|MadSci Network: Chemistry|
I would say that the upper limit would be the entire contents, but the likelyhood of all the liquid gushing out of a bottle on its own is pretty low. So, without a single quantitative answer to give you, let me talk a little about why the champagne is gushing in the first place. Gushing, which can happen in any carbonated beverage, is caused by the carbon dioxide trying to escape too quickly from the liquid. Your shaking the bottle before opening just makes the problem worse. A warm temperature also encourages gushing because it increases CO2 expansion. Small particles in the beverage or imperfections in the glass will also make the gushing worse because they facilitate bubble formation. But the carbon dioxide is by far the driver of this behavior. CO2 is soluble in water, but not very. The manufacturers of carbonated beverages use chilling and increased pressure to 'encourage' the dissolution of higher than normal concentrations in their beverages. In most champagnes, the CO2 is produced naturally and is retained by sealing the container. In any case, the conditions under which the carbonation is added and bottled are different than those when you open the bottle back up. The CO2 wants to escape and will form bubbles faster than normal on rough surfaces or particulates. Shaking forces the air/gas usually present at the top of the bottle into the rest of the beverage and the CO2 joins up with those bubbles for a free ride to the surface. The quanitity of CO2 initially in the beverage will affect the force with which it wants to escape into the atmosphere. Rather fuzzy answer to your question but I hope I've helped you understand the mechanism behind the behavior you have seen. Let me know if I can help explain this any further. Kieran
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