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Old 12-21-2011, 05:57 PM   #1
kcarkey
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Default Possible over Carbonation in bottles?

This is my first post and my first time brewing, I recently brewed a german style altbier from midwest supplies (extract), followed the directions to a T. and followed the 123 rule. I cracked open a bottle the other day and it did not taste very good. It had a tangy almost sweet taste and it was wayy over carb. in my opinion. (bubbly like champagne or soda) The head formed nicely but fell in seconds. I talked with a brewer at a local shop I get supplies from and he told me that since I left the bottles at room temp for the full 3 weeks they over carbed. He recomeneded putting one in the freezer for 15-20 mins and try it then. I did this but it pretty much removed all the carbonation and the beer still tasted tangy/sour/sweet. When I bottled it was about 3 pts above the fG the recipe called for.
Any suggestions?

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:07 PM   #2
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It could be a case of overpriming. We need some information to try to help - what did you carb with? How much? How big was the batch?

In any event, the brewer at the shop was wrong, the yeast will only eat the priming sugar you put in. So leaving them for 3 weeks at room temp is only a good thing, it's not like if you left it for 4 weeks it would carb up even more. Fermentation was pretty damn close to done, but I guess those final 3 points of gravity could contribute to it.

Edit: just read your post again, I didn't really register the off flavors before. You could give the beer more time to mellow out and maybe the flavor would improve, or it could indicate something else. I'll defer on that, though, to the experienced folks on here.

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:11 PM   #3
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That's what I was thinking. May not have reached a stable FG yet,much less 3-7 days to clean up by products & settle out more. And 3-5 weeks in the bottle for anything up to mid gravity is fine. But I've found that darker beers def take a bit longer.
So it's likely over carbonated from not being finished in primary yet,with the priming sugar compounding that.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:12 PM   #4
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You didn't over carb due to keeping it at room temp for three weeks...keeping at room temp would be the standard way of carbing a beer. Nor did it decarb by putting it into the freezer, cold makes gas compress. If you overcarb it is (almost never due to infection so stop thinking that) due to too much residual sugar or too much carbing sugar.

You can figure you had around 1 volume already in the beer at bottling that was residual from fermentation. The standard dose of sugar usually adds around 1.5 volumes. The Kaiser tells us that each point of fermentation gives us about .5 volumes of CO2, so assuming you actually did end up with 3 more points of fermentation in the bottle you have an additional 1.5 volumes for a total potential of 4 volumes in your bottle. This is a potential for a bottle bomb if you have a week bottle as the most I have found a 12 ounce bottle to be rated for brand new is 3 volumes. That said, the advice to get these cooled down is probably a good one, but you don't need them frozen, just 40-50's probably will do the trick.

As far as flavor, the beer is still green, give it time before worrying.

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Old 12-21-2011, 06:19 PM   #5
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Yeah,I thought since it seemed like the beer didn't get the right amount of primary time,it'll need another 2 weeks or so to clean up & stabilize a bit. I had a couple batches that were carbed so well,that foam rose up about an inch on top of the bottles when warm. But a week in the fridge fixed that. Two weeks was outstanding. Thicker head & longer lasting carbonation.
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:25 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the help. I used 5oz of corn sugar as the primer. I think that most likely it wasn't finished fermenting when racked it from the primary.(being inexperienced and excited to get a finished product) I have refridgerated them and plan to forget about them for about a month and hope they mellow out. In the meantime I have another batch I left in the primary for over 2 weeks to make sure it was finished, when I racked it to the secondary I could already tell that it is going to be good!! . It is an IPA partial mash that I came up with. I'll post how it turns out.

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Old 12-22-2011, 05:29 AM   #7
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is 1 week at room temp then in the fridge sufficient time for bottle carbing? or should I check a bottle every week untill they are carbed? I want to give some as christmas gifts but dont really want to have to give instructions with them except to let it sit in the fridge a couple weeks before drinking!

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Old 12-22-2011, 05:34 AM   #8
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don't go by time to decide when fermentation is done, you need to check the gravity and make sure it is stable over a couple days.

I recommend you read Revvy's bottle carbing post
Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. - Home Brew Forums

cheers and welcome to the obsession!

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Old 12-22-2011, 05:43 AM   #9
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the second batch I checked the SG over 3 days and it actually finished 2pts below the recipes FG target. Trust me, I have learned to not take the instructions that come with kits as the final plan. That its pretty much what happend with my first brew, the directions said 1 week, so thats what I did . Now hopefully they will be drinkable in a couple months!!

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Old 12-22-2011, 05:46 AM   #10
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Thanks for the link on bottle conditioning.. very helpful!!

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