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robames1

Bottling in a Growler

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I recently bottled the Red Ale and experimented with a growler. It was a 64oz growler, but I only had 48 oz's of beer. I put enough sugar for 48 oz's but it came out flat. Should I have put enough sugar for 64 oz's instead? My individual bottles came out fine.

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There is probably just too much head space in the growler. There should only be a small amount of head space so that when the carbonation forms it is forced back into the beer instead of sitting on top of it inside the growler.

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The answer is in the fact that you only filled it part way. In bottle-conditioned beer, the amount of headspace you allow in the vessel above the beer will affect carbonation. The CO2 from the bottle fermentation fills the headspace as well as going back into the beer, so the more headspace you leave, the more CO2 ends up there. For a given amount of priming sugar, the greater the headspace, the lower the carbonation. So, yes you could have added more sugar to offset, but it would have been an inexact science. The better option is to fill the vessel nearly full, leaving only a little bit of headspace for the CO2 to hang out in.

Of course, another possible reason could be that a growler may not seal well enough to hold the carb. I don't know if that is the issue in your specific case (in fact, evidence points to the headspace being the issue), but I think your mileage may vary in terms of carbonating in growlers depending on the cap style and how well it holds pressure.

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Thanks. Based upon both responses so far my guess is head space. Did not have enough volume to fill at that point. I will fill fuller the next time and use the growler earlier in the process. The growler had a good seal and when I opened I got the typical sound of carbonation being released. Thanks to both of you for your replies.

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I recently tried using a growler as an experiment for taking to a party or whereever and it worked great. I did fill it the same as a 12 oz bottle and i let it condition for 6 weeks. This was a brand new growler and a brewery suggested I change the gasket after 4 or 5 uses. Good Luck

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"swenocha" post=253229 said:

For a given amount of priming sugar, the greater the headspace, the lower the carbonation.

That's what I used to think, and what most people think. I found the opposite to be true ... when I filled low on the neck I got better carb than when I filled up high.

On the MrB Podcast, Eric G. confirmed this, he said it was "backwards" to what you would think. But, I guess it's up to a certain point, like a curve on a graph. If you filled below a certain level, it won't carb. But if you fill up to the level, you will get less carb if you go higher .. like there's and optimal spot. Again, I don't remember which episode, but MrB podcast confirmed this. I get great carb in 12 oz bottles when I don't fill much higher than low on the neck. Just above where you would say the body ends and the neck starts.

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