Bottling high carbonation Belgian beers

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oliver tate
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Bottling high carbonation Belgian beers

Post by oliver tate » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:57 am

Good morning.
I am planning on brewing an Orval style beer loosely following the recipe here

All looks straightforward, I’m not trying to replicate the beer per se, just brew something using similar methods. I would like to age it in bottles. My only issue is that I’m wary of the high carbonation of the beer and having it in bottles for a long period of time. I’ve seen references to 5 volumes of co2 which is very high obviously and would be a shame to loose a load of beer to bottle bombs.
I have a good selection of bottles but can anybody recommend a good level of carbonation that a typical bottle can withstand? Or is there a supply somewhere of bottles that can withstand higher carbonation? Champagne bottles would be my last resort but not ideal.
Any advice much appreciated

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Re: Bottling high carbonation Belgian beers

Post by TheSumOfAllBeers » Tue Jul 28, 2020 11:49 am

You could source some Belgian bottles from a craft beer bar or off licence or Belgian themed pub (Belgo/lowlander).

In my experience Orval bottles themselves are very good but you are unlikely to have a lot of them about.

Belgian stubby bottles are very good, and easy to come by. But best if all would be the Trappist style bottles (westmalle/rochfort) etc

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Re: Bottling high carbonation Belgian beers

Post by f00b4r » Tue Jul 28, 2020 12:17 pm

Don’t assume that typical British/US bottles are able to withstand high carbonation levels required, if you weight the different bottles you may be quite shocked at the difference between them.

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Re: Bottling high carbonation Belgian beers

Post by Jocky » Tue Jul 28, 2020 3:48 pm

You want to find heavy weight bottles. Generally these are the Belgian or German ones that are designed to be reused many times.

For 330ml bottles the 'steinie' bottles that Duvel comes in are good, as are the small 'Vichy' bottles that you get Rochefort/La Trappe/Karmeliet in.

For 500ml you want to use the returnable bottles from breweries like Ayinger, Aventinus, Scheneider Weisse.

The best bottles of all are Orval. They're so strong I'm pretty certain that they could contain a small nuclear explosion. I have a small stock of them for such duties.
Ingredients: Water, Barley, Hops, Yeast, Seaweed, Blood, Sweat, The swim bladder of a sturgeon, My enemies tears, Scenes of mild peril, An otter's handbag and Riboflavin.

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