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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Why does Temp affect vols CO2?
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:15 PM   #1
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Default Why does Temp affect vols CO2?

I can't figure this out. Why do I need more priming sugar, sometimes 50% more, to properly achieve the correct volume of CO2 at 70F than 50F? There is also an impact on kegging temperatures as well, but I don't do that so I am more intrigued by the effects on bottling. Initially I would have assumed that less priming sugar would be needed for higher bottle priming temperatures as there would be stronger yeast activity to get to the target volumes of CO2. Here is Palmer's nomograph:



Can someone explain?

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:31 PM   #2
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Ironic, I just mentioned this in another thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/need...ondary-150665/

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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Gas solubility increases with decreasing temperature. So a beer at room temperature dissolves less C02 than a beer at 35 F. That nomograph accounts for the amount of C02 already dissolved in your beer prior to bottling.

There are web-based calculators that do the same thing.

EDIT: Re-read your post. The temperature axis on the nomograph is the temperature at bottling, NOT the conditioning temperature. You should condition the beer at 70F and then chill to serving temps to achieve the proper carbonation levels. Revvy has a great blog post about this.

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:36 PM   #4
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Most brewers always assume you are bottle carbing at about 65-70 deg, anything lower is going to take a long time to carbonate due to the yeast going dormant and just being slow. I dont think this post is anything like the other post mentioned.

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:47 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseRC View Post
I dont think this post is anything like the other post mentioned.
It's all about the residual CO2 left in solution from fermentation, so it's exactly the same thing.
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Old 12-07-2009, 08:49 PM   #6
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Like mentioned above, a beer at a colder temperature will have more C02 dissolved in it because of an increase in solubility with the colder temp. However, an important point to note is that while in the primary or secondary (so long as their is some kind of pressure release), the amount of co2 dissolved in your beer will be in reference to the warmest temperature it has been at (if finished fermenting). For example, if the beer was fermented at 50deg and then lagered at 35, when you bottle it you should calculate the amount of bottling sugar for the 50deg even though the beer might be at 35 at the time of bottling. This is because when you drop the temperature to 35, there is already a fixed amount of CO2 available so even though them temp decreases the CO2 stays the same. Hope that makes sense and helps.

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:49 PM   #7
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One more note:
The yeast activity should be considered in the amount of time it takes to carbonate the beer, not so much in your final carbonation levels. It does not affect the final amount of C02 that can be dissolved, which is temperature and pressure dependent. While your yeast may be more active at higher temperatures (leading to faster carbonation), they will eventually run out of sugar and consequently can not produce more C02 (less pressure) to carbonate your beer.

I hope that makes sense. Sorry for the multi post.

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Old 12-07-2009, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushis View Post
Gas solubility increases with decreasing temperature. So a beer at room temperature dissolves less C02 than a beer at 35 F. That nomograph accounts for the amount of C02 already dissolved in your beer prior to bottling.

There are web-based calculators that do the same thing.

EDIT: Re-read your post. The temperature axis on the nomograph is the temperature at bottling, NOT the conditioning temperature. You should condition the beer at 70F and then chill to serving temps to achieve the proper carbonation levels. Revvy has a great blog post about this.
So let me get this straight... If I leave my bottles at 70F to fully condition, I will need more sugar to make up for the CO2 that doesn't get dissolved in the beer. I'm guessing it just hangs out in the neck space of the bottle?

Also, if I conditioned my bottles at 70F, which accounts for more sugar, and they fully conditioned at that temperature, then I moved them for a month or so to 50F, the previously undissolved CO2 would then end up increasing the volumes of CO2 in the beer. Is that correct? Wouldn't this also be the case if bottles were fully conditioned and later moved to a refrigerator for a few months?

What I am gathering after all of this is that it's best to leave the bottles at a consistent temperature for the entire lifespan of the beer until right before consumption to ensure desired volumes of CO2. If you are going to store beer for a long period of time at 50F, after a three week conditioning at 70F, then you should prime for 50F because that is the temperature where the CO2 will be absorbed to its highest degree.

Am I making sense? I think I'm just rambling now...
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Old 12-07-2009, 09:06 PM   #9
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jmo88, you're missing the point completely. This has nothing to do with bottle conditioning temps at all, it's the temperature of the beer at bottling, which will determine how much CO2 is already in it.

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Old 12-07-2009, 09:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yeqmaster View Post
Like mentioned above, a beer at a colder temperature will have more C02 dissolved in it because of an increase in solubility with the colder temp. However, an important point to note is that while in the primary or secondary (so long as their is some kind of pressure release), the amount of co2 dissolved in your beer will be in reference to the warmest temperature it has been at (if finished fermenting). For example, if the beer was fermented at 50deg and then lagered at 35, when you bottle it you should calculate the amount of bottling sugar for the 50deg even though the beer might be at 35 at the time of bottling. This is because when you drop the temperature to 35, there is already a fixed amount of CO2 available so even though them temp decreases the CO2 stays the same. Hope that makes sense and helps.
I think you just answered my underlying question. I am just not sure why just yet. The bold part above confuses me. I thought more CO2 is produced with more sugar and more is absorbed with a lower temp. So this change in temp without the beer absorbing the CO2 is still confusing.
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