Beer, brewing, bottling, and CO2 Answered
This started as an unrelated comment thread on a post about freezing blueberries. It seems like such a great topic I created this forum for it. Brewers? Ideas?
Beergnome: I do it for a living ;) we force carbonate as a rule. we only naturally carbonate for special order casks. our economy of scale doesn't allow otherwise.. fezrock it is possible to create a counter pressure rig for judging bottles for your homebrew, I'm sure there is an instructable for it,, if not there should be. it requires you creating an envelope of CO2 in the bottle, then having a T rig that will take the beer under pressure in the bottle with counter pressure of CO2 to keep the dissolved CO2 in the beer in solution. Its a bit of work, but if you care about competition at all. a clean bottle always bumps up the score.
Fezrock: Nice career! I'm still quite the novice, but practice makes better! As to your question, I haven't seen anything like it. Topping the bottle out with CO2 would help the end product, but wouldn't do much for pressure loss. Nitrogen would be similar, but whichever is the heavier gas (not sure) would be marginally better for this lo-tech solution. On a small scale, if a sealed environment could be created to fit your capper around your cap, more gas pressure could be applied. I imagine an upright lever capper would be needed to work that out. Thanks for that idea seed! On a larger scale, if you could cap in a larger chamber, you could set the CO2/N2 pressure in the chamber to whatever you needed it to be. This would also give you space to insert your brew without introducing air. Or just overcarbonate the brew to make up for carbonation loss to outgassing. Crazy idea: add a small amount of dry ice without freezing the brew. (you don't need leftover yeasts anyway!) It sounds like a fun experiment, and could be adjusted to suit your pressure needs.