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Old 04-06-2010, 07:12 PM   #1
glenn514
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Default Bottle-Carbing in #1 PETE

Brewing Friends...

Rather than continuing to hijack the "Man, I Love Apfelwein" thread, I figured it was a good time to spin this off into its own thread.

About 5 weeks ago, I mixed up a batch of EdWort's Apfelwein. My intent from the beginning was to bottle-carbonate the batch just as one would with a 5 gallon batch of beer: 5 ounces of corn sugar mixed into the liquid just prior to bottling.

Well, being somewhat new to brewing, I do not have an endless supply of beer bottles...or any other bottles, for that matter. But I DID save the #1 PETE bottles the apple juice came in.

I did read a bit about bottle-carbing beer in plastic soda bottles, and no one, to my knowledge, had any issues with that. There are some, however, who did have issues with apple juice bottles. So, I did some further investigating: 2 liter soda bottles and apple juice bottles BOTH have heat-sealed seams; they are both made from a single layer of #1 PETE. The only differences between the two are: the soda bottle uses a thinner plastic; the soda bottle has two more threads for the cap.

Well, I am willing to be the guinea pig on this one, and attempt to bottle-carb my apfelwein in 3-quart #1 PETE apple juice bottles! I did just that very thing about 90 minutes ago. I did, however, take an extra precaution: the filled bottles are INSIDE of a sturdy, plastic storage tub, with a tight-fitting lid.

I will keep the board informed on what's going on with the plastic bottle carbonation experiment. I THINK it will work just fine. But then again, maybe not! I am still collecting empty pop-top beer bottles, so if the experiment fails miserably, I can easily mix up another batch and bottle-carb that in beer bottles. Stay tuned for further developments!

glenn514

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Old 04-06-2010, 07:26 PM   #2
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I think it will work but you missed a very important difference. They geometry of the apple juice bottles I have seen varies radically from the geometry of soda bottles. I am no engineer but I suspect that they will hold much less pressure than soda bottles (though soda bottles will hold much more pressure than your application requires).

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Old 04-07-2010, 12:32 AM   #3
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Geometry of pressure vessels is a pretty big deal. Let us know how it works in this particular application.

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Old 04-07-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, Brewers! I just went and checked the capped bottles inside the tub...and all is well. The differing geometry of the bottles did, indeed, cross my mind, but I didn't consider it a sufficient difference to toss out the entire experiment. I figured that, if the bottles could stand being boxed into a case, stacked several cases high on a front-end loader, and banged about by various nefarious folk, they could certainly stand a bit of pressure from bottle-carbonation. So far, so good!

On the other thread, I was encouraged NOT to use the bottles twice. I do plan on recycling the bottles, since I will have brand-new bottles for the next batch of apfelwein.

Stay tuned for further information.

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Old 04-08-2010, 09:04 PM   #5
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Day 2 of bottle-carbing apfelwein in the original #1 PETE apple juice bottles, and no explosions yet. The seven bottles are behaving themselves quite nicely inside the large plastic storage tub!

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Old 04-10-2010, 06:15 PM   #6
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We are now into Day 4 of bottle-carbonating a batch of apfelwein in the #1 PETE juice bottles which originally held the apple juice. I just checked the plastic storage tub, and all is well within! The bottles are getting hard, which is expected from the carbonation. No explosions nor any leakage yet.

I did purchase another 5 gallons of apple juice, at $2.38/gallon. This time, it is in 1/2 gallon bottles...two quart bottles rather than 3 quart. I'll get the next batch started when I'm about 1/4 done with the first batch.

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Old 04-10-2010, 07:24 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenn514 View Post
We are now into Day 4 of bottle-carbonating a batch of apfelwein in the #1 PETE juice bottles which originally held the apple juice. I just checked the plastic storage tub, and all is well within! The bottles are getting hard, which is expected from the carbonation. No explosions nor any leakage yet.

I did purchase another 5 gallons of apple juice, at $2.38/gallon. This time, it is in 1/2 gallon bottles...two quart bottles rather than 3 quart. I'll get the next batch started when I'm about 1/4 done with the first batch.

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why not start now?
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:11 PM   #8
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Because I can't drink it that fast...especially if I don't want to be buzzed 24/7!

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Old 04-12-2010, 05:35 PM   #9
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I have to chime in on this from two sides.

1st Side: I have done it. Works fine. I did my first two batches this way. I used the 1/2 gallon "rectangular" bottles. Bottles did deform as they weren't intended for internal pressure. But worked. I still have 4 bottles that are bottled this way back in November.

2nd Side: I am a mechanical Engineer and design pressure vessels for a living. SHAPE is the most important thing when talking about pressure. Also Internal and external pressure are completely different. Spheres and cylinders are the best at holding internal pressure, further explanation requires too much time and I need to get back to design a vessel that holds 3500PSI.

So in short this is why Soda bottles are round. Many Juice containers are not because they don't need to hold pressure and rectangular bottles fit into square boxes more efficiently for shipping.

Just an FYI post
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Old 04-12-2010, 06:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smee44 View Post
I have to chime in on this from two sides.

1st Side: I have done it. Works fine. I did my first two batches this way. I used the 1/2 gallon "rectangular" bottles. Bottles did deform as they weren't intended for internal pressure. But worked. I still have 4 bottles that are bottled this way back in November.

2nd Side: I am a mechanical Engineer and design pressure vessels for a living. SHAPE is the most important thing when talking about pressure. Also Internal and external pressure are completely different. Spheres and cylinders are the best at holding internal pressure, further explanation requires too much time and I need to get back to design a vessel that holds 3500PSI.

So in short this is why Soda bottles are round. Many Juice containers are not because they don't need to hold pressure and rectangular bottles fit into square boxes more efficiently for shipping.

Just an FYI post
smee
This is good info. And probably the "square" bottles won't explode.

But I want to stress that just because several test bottles didn't explode it doesn't mean that it can't happen. A batch of TAP-A-DRAFT bottles which were designed for carbonation were recalled because a couple bottles exploded. Probably just a quality control problem. But since the square juice bottles are not specifically designed for pressure, no one is paying attention to that aspect of quality control. So the likelihood of explosions, IMHO, is higher with the square bottles.

For the O.P., use the ones designed for pressure. You can get three liter soda bottles from the dollar stores for, a dollar, or 2 liter no-name soda is on sale all the time at supermarkets.

Safety is always worth thinking about. Just saying....

Rich
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