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Old 11-13-2012, 11:30 PM   #1
BlackAtack
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Default Volatile Brew

I recently made a chocolate beer that got violent on me. The recipe called for a variety of grains, lactose and 1.5 lbs of baker's chocolate. I got bars of baker's chocolate instead of the powder style. I let it ferment for almost a month (in my primary, then a carboy) and let it condition for I think about 3 weeks. Our dishwasher has a sanitation cycle and it steams the dishes and heat drys them. The first few bottles were fine, but pretty much all the subsequent bottles had a lava effect. One of the bottles exploded so bad I got it all over my bed and floor.

Anybody have any ideas why this would happen? I love chocolate beer and bought enough chocolate to make 2 batches, but now I'm afraid to attempt it again because I potentially made a mistake and I don't know what it was. Thanks!

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:57 PM   #2
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Our dishwasher has a sanitation cycle and it steams the dishes and heat drys them.
What does your dishwasher have to do with this? Were you using it to pasteurize the bottles after they conditioned?
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:01 AM   #3
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Anybody have any ideas why this would happen?
If I had to guess it is partly due to uneven priming in the bottles, coupled with a lots of head retention from the adjuncts in that beer. The other thing probably going on is increasing carbonation over time. The first ones you cracked probably had not run out of priming sugar yet.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:29 AM   #4
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I used the dishwasher to clean the bottles before bottling. Thinking back, I think that was the batch were I forgot to add the priming sugar to the wort before I bottled it. I had to uncap them all, and put everything back in my bottling bucket to add the sugar and re-bottle. Maybe I messed up in the re-bottling? Or maybe don't let them condition as long?

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:33 AM   #5
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Or maybe you got an infection during your capping, uncapping, re bottling situation. Does it have any off flavored from the first couple you tasted? And how long we're they chilled before you popped the caps?

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:36 AM   #6
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i have to agree with hex....one common mistake with new brewers adding too much priming sugar during bottling or not evenly distributing the sugar throughout the bucket. i know when i first started i would wake up to bottles busting in the middle of the night!

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Old 11-14-2012, 01:58 AM   #7
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I used the dishwasher to clean the bottles before bottling. Thinking back, I think that was the batch were I forgot to add the priming sugar to the wort before I bottled it. I had to uncap them all, and put everything back in my bottling bucket to add the sugar and re-bottle. Maybe I messed up in the re-bottling? Or maybe don't let them condition as long?
Oh, I see, you were mentioning that in relation to a possible contamination. I think the contamination is a little less likely since once the beer has alcohol, it's less susceptible to contamination (although not impossible). I've had several batches read good carbonation with about 3-4 weeks, but then continue to carbonate even further after that. They are not infected as the beer has no off flavors.

BTW, I also use my dishwasher's sanitize cycle for sanitizing my bottles. Yes, it might waste alot of water and energy as some have pointed out, but it's really convenient.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:16 PM   #8
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@Kahler
It's flavor was interesting. The first two bottles were VERY chocolate, really bitter but not awful tasting. All the other bottles that didn't explode still had a chocolate taste, but it had dulled down significantly.

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Old 11-14-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
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@bluewaterbrewer
I actually think it's impossible for me to add too much priming sugar. The shop I get my supplies from sells the priming sugar in 5 oz bags and all my recipes (and I've gotten all my recipes from his website) call for 5 oz of priming sugar.

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Old 11-14-2012, 11:55 PM   #10
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@bluewaterbrewer
I actually think it's impossible for me to add too much priming sugar. The shop I get my supplies from sells the priming sugar in 5 oz bags and all my recipes (and I've gotten all my recipes from his website) call for 5 oz of priming sugar.
5 oz can definitely be alot of priming sugar, especially if there is much residual CO2 in the beer. For example if you primed when the beer was 60F, 5oz would get you near 3 volumes. I've also found that it can be dependent on the yeast. If you've got highly attenuative yeast, the CO2 will be greater.
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