Over carbonated beer

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Over carbonated beer

Postby Zok » Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:14 pm

Alright, this is the third batch that this has happened to.

First batch:
One cannister of light unhopped malt extract. I added 4 cups of corn sugar and one cup during priming to my 5 gallon mix. When I open a bottle it explodes. If I chill the beer first and then open it, I get all head. Also one of the bitterest beers I've ever had (but I like bitter).

Second batch:
Two cannisters of unhopped wheat malt extract, 4 cups of sugar, one during priming. All head. My worst batch of beer ever. The right sweetness but no flavor.

Third batch:
Two cannisters of dark unhopped liquid malt extract. I boiled this with 4 cups of sugar and then let it ferment. When bottling I used 1 cup of priming sugar. Unless it is chilled, when I open it, beer just shoots out from under the cap and then fountains out when I open it all the way. Great taste, wonderful body, just waaay over carbonated.

I'm wondering how I can decrease the carbonation level in my beer without making it less sweet. The first batch was the most explosive but was still horribly bitter. What am I doing wrong? I asked my supplier and he told me that dextrin will help to lower the carbonation level but there should already be enough in there from the malt I used.

Any suggestions?
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Final Gravity?....

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Tue Aug 03, 2004 4:22 pm

What was the final gravity reading before you primed for bottling?

When you mention sweetness, you should not be getting any via the priming sugar if it ferments out as usual.

I suspect 2 possibilities: You are bottling too early, with too much sugar, or both.

Post back with the final gravities of all 3 batches. I will then continue to troubleshoot for you.


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Postby DreamWeaver » Tue Aug 03, 2004 5:04 pm

I'm just curious what type of sugar you used in the recipe & priming? The same for both? And.. How long was the beer in the bottle and maybe what temperature? The hyrometer readings will prolly be the best clue though.
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Postby Zok » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:14 pm

I really wish I still had the readings. They were accidently thrown away. I'm going to start another batch shortly (next monday) and I'll take very careful readings of everything and post it here. I'll also let it ferment for longer.
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Postby Zok » Tue Aug 03, 2004 9:15 pm

DreamWeaver wrote:I'm just curious what type of sugar you used in the recipe & priming? The same for both? And.. How long was the beer in the bottle and maybe what temperature? The hyrometer readings will prolly be the best clue though.


Yeah, I used the same kind of sugar for both.
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Postby DreamWeaver » Fri Aug 06, 2004 12:35 am

Ya did'nt mention the kind of sugar used. Corn sugar? I'd suggest to stop adding sugar to your wort. In any event, if it tastes good call it a Beer Champaigne and impress your friends! er, Happy New Year!
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Postby Zok » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:47 am

Ok, I'm in the middle of my next fermentation. The intitial Specific Gravity was 1.049. About when should I start bottling? What SG am I looking for?

(This is a dark beer -double malt, no extra (corn) sugar)
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Re: Over carbonated beer

Postby just-cj » Wed Aug 25, 2004 2:24 am

Your final gravity will depend on a lot of things, such as type of yeast used, yeast health and quantity pitched, fermentation temperature and consistency, etc. A good GENERAL rule, though is to expect your FG to be 25% of your OG. So, with your 1.049, you're shooting for somewhere around 1.012 -- but remember, that's only a general target, not a requirement.

I don't think I saw whether you are doing single-stage fermentations or if you transfer to secondary. If you're doing single-stage, then give the beer two weeks -- another GENERAL rule. If you're doing single-stage, then give the beer a week in primary, two weeks in secondary, and three weeks in the bottle (the 1-2-3 method) -- that's usually safe. Once you get more experience, you can adjust the times and methods to fit your particular brewery.

Good luck!
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Postby B Stein » Wed Aug 25, 2004 12:03 pm

The expert at my brew shop from the begining has always given me this rule of thumb:
If you can take a hydrometer reading two days in a row with absolutely no change then
you are ready to bottle. If there is even a change of only one then you must wait 24 more
hours and take another hydrometer reading.

I always start taking hydrometer readings on day 7:

My last batch of Dunkelwiezen went like this:
OG: 1.056
day7: 1.016
day8: 1.014
day9: 1.014

so I bottled on day9.

If you don't have a hydrometer get one. Using one will ensure you get your beer bottled as soon as it is ready and not a day later. This is important to me because I am a single stage fermenter and I want my beer off of my dead yeast cake ASAP.
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Postby Zok » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:09 pm

Alright, Initial was 1.049, day 7 was 1.021, and day 9 is 1.019

Should it be any lower than that? It seems like it should be closer to 1.015 or 1.014. Is it possible that the yeast have been exhausted? (I used 15mg of standard brewing yeast per 5gl). Or do I just need to give it more time? This is only day 9.
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To bottle or Not to Bottle?

Postby B Stein » Fri Aug 27, 2004 4:25 pm

You need to take another reading on day 10.
If it drops just one point, you need to wait another day.

If it is the same on day 10, prime and bottle.

8) Enjoy
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Postby Zok » Tue Sep 07, 2004 1:20 am

ok, that wasn't the nastiest thing I have ever tasted. Oh wait, yes it was! Ha HAH!

It tasted just like malt, I'm doubting whether it fermented at all. I used 15g of yeast. I am thinking that wasn't enough. I'm going to pour each bottle back into the vat and add more yeast. Then I'll rebottle. I hope that works. Any other suggestions?
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Postby just-cj » Tue Sep 07, 2004 3:54 am

If it already fermented down to under 1.020, the you definitely should NOT put it back in the fermenter and add more yeast, for a few reasons. One is that pouring it back will add air back into the beer, and you don't want to do that with beer (only with wort when you first pitch the yeast). If you do, the beer will get oxidized and develop a wet cardboard flavor that is really . . . well, not good. Two, it is highly unlikely that you'll get more fermentation if your beer already got down to 1.019 or lower, like you stated above. Three, often darker beers take longer to condition before they smooth out. You can do this in the fermenter or in the bottles. I've done both and they both work well. But once you bottle, then you should just bottle condition. Give it four weeks in the bottle before you pass judgement on it -- if it still totally sucks then, that's when you can decide whether to dump or to give it even more time. I once made a winter warmer that I never really liked, but it wasn't the most awful thing I've ever tasted. Well, now almost five years later I still have four bottles left. I tried one a couple months back, and it's really changed -- it's drinkable now, even good! That's an extreme case, but makes the point -- time and patience can be your friend. 8)
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My last Dunkel

Postby B Stein » Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:41 pm

Hey just like the last guy said - DO NOT DUMP IT. My last batch was a Dunkelweizen and
after a normal week of bottle conditioning it tasted horrible! But after 4 weeks it is drimkable and getting better every week.

Just sit on that beer in a dark cool place and forget about it for a month. Heck make a new batch that will be drinkable quickly to keep you occupied.

Stay cool and enjoy, 8)
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Postby Zok » Tue Sep 07, 2004 11:30 pm

Alright, I'll keep it. Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate it. In the mean time, I think I'll be making myself some nice simple light beer :)
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