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I've been homebrewing for a few months now (it's now my 15th liter!) and i was thinking about making my beer clearer/better.

The best thing i could come up with, in my homebrew gear, was trying to carbonate inside the carboy?

Currently, my process is : first fermentation in the carboy, carbonation in bottle.

I wondered if i could close the carboy with a plug, and simply bottle it when carbonation is done; but i've read that the carboy could explode (!!!).

So; is it a good or bad idea? Otherwise i thought of carbonating in the carboy, but with a plug that would pop if the the pressure was was too much, and just bottle them when it does.

Any advices ? thanks!

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    Don't forget, also, that bottling carbonated beer is a much different process than that used when bottle-conditioning (i.e. unless you have a counter-pressure filler, or can get the beer very cold, or aren't looking for much more than cask-conditioned carbonation levels, you're likely to encounter a good deal of foaming beer along the way). – Franklin P Combs Apr 5 at 21:55
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You do not want to do this. Carboys are not meant to hold pressure and will break. If you want clearer beer, aging it longer in a carboy and/or using something like gelatin or whirlfloc will greatly aid in clarity.

  • Do NOT do this. – Escoce Sep 2 at 17:29
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Aside from the pressure in glass issue, you will lose too much carbonation transferring it to the bottles after.

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I wondered if i could close the carboy with a plug, and simply bottle it when carbonation is done; but i've read that the carboy could explode (!!!).

So; is it a good or bad idea? Otherwise i thought of carbonating in the carboy, but with a plug that would pop if the the pressure was was too much, and just bottle them when it does.

If you don't want precise control and are willing to risk an occasional explosion then in the bottle will be less precise and less messy. For better control and low risk the proper method for what you want is always the best way. There are many techniques used to carbonate beer, bottle conditioning, spunding, krausening, and force carbonation.

When spunding you will only have precise control of carbonation levels (and safety) if you use a spunding valve, the links above and many articles online explain where to buy or how to make one.

Relief Valve and Spunding Valve

See LowOxygenBrewing's article: "Why do we Spund?" and their recommendation of Dr. Michael Hall’s article: "Brew by the Numbers – Add up What’s in Your Beer" (.PDF).

Use a pressure relief valve, don't rely on a plug to blow as that's not precise, safe, nor does it keep oxygen out. Using a CO2 tank with airstones can clarify and carbonate your beer in one step, and safely if you use a spunding valve.

See also: "Can a keg explode?", an aluminum keg is rated over 100 PSI above the maximum pressure that you would use for high pressure carbonation. Recommendations are offered elsewhere and on our site in the Q&A: "What pressure to set for spunding valve?" - "8 PSI during primary, then 12-15 PSI based on ...". Use of plastic carboys is recommended over glass.

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There are plastic and glass carboys available, unfortunately plastic coated glass carboys cost over U$400 (yikes!), but an inexpensive solution is to wrap shattershield™ around your existing carboys - that won't increase the strength or entirely avoid breakage but it will contain the glass.

  • thanks! i'll try that – Orsu Apr 5 at 19:38
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    Carboys are not rated for pressure at all. In fact, they are pretty poorly made pieces of glass. I've seen bubbles and cracks in them. I can't tell you loudly enough not to put any pressure inside a carboy. But, I have a feeling you'll try it anyway... – farmersteve Apr 5 at 21:24
  • @Rob hey! Thanks for your concern, i'll je extra careful. But i think plastic is Bad, so i'll give up on pressure for safety and keeping on glass – Orsu Apr 5 at 22:02
  • @Orsu The carboys that I suggested in my comment are rated food safe. I've updated my answer to ensure that people know that they can use beer kegs too. No need to give up. – Rob Apr 5 at 22:11
  • This is good information in the right context, but I think it's important to consider that the OP is asking specifically about using a (presumably glass) carboy. It might be a bit misleading to suggest techniques and equipment which are designed for Cornelius kegs (which can hold 100+ PSI) or commercial-grade brewing equipment (usually rated at 15 PSI minimum, and higher for purpose-built tanks). Trying to follow instructions for spunding when using a glass carboy could end very poorly. – Franklin P Combs Apr 5 at 22:12

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