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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Carbonation issues
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:02 AM   #1
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Default Carbonation issues

2 years brewing, suddenly having bottle bombs and over carbonation.

Started about 5 batches ago.
I make 5 gal batches.
Both AG and DME. Never had this problem before.

I let my primary sit for 5 weeks, no secondary, use less than 4.5 oz of corn sugar, and prime using a bottling bucket (bulk prime). In some cases I am down to 3 oz.

Suddenly my beers became over carbonated even as I was DECREASING the amount of sugar used. I have moved recently from No VA to Bulgaria and now live on a mountain side at about 2,250 feet. But made great beer in the fall. This started with a Porter in about March and has continued with each beer after. I thought perhaps its was what people call a gusher, but once the carbonation settles down the beer tastes and looks great. I bombed my gear with oxiclean and starsan, but each batch (with the exception of an ESB) has been over carb’d. Recently I lost an extract IPA that went from OG 1085 to FG 1020. Five bottles blew up and the rest are over carb’d. I do not think it’s a mixing problem, but what else could it be….

Questions

  • Does a gusher infection have other symptoms? Can a gusher, just be overcarb’d and a few bottle bombs or does it always shoot up a foot or more out of the bottle.
  • Can a beer with an OG of 1060 really need more than 5 weeks to ferment out at 68F?
  • I get summer storms quickly and violently – any impact?
  • I bottled these at about 70F and now they sit at 80F – any impact?
  • I introduce the priming solution before siphoning in the beer on top, using a swirling
introduction.

I am at a loss, kegging is not possible now, must stop the bombs (2 little boys in house) and over carbonation.

Many thanks,
Jon
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:10 AM   #2
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You are introducing the priming solution correctly.

Gushers are so rare that you most likely didn't get one.

As revvy says, yeast dont have timers. They work at their own pace. You can't expect a yeast to be done in a few days if it is still working. Be patient.

The increase in temp might make your beers a little over carbed. This is in the sense that you open them the same day you refrigerate them. Put them in the fridge for a few weeks and you might notice a difference.

The only way to tell that fermentation is complete is by taking SG readings. If you don't do that, then you might be bottling too early.

Aside from all of that, you might also be adding to much priming sugar. Add less. 4 oz seems like a lot for 5 gallons. Even 3 oz of 1060 beer seems like the higher end of what you would want to carb with. Use a carb calculator and aim a little lower than what it says, then try testing it.

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Old 07-19-2011, 07:26 AM   #3
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Thanks.

I was not repeat not measuring FG since I was waiting 5 weeks and was more concerned with infection from my wifes turkey baster (wine thief on its way), but now I have started taking FG measurements. The 4 batches I have waiting in fermentors have all stopped fermenting and are waiting for me to think I have a solution before I bottle.

Something I had read made me think that 3 oz and 4 oz was normal to low. Let me revisit that....

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Old 07-19-2011, 07:35 AM   #4
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3 to 4 oz seems really high to me.. Although that is depending on what sugar you use to prime. If you use DME, it seems about right for medium to high carb. But if you use corn sugar, it seems very high to me. I think you should double check a few different places and take the average.

5 weeks seems like it should have been fine, unless you had a stuck fermentation and then when you racked and added sugar, the beer may have wanted to dry out. Racking could wake up some yeast, especially when adding more sugar

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bgrayson726 View Post
3 to 4 oz seems really high to me.. Although that is depending on what sugar you use to prime. If you use DME, it seems about right for medium to high carb. But if you use corn sugar, it seems very high to me. I think you should double check a few different places and take the average.

5 weeks seems like it should have been fine, unless you had a stuck fermentation and then when you racked and added sugar, the beer may have wanted to dry out. Racking could wake up some yeast, especially when adding more sugar
Wondering why you think 3 or 4 ounces seems high? 4 oz of corn sugar will give you about 2.4 volumes of CO2 at about 68F. I've used as much as 5 oz on some batches. Depending on the style, you may want less than 5 oz for sure, but doesn't seem like the OP is using too much to me. Maybe I'm missing something?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:33 PM   #6
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Wondering why you think 3 or 4 ounces seems high? 4 oz of corn sugar will give you about 2.4 volumes of CO2 at about 68F. I've used as much as 5 oz on some batches. Depending on the style, you may want less than 5 oz for sure, but doesn't seem like the OP is using too much to me. Maybe I'm missing something?
I always use 4-5 ounces, depending on what I"m making. Of course, this is by weight and not volume. 1 ounce of corn sugar per gallon of beer is a "standard" amount for priming.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:36 PM   #7
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3 to 4 oz seems really high to me.. Although that is depending on what sugar you use to prime. If you use DME, it seems about right for medium to high carb. But if you use corn sugar, it seems very high to me. I think you should double check a few different places and take the average.
That's about right, actually, with 3 ounces being a bit low for corn sugar. For DME it's about half of what you'd need.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #8
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Thanks for everyones thoughts. I guess that means that I am not using too much sugar and leaves me with two possibilities..

A gusher infection - but from the limited reading I have done this doesn't sound right, or
Incomplete fermentation - which seems odd given my 5 weeks and reasonable temp management.....

Altitude?
Changing temps?

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Old 07-19-2011, 12:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pd230soi
Thanks for everyones thoughts. I guess that means that I am not using too much sugar and leaves me with two possibilities..

A gusher infection - but from the limited reading I have done this doesn't sound right, or
Incomplete fermentation - which seems odd given my 5 weeks and reasonable temp management.....

Altitude?
Changing temps?
Did you confirm FG with unchanged gravity readings over a 3 day period?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:55 PM   #10
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Thanks for everyones thoughts. I guess that means that I am not using too much sugar and leaves me with two possibilities..

A gusher infection - but from the limited reading I have done this doesn't sound right, or
Incomplete fermentation - which seems odd given my 5 weeks and reasonable temp management.....

Altitude?
Changing temps?
Your guess is as good as mine! But if you're using 3 ounces of corn sugar, and having this issue, I would consider infection even though the beer taste ok.

Really, the only two things I can thing of are a stuck fermentation, which takes off again when the beer is bottled, or an infection.
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