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Old 12-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
z_brewer
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Default Bottling into growlers

Hey,
Is there any risk in bottling into growlers?
Thanks

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:04 PM   #2
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Most of the time no. I did it for years. But then I had two break in my kitchen and I haven't tried it since.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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Most of the time, make that all of the time, yes there is risk. Growlers are meant to hold carbonated beer, not the pressure of actively carbonating beer. You may not have problems but you are using the container for something it wasn't designed for so there is a risk

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepDiver
Most of the time, make that all of the time, yes there is risk. Growlers are meant to hold carbonated beer, not the pressure of actively carbonating beer. You may not have problems but you are using the container for something it wasn't designed for so there is a risk
I don't have any empirical or anecdotal evidence, but I find this hard to believe. How is the growler different from any other bottle? I was under the impression that almost any vessel designed to hold carbonated beverages was safe for bottling beer. Obviously there is always a risk of bottle bombs if you do not carbonate properly, but how is it different glass bottle to plastic bottle to growler?

Also, how do you get significantly more pressure DURING carbonation vs AFTER carbonation?
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freisste View Post

Also, how do you get significantly more pressure DURING carbonation vs AFTER carbonation?
I was wondering this myself. The growlers that broke in my circumstance were old that a buddy gave me.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:40 PM   #6
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I think there are roughly one billion threads about this topic on this site if you'd like to search. I searched awhile back when I considered priming in growlers. To summarize, you may get away with it a few times, but eventually your growler will break. Usually it's at the rim where the sides and bottom meet. The bottles are not meant to withstand the increased pressure of carbing. Side note, my educated guess is that pressure is higher during carbing due to the co2 building up, but then drops once it's absorbed by the beer.

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #7
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Growlers are meant to hold carbonaTED beer, not carbonATING beer.

There is a difference.Carbonating beer and carbonated beer are not the same. A growler is meant for CARBONATED beer, like from a tap, not beer that is bottle conditioning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lechien View Post
This is direct from northern brewer website:
Standard issue 64 oz liquid libation transport vessel for the Civilian Brewing Division. This growler features a blank white space for adding in details on the beer inside and date bottled; using a dry-erase marker allows you to change it at any time. Takes a #6 stopper or a 38 mm screw cap. Pressure capable to 2.4 volumes of co2, not recommended for highly carbonated beers. Avoid bottle carbonating or priming with these growlers, as an unintentionally high level of carbonation could cause the glass to break.
Civilian Brewing Division Growler : Northern Brewer

I would hate to see you have a mess.
There's always a few who say they have no problem, but folks also have sex without condoms- Or still smoke, despite knowing its risks.

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.

Our Buddy Rukus

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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/

Quote:
Originally Posted by RukusDM View Post
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???

For every guy that says they do it, we have 2-3 guys who posts threads like "Growler goes Boom"

Like this-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Special Hops View Post
Don't do it. I used to and had a couple explode.
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Old 12-07-2012, 05:41 PM   #8
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There's several threads below about why this is not a good idea. The best one I've read is the reply to JWest. 2-04-12

And I see Revvy sums it up nicely right up there ^

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Old 12-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #9
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Do not assume that glass is glass is glass, all are manufactured to do different things

I do not have empirical scientific justification for what I am stating, just experience and have read enough threads of exploding growlers to tell you it is just not advisable.

When you are actively carbonating pressure is building in a confined vessel. When you add a carbonated beverage into a vessel there is no creation of additional pressure and that's the basic difference between the two.

Exploding glass. Vessels is not fun and very dangerous. With all the other options available I suggest you choose an alternate but to each their own.......

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Old 12-07-2012, 06:03 PM   #10
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I'm a scientist and I needed experimental data. I have seen it, I believe it, I admit defeat.

It is still surprising to me that the pressure can go that high. I understand transient points, but I would have thought the CO2 would have gone into solution nearly as fast as it is created, regardless of temperature (even if it IS faster at low temps).

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