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Old 10-18-2010, 01:07 PM   #1
Gauvin
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Default Overcarbonation fix?

I messed up my priming pretty bad and have an idea on how to fix it that I want to float past you guys. What happened was I mixed up enough priming sugar for a 3 and half gallon batch, but my batch of beer was only around 2 3/4 gallons. I had planned to make the batch a little more carbonated than usual, but with the smaller size ended up way overdoing it. My calculations tell me that the batch based on the amount of sugar used should have 3.6 volumes of CO2.

I was thinking the easiest fix would be to simply recap all the beers at some point. A couple things concern me however, first off will this work? Will the beer foam over and cause a massive amount of loss? Will there not be enough C02 released to make it worth it? My other question to you guys is when do you think the best time to try this would be and what do you think would be the best way to go about it? First option would be to just open the beers, second would be to take a nail or something and pierce the cap, thereby attempting to control the sudden release of CO2 in suspension.

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated.

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Old 10-18-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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Your plan is the only one.

That or decant every bottle as you intend to consume it.

Just be ready to re-cap quick if you go that route.

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Old 10-18-2010, 03:24 PM   #3
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OK, if that is the only reasonable plan I guess the question is when to do it. I was thinking like 3-4 days after bottling, since I did it on Saturday I was thinking Tuesday night. Think that is enough time?

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Old 10-18-2010, 03:55 PM   #4
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I also over carbonated a batch and recapped the bottles. To do so make sure the bottles are room temperature as colder bottles will foam more. Quickly pop the cap and place another cap on the bottle and you should be fine. I did mine after 2 weeks of carbonation and it worked just fine.

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Old 10-18-2010, 05:02 PM   #5
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Two weeks huh? Seems like that is a long time. Why did you wait so long as opposed to doing it earlier?

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Old 10-19-2010, 02:56 AM   #6
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I would imagine that your choice for when to recap would partly depend on the temperature at which you are conditioning your bottles. Two weeks in a 65F cellar might be about right. In my apartment I would go for 1 week to avoid the possibility of a bottle bomb going off.

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Old 10-19-2010, 02:04 PM   #7
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I guess the point of my question is why should I wait until carbonation is finished? I don't think I am going to have bottle bombs, well hopefully not. The beers will be significantly overcarbonated yes, but I don't think I am in danger of that. I still want them to be somewhat carbonated and I guess my fear is that if I wait to do it until the two week mark all the carbonation will be finished. Opening them at that point will only bleed off the carbonation not in suspension, which will help but I'm not sure how much. My thinking was to do it early on before the CO2 has a chance to dissolve into the beer, but before the carbonation has finished.

What I think I am going to do is do some early, some after one week, and then some after two weeks and see what the results are.

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Old 10-19-2010, 02:43 PM   #8
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First, I have done this twice, successfully. In each case, I did not replace the caps, just "lifted" them a bit to release the pent-up CO2 in the headspace. I did this for each bottle, then reseated each of the caps with the capper. Second, if you wait until the beer is more or less fully carbed (which may or may not happen in two weeks) and then do it, you'll only be releasing the CO2 from the headspace, not from the presumably overcarbed beer. The overcarbed beer will then release some of its carbonation to repressurize the headspace and, if you're lucky, the beer will have released enough, but only enough, to give you satisfactory carbonation. If you do it early, you risk that the beer will just go on and overcarb after you do it. Good luck.

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Old 10-19-2010, 02:52 PM   #9
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That makes sense. I am going to do a couple early anyway just to see the results, but the "lifting" method seems to be the safest. How did you lift the caps off, just use a bottle opener and crack them a little bit?

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Old 10-19-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gauvin View Post
That makes sense. I am going to do a couple early anyway just to see the results, but the "lifting" method seems to be the safest. How did you lift the caps off, just use a bottle opener and crack them a little bit?
Exactly. Just enough to hear the "pffft".
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