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I had a growler from a local brewery and filled it at bottling time. I made sure I sanatized the bottle and top. I did this to take a sample test before the three weeks of bottle time. Is this OK and how long will the beer last in a growler!

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Growlers are no good, you should pack them up and ship them directly to me as quickly as possible. I'll dispose of them at no cost to you. –  Mark McDonald Jul 22 '11 at 14:21
    
this is possibly a duplicate of: homebrew.stackexchange.com/questions/1668/… –  baka Jul 22 '11 at 15:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Most of the growlers that breweries and brew pubs use are not rated for high pressure of bottle conditioning. These are the ones with the screw on caps. They are designed to be filled with pre-carbonated beer. Some growlers with the swing top closures can withstand the increased pressure while the beer is fermenting before the co2 is dissolved into solution.

If you let them sit for about 2-3 weeks to let the co2 to dissolve into solution and they have not broke then they should be fine. Just be careful during the first week in the growler. After that time the growler should last as long as a regular bottle would.

I have used them myself without any problems but you need to be careful as the growlers are reused and may be weakened by continual use.

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How does bottle conditioning, when aiming to have the same CO2 levels of finished beer, result in "high pressure"? When bottling you are shooting for the same volumes of CO2 as in finished beer from the tap. The pressure isn't higher in bottle conditioning, when done right. I have never understood that argument to growlers. –  brewchez Jul 22 '11 at 19:45
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The pressure created in the head space by the co2 produced by fermentation spikes during the first few days of bottle conditioning and is then gradually absorbed into the beer. This is due to the fact that co2 takes longer to dissolve into solution at higher temperatures than it takes the yeast to ferment the available sugar. –  Northern Brewer Chris Jul 22 '11 at 20:08
    
I still don't believe that is significantly higher than the pressure capacity of the bottle, or that much higher than the final pressure post equilibrium. I understand the argument, I just don't believe it to be that great. I don't believe that the yeast tear into the fresh sugar and create a lot of CO2 right away. I've opened bottles after only 3-5 of conditioning and there isn't a "phssst" sound from the bottle. From experience, I'd bet that the CO2 is produced at a rate to create excess pressure in the headspace in the beginning but not significantly over the final pressure when done. –  brewchez Jul 23 '11 at 0:03
    
The amount of pressure produced will vary based on the health and amount of yeast still present in the beer. In my experience when I have add yeast at bottling I have seen pressure high enough to push the dimple out that was created from the capper. The recommendation not to use the growlers for bottle conditioning comes from the manufacture of the product. –  Northern Brewer Chris Jul 25 '11 at 16:00

I occasionally will fill a couple growlers of beer right from the tap of my keg system to transport some beer somewhere. On occasions I might end-up filling more than I need and stick the full ones in the fridge. I find that the growlers don't hold their pressure well enough and the beer is somewhat flat after a week or so.

Now there are plenty of commercial breweries that put beers in growlers for distribution to stores. Their caps might be better than the "reusable" ones I am getting at my LHBS.

Otherwise, the beer should be fine for as long as a normal bottled beer would be.

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