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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > flying with brew
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Old 02-18-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
sashurlow
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Default flying with brew

I am hoping on a plane today (literally, its a propeller plane, followed by a jet) and going from Vermont to Chicago to visit my family. I would like to bring two bottles of my cider with me in my checked in luggage to show off to my family.
Is there any reason to believe that the air pressure will cause them to explode? They would be in a ziplock bag and inside a shoe. I realize the other concern is to have them confiscated but I'd like to try anyway.
Thanks,
Scott

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Old 02-18-2012, 12:43 PM   #2
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I have flown with beer in my checked luggage before, both homebrew and commercial, and so far no issues. I would package them in ziplocks with a towel or something around them to soak up potential mishaps in case the luggage gets tossed around a little too much... I am also pretty sure they shouldn't be confiscated if they are in checked luggage.

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Old 02-18-2012, 12:44 PM   #3
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They shouldn't. Fuselage pressure shouldn't be more than about 8000 feet. Pilots used to turn off the pressure in the baggage compartment years ago, but not so much any more. I've taken bottled homebrew in checked luggage before, and had no issues.

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Old 02-18-2012, 01:29 PM   #4
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I'm pretty new to all this, but it seems to me that when a bottle explodes, it has a lot to do with the pressure inside the bottle and very little to do with the pressure outside the bottle.

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Old 02-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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I'm sure someone else can describe this better than I, but when you reduce the pressure outside of the bottle, you then have less force counteracting the pressure on the inside the bottle. Therefore you now have even more pressure on the inside of the bottle relative to the outside of the bottle.

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #6
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Sweet... The nice part is they fit nicely in my shoes (after a ziplock bag of course).
Thanks.

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:13 PM   #7
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I've only had bottles break when the lovely ground crew tosses my bags around like a dog with a chew toy. Make sure you wrap them, and I highly recommend putting them in plastic bags. That way your clothes don't get ruined if they do break. I know it wasn't the pressure, because I had an unpressurized bottle burst. A hard suitcase is the best, but unfortunately now that the airlines are so particular about weight, they're harder to find Put layers of clothes above and below the bottles, and wrap them in towels. Keep in mind that the TSA doesn't have to put everything back the way they found it. If you have a non-TSA lock (the kind they can't just open) then you're supposed to stand there while your bag gets x-rayed and searched (because they'll ask you to open it, otherwise they'll cut it). At least this way you can make sure that they don't just throw the bottles on the top of the clothes in your bag.

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:39 PM   #8
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I had one beer, a Stone RIS () that couldn't make a plane trip home. The change in pressure must slightly lifted the cap as I ended up with the cap still on, but a third of it in a puddle in my suitcase.

But I have taken now roughly 50 bottles of beer and that was the only accident I have had. Like everyone said, put them in ziplock bags and pack them very well and you should be fine.

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Old 02-18-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
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For all alcoholic beverages:
When placed in checked baggage, glass bottles must be in a Styrofoam-type insert that is molded to the shape of the bottle and completely encloses the bottle.

Are they not enforcing this rule? You mean I could have brought back a bunch of bombers the last time I flew? I did bring back some canned beers.

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Old 02-18-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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I've never had a problem. We put beer in the unpressurized nose of a private plane and fly up to 45,000 ft. Most airliners stay in the 30's. I will say, they are mighty cold when you get back down.

+1 for putting them in a plastic bag.

I'm more nervous with bottles. When you get to alt. the pressure inside the bottle is high relative to the outside air pressure. If there are any imperfections with the cap, the high pressure wants to equalize with the low pressure. That's when you get leaks.

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