Engineering Natural carbonation

Physics, chemistry and biology of brewing. The causes and the effects.

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Engineering Natural carbonation

Post by nilo_sb » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:51 pm

I have just bottled my first batch, an amber ale, and have been reading a lot, trying to understand as much as I can about the whole process. Have found some instructions on how much prime sugar I should use in the 22oz bottle to provide the necessary carbonation ( 2.5 ), which came out aroung 3g = 1 of those sugar drops. I also read some warnings on bottles possibly exploding if primed too much, but could not find anything about how much pressure these bottles can handle. Also, did not find what pressure a natural carbonation would generate in a bottle, so as an engineer, I had to come up with something.
Look at the picture below, a $5 setup :idea: ... a5.jpg?v=0

The bottle to the left has 1 sugar drop while the one to the right has two. It sits right now, after 3 days of closed, with about 16psi each. My idea is to measure how much pressure and final carbonation I get if I use diferent amounts of sugar, also checking if pressure would rise to levels that could explode the bottle.

Any comments? Would anyone know what pressure these 22oz glass bottlles (bombers) can take?


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Post by jawbox » Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:28 am

nice idea.
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another thought

Post by robert4136 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:05 pm

thinking about your carbonation experiments led me to an idea of sorts. Given the fact that Yeast is expelling CO2 out the fermenter and we let this happen until the yeast effectively stop fermenting. We then half to either prime and bottle to capture the right amount of CO2 or force carbonate with a CO2 canister and keg. If one could somehow place a check valve of sorts on the fermenter that is set to the desired carbonation pressure, you wouldnt have to carbonate your beer. In essence, the check valve would hold in the correct amount of pressure to carbonate the beer but wouldn't explode as pressure would release when in exceedance of the set pressure from the check valve. perhaps,...... i have no idea if this is possible

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Post by Suthrncomfrt1884 » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:15 pm


I'm not sure how much pressure 22's can take, but I wouldn't worry a whole lot about it. Normally my 22's go pretty quickly, but I set aside a case about 6 months ago to age. I forgot to zero my scale and ended up putting about 6grams of priming sugar in the batch. The ones I tried a few weeks after priming were fine... a little bit too much head, but nothing major.

As far as the case I've got leftover... I haven't had a problem yet.

I don't expect any explosions anytime soon.
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Secondary - Cherry Lambic
Bottled - Bourbon Barrel Coffee Porter, Double Chocolate Raspberry Stout, Imperial Nut Brown, Apfelwein, American Amber Ale w/Homegrown Hops, Breakfast Stout
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