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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Beer carbonated in the carboy before it was done.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Beer carbonated in the carboy before it was done.

I brewed a 10g batch of beer 2 weeks ago and I split it up among two carboys and pitched my yeast. Everything seemed to be going fine except last week when I tested the gravity, one of the carboys was at 1.022 which is much higher than it should have been, the other is still fermenting and now down into the 1.015 range. What I found strange was that there appeared to be a layer of Krausen on the one that was at 1.022 but after another week it still didn't drop a point. So last night I am looking a lot closer to see if I can see any yeast in suspension and I see carbonation bubbles running up the side of the carboy and at that point realize that the white foamy krausen is head. The beer appears to have carbonated in the carboy. The only think I can think of was that there was a blockage in the airlock but after removing the airlock it appeared fine.

My question is what the hell do I do now? Can you still ferment beer that is partially carbonated? I really would like this to be lower than 1.022 because it is going to be entirely too sweet.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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Any fermented beverage will partially carbonate to atmospheric pressure prior to offgassing.

Don't sweat it bro.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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I have noticed a small amount on beers that have finished in the past, but not at this level. Combine the large amounts of co2 with the fact that I need to shave off another 8+ points and I was a little worried.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:29 PM   #4
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It could be that the extra CO2 in suspension is causing artificially high gravity readings.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:30 PM   #5
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I have noticed a small amount on beers that have finished in the past, but not at this level. Combine the large amounts of co2 with the fact that I need to shave off another 8+ points and I was a little worried.
If it is carbonated, maybe the carbonation is just pushing your hydrometer up further than what the gravity is and thus giving off an inaccurate reading. Either way, your gravity is probably staying where it is unless you try to dry it out with corn sugar or something. But who knows, maybe the temp got too cold and the yeast went dormant. If you think that may be the case, then move the carboy to a warmer environment.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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Warming it up will also force some of the CO2 out of the beer.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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If it is carbonated, maybe the carbonation is just pushing your hydrometer up further than what the gravity is and thus giving off an inaccurate reading. Either way, your gravity is probably staying where it is unless you try to dry it out with corn sugar or something. But who knows, maybe the temp got too cold and the yeast went dormant. If you think that may be the case, then move the carboy to a warmer environment.

That is what I did on Monday, I moved it upstairs and also pitched some nottingham but so far nothing. I think you guys might have hit the nail on the head with the gravity reading though. It seems to make sense that you could not get an accurate hydro reading due to the carbonation.
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Old 03-04-2010, 03:41 PM   #8
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Pull a sample and leave it on the countyer for an hour or two and then take another reading. when you drop the hydro, give it a spin to ensure that no bubbles attach to the hydro and to help release any residula carbonation.

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Old 03-04-2010, 03:55 PM   #9
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great idea gila, I will try that tonight.

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