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Rayyankee

Elevation and Carbonation

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This weekend iI Was up in the sierras camping and fishing. and i noticed when i opened my home brew it poured at extremely foamy had to wait for the head to disapate before i could drink it. Now these are beers that i have had at home and while they are slightly over carbed it is nothing like what i saw this weekend, They are batch primed so i was wondering if any one here had heard of elevation affecting the carbonation of their home brew before?

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When you open a sealed item from low altitude at high altitude, the higher pressure inside can cause the product to behave differently. For example, if you open a sealed Marshmallow Fluff container the product immediately expands due to the lower pressure (I can speak from experience).

With beer, the lower pressure will cause the beer to lose its carbonation faster, i.e. it will seek to escape the liquid, so it will be foamy. If you let it sit, you'll notice it go flat faster. You may think it's more highly carbonated, in fact it's just escaping faster.

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Keep in mind that they also likely got shook up a bit while traveling to your camping spot so you knocked a lot of CO2 out of suspension into the headspace. Then when you opened them it all escaped. Just like shaking up a can of soda.

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