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Old 02-27-2010, 09:35 PM   #11
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Thanks. I'm actually pretty fastidious about cleaning, including taking the spigot and rubber bits apart every time--usually even after each bottling session and before the next. Which doesn't mean an infection didn't happen in this case. I had the same experience as you. I didn't notice a gusher until we were celebrating my daughter's birth in early October, but every bottle since then was like that. Before that, they were OK. I hadn't noticed the nasty particles, though. One I opened today clearly had yeast sediment on the bottom and that basically exploded in the kitchen when I opened it (had been in basement, ~60 degrees--was thinking it might gush less when warm--wrong), but the others didn't have much on the bottom. Is there a specific name for this gushing bug? Or could it be any of many different microorganisms?
The only specific name they have is a "gusher" bug. It's because it could be any number of things. A wild yeast from the outside, leftover bugs on equipment from something else, etc. Sometimes the problem is simply way too much CO2 and it doesn't impart any off-flavors in the beer. In other cases (like mine) you can get some real nasty flavors from that particular bug.

The best thing you can do is just make sure you stick to your sanitation process, which it appears you're doing. It happens to the best of us
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:38 PM   #12
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You guys reply faster than I can respond--thanks. The bottles get sanitized in a dishwasher usually before sanitizing with starsan. I do wash everything else, but never in bleach. I use a cleaner like straight A from time to time, but not after every batch.

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Old 02-27-2010, 09:39 PM   #13
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To last poster-- I wash the bucket before and after as I said (with regular dishwashing soap usually--straight A from time to time). I use star san before bottling. The bottles usually soak in it, and the bucket, wand, caps, etc. get a healthy dose. Like I said, I've never had this problem before or since. I can accept there was a misstep in this case. Good lesson in being careful at all times. Weird that I wouldn't have noticed it if I had drunk the beer a lot faster.
Do you use some sort of cleanser that breaks down organic compounds (pbw, or oxiclean...not soap, which is just a surfactant) when cleaning your bottles, prior to sanitizing them with star-san? If you don't, there is all sorts of leftover "stuff" in your bottles that is hiding micro-organisms so the star-san can't reach them to kill them.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:49 PM   #14
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You guys reply faster than I can respond--thanks. The bottles get sanitized in a dishwasher usually before sanitizing with starsan. I do wash everything else, but never in bleach. I use a cleaner like straight A from time to time, but not after every batch.
I really don't think this is sound process. I don't think much of the water from a dishwater would find its way up into the bottles. Even if they get really hot, they likely aren't getting truly clean. You should soak the bottles in Straight-A, or pbw, or oxiclean (which is much cheaper) every single time. Use really hot water, and soak for several hours, or just overnight. Then either soak in starsan, or use a vinator with starsan.
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Old 02-27-2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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Thanks. I think this is a good lesson. I probably should use straight a or pbx or one of the other cleaners more often. I do use a bottle washer, and visually inspect every bottle. And my dishwasher does have a sanitize function, for what it's worth.

Along the same lines, I made my first wine yesterday and didn't really understand the recommendation to sanitize everything with metabisulphites, but I dutifully did that (straight a to clean everything, then star san per my habit, then the potassium metabisulphites as well), figuring there's fewer places for off-flavors to hide in wine.

I try to have a don't worry attitude usually and think about the monks brewing outdoors in open fermentation barrels. But even those these are the first three beers I've poured down the drain, it's still an eye-opener.

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:29 PM   #16
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I recently bottled a 1 gallon batch (beginner here) and all my bottles are gushing. I'm fairly sure I hit the amount of priming sugar for 1 gallon (about 2/3 cup of sugar split between two gallons) and I boiled it before use. Everything was cleaned with oxyclean and then one step sanitized, including all hoses and siphons, etc. Every bottle gushes like crazy even if I try to let some CO2 out for a half hour before hand. However, the beer doesn't have any crazy off flavors. If anything it has a slight metallic taste to it, almost coppery.

Am I freaking out or did I just use too much primary sugar? Left the beer in a primary for three weeks.

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Old 01-14-2013, 10:38 PM   #17
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I'd say way too much priming sugar. I think for a 5 gallon batch at room temperature, you'd use about 5 ounces of corn sugar, or slightly less table sugar. Check out this link:
http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/
Sounds like you used about double what you should have

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:01 PM   #18
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Yes definitely too much sugar. Use 1 oz. per gallon if you're not carbing to style. So 2 oz. for 2 gallons which is way less than 2/3 cup. Measuring with volume is inaccurate, go with weight measurements and you'll always be good.

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Old 01-14-2013, 11:24 PM   #19
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Thanks guys. Hopefully this doesn't happen again. Got another gallon in the pipeline....

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