Excessive CO2

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Excessive CO2

Postby andytv » Sat Oct 20, 2001 6:31 pm

members of our brewclub have complained that some of their beers have "too much head". I have read articles of "infected grain" but i don't think that it applies, as some of these beers were extract based. It seems to me that the standard prescribed injection of corn sugar for all beer styles is inappropriate.

Our sanitation practices are impecable so I don't think contamination is an issue either.

We are considering priming w/ speiss or DME. I have yet to do this and would like some advice on normalizing carbonation levels with these methods.

Specifically, we have had trouble w/ Bavarian Wheats, and IPAs. We use the appropriate Wyeast for the styles, but sometimes, we end up losing 1/2 beer by pouring off head.

Advice??
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2 much co2

Postby zarbock » Sat Oct 20, 2001 7:13 pm

I have had this problem myself. If you are sure your cleaning is being done properly, clean again to be safe, and then make sure your only using 3/4 cup priming sugar for a 5 gallon batch. If it is still over carbonated, use less. I have tried using dme to prime but never really noticed a difference in taste or carbonation levels.
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Does it gush out of the bottle?

Postby jeff » Sun Oct 21, 2001 11:21 am

If you have foam gushing out of the bottle when opened, the problem may be sanitation. I
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You may be right

Postby andytv » Sun Oct 21, 2001 3:36 pm

Jeff,
Thanks for the reply. Please review our bottle washing method and critique;

1) First, after we empty a bottle, we rinse and submerge it in a cooler full of water w/ some bleach. This is primarily to loosen the label adhesive w/o providing a bacterial growth medium.
2) Once the cooler is full, we rinse the bottles and submerge them in a "clean" solution of water and bleach, often for several weeks. We are sure to place the bottles upright in the solution so any particles can float up and out.
3) We inspect the bottles for any visual contamination and rinse if required. They then go into a dishwasher (no soap) for a full cycle.

The result is a very hot, very clean looking bottle.

I can see that there may be some unseen residuals in the bottle (because we don't scrub) but I don't think that bacteria would survive the sanitizing soak & hot water wash....

But I could be wrong.
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If the bleach is strong enough, that alone will do it.

Postby jeff » Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:43 pm

If you are soaking the bottles in bleach, bacteria has little chance for survival. One thing to keep in mind though is that chlorine bleach evaporates. For this reason, chlorine must continually be added to a swimming pool as an example.
Regaring the hot water, it is necessary to boil for 20 minutes in order to achieve sterilization. But we never claim to be sterile in our brewing procedures anyway.
In all, it seems to me that your sanitizing procedure is effective, and certainly more thorough than mine. I personally am still going to boil my bottles to rule out the possibility of bottle contamination. I am also going to attempt to sterilize my carboys as well just so I have the peace of mind that I am starting without a bacterial legacy.
You may opt to do the same, but such extreme measures may simply be just that
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have you considered storage

Postby bredmakr » Tue Oct 23, 2001 4:30 am

One other possibility is your bottle storage. If the temperature of the storage location is too high then you could have excessive CO2 generation in the normal time allowed for bottle conditioning. One simple way to test this is to set aside 3 beers. Try one after 3, 6, and 9 days.When appropriate carbonation levels are developed move the bottles to cold storage. Regarding DME for bottling I have used it many times with great success. If you use it you will only need 2/3 cup for bottling instead of 3/4 corn sugar. One more thing just crossed my mind. What are the final gravities of these beers? Did you reach the target or was there a higher that anticipated gravity at bottling. This could also provide the extra fermentables and produce too much CO2 with normal addition of primer. In this case drop the amount of primer.
Once you've digested that think of this. Buy a CO2 tank and counter pressure bottle filler and start kegging. It will allow you to customize the amount of carbonation for each style of beer. You can bottle what you want and then serve the rest from a Keg. I did it two years ago and I don't regret my decision. Good luck!
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