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Old 10-28-2012, 03:33 AM   #1
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Default Beer nucleates like crazy when opened

I'm a novice to home brewing - my first batch turned out pretty well (a sweet stout) but didn't have the best sanitation, and this second go, I did a pumpkin ale (with much, much better sanitation, heh) and when I was about to bottle it off, I had a taste and decided that it was far too bland, so I added 1/8tsp of cinnamon and a tiny pinch of nutmeg to each bottle.

Come a week later and I crack open a sacrificial bottle just to make sure that all is well, and the thing goes CRAZY foaming up. I can see it nucleating on the sediment on the bottom, and it doesn't stop foaming until it's almost flat! It wasn't explosive, just a very strong initial foam, and then a slow, continual foaming, similar to pouring root beer over ice cream.

This happened with one or two of the sweet stouts as well. Is there a trick to getting the beer to not foam its little head off on the bottom sediment when opened?

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Old 10-28-2012, 04:00 AM   #2
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they're called gushers. it can be from overcarbonating or an infection. if they've only been in the bottles for a week give them a couple more weeks and try one to see if they get any better

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Old 10-28-2012, 05:50 AM   #3
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Make sure you refrigerate them for about 24 hours before opening. 1/8 tsp of cinnamon is enough for an entire 5 gallon batch, you put that in each bottle?

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Old 10-28-2012, 09:47 AM   #4
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I cannot lie - I like spice

I'll try refrigeration as well - going to give them a whole 2-3 weeks in the bottle.

They taste like a whole pumpkin pie in a bottle.

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Old 10-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybadgers View Post
I cannot lie - I like spice

I'll try refrigeration as well - going to give them a whole 2-3 weeks in the bottle.

They taste like a whole pumpkin pie in a bottle.
You may have to wait 4 or 5 more weeks. Try one at 2 more weeks and if it gushes, wait another. Once all the cinnamon has settled out and been covered by the flocculating yeast the gushing will stop.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:11 PM   #6
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My summer ale did that early last year. I guess Gary at homebrewer TV didn't fridge them before openning on camera. Good thing that one didn't foam hardly at all. Anyway,make sure at fridge time they get a week in the fridge. That did it for mine.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
I added 1/8tsp of cinnamon and a tiny pinch of nutmeg to each bottle.
While your sanitation practices may have been great while brewing, adding the spices like this is about as far from sanitary as you can get and pretty certainly introduced infection.
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:23 PM   #8
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Keep in mind that the beer's flavor changes really dramatically in the bottle. How it tastes out of the fermenter is likely to be nothing like what it'll taste like after a month or two in the bottle. Point is, don't judge the beer on how it tastes out of the fermenter. Just trust your recipe and wait for the conditioning process to complete before making decisions on whether it's good. If you decide it needs more spice after the conditioning process is done, then add more NEXT time you make that recipe.

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Old 10-28-2012, 02:26 PM   #9
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Oh, and in the meantime, be careful with these things. If they are overcarbonated, they could go kablooie. Handle them gently - when I have a suspected overcarb problem, I wear safety glasses and welder's gloves when I handle them and I store the bottles in a covered plastic tub. Keep the kids, dogs, and SWMBO away from them.

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Old 10-29-2012, 03:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Damage View Post
While your sanitation practices may have been great while brewing, adding the spices like this is about as far from sanitary as you can get and pretty certainly introduced infection.
aha, good to know!

Yeah, I would much rather have had the spice there beforehand anyways, but I'll make sure to not give any of this batch to anyone.

I was also wondering, ubernoob question, the ale is pretty darn light in flavor and body - does steeping the grains/malt/pumpkin in the boil make for a heavier body when there is more of the initial 5 gallons of water in the boil pot? My pot barely holds 2 gallons, so it held about 2/3 of the pumpkin and 1.5 gallons of water with the grains and such. Would I have a heavier body and flavor if I get a bigger pot and use more water in the boil? The sweet stout was pretty light in this regard as well.
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