1L Grolsch Bottles Problem

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mongrell

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I have four 1 litter size grolsch bottles. Really cool blue glass that I love but I've only had problems using them.

For bottling, they rarely turn out carbonated. I have no clue how much air space to leave is probably a big reason, also are there any methods or precausions to keep the gasket's really air tight. Like should it be wet when I clamp it down, or dry?

I'm good about bottling in general, no soap residue or such to be the cause so any suggestions would be great.

I keg now as well and was wondering if they would work well filled off of a keg and sealed for transport or long time storage?
 

c.n.budz

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They probably need new rubber rings. If you use a bottling wand, fill the bottle to the top and the volume taken up by the wand will be enough headspace. I've used flip tops to bottle off a keg, they work fine. The way you bottle from the keg is more important. Check out this thread

Welcome to the forum:mug:
 

chemist308

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Those things never work well, and can in fact be quite dangerous, causing homebrewers some pretty severe foodborne illnesses. I could dispose of them for you if you'd like...
 

Dave the Brewer

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I have a theory:
The more liquid needed to be carbonated, the more head space needed to carbonated the liquid.

For example:
If you have a keg (5gals) and you leave the same amount of head space in the keg as you would a beer bottle it wouldn't carbonate very well. This is a bit of a dramatic example compared to what you are dealing with.

Example 2: If you top the beer bottle off and only leave about a quarter inch of head space, it will not carbonate to volume needed.

I say leave about 3 inches of head space and see what happens. Of course if you are leaving that much head space or more, disregard any of my advice. I don't see the gasket leaking unless there is noticeable dry rot or damage.
 

joshpooh

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When you say they're not carbonated, do you mean completely and totally flat or just not as carbonated as they should be. If they are completely flat my money is on the fact that its an issue with the gasket, if they're just undercarbed its probably a headspace issue. I'm only speculating because it seems a bottle should still carb some w/o proper headspace just not enough, but if CO2 is leaking it will turn out completley flat.
 
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mongrell

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They are usually partially flat, so how much headspace? because that filler wand is not exactly created for oversized bottles.
 

Dave the Brewer

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Your 1L Grolsh bottles volume is a little bit more than two 16 oz Grolsh bottles. I leave about 1 1/2 inches of head space in my Grolsh bottles, and they do fine. So I say double that and make it 3 inches and let us know how it does. :mug:
 

the_bird

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FWIW, whenever I've used flip-top bottles, my carbonation has been much less consistent than with regular, capped bottles. I know that others have used them to great success, but for me, it's been hit or miss. All of my gaskets are new, so I'm kind of at a loss as to the cause. Since I now keg, I don't worry too much about it!

Actually, that gives me an idea.... I wonder if a wee dab of keg lube, which is food-safe and essentially tasteless.... rubbed into the gaskets (just a real small amount) might help them form a better seal.
 

KevinWP

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n00b Question: How does 'increased' headspace in a bottle (any bottle) increase the carbonation?
 

adx

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It doesn't. The way a bottle is carbonated is buy having a suitable pressure inside the bottle that the liquid will allow some of the CO2 to come into solution. If you leave too much head space the CO2 will just sit in the head space. The volume the bottle filler takes up is the right amount for any size bottle.
 

Dave the Brewer

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adx said:
It doesn't. The way a bottle is carbonated is buy having a suitable pressure inside the bottle that the liquid will allow some of the CO2 to come into solution. If you leave too much head space the CO2 will just sit in the head space. The volume the bottle filler takes up is the right amount for any size bottle.
Your right about needing the suitable pressure inside the bottle, but you also need an adequite amount of Co2 to dissolve into the solution. Of course if you only filled the bottle half way the Co2 will not accumulate the amount of pressure needed to push its way into the liquid. But you need the right amount of Co2 and the right amount of pressure to allow the Co2 to get into the beer.

In a larger bottle like a 1L Grolsh bottle has, more yeast, more sugar. In result puts off more Co2 and builds up the pressure needed in a larger head space to carbonate the beer.

So increased head space DOES matter, but only to a certain extent.
 

KevinWP

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Dave the Brewer said:
So increased head space DOES matter, but only to a certain extent.

Lets run a mental science experiment...

Bottle of beer (any size) with 5% headspace.
Yeasties make CO2... CO2 goes into solution and some of the CO2 leaves solution to fill headspace.

Bottle of beer (any size) with 1% headspace (almost none).
Yeasties make CO2... CO2 goes into solution and 1/5 as much CO2 goes into the headspace.... leaving a little bit more CO2 in solution.

Bottle of beer (any size) with 0% headspace.
Yeasties make CO2... CO2 goes into solution and none of the CO2 leave solution to fill headspace. Because there is nothing but liquid to compress if the extra CO2 NEEDS to leave solution due to temperature then the pressure will go up VERY fast. Yielding a greatly increased chance for a bottle bomb.

In each of my mental examples... the Yeasties ate the same amount of priming sugar, and produced the same amount of CO2. The amount of CO2 in the bottle was the same, but the amount of CO2 in the beer went up with less headspace.


Now.. Lets take our 3 bottles and refridgerate them for a week.

In 5% Headspace bottle... some of the CO2 in the headspace goes back into solution.

In 1% headspace bottle... some of the CO2 goes back into solution.

In 0% headspace bottle... all the CO2 was already in solution. (No change, but less chance of a bottle bomb due to lower temps, CO2 solubility, and inactive yeasts).


I'm thinking that a little tiny bit of headspace is good... it gives you a CO2 balloon that allows the inexact science of priming sugar to generate a slightly different amount of CO2 per bottle, and gives the CO2 somewhere to sit and compress, thereby giving fewer bottle bombs...

