Author Topic: Altitude and beer transport  (Read 12779 times)

Offline rbowers

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Altitude and beer transport
« on: June 03, 2012, 06:23:16 AM »
What can be expected from beer brewed and bottled at 2000 ft and then transported to say 8000 ft?  Can I expect exploding bottles or excessively carbonated/foamy beer due to the lower pressure or is this not an issue?  I figure breweries in Colorado (which is where I'm headed) have the same reverse problem shipping their beer to lower states.  Does anyone have any ideas about this?
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Offline jamminbrew

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2012, 07:45:48 AM »
I shouldn't think it would be an issue...  I get beers from all over the country, and imports as well. I live at 6,200 ft and have never had a problem with beers bottled and shipped from low altitudes.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2012, 11:34:49 AM »
Im thinking that as long as the beer remains sealed in a pressurized vessel (i.e., a beer bottle) then changes in external pressure won't have any significant effect on the contents of the bottle.
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Offline nateo

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2012, 02:09:08 PM »
I took some homebrew from 800ft to 7200ft (MO to Redstone, CO) and nothing interesting happened, except I got buzzed off of two beers my first night there.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 02:11:55 PM by nateo »
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2012, 11:25:38 PM »
I took some cans from sea level to over 10,000 feet once, and when they were opened it was not especially foamy.  Maybe a little, but I suspect it was mode of transportation (loose in a backpack while I hiked ~5000 feet up), rather than the actual change in elevation that did it.
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Offline punatic

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2012, 12:30:25 AM »
I drank this bottle of SN Celebration with my SIL at the summit of Mauna Kea this last January.  It was bottled at 212 ft. MSL (Chico, CA) and opened at 13,796 ft. MSL (Mauna Kea summit, Hawaii Island). There was no noticible difference in the carbonation level at the summit than with the beers we drank on the beach in Hilo (1 ft MSL) a couple of hours later.

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2012, 05:23:14 AM »
My experience has been that with normally-carbonated beers there aren't any problems. With anything with high carbonation, expect gushers.

Going the other direction is a bigger issue, as head formation suffers significantly once you get below about 5000 ft.

we drank on the beach in Hilo (1 ft MSL) a couple of hours later.

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Offline rbowers

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2012, 06:18:32 AM »
Thank you all for the reassurance.  Its been awhile since high school physics and I didn't want explosions on my way up to Breckenridge.
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Offline onthekeg

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Re: Altitude and beer transport
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2012, 04:59:07 PM »
I think temperature would have a greater influence on the carbonation than the altitude change.