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Old 02-22-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
brad451
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Default Maximum Safe Carbonation for Bottling

Anyone know the maximum safe level of carbonation for a bottle of beer? My wife really prefers a very dry highly-carbonated Belgian and I want to sort of experiment without bottle bombs waking me up in the middle of the night. Is 4.5 volumes of Co2 pushing it too far? Using Palmer's nomograph I think I'm looking at 8-9 ounces of corn sugar to prime. Before the priming sugar addition my FGs are getting to be around 1.008; that's with about 83% attenuation. Will conditioning at a lower temp decrease the chances of explosions? Not a question about beer style, by the way.

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Old 02-22-2009, 09:31 PM   #2
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Depends on the bottle. Most standard beer bottles are only good to around 3 volumes, IIRC. The Belgian ones can take more. 4.5 is a bit much. 3.5 is plenty of carbonation for even most Belgians.

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Old 02-22-2009, 09:49 PM   #3
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I think you gotta be more worried about the caps popping off. My capper indents the top of the caps. Early in my brewing career I bottled to early and saw some batches that have budged the caps out. They were pretty close to bombs...

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Old 02-22-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Thanks for mentioning the bottles. I should look into some champagne bottles for this maybe.

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Old 02-23-2009, 01:12 PM   #5
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Champagne bottles are designed to handle 17 atm. Same as 17 volumes. Biggest problem there is the size. I'd look for Splits.

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Old 02-23-2009, 03:44 PM   #6
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My Grolsch flip-top bottles have handled 3.5 volumes through several batches without any issues or bombs. I usually use 7.1 oz. corn sugar to prime my 5g apfelwein batches to get champagne-like carbonation.

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Old 02-23-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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I wonder how many beers bottled with properly mixed priming sugar to 4 volumes have ever blown up?

I have a strong golden primed to 4.5 volumes and not a bottle has blown.

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Old 02-23-2009, 05:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babalu87 View Post
I wonder how many beers bottled with properly mixed priming sugar to 4 volumes have ever blown up?

I have a strong golden primed to 4.5 volumes and not a bottle has blown.
They're much more likely to pop if the bottles have been mistreated or have some sort of material defect in them. I get nervous above 3 volumes, but the only bottle I've ever had explode was well below that threshold - my hypothesis is that it broke because I had oven sanitized it and probably ramped the temperature up too quickly.
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Old 02-23-2009, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
They're much more likely to pop if the bottles have been mistreated or have some sort of material defect in them. I get nervous above 3 volumes, but the only bottle I've ever had explode was well below that threshold - my hypothesis is that it broke because I had oven sanitized it and probably ramped the temperature up too quickly.
Yeah, thats my thought as well.

There is no way that brewers would be sending beer off the line at 2.5-3 volumes if the bottles wouldnt handle at least 1/2 again as much as that.
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Old 02-24-2009, 01:57 PM   #10
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I bottled a mead that I carbonated too early, and it is "highly" carbonated. One of the problems that no one here has mentioned is, when you are ready to drink it, getting the cap off without ending up with a fountain.

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