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Old 01-29-2009, 06:12 AM   #1
robertjohnson
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Default Urgent: too much priming sugar!

So, as tired and haggard as I was today, I decided I really wanted to bottle my beer...and I put in twice as much priming sugar as I intended to, 1.5 cups in 5 gallons to be exact. This seems dangerous. Is there anything I can do at this point that would make this safe or should I just watch them explode in my shed? I was thinking of just letting them carbonate for 5-7 days and then sticking them in a refrigerator right above freezing. I used Safale-05 so that should slow down the yeast long enough to have some friends rush over to empty around 60 bottles of green beer, stat. Any other suggestions? Anyone know enough to tell me when the carbonation should be about right, or am I just playing with fire? Thanks...

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Old 01-29-2009, 06:24 AM   #2
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I'd say you are definitely on the road for bottle bombs with that much sugar. I'm not sure, but you might be able to save some/most of your beer. I'd uncap all the bottles and pour them back into your carboy/bucket and cap. If you have a way of purging with CO2 that would be good. then wait for the yeasties to do their job again with the added sugars. I'm not sure how long that would take, but I'm guessing about 2-3 weeks (based on how long it takes to carb up a bottle). then re-bottle the batch using the right amount of sugar (4.5-5oz for 5 gallons).

I could be out to lunch on this. Hopefully some of the experts around here can chime in. No matter what I'd say get those bottles into a cold environment and a safe container (rubbermaid) , just in case.

good luck

Terje

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Old 01-29-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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I hadn't thought of that. The only problem I could see is having all that sugar converted into alcohol before going back in the bottles, but I'm not quite as concerned with the taste as I am with drinking it safely given the circumstances. I'll wait to see if anyone else has other ideas, but this might be what I end up doing. Thanks.

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Old 01-29-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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You're probably fine. Just keep it real cold and drink it quick. That is about what I put in my hefeweizen. I use about 1.25 cups.

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Old 01-29-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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I did almost that much sugar (proportionally) when I did my first cider batch. The recipe called for 1/4C sugar for one gallon of cider. Riiight... friends that want to try the stuff think I'm nuts because not only do I insist on freezing the bottle for 90 minutes before drinking, I also barely crack the cap to start letting the CO2 escape, and what frozen fizz does escape from the top ends up dripping in my glass that I have in the sink. It is quite a show.

After spraying booze all over my living room, I'm going through the long process to avoid losing 1/2 of each bottle now. None of mine have burst, and they've been around for months now. If I were to do it again, I would put them in a box and just start early and drink often.

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Old 01-29-2009, 08:22 PM   #6
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just open one every night until it gets what seems to be the correct pressure, then chill the rest and serve.

You should be fine

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Old 01-29-2009, 08:25 PM   #7
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I like Stratotankards suggestion; another idea is condition them in colder temps, in bomb shelter, uncap and recap them when one explodes (or a week or two into conditioning)... Kegs can take 130PSI (at least that's what's imprinted on the side)

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Old 01-29-2009, 08:36 PM   #8
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I don't know what the risk is of oxidation by sending it back to the carboy, but as an alternate you could try uncapping each bottle, placing a sanitized balloon over each one, and pop a little pinhole in each to let the gas out. Let it all ferment out (how ever long that takes). Then add primer to each bottle and re-cap. Carb drops might be a heck of a lot more convenient then measuring out primer solution for each bottle. I have no clue if this works and don't know if this method is any more risky for oxidation.

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Old 01-29-2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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GLWIII makes a good point about the oxidation risk by pouring them all back into a bucket. There is also the increased risk of infection. I guess looking at my solution, it has some issues I hadn't fully considered. Not sure if the balloons would work, but it sounds feasible. I'd agree that carb tabs would make re-priming when the time comes much easier. I normally only use tabs. I've had issues on all the beers I've tried measuring my priming sugar.

Terje

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Primary: Burned Mead
Secondary: Bourbon Barrel Porter
Bottled: More Bourbon Barrel Porter, New Pekin Common, Flat Tail Old Ale, Bad Monkey Banana Wine, Flanders Red, Pumpkin Ale
Drinking: Too Much
On deck: Something crazy to use up the 3+ pounds of hops sitting in my freezer

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Old 01-30-2009, 12:31 AM   #10
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Thanks, these are all great suggestions. The balloon idea seems like there's less labor and risk involved, which I am all for. The only thing would be sanitation, but anything that can get through a pinhole with pressurized gas escaping out of it deserves a beer or two. Again, I might just end up drinking them all around day 5. I'm in college and even my unfinished homebrew beats keystone/natty ice by a mile, so I don't think I'll have much of a problem moving through these. I guess it all depends on how much I want to share. Thanks again for the advice.

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