Pressure and crown caps

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supermoth

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Does anyone know how much pressure a standard crown cap can take when capped onto a heavy Belgian glass bottle? I'll be bottling a saison in the near future and I'd like to give it over 3 volumes.
 
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supermoth

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Thanks for that thread, dcHokie. It looks like you were curious about the same thing.
great avatar, btw!

Now I must go about further building my Belgian bottle stock. I'll start tonight at the grocery store! :D
 

Zwerg

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Bumping this because I have a similar question, but it doesn't seem like it was really answered.

I'm brewing a Belgian strong ale, and I want to push the carbonation level a bit. I ordered champagne bottles for the purpose, but I'm hoping I can just seal them with crown caps rather than corks. If I carbonate to between 3.5 and 4 volumes (or maybe even 4-5 volumes?), should a crown cap be sufficient? I'm not worried about these bottles exploding, but I still don't want to blow the caps off. I also saw someone on here write that the crown caps will vent any excess pressure, like a valve, but that seems like a good way to end up with flat beer, so I'm hoping to avoid that too.

So - do standard crown caps have a pressure rating? Seems like a pretty straightforward question but I can't find it anywhere. Another thoughts, does anyone ever use wire-cages on top of crown caps, or is that only necessary for corks?

Thanks.
 
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hotbeer

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They hold well enough to break the normal beer bottles if the over carb severely. Or so I've been led to believe. So probably will be good enough for your experiment.
 

Zwerg

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Thanks, but I assume there must still be a point at which crown caps will fail, right? I feel sure someone must have encountered this before...
 

Zwerg

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Well, these guys claim their caps are good for up to 7 volumes, so I guess I'll assume that's the standard. But I'm interested to hear if anyone has ever had a crown cap blow off with a highly-carbed beer...
 

Zwerg

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Well, the reason I'm asking is that crown caps are apparently not used for champagne because of concerns that they can't hold the pressure, hence the use of corks with cages. If that's true it would imply that the cap would fail before a champagne bottle (which is what I'm using here) would fail... though maybe it isn't true.
 

Dancy

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I'm brewing a Belgian strong ale, and I want to push the carbonation level a bit. I ordered champagne bottles for the purpose, but I'm hoping I can just seal them with crown caps rather than corks. If I carbonate to between 3.5 and 4 volumes (or maybe even 4-5 volumes?), should a crown cap be sufficient?
Please correct me if I’m missing something, but I’ve brewed 3 Belgian Dark Strong Ales in the last several momth and any carbonation chart I’ve checked shows an upper limit of 2.9 volumes. I bottle with corn sugar and the result appears true to the style. Why the extra high carbonation?
 

Zwerg

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I'm new to all this, so I could be wrong, but my impression is that many Belgians are pretty highly carbed.


"The second point: Lots of sharp little bubbles. Belgian ales tend to be highly carbonated, one of those tricks affecting both mouthfeel and presentation. Most of the all-stars are well over 3.0 volumes of carbonation. Important to note: You will want thicker bottles, as most shell-thin American ones are reliable only up to 2.5 volumes or so.

Stan Hieronymus recorded a few key examples in Brew Like a Monk (Brewers Publications, 2005): Westmalle goes to 4.0, Duvel to 4.25, and Orval goes as high as 5.0. As an exercise, pour these beers aggressively down the middle of the glass and wait for the bubbles to calm down, killing some of that carbonation. Then taste it. Is it yummy? Sure. Is it the same experience? Not at all."
 

Zwerg

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Mine is not dark, by the way - maybe the style guidelines are different for strong pale/blonde Belgians?
 

csantoni

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For my recent Belgian Wit I aimed for 3 vols and probably went a bit over that since previous batches were under-carbed. Drinking it now I wouldn’t want more carbonation than I got. I tend to prefer moderate carb on my other beers so this may just be my preference. I think you’d need lots of body in a beer to hold up to 4 vols.
 

hotbeer

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Working backwards in the priming calculator, I figure my way over carb'd bottles of beer that every one is a volcano comes out to just under 5 volumes.

So I'd say from my one experience that the steel caps I have will handle at least 4.7 volumes of pressure.

Of course this with the bottles not being banged around or sat down hard which probably will move co2 out of solution and increase the pressure in the headspace which I don't think is what the CO2 volume calculation tells us anything about.
 

Zwerg

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OK - thanks for the insight. This is a 1.080 OG, should end up at 9% ABV beer, but it included 1.1 lbs sucrose in the wort so I don't know what the body will be like. Maybe I'll shoot for 3.5 vols, in that case.
 

Zwerg

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Working backwards in the priming calculator, I figure my way over carb'd bottles of beer that every one is a volcano comes out to just under 5 volumes.

So I'd say from my one experience that the steel caps I have will handle at least 4.7 volumes of pressure.

Of course this with the bottles not being banged around or sat down hard which probably will move co2 out of solution and increase the pressure in the headspace which I don't think is what the CO2 volume calculation tells us anything about.
Thanks - that's reassuring to know.
 

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