Re-carbonating a growler

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Re-carbonating a growler

Postby garyflintstone » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:25 pm

I just got my co2 tank and first keg. I was wondering, is there any way to carbonate a growler that I could not finish the first day. I was thinking I saw some kind of carbonation cap that screws on plastic bottles. Could you put the left over beer in a plastic bottle and shoot it with some co2. Has anyone perfected this. I seem to end up with partial growlers a lot. (Not for lack of effort.)
Thanks,
GB
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Keg1 - Schwarzbier
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Postby Triple Freak » Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:53 pm

You can buy a carbonator cap for use on 2 liter bottles. You can't carb a glass growler, unless you like shrapnel wounds.
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Postby Dude » Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:13 pm

You don't need to recarbonate the growler. I have enjoyed many a growler over a week. Then again, I only opened the growler to pour the four or five beers. I routinely head to a local brewpub in my area and have three or four growlers filled up. Some of those growlers I have let sit in my fridge for a week without opening them. The others, I have enjoyed over the course of a week.

Relax, enjoy the beverage.
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On Draft: Flaming Red Double IPA
On Draft: Vienna Style Lager
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Postby jfenton » Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:20 pm

I actually just finished a growler tap that can handle 20 PSI overnight. I'm working on getting directions up on my website, but here is the link to what I have done right now.

http://jfenton78.googlepages.com/

The only growlers that can take pressure are the 2L german swing top growlers, they can take about 58 PSI. The "growlers" most people get a brew pubs are actually half-gallon jugs. Jugs can NOT handle carbonation or pressurization. I will be getting more directions up soon on my site but here is a pic.

Image
Sorry pic is so large, don't know how to resize.
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Postby johnplctech » Thu Oct 26, 2006 5:22 am

Does the carbonation magicly stay in the beer when stored in a growler?

John
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Postby jfenton » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:06 am

If you are refering to my growler tap, then the short answer is yes. The reason beer goes flat is because the CO2 gas in the beer has to equilibriate with the surrounding atmosphere, whether in a closed or open system. In the case of a growler tap or a kegging system with no external pressure, ie no CO2 applied, the dissolved CO2 is the beer equilibrates with the keg or growler headspace till the pressure in the beer and the headspace are equal. Over time this leads to flat beer, because each time you open it, the CO2 in the headspace equilibrates with atmosphere. This process will repeat till the beer is "flat".

Now this all changes when you apply external pressure, like in a kegging system. By keeping pressure on the keg or growler, the CO2 in beer is on the other side of the equation. The headspace is now at a higher or equal pressure to that of the CO2 in beer. This results in either CO2 dissolving into the beer or remaining at a constant volume of CO2.

So by using a growler tap you can apply pressure to keep the beer carbonated similar to a kegging system. When you want to dispense beer you just open the tap and apply a little pressure to get beer to flow. When done drinking for the evening, just apply a little extra pressure and place in the fridge.

But yeah...its all magic. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

Later.
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Postby johnplctech » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:19 am

No I was talking about a 1/2 gallon growler that is filled with carbed beer. As you say the pressure will become equal after you cap the growler. So the growler will "see" as much pressure as you used to carb it. It was directed to them that say a growler will explode under normal carb pressures...

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Postby jfenton » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:11 am

Sorry John, I see what your saying now. The half-gallon jugs are fine for the pressure/volume that the beer has and maybe the amount used to carbonate (~10psi), but I would not try to naturally carbonate. The problem with the jugs as I see it are they are not designed to hold pressure, in the sense that its not the jug itself, but the cap. The caps are not designed to hold pressure very well, although some are better than others. Personally I would not try to force or naturally carbonate in a jug due to an exploding cap. I know people have tried to naturally carbonate beer in 1/2 gal. jugs and usually it either is not carbonated or it explodes from what I've read. That is why breweries say to drink the jugs of beer in a couple of days. The caps just don't retain pressure usually. Now as far a force carbonating in a jug, I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone do that.

That is why the 2L german swingtop growlers are nice. They can handle pressure and retain it over a longer period of time. Later
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