But I can't for the life of me figure out why any headspace aids in adding carbonation.... by definition wouldn't it always lead to reduced CO2 in solution in the beer for any volume of gas instead of liquid?
 

Dave the Brewer

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I have no scientific way or explaining to you why the Co2 does not dissolve into the liquid with less head space. If you want to run some experiments for yourself. Top a bottle off and leave no head space at all. It will not carbonate, maybe slight carbonation but not nearly enough. You can keep in mind that liquid does not compress, so when you have 1% head space. That head space will only except the amount of Co2 that can compress into that small place. It will not make a bottle bomb because the pressure is coming from the compressed gas (Co2) not the liquid. That small head space could not receive enough Co2 to cause enough pressure to push the liquid out ward (explode). Like I said before, you need space for the Co2 to go coming out of the solution from conditioning, so It can go back into the solution carbonating.
 
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mongrell

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I cant imagine thats true. If I had two bottles one shaped like a baseball bat, and another like a basketball. The wand will leave different amount of air for the same amount of beer. So is there any science chart, that compared of volume of head space, vs volume of beer added. This would be a fantastic tool in beersmith. 2 variables; volume of beer, desired carbonation output volume of air space to leave.
 

c.n.budz

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Dave the Brewer said:
Your right about needing the suitable pressure inside the bottle, but you also need an adequite amount of Co2 to dissolve into the solution. Of course if you only filled the bottle half way the Co2 will not accumulate the amount of pressure needed to push its way into the liquid. But you need the right amount of Co2 and the right amount of pressure to allow the Co2 to get into the beer.

In a larger bottle like a 1L Grolsh bottle has, more yeast, more sugar. In result puts off more Co2 and builds up the pressure needed in a larger head space to carbonate the beer.

So increased head space DOES matter, but only to a certain extent.
When bottle carbing the co2 is generated by the yeast eating the priming sugar, not by whatever gas is sitting in the headspace(which would just be air and not co2 anyhow) so more headspace does not equal better carbing. More headspace means more co2 needs to be produced which doesn't necessarily mean the beer won't carb but it will take longer.
 

balto charlie

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Here's what I just did. I returned to brewing last fall after almost 8-9 years away. I strerilized a lot of Grolsh bottles at bottling time. I then looked at the very old gaskets(15 years!) and felt they weren't gonna hold. At this point I had no other options so I flipped the gaskets over and bottled. Every single gasket held and produced a beautiful head on the brews. After I drank the beers I replaced the ones that were starting to crack. Now I keg so this problem will never be a problem. Charlie
 

Kubed

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Dave the Brewer said:
I have no scientific way or explaining to you why the Co2 does not dissolve into the liquid with less head space. If you want to run some experiments for yourself. Top a bottle off and leave no head space at all. It will not carbonate, maybe slight carbonation but not nearly enough. You can keep in mind that liquid does not compress, so when you have 1% head space. That head space will only except the amount of Co2 that can compress into that small place. It will not make a bottle bomb because the pressure is coming from the compressed gas (Co2) not the liquid. That small head space could not receive enough Co2 to cause enough pressure to push the liquid out ward (explode). Like I said before, you need space for the Co2 to go coming out of the solution from conditioning, so It can go back into the solution carbonating.


What we're dealing with here is Henry's law that states:

p = kc

where (p) is the partial pressure of the solute above the solution, (c) is the concentration of the solute in the solution (in one of its many units), and (k) is the Henry's Law constant, which has units such as L·atm/mol, atm/(mol fraction) or Pa·m3/mol. When we're talking about carbonation, we're talking about the k for CO2 being 29.4 L·atm/mol

Why do we care? Because we want the "c" in our beer to be just right. If we take it to the extremes, a wide open container allows the CO2 to blow off so the partial pressure pushing it into solution will only ever equal it's atmospheric pressure (which is very, low). On the other extreme is a completely sealed system that doesn't allow an equilibrium to establish over the liquid. In this set up, gas bubbles only form under extreme pressure and then immediately dissolve back into the liquid. While this might sound like a good idea (hey, if some is good more must be better, right?), practically, these pressures are more than our systems (ie: capped bottles) can handle.
 

Atl300zx

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Kubed said:
What we're dealing with here is Henry's law that states:

p = kc

where (p) is the partial pressure of the solute above the solution, (c) is the concentration of the solute in the solution (in one of its many units), and (k) is the Henry's Law constant, which has units such as L·atm/mol, atm/(mol fraction) or Pa·m3/mol. When we're talking about carbonation, we're talking about the k for CO2 being 29.4 L·atm/mol

Why do we care? Because we want the "c" in our beer to be just right. If we take it to the extremes, a wide open container allows the CO2 to blow off so the partial pressure pushing it into solution will only ever equal it's atmospheric pressure (which is very, low). On the other extreme is a completely sealed system that doesn't allow an equilibrium to establish over the liquid. In this set up, gas bubbles only form under extreme pressure and then immediately dissolve back into the liquid. While this might sound like a good idea (hey, if some is good more must be better, right?), practically, these pressures are more than our systems (ie: capped bottles) can handle.
Cliff Notes: Less head space won't yield less carbonated beers, only potentially bottle bombs?
 

Kubed

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Atl300zx said:
Cliff Notes: Less head space won't yield less carbonated beers, only potentially bottle bombs?
Yes, with the caveat that the bottle cap seal is far more likely to leak than to hold and provide adequate carbonation.
 

Dave the Brewer

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How come when in the past all the bottles I filled to the top have had little to no carbonation, and then the same beer that had the same priming sugar with more head space had more carbonation? I've filled some to the absolute top of the bottle where there was zero head space, when I sealed it there were no bubbles when you turn the bottle. I've never had a bottle explode.
 
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