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DrVertebrae 01-09-2013 03:28 PM

Carbination disaster
Well I finally had my first major mess up but what a lesson learned. I brewed up a milk choc stout and got it into the bottles a couple of weeks ago. It was the first time I used my new bottling bucket and so I just put the liquid priming sugar mix into the bottleing bucket. Unfortunately I must have forgotten to swirl it and mix it up because the first bottles that I filled became gyzers of foam. I opened one up last night for a taste and it blasted all over the kitchen and would not stop. Of a one liter bottle I got about 2/3 of a glass of beer (oh so tasty too!). So I got the next one out and opened it up outside. Same resuslt but even worse. By the time it was through spueing forth a gyzer of foam 6 inches high, there ws literally no liquid left in the bottle. I spent a good half hour wiping stout beer from everything in the kitchen. Some droplets went ten feet away onto walls, stovetop, frig, cabinets and windows. Amazing.

Take home lesson, when you add priming sugar to the bottling bucket, don't forget to mix gently but well. I gotta get one of those drill attachments.

dstranger99 01-09-2013 03:32 PM

I just toss my sugar water in the bucket as well, then while the primary is racking it all mixes together, no problems yet.

kh54s10 01-09-2013 03:38 PM

If you don't have other bottles that are flat, this might not be a mix problem, but a water chemistry problem. (assuming that you primed with the proper amount of sugar)

I have brewed a lot of different beers and have sometimes stirred the priming solution in and not other times. I have had a couple of dark, malty beers act as yours. The light ones do not have the problem. I plan on getting a water test and then start making adjustments.

cclloyd 01-09-2013 04:18 PM

Some infections can also cause gushers or bombs without causing any other discernable issues (taste, appearance etc).

DrVertebrae 01-09-2013 05:36 PM

Thanks for the info.

I cannot imagine a contaminant that could cause this type of thing without effecting taste. And literally, the little I got out of the foam from the first bottle was great. I was wanting to get something close to a milk choc stout brewed at a local microbrewery and this was right there, pretty darn close.

Also, I rack very slowly to avoid oxidation so I'm not sure there would have been enough swirling to lift the high gravity of the sugar solution from the bottom.

I had previously opened one of the other bottles but this was not experienced with that one. It was just a few days ago. So I had one that was mildly carbonated and then these two.

This brew has lactose in it and I guess that could have been a contributing factor but it is in the original fermentation so I'm doubtful about that as well.

As to water, I have used the same water in all of my 30 or so batches. Its a bottled mineral water.

Anyway, I'll be carefully opening the rest of these. I'll also be brewing it again as well. It is very, very good.

Fathand 01-09-2013 08:08 PM

My bet is you bottled to early. What was your FG?

This same thing happen to me with my last batch, a barleywine. Primary for 1 month, 2ndary for 1 month then bottled; FG was 1.022. I thought it was done fermenting. But like you I had/have excessive foamy bottles.

As luck would have it this was a 10 gallon batch and 5 gallons were aged on oak and had an extended 2ndary. The FG of that beer at bottling was 1.016. Same yeast used in both, WLP007. So the non-oaked version dropped another 0.006 points after I bottled.

So here are some things you can do from here.

First, a trick a friend told me that works well assuming your foam isn't shooting out like a rocket. Pour the beer into a larger pitcher or bowl and let it sit until the foam subsides and then drink. I have done these on all the bottles I've had and it works great.

Second take some of that beer and wait for the carbonation to dissipate and take a gravity reading. If you bottled to early it should be lower than what it was when you bottled. This is what I did to confirm the additional .006 drop.

unionrdr 01-09-2013 08:29 PM

Also,how long did you fridge them? At least 5 days will not only clear chill haze,& give better carbonation/head. But also,will get enough co2 into solution so they don't gush.
Another thing I noticed a couple weeks ago was this harder crud build up on top of & around the lips of the bottles. Thought I cleaned it off,but I apparently didn't. Or it needs more cleaning. Anyway,I'm going to take a batch worth of bottles upside down in an ice cream pail with about an inch of PBW in it to soak this grainy filmy crud loose. It's dry & hard. So I think this also can cause co2 to leak out when the pressure in the head space gets up to a certain point. Gotta batch that should've been bottled today,but for a couple things getting in the way. I have high hopes that this solves the problem with bottles that get reused a lot.

DrVertebrae 01-09-2013 09:10 PM

@Fathand - this one was in the primary for 3 weeks and the secondary for 6. Although I did not take a final gravity reading, I am pretty sure it was finished. Remember, I had opened a bottle a few days earlier and had nothing like this happen. I guess it is possible that it might not have been finished but this one was at a very consistant 66F and if I remember correctly the yeast was S-04. It might have been Nottingham also. I dont have my log with me.

I like the idea of the pitcher or bowl. I will use that. I should have thought about it. The gusher was about 6 inches in the second bottle but not to the side. I ama soa stupida. Now I feel sick at having lost an entire liter of this ambrosia.

@unionrdr, I had these in the fridge for four days and they were plenty cold. You are right though. the gas dissolves much better in the cold than the warm.

unionrdr 01-09-2013 10:06 PM

Not to sound picky or anything,but darker &/or bigger beers need more than 4 days fridge time in my experiences. More like two weeks for mine. Even pale ales take at least 5 days fridge time for me. After 4 weeks at room temp.
Can't wait till I can bottle my latest tomorrow. A happy accident that seems to be leading me to my "Hopped & Confused" Ale. It's an ale that thinks it's a lager/pilsner. I was sure this partial mash was messed up. Apparently not in the way I thought,good or bad. The pale malts & conditions I recon...

DrVertebrae 01-27-2013 12:54 AM

For anyone whos interested. I am having another tonight. Heavily carbonated and very delicicious. But when I get the heavy stouts in the bars as in thi morning they all seem to need a bit of breathing. Must be normal. Great beer!!

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