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Old 02-22-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
Marsdude
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Default Advice needed - first brew problems

My first brew has been in the bottle about three weeks now. I had a bottle bomb a few days back and from advice from this forum put the rest of the bottles in the fridge. I opened some today and found an inconsistency it the brew in the bottles.

The first one I opened was great! I brewed an amber ale and it tasted as good or better than any amber I have ever had! The second one the bottle was not filled as high and the beer was flat. Another one had an off taste.

I am thinking I have several problems here. First I may have a sanatation problem, however I did rinse the bottles out very well under the faucet and spray StarSan into the bottles (with a hand spray bottle). I then set them upside down in the dishwasher until they were dry inside.

The other problem I think I had was when filling. How can you tell how full the bottle is when if foams so much when you get to the top?

Am I on track - do you have other suggestions?

BTW - the bottle with the great amber has me encouraged about my homebrewing now despite the problems. If I can brew beer this good as a noob I can't wait until I get better at this.

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Old 02-22-2010, 10:29 PM   #2
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first wash THEN sanitize with StarSan.

second fill the bottles with your bottling wand. when the beer is just barely about to overflow stop and pull the wand out. then cap.

check your bottles. look for ones that the caps are still flat. those you can take back out and let sit and carb some more. just keep an eye on them if the caps start to bulge stuck them in the fridge again and leave them there.

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Old 02-22-2010, 11:06 PM   #3
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no need to let star san dry. as long as its wet 30 seconds, its sanitary.

definitely use a bottling wand, as this will displace the right amount of beer in 12 oz bottles so you have good headspace for well carb'd beer.

make sure your caps are crimped well.

you might have had poorly mixed priming sugar. it works best to put the sugar in a cup of boiling water to dissolve it, pour that into your bottle bucket, then rack the beer into the bucket. racking will mix the two pretty darn well, then fill and cap.

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Old 02-23-2010, 12:02 AM   #4
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If you stuck your bottles onto the "pegs" inside your dishwasher to dry after sanitizing, I think you could have picked up an infection, inconsistently, off of the pegs in the washer. Personally, I'd be fearful of having an unsanitized "peg" stuck inside a sanitized bottle.

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Old 02-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I did put the priming sugar into boiling water and then into the bottling bucket and racked the beer into it. So I am guessing, as you have suggested, it must have been a problem with how I sanitized my bottles. I will be WAY more careful next time.

When I rack the beer into the bucket I am guessing it is NOT a good idea to stir it up to mix up the sugar evenly? I had read that you do not want to get oxygen into the brew at this stage. Correct?

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Old 02-23-2010, 05:28 PM   #6
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You can stir it with a sanitized spoon/paddle whatever, just be sure it is a gentle stirring without splashing. But normally when you rack on top of the sugar solution, with the hose set to create a swirling motion, it gets pretty well mixed.

I submerge my bottles in starsan when I'm sanitizing and then set them upside down on the pegs in the dishwasher. I figure that I leave enough starsan in the bottle so that it catches the pegs as it drains out. So far, so good.

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