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How to Carbonate Beer

Bottle Conditioning vs Force Carbonating

Bottle conditioning is when beer is taken from a fermenter, mixed with sugar, and transferred to bottles that are then capped. The reintroduced sugar interacts with residual yeast that remains suspended in the beer, resulting in the yeast reactivating. Because active yeast releases co2 as it eats sugar and the bottle is sealed, the co2 has nowhere to go except into the beer which creates carbonation

Beer bottles on tan background

Force carbonation takes place when a vessel (keg) filled with fermented beer is pressurized by an external co2 source at about 15-30 psi for roughly 2 days. As the name suggests, co2 is simply forced into the beer to create carbonation.