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Old 12-05-2012, 02:14 AM   #1
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Default Dry Ice carbonating?

So, I had a thought about bottling and carbonating, more just a theory, but it made me scratch my chin a while....

Since dry ice sublimes directly into gaseous CO2. And, if a gas builds pressure in a closed container with a liquid, the gas will be dispersed evenly in the container, and consequently, infused into the liquid.....

Is it possible to carbonate bottles with a chunk of dry ice?

Possible benefits of this would be shorter time from bottling to consumption, as you wouldn't need to wait for the yeast to consume the priming sugar and produce CO2.

Any thoughts?

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:16 AM   #2
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Bad idea unless you like picking glass shards from your skin.

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:21 AM   #3
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Bad idea, but an interesting one.
If a guy were to try it, I think a keg would be safer.

I bet it wouldn't take much dry ice in a five gallon keg.

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:22 AM   #4
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People think about it until they see the youtube videos of folks making handgrenades with dry ice in beer or even soda bottles.

We have a few threads on it. Like this one.

Or even this one.

There's a reason why the two most used ways of carbing beer are priming, and force carbing in kegs.....If dry ice were safe or practical, then people would be doing it, instead of making yotube videos of explosions.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:03 AM   #5
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Yeah. Bad idea.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:56 AM   #6
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Sometimes bad ideas are the most fun!

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:58 AM   #7
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I was thinking about this too and here is what I came up with: The molar volume of CO2 at STP is 23890.7 cm^3/mol the molar mass is 44.0095 g/mol. A 22 oz. bottle is 650.6 mL, so in theory to get approx 2 volumes of CO2 we need 2*650.6 or 1301.2 mL of CO2 in the bottle. The mole fraction is then 0.05426, multiply that by the molar mass and we get about 2.39 grams of CO2. So theoretically we could add 2.39 grams of solid CO2, cap the bottle and end up with approximately 2 volumes of CO2 at STP once it fully sublimates. More calculation would have to be done to get 2 volumes at serving temperature but I wanted to put this out there and have someone double check my work before going to that extent (I'm lazy). This also falls in line with the alternate definition of volumes of CO2 which is 2 grams per liter per volume, using that definition we would need 2.60 grams, the difference is probably due to oversimplification of the problem but seems like a reasonable amount of error.

If a few people check my work and agree that it's a reasonable assumption I might try it with a couple of bottles. I could put them in a bucket in my keezer in case they do grenade. Let me know what you think, thanks.

As a side note I cold crash all of my beer before bottling so the liquid would be cold when the dry ice was added. If there is any support for this I will use soda bottles and start with one gram and progress up to the calculated value if nothing goes awry. It may be more effort than its worth in the end but it would be an interesting experiment either way.

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:21 AM   #8
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I'm all for doing something that's a little crazy or things that will fail simply for the fun of that can be had when it fails, but this may be a bit dangerous.
To start with, if you are going to try this I would use water so that you don't wast beer. You would also be able to taste for off flavors ( if it works ).

Have you accounted for the amount of loss when the dry ice hit's liquid? Wouldn't there be a fog of CO2 that comes out right away?
I haven't messed with dry ice so I'm just going to ask a dumb question. Is the reaction different if the liquid is warmer? As in if you calculated it correctly, would you need to have everything the same temperature each time and get the cap on in the same about of time?

Seems like there could be variables that could lead to problems. Low carbonation problems if a guy was lucky.

If this were a viable option and it worked well, I would think breweries would be doing it.
Carbonation drops would be an easy way to get the right carbonation without risking bottle bombs. You typically want the beer to age a bit after it hits the bottle anyway.

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Old 12-05-2012, 05:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45_70sharps
I'm all for doing something that's a little crazy or things that will fail simply for the fun of that can be had when it fails, but this may be a bit dangerous.
To start with, if you are going to try this I would use water so that you don't wast beer. You would also be able to taste for off flavors ( if it works ).
Good point I'm glad someone is thinking about the safety of the beer.

Quote:
Have you accounted for the amount of loss when the dry ice hit's liquid?
I haven't messed with dry ice so I'm just going to ask a dumb question. Is the reaction different if the liquid is warmer? As in if you calculated it correctly, would you need to have everything the same temperature each time and get the cap on in the same about of time?
Yes the reaction is more violent when the temperature difference is greater. You would need the liquid around the same temp and the capping time around the same which I have not accounted for, again that post is kind of a feeler and this is good feedback. If I were to try it I would shave the dry ice into the smallest shards possible in the hope that it would freeze the top layer of liquid and sit on top of the ice, instead if dropping to the bottom and reacting violently. Then I would cap it as quickly as possible because trying to calculate for the amount of gas evolved between the drop in and capping time would be difficult. Capping time variability would make it very imprecise, so I would not increase the amount of dry ice I would just accept the loss of carbonation. Maybe shoot for 2.5 volumes but that is as risky as I'd go.

Quote:
Seems like there could be variables that could lead to problems. Low carbonation problems if a guy was lucky.
Very true which is why I would start with soda bottles like in the video that Revvy linked to. When those explode they tend to remain in one piece and don't cause much damage to personnel.

Quote:
If this were a viable option and it worked well, I would think breweries would be doing it.
Carbonation drops would be an easy way to get the right carbonation without risking bottle bombs. You typically want the beer to age a bit after it hits the bottle anyway.
IMO if this were a viable option breweries still wouldn't do it because it can lead to variability, and would be more difficult to automate. The machines they use to force carbonate bottles are completely hands off and provide good consistency. If it works but is inconsistent then it will just be a cool proof of concept and I will return to the sugar method.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTL View Post
If I were to try it I would shave the dry ice into the smallest shards possible in the hope that it would freeze the top layer of liquid and sit on top of the ice, instead if dropping to the bottom and reacting violently.
An issue that I see with the shards is the exponentially higher surface area that' exposed to the liquid.
It seems that a piece the diameter of the opening of the bottle would the the best bet.
More surface area equals more reaction area.
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