What is Carbonation?
Carbonation happens when yeasts are eat sugar and turn it into carbon dioxide. When the carbon dioxide is contained, like in a bottle, the carbon dioxide builds up and turns into bubbles.
Consider the types of bottles you see used for highly pressurized beverages on the shelves of grocery or liquor stores. Bottles containing sparkling wine or champagne are typically made of thick glass with a rounded smooth shape. Thin glass bottles with sharp corners allow pressure to gather at weak points, so they are more likely to break under pressure.
Be empowered by information!
Do not be careless about the potential dangers of carbonation; many an amateur brewmaker (of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic variety) has produced an explosion with messy and potentially injury inducing consequences.
When you are just starting to play with different recipes/cultures and concoctions play it safe.
To be extra cautious we like to store our sodas at room temperature inside a pottery crock or cupboard or box and/or wrap the bottles with a cloth and secure with elastic bands. If you did forget to move your drinks to the fridge or they became highly carbonated, protective measures like these reduce your risk of injury. Which is always a good thing, right? If a bottle were to explode it would just be a small mess to clean up and not a potential injury.
Check your bottles frequently. To do this, open the lid to release pressure that is building up. Once they are fizzy, store them in the fridge.
What do I put my drinks in?
Plastic bottles work very well to gauge carbonation. If the bottle feels hard then it is highly carbonated. Any old pop bottle would work. We buy them new at a beer brewing store.
Some different types of vessels we use....
Glass bottles with snuggly fitting corks
Glass jars with lids
And there are so many more possibilities……
We love this design from Pascal Baudar
New Wildcrafted Cuisine, Exploring Gastronomy