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Old 07-28-2007, 01:36 AM   #1
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Default Sea Level Pressure

OK People...a friend of mine and I talked a little bit about this tonight (over many beers, well that's not ALL we talked about) and we need some kind of answer...

He is moving back to Colorado/New Mexico and has aquired a taste and hobby of home brewing here in Ohio (thanks to me )

He wants to know if the homebrew he already has bottled is going to have a problem making it to a higher elevation area.

With us both being Electrical Engineers, we can obvious put our ideas down on the table but, obviously we aren't quaified to come to any conclusions (gotta love those damn Engineers!!!)

He seems to think since the pressure inside will be higher (being bottled at a lower sea level) he might have a problem with the pressrure wanting to release from higher to lower pressure. I, personally don't think there will be a probelm, but we would like some confirmation!

SO...what are the thoughts? He wants to know whether his already bottled homebrews are going to have a problem making the transfer.

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Old 07-28-2007, 02:34 AM   #2
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No problem. People make beer at sea level in places like California then ship to Colorado, right? The pressure in the bottle comes from the equilibrium with the amount of CO2.

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Old 07-28-2007, 02:36 AM   #3
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I think the only problem is when you are at 6000 feet and you bottle your beer and ship it to someplace like Houston for a competition. You'll need to add about 3 PSI to your carbonation to make up the difference since your bottle will be opened at almost sea level.

I use 12 psi for my stuff and my house is at 1200 ft here in Hill Country near Austin, TX and it works well for me.

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Old 07-28-2007, 02:47 AM   #4
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I didn't think much of it at the time, but obviously I thought enough of it to make a post. I was hoping someone would "blow my mind" but now that I'm sobering up and thinking a little better, I don't think that's going to happen.

Thanks for the conformation..."we" (engineers) always like confirming things we don't know for sure!

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Old 07-28-2007, 03:09 PM   #5
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Here's your confirmation from a civil engineer who just happens to be a professional pilot

Edwort is right on. At sea level the atmosphere is 14.7 psi (or 29.92" Hg) on a standard day (15* C at sea level). Given a standard lapse rate (2* C per 1000 feet) the pressure at 18,000 feet is roughly half of that at sea level. The relationship is practically linear in this first 18,000 feet of the atmosphere, so it's easy to figure out the pressure differential between two elevations. Don't pull out your calculator, it's 0.4 psi per thousand feet.

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Old 07-28-2007, 03:23 PM   #6
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I live in Colorado and I honestly can't tell a difference. Wouldn't it all boil down to pressure differential? The beer in the bottle is going to pressurize to a certain level whether it was bottled at sea level or at 14,000 feet. The difference would come in where it was opened. At sea level it would not have as much differential so it would not have as much escaping CO2 as a beer opened at 14,000 feet. But even then wouldn't both beers be carbonated to the same level?

(This was all based on how my simple brain works not fact)

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Old 07-28-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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There is no way the beer will survive. I live in Dallas though so ship it to me and I will dispose of it.

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Old 07-28-2007, 05:32 PM   #8
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I'm with Rich. The liquid will accept whatever volume of C02 in relation to the pressure in the bottle, not the ambient air. If you pour it at a lower or higher elevation, it will effect the rate of C02 coming out of solution (delta-fiss for the engineering types). So the beer would initially pour the same but have either more or less C02 as time passes (delta-chug for the PEngs).

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