New Ways of Thinking About Carbonation

I had formerly been trying to think of, and measure carbonation in terms of pressure and temperature, but I should probably be doing it in terms of g/L of dissolved CO2.

One would think this number would be too small to measure, but champagne has a whopping 12 grams of dissolved CO2 per liter! Tonic water weighs in at the sevens! A kitchen scale that can measure in the tenths of a gram should be able to capture these numbers.

But of course when I thought it would be easy, it wasn’t.

I thought I’d start trying to de-gas sodas and see how easy it was to measure the difference in weight.  I put an open bottle of coca-cola in my bell jar but could not successfully de-gas it.  I used the bell jar over my aspirator rig because I did not want to boil and evaporate any liquid as well.  Liquids really hang on to gas much more than you’d think.

Next I tried to centrifuge the liquid to de-gas it but learned a few tough lessons.  I put all the liquid in one bucket and counter balanced with water in another.  The cold soda rapidly condensed a significant amount of water on the bucket and tripped the balance sensor before it could spin at any significant speeds.  This probably saved a greater catastrophe.  As the bucket shed gas, the numerous grams it lost would have also tipped the balance and probably at dangerously high RPMs! NEVER DE-GAS A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF CARBONATED LIQUID IN THE CENTRIFUGE UNLESS IT IS COUNTER BALANCED WITH THE SAME LIQUID SO THEY LOSS WEIGHT EQUALLY!

Can I easily weight the gas I add with my car valve carbonator to know how sparkling I am?

If we charge a classic liter soda siphon with a 8 gram CO2 cartridge how much gas do we end up with in the drink after it is dispensed?

Can any of this data help me with my beer project of converting force carbonated keg beer into perfectly carbonated cask beer?

How do common sparkling beverages compare when we look at CO2 in g/L?

What does Maynard Amerine have to say about this?

2 thoughts on “New Ways of Thinking About Carbonation

  1. In our winery we use a carbodoseur to measure CO2…they are expensive but effective. I think you might be able to rig up something similar;

    The measure is done with a plugged 100mL cylinder with a tube down to the bottom, beforehand filled with the sample to analyze. Once shaken, the cylinder spills out a certain volume of the sample, proportionately with the volume in CO2.

    The volume of wine remaining in the cylinder along with the temperature of the sample, reported on a correlation table,allow you to determine the volume in CO2 with an average precision of 50mg/l.

    All cool things you’re up to!

  2. i think carbodoseurs used to be common with soda fountain technicians. i never new exactly how they worked and always wondered why they were $150+ used on ebay. i think i’ll try to acquire one and give it a try. thank you for your advice.

    i’m trying to get back to my carbonation projects. i had to give up briefly because my kitchen was too humid and it was messing with my results.

    cheers! -stephen

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