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Old 07-03-2007, 04:53 PM   #1
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For those of us who aren't equipped to keg, does the volume of the bottle (6 oz.,12 oz., 16 oz., 32 oz.) factor in at all to the amount of priming sugar or the time the beer should condition in the bottle?

The reason I am asking is because I have little 6.3 oz. bottles I use and it seems like they are always a little more violently carbonated than the 16 oz. flip tops. I thought maybe it had to do with the rubber seal of the flip tops, but the lower carbonation seems consistent despite the type of beer I bottled. I bottled a Honey Brown in both 6.3 oz bottles and 16 oz. bottles, the smaller bottles seem to have more carbonation. Recently I made a Boddington's clone with the same results (less carbonation in the larger bottles) and I am about to bottle a Watermelon Ale in both 6.3 and 16 oz. bottles. I was considering creating priming sugar in different levels of concentration for different size bottles, but it seems like the carbonation should be the same regardless of the amount of beer in the bottles.

There were a few things I thought of including the rubber seal on the flip top bottles and/or the space left in the neck of the bottle, but the fact that the carbonation is similar across the board in the 16 oz. bottles leads me to believe neither of these are an issue. I like the amount of carbonation in the smaller bottles, but I'd prefer a serving of more than 6 oz. at a time.

The smaller bottles are clear and the 16 oz. bottles are brown, but I keep them in a box in a closet so I figure light would have a minimal affect. Any help would be appreciated b4 I bottle my Watermelon Ale.

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Old 07-03-2007, 05:22 PM   #2
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The only way bottle size is going to affect the carbonation level is if the ratio of headspace to beerspace is wildly different. A certain volume of primed beer is going to create a certain amount of CO2, and this is going to pressurize the headspace and dissolve the CO2 into solution.

If you scale everything (beer amt, headspace, bottle size) proportionally, you should get the same pressure regardless of bottle size. Your results would seem to suggest that your small bottles have (proportionally) less headspace, and thus higher pressure and more carbonation.

That's a little counterintuitive...I'd kind of expect it to be the other way around (the bottling wand takes up the same nominal space, which is a bigger share of the smaller bottle, thus larger proportional headspace)

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Old 07-03-2007, 05:25 PM   #3
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The only way I can see it making a difference is if you prime the bottles individually instead of the entire batch. For example if you use a teaspoon in a large bottle you wouldn't want to use the same amount in a small bottle.

The best thing to do is add your priming solution to a bottling bucket, rack your beer on top of that (which will thoroughly mix it) and then fill the bottles from the bucket.

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Old 07-03-2007, 05:33 PM   #4
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I think Papa-san's theory on headspace and carbonation is that something like the more room there is the higher the potential for carbonation. Can't recall his reasoning though, atm.

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Old 07-03-2007, 06:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bike N Brew
The only way bottle size is going to affect the carbonation level is if the ratio of headspace to beerspace is wildly different. A certain volume of primed beer is going to create a certain amount of CO2, and this is going to pressurize the headspace and dissolve the CO2 into solution.

If you scale everything (beer amt, headspace, bottle size) proportionally, you should get the same pressure regardless of bottle size. Your results would seem to suggest that your small bottles have (proportionally) less headspace, and thus higher pressure and more carbonation.

That's a little counterintuitive...I'd kind of expect it to be the other way around (the bottling wand takes up the same nominal space, which is a bigger share of the smaller bottle, thus larger proportional headspace)
This is right on.
The less headspace in relation to total vessel volume, the less "compressible" space, and thus the more vigorous the carbonation. The liquid is an incompressible fluid, the gas is compressible. But, as mentioned, (unless the bottles are very short/squat), I would suspect the smaller bottles have proportionately more headspace...
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