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Old 03-09-2011, 02:26 PM   #1
JWest
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Default Bottling into growlers?

Is it a good idea? It's a growler with a screw-on lid. It seems like you'd lose carbonation (or it wouldn't even carb up in the first place). Anyone have any experience bottling (or attempting to bottle) with screw-on top growlers?

Thanks!

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #2
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I've never done it, but know others have successfully. You could always put some electrical tape around the cap to try to ensure a complete seal. Just be careful you don't make a giant bottle bomb.

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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There are numerous threads here that talk about this. The general consensus is that no, screw top growlers aren't made to hold the pressures experienced during carbonation. I think (though I may be wrong so do a search) that swing top growlers are more suitable.

I did use a growler once, but it was only about half full. Dont remember whether or not it carved properly, but it didn't explode

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:37 PM   #4
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I have numerous times in screw top growlers. Just don't carbonate higher than 2 volumes. Growlers will hold carbonation for a long time just fine. I have a feeling that people who had bad experiences either didn't do it right, had an infection, or had a growler with a worn out cap.

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:52 PM   #5
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Sigh not this again.....

Growlers are often NOT recommended for bottling as the glass can sometimes be thinner than your standard bottles...they are meant for transporting beer, not for carbing-up and conditioning...


Carbed beer and carbonating beer are 2 seperate things.

To carb a beer whether or not is is done naturally or with co2 you are forcing the gas into the solution. The pressure builds up, then there's a point where either the bottle fails or the co2, seeking the path of least resistance, forces itself into solution. You could call it a peak point, where there is a lot of pressure in the bottle, both already in solution and in the headspace trying to go into the solution, eventually it balances out and the beer is carbed.

Beer bottles, champagne bottles and kegs are rated with a higher psi/volume of co2 than wine bottles and growlers.

Already carbed and kegged beer is at a stable volume of co2 which is below the volume that growlers and winebottles are rated at. The FORCING of the co2 already happened. Why do you think kegs are made of metal and very very strong? To handle the pressure.

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Originally Posted by RukusDM View Post
This is because during carbing, the pressure can go above 30 or 40 PSI. I have a thread in the cider forum where I did several tests bottle carbing sweet hard cider. There is allot of data there if your interested.

I have a bottle with a pressure gauge on it. I recorded pressures during the carbing process. This is how the data was generated. I also recorded pressures while pasteurizing the cider.

I recently bottled some lager I made. I also filled my gauge bottle and my lower pressure gauge bottle pegged at 35 PSI as that was the limit of the gauge. It probably ended up in the 40's, but no way to tell for sure.


When we bottle condition beer, we are really simulating force carbing like the keg folks do. We cause a ferment by adding sugar. This creates a high pressure in the bottle. CO2 doesn't like to dissolve in a warm liquid. We then put some bottles in the fridge. The temperature of the liquid drops and the CO2 then begins to dissolve in the liquid.

It seems to take several days at fridge temperatures for the CO2 to fully saturate the liquid for a maximum saturation for that liquid temperature.

While the CO2 is moving into the liquid, the pressure slowly drops. I've monitored this process as well with the pressure gauge.

Pressures go way higher than folks think while bottle conditioning. In the following data, I carbed sweet hard cider and stopped the carbing and then pasteurized the cider when the bottle was at 22 PSI. My Lager went above 35 PSI. The data doesn't show the extremes the pressure rises with beer as I stopped the cider at 22 PSI, but it would have continued if i hadn't stopped it.

The gauge bottle has a nice side effect, it tells you when your bottles are conditioned as the pressure rise stops. I then throw them in the Fridge to cold condition for several days before I open. The gauge also tells you when they are carbed as the pressure drop stops. Pretty basic really.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f32/bott...review-205862/

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No, when you bottle condition, the slight fermentation we cause by adding priming sugar just builds pressure up in the bottle. The pressures seem to go up into the 30's and 40's PSI from what I've seen.

The CO2 doesn't really move into the liquid until the temperature drops. Some CO2 may, but not the majority of it. CO2 doesn't dissolve into solution until a lower temperature.

This is really what we do when we force carb in a keg. We raise the pressure up when the beer is cold. The CO2 moves into the solution. The tap pressure is lowered for proper delivery and the beer either sets for cold aging, or it is consumed at that time.

What you would see with the pressure gauge (if you use one bigger than my first bottle had. Should use a 100 PSI Gauge) is that the pressure climbs over time and will level off.

Once the pressure levels off, that means all of the priming sugar has been used up by the yeast. Next, you put them into the fridge. You will see the pressure drop over several days. Eventually, it also will level off. I like to let them sit for a few more days after that, but really if the pressure stops dropping, all of the CO2 that can be dissolved at that temperature has been achieved.
.
I think it goes down to this.....is it worth playing Russian Roulette with your money and the time you spent bringing your brew along from grain to bottling day???

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Old 03-09-2011, 02:56 PM   #6
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LOL @ Revvy....

Come on nO0bs! He's just outta surgery and you're posting this sh!t! Give him a break!

But seriously, NO. Don't bottle in growlers. You were patient enough to brew beer and let it ferment, be patient enough to enjoy the bottling part as well. It's very Zen =)

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Old 03-09-2011, 03:38 PM   #7
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Ive bottled into a growler on my first two brews. The growler I have is from Freestate Brewing company and seems to be made of glass that is much thicker than the bottles I've been using. I also go to the brewery and get a few new caps each time before I bottle so that I have the best seal possible.

I only did it because I don't have enough bottles for a whole batch yet.

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Old 03-14-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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Revvy, that was some interesting info, but all you really told us was how bottle conditioning works and how high the pressure gets during that process. Nothing there indicates that most growlers can't easily handle the pressure of a moderately carbed beer. That data is also pretty limited - how do those pressure values change for a beer carbed with 1 volume vs 2, 3 or 4? There certainly would be a considerable difference.

Would I bottle a saison with 4 volumes of CO2 in a growler? Of course not. If your growler is obviously oddly thin I wouldn't either. But i can tell you from personal experience that bottling an ESB with 2 volumes in a growler is not going to be a problem.

A little common sense goes a long way - if you use it, you really aren't playing Russian Roulette at all.

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Old 03-17-2011, 12:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCBeernut View Post
Revvy, that was some interesting info, but all you really told us was how bottle conditioning works and how high the pressure gets during that process. Nothing there indicates that most growlers can't easily handle the pressure of a moderately carbed beer. That data is also pretty limited - how do those pressure values change for a beer carbed with 1 volume vs 2, 3 or 4? There certainly would be a considerable difference.

Would I bottle a saison with 4 volumes of CO2 in a growler? Of course not. If your growler is obviously oddly thin I wouldn't either. But i can tell you from personal experience that bottling an ESB with 2 volumes in a growler is not going to be a problem.

A little common sense goes a long way - if you use it, you really aren't playing Russian Roulette at all.

I believe I bottled the beer with a 2.5 volumes. Fairly high pressure for a medium carbed beer. I would expect the pressure to be proportional to the change in carbonation volumes in the beer. I've never plotted a curve of this so I'm just guessing
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Old 03-17-2011, 12:11 AM   #10
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i have two flip top growlers i bought at my LHBS filled with a hefeweizen that should carb up to 3 volumes, maybe a bit more i didn't get the word early enough. it's been three weeks and the cupboard they are in has not blown open yet so i'll cross my fingers and move them out of the eye level cupboard they are in now.

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