Kegging & Carbonation?

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Orange whip?
HBT Supporter
Apr 22, 2007
Reaction score
Orlando, FL
1. I have about 6 batches of different varieties that I have kegged.
2. They all have been force carbonated at serving PSI over the course of a week at least.

My question is my force carbonated beers seem to lack head retention. I brewed a 10g batch of Kolsch some time ago. 5g went into a keg and 5 into bottles (primed with DME). I cracked a bottle last night and no problem with head retention at all. However the kegged beer did.

Am I missing a step? Do I need to carbonate for the week at a higher PSI? Would priming the kegs naturally help?

Thanks in advance for the input!
keg beer and bottled beer behave differently.

did your keg'd kolsch include any malts to help aid in head retention? some flaked wheat maybe?
The Kolsch was a 10g batch that was split half/half...

Amount Item Type % or IBU
16.00 lb Pilsner (2 Row) Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 87.67 %
2.00 lb Wheat Malt, Ger (2.0 SRM) Grain 10.96 %
0.25 lb Honey Malt (25.0 SRM) Grain 1.37 %
2.00 oz Hallertauer [6.40 %] (60 min) Hops 22.5 IBU
0.50 oz Saaz [3.80 %] (15 min) Hops 1.7 IBU
0.25 oz Saaz [3.80 %] (5 min) Hops 0.3 IBU
2.0 tsp Irish Moss (Boil 10.0 min) Misc
2.0 tbsp PH 5.2 Stabilizer (Mash 60.0 min) Misc
1 Pkgs Kolsch Yeast (Wyeast Labs #2565) [Starter Yeast-Ale
I got the part of the batch you bottled with priming sugar is behaving as expected.

So you put the other half of the same batch of Kolsch in a keg. Been in there a week. Tell us about "carbed to serving pressure" Did you press higher than final serving pressure for the first couple days?

One week seems to be pretty fast to have force carbed a keg of beer. I have been reading lots of threads lately 'cause I am struggling with the solubility of CO2 at my house right now too. ""Most"" folks are taking two weeks to force carb.
The kegs are 12# PSI the whole time (serving/carbing)

It has been each batch that I have kegged that have the head retention problem. The Kolsch was the only one I bottled as well. I normally start serving at the minimum of a week. Others are under pressure several weeks-month before I start serving, same deal...

I agree a week is a little short however I can't always wait :)

Thanks Again!
Don't get me wrong it is not like my beer is flat. If so I would have been screaming long before now.

With regards to head retention on a scale from 1-10.
If Bottled Bud is a 9
Maybe my kegged beer is a 4.
I have just kegged a batch on Saturday. Should i leave at room temp or fridge and carb? I've had it at room temp since i kegged it..
I have only done this once, but I read a bunch of threads here as I went and I am pretty happy with what I got.

I racked the room temp beer out of glass secondary into the keg. I dialed the regulator on my CO2 tank to "9psi" because I have no idea how far out of calibration it is. I purged the headspace of the full keg a couple times, and then stuck it in the fridge pressed to 9psi at room temp.

Every few hours the first day I was hooking the CO2 back up for a quick burst as the temp dropped. Soon I was hooking up the CO2 just twice daily. After about four days total I left the CO2 hooked up- still at 9 psi.

On day seven I pulled a sample pint and turned the pressure up 0.25 maybe 0.3 psi. It took about 48 hours for the carb level to stabilize. And so on. By day 14-15-16 I was serving EdWort's Haus Pale at "10psi" (indicated on my not calibrated gauge) - with great head, great carb all the way down- the keg kicked last night.

I have been asking the questions I saw being asked by the people who do know what they are doing while I was reading up. If you follow the link I put in on page one this thread you will see the solubility of CO2 changes with temperature.

Remember how boiled wort doesn't have any oxygen in it? Solubility of oxygen changes with temperature also.

There are people here who can force carb at room temp, then cool the keg, purge the headspace and be ready to serve. I am not yet that sophisticated. But I think Chris-Dog has answered the right questions for someone more experienced than me to finish helping him.