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Old 05-22-2008, 02:55 AM   #1
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Default Too much carbonation

I just opened a beer, one of my Nut Brown Ales, and the carbonation level in it was way too high. I've had about 10 others of this batch already and they've all been fine, but this one gushed right out.

When I bottled, I used my usual method of boiling the sugar, 3/4 cup, in a pint of water and pouring that into the bottling bucket, and then siphoning from my carboy into the bucket and letting it swirl without splashing. That should have been OK. OG was 1.056, FG was 1.014, also good numbers, I think. Tonight would be 5 weeks in the bottle.

But what I didn't do is let it sit in the fridge, just long enough to get cold since I was anxious to have one. Could that be the simple answer?

The other thing I'm noticing, or not noticing I guess, is the clove ester that some of the prior ones have had. My wife thinks this batch tastes medicinal, and I somewhat agree. It still won't go to waste.

Am I at risk for bottle bombs?

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:05 AM   #2
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I would recommend not using a 3/4 cup but weighing it instead. Sugar can vary in weight and that is most likely your problem.

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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Try putting one in the fridge and let it sit a couple days and see if it gushes. Sounds like that might be the problem

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEKO482 View Post
I would recommend not using a 3/4 cup but weighing it instead. Sugar can vary in weight and that is most likely your problem.
Good suggestion, but if that were the problem, they'd all be gushing. Not just this one after 10 that were OK.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
But what I didn't do is let it sit in the fridge, just long enough to get cold since I was anxious to have one. Could that be the simple answer?
Could be. Cold beer will hold more dissolved CO2. But...
Quote:
The other thing I'm noticing, or not noticing I guess, is the clove ester that some of the prior ones have had. My wife thinks this batch tastes medicinal, and I somewhat agree.
That sounds like there could be some kind of infection, which continues to work its way through the residual sugars in your brew. If so:
Quote:
Am I at risk for bottle bombs?
Maybe. Next one you open, make sure it's chilled for 24 hours first. After you pour it, take a gravity reading. If its headed south of your 1.012 FG, there might be something else in there eating your sugars.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEKO482 View Post
I would recommend not using a 3/4 cup but weighing it instead. Sugar can vary in weight and that is most likely your problem.
It was from a pre-weighed bag, I measured just to see.

And when I think about it, I haven't opened any of them before letting them sit for a few days in the fridge. I put two in earlier and I opened just the one, so I'll see about the other one. Since they were adjacent in the holder they were bottled at the same point in the process too. There shouldn't be any variation between them, whereas those bottled first and last could vary a little bit.
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Old 05-22-2008, 09:36 AM   #6
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I always use 3/4 cup of sugar, and I've never had a problem with overcarbing because of it. Because you bottled them all at the same time, an hour's difference of which bottles got first dibs isn't going to make any difference.

I'm willing to bet that you didn't have a bottle that wasn't completely clean. I've had that happen before and it's a gusher! A lot of those that gush have also either smelled sour or had other awful flavors to em.

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Maybe. Next one you open, make sure it's chilled for 24 hours first. After you pour it, take a gravity reading. If its headed south of your 1.012 FG, there might be something else in there eating your sugars.
And do this as well.
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KEKO482 View Post
I would recommend not using a 3/4 cup but weighing it instead. Sugar can vary in weight and that is most likely your problem.
Recently I have been changing over to weighing my sugars and DME, and it has increased my confidence in my accuracy.

Digression: I needed a gram scale for measuring agar, so I bought a cheapie off eBay, and figured it wouldn't be much of a loss if it was completely useless. $12 shipped for a 1/10th gram scale, up to 300g or so.

I am shocked at how accurate this little thing is for the money. I weighed various objects with known weights (new pennies, etc) and was happy with the results. SWMBO works at a pharmacy and checked it with reference weights: she says "very close but not as good as our milli/microgram scales". Well, yeah. And it didn't cost $5000, either.

Anyhow, I wanted to let folks know that the cheap Chinese scales on eBay may be useful for brewing work. This one is called a "ProScale LC-300" and uses AAA batts instead of some exotic flat battery you have to search for.

I use a surplus 1/10oz postal scale for measuring larger masses like "2lbs of dextrose" for apfelwein or whatever. $10 + shipping off ebay a long time ago, and measures up to 5#.
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Old 05-23-2008, 02:22 AM   #8
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I opened up the other bottle of nut brown that I stuck in the fridge yesterday. This one did not gush or foam up. It was still a little over-carbonated I thought for the style, but was OK.

As a comparison I also opened up a Sam Smith's Nut brown ale. The color was the same, but the Sam was clearer. The scent was similar, but the taste of the Sam Smith was much cleaner. Mine has too many different tastes in it, predominantly the clove I mentioned but others too. But the carbonation surprised me, it was also very carbonated so maybe mine is right by comparison.

While I looked forward to drinking my first batch, a Pale Ale, and my Lager is coming along nicely, this one is a disappointment and I don't rush to put more in the fridge.

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Old 05-23-2008, 02:28 AM   #9
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+1 for chilling the beer out in the fridge then opening one. I just finished off all of my vienna ale at a party last week and had every single one gush on me. Now that was about 6 that gushed. and I had a sixer in the fridge at home that was the same beer, bottled the same time that didnt gush. Now you cant tell me that by random draw alone I had 6 at the party that had gusher infections. It was simply that from the bumpy ride to the party, the fact that they laid on there side in the fridge and that every one of them was drank when it was still warm and didnt have time to cool off. Gusher Infection I doubt, although I would just try one after a day in the fridge.

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