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Old 09-14-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
blakey971
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Default Accidental Carbonation?

Hi all!

I have a batch of Apfelwein in primary right now. It was bubbling away for 4 or 5 days. Last night I checked it, and it was no longer bubbling. I took the cap off of the airlock and it shot the little plastic thing inside the airlock all the way up to the ceiling!

I took a little sample, and it was carbonated! There was definitely some alcohol content, but it tasted like a wine cooler!

Has anyone ever had this happen before??



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Old 09-14-2010, 10:47 PM   #2
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This your first time fermenting?

ALL primary fermentations are loaded with CO2. If you've made beer, and looked at a CO2 sugar priming chart, you'll note that the beer temperature is a variable. This is because fermented beer has CO2 in it already, and the colder the beer the more CO2 is in it. Not enough CO2 to taste carbonated, but its not flat.

Your apfelwein is still actively fermenting and still creating CO2. The fact that you had pressure inside means your airlock was not able to vent CO2. That's a risky situation...it might pop the airlock off first, or the carboy might fail and break open. Be sure your airlocks are free of obstruction.

Dig around on the wine forums more and you'll see people talk about 'degassing' their wines of the naturally produced CO2, since wine is usually perfectly still, and low bodied enough that you'll detect the CO2 if its not degassed properly.



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Old 09-27-2010, 09:28 PM   #3
blakey971
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Nope, I've made probably 10 batches of beer, a few meads, and a few fruit wines.

The airlock was completely clear of any obstruction.

My logic when I posted was this.

When carbonating beer, you basically just add sugar, and seal. In my mind, the only difference between this and fermentation is that a bottle is completely sealed. Thus, if it was somehow sealed (like an obstruction airlock,) fermentation could have stopped and given way to carbonation.

It's strange because I racked a few gallons into gallon carboys, and there were bubbles running up the sides.

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Old 09-27-2010, 11:20 PM   #4
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Apfelwein tends to be bubbly throughout it life. Even after fermenting for a couple months I could see little champagne like bubbles traveling through the carboy.

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Old 10-04-2010, 01:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakey971 View Post
... if it was somehow sealed (like an obstruction airlock,) fermentation could have stopped and given way to carbonation.
Fermentation doesn't stop and give way to carbonation, it causes carbonation. Fermentation creates CO2, which is either vented off, or absorbed, but it will continue to ferment. The CO2 that is absorbed is the carbonation.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:54 PM   #6
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Did you make your other wines in warmer months? That drives more CO2 out of solution in secondary/bulk aging than the cooler months.
Either way, degassing would prevent this in the final bottle, but apfelwein is often carb'd so most don't care.



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