answer, really helps!

    Nitrogen would not freeze the liquid or give it a funny flavour?


  • Alf says:

    Hey Jeff,

    Thanks for this videos, they are a cool tool to check.

    I have two questions though:
    1. If I am going to dispense the liquid from a tap, the depressurization is required, or do we need that gas to pump it out?
    2. If dispensing from a tap a non carbonated drink, like a Negroni, how much time it takes to force the carbonation if we do not move the keg? And, to prevent this happening, the CO2 has to be removed after the shift?


    • Hey Alf!

      1. Yes you will need to depressurize and repressurize at a much lower pressure. The 40 psi is way too high. Start with 5 and work your way up.

      2. To dispense a non-carbonated beverage I recommend using nitrogen gas, as that will not carbonate your Negroni.

      Hope this helps.

  • NickS – That’s exactly right!

  • NickS says:

    A little tip for the people doing this at home — queue up something to watch on the TV, or grab a book, grab a seat, and roll the keg back and forth with your (socked; it’s cold!) feet. It’s much less tiring and no risk of dropping the keg.

  • Laurence Kedzie says:

    Great video! Have been following you for years keep up the good work!

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