- Chinon00 Feb 15, 2007 07:23 PM
I'm lucky enough live in close proximity to some pretty nice brewpubs which offer growler service. But I have an issue with the growler beer becoming flat fairly quickly after being opened (and trying to keep it for the next day you can forget about it). Are there any alternatives to growlers that can prevent this? Can I put something in the bottle to take up the extra headspace? Thanks!
I haven't bought beer in such large containers, but I often have trouble finishing a whole 22 oz bomber for dinner, especially when the abv is high.
I liked to keep a few empty screw-cap or swing-top bottles around in various sizes. You could take the half-gallon growler, pour out a pint, and pour the rest into a couple 750 ml liquor or wine bottles. I also have 16 and 12 oz bottles around; nice for individual portions. Jones Soda screw-tops and Grolsch-style bottles work well.
You might ask if the brewery if you could bring in your own bottles to fill; that would save a step.
The beauty of the growler is that you can take home beer that would only be available on premises. A growler is a gallon and should stay fresh for a week or less. At my local, a growler refill is $7 when I bring my own growler. Drink it or serve it to others. Once opened it will go flat in about a week - that's just the nature of things.
I doubt that the place will fill anything smaller than a growler. I don't know what state you're in, but I'd bet it's illegal most places.
Most growlers I see are 1/2 gallon, so another way of looking at them is +3- 20oz. imperial pints. (Granted, if it's a 10% barleywine, that's not much help.)
*Pouring* the beer into smaller bottles is only going to speed up the lose of carbonation and might work a bit better if you slowly siphon the beer (colder the better) into smaller bottles with the hose at the bottom (cuts down on splashing which will just release the C02) and cap when there's a slight "head" of bubbles (which will help push out excess oxygen). It also helps if the brewery ALSO filled the bottles with a tube from the bottom up, rather than just pour into the jug from the tap.
Wine drinkers sometime put glass marbles in partial wine bottles to bring up the the level of the wine to the narrow neck (thus, less surface area exposed to the air in the bottle) but that's not going to help with carbonation lose in beer (not to mention the amount of marbles you're going to need for a 1/2 full growler ).
Perhaps a pressurized container. Maybe you could transfer the beer to a Party Pig or other "home keg" and pressurize it?
I gave up on buying growlers for this reason. I just don't drink a ton of beer at home and got tired of dumping a quart of funkified beer that I never got around to drinking.
The short answer is either drink more or share it with friends - keeping it as cold as possible so C02 stays in solution may help as well. Or if you really enjoy drinking fresh craft brew - look into getting a kegerator - most breweries will sell a 5 gal. keg to you - the money you save on beer will pay for the kegerator over time.
But I'm pretty sure I've seen a tap dispenser for growlers that uses C02 cartridges. I will post back if I find the place that had them.
If a growler is filled correctly, it should still have some C02 left the day after it is opened -its not going to be as good as when you first open it, but should be enough to make it enjoyable. Sounds like your local is splashing it too much and releasing too much C02 when they fill them. Trying to bottle out of a growler will only make it worse.
The way to get into trouble with a bottle capper....
This is theorizing, since I've only bottled growlers of cider for later consumption. (It worked great, and I'll have Clyde's cider for more months out of the year than Oct-Nov.) I'm a home brewer, and the carbonation in beer comes along with priming sugar (dextrose). If you added a tiny bit of priming sugar in boiling water, then added the mixture to the beer before bottling it. The sugar will create some carbonation, and prevent it from being flat when you open it. Let's see. It's about 1/2 cup (call it 8 Tbsp) dextrose to 1 cup water for 5-ish gallons of beer minus the ullage. Lets call it 4 for math's sake. 2 Tbsp sugar to 1/4 cup water (4 Tbsp), brought to a boil for a gallon. 1 Tbsp priming sugar to 2 Tbsp water added to a growler of beer. Any takers? I wouldn't want to waste good brew pub beer.
Be careful, though, Growlers might not be built to hold the full pressure. Also, if the beer is filtered, there won't be any yeast in the draught beer to provide that extra carbonation.
at least y'all have the luxury to +partake+ in the growler from your pubs..... still illegal in FL and probably quite a few other southern states. sigh. rolling eyes. shaking head in disgust.