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Old 12-05-2011, 06:14 AM   #1
Stringer
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Default Too much foam?

Hey everyone,

I just poured my first home-brewed beer. It's been conditioning in the bottles for 2 weeks, so I'm a bit early, but I wanted to taste it anyway.

Everything tasted great, but when I poured it I got a TON of foam. Is this indicative of a big problem? What contributes to the foam amount, and if this level of foam is excessive, what can I do to reduce it next time?

I tried searching the forum but the only threads I found about foam all pertained to kegging.

Thanks for any help!!

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Old 12-05-2011, 06:26 AM   #2
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I'm guessing it's just your pouring technique. Do you normally drink beers out of bottles? It's actually pretty easy with most beers to get a glass full of foam if you don't pour it properly. Perhaps you can check YouTube for videos on how to properly pour a beer.

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Old 12-05-2011, 06:35 AM   #3
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Or it could have been a bottle-bomb waiting to happen.

Have you opened more than one bottle, or just this one? What was the temperature of the beer and the glass?

I'm a kegger, so I have limited bottling experience, but my guess is you didn't stir your priming sugar in enough causing a few to overcarb.

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Old 12-05-2011, 06:43 AM   #4
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was the bottle cold enough? Some hot-er beer has super foam. When I pour a duvel I have to nearly freeze the bottle to get it into a pint glass. However, I can pour a guiness straight into a glass hot.

If that's not the case, how much sugar did you add, and what volumes of co2 were you looking for? Probably not as much as you have i guess. Maybe I shouldn't have asked that one. Also, what process did you follow to put the sugar for carbonation into the bottle?

Finally, Some beers are supposed to be super foamy, like Belgian strongs, some not so much, like english biters.

Someone beat me to my questions. I think I need to be faster eh?

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Old 12-05-2011, 07:50 AM   #5
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Wow, thanks for the quick responses guys.

I doubt it was my pouring technique. I've poured many bottles of beer into glasses and they usually don't produce this much foam. I even poured down the side of the bottle rather than straight onto the bottom of the glass.

Also, IIRC, I used 3/4 c of corn sugar for the carbonation. Whatever the standard amount is for 5 gallons of beer.

Of the things that you all suggested, I'm guessing it might be a temperature issue or an insufficiently mixed beer/sugar issue. The beer had only been in the fridge for a couple hours, and the glass was room temp. Also, when I added the sugar before bottling, I probably didn't stir it well enough due to my paranoia about oxygenating it or contaminating it.

And lastly, I've opened ~4 beers from this batch. They were all carbonated - none of them seemed on the verge of exploding. This was the only one I poured into a glass though.

Thanks again for the help.

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Old 12-05-2011, 11:19 AM   #6
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Two things spring to mind.
First is that you didn't wait long enough for the CO2 to be completely absorbed by the beer and the yeast to settle completly. Any particles suspended in the beer will become nucleation points for the CO2 and cause foaming. I've had this in a spiced ale.

Second is the solubility of CO2 in beer. This is related to the temperature and time at that temperature. It takes more than just a couple hours in the fridge to chill the beer enough for the CO2 to dissolve into the beer. Your beer was still too warm and the CO2 wasn't dissolved in.

Give your next sample a chance. Let it have a little more time in the bottle to make sure the yeast are done. Let it have at least 24 hours of chilling, more if possible. If it still has too much foam, then tell us about the fermentation part of your brewing. If you bottle too soon, the remaining sugars that are slow to ferment will continue in the bottle and lead to overcarbing.

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Old 12-05-2011, 08:53 PM   #7
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+1 to more time. At 2 weeks, the CO2 has mostly been produced (mostly) but probably hasn't dissolved well into solution. It's ready to jump back out and foam up at any opportunity.

Edit: another good point below me- you need the beer to get cold for a couple of days (as always, longer is better) for the CO2 to completely dissolve. If the beers were warm, that could be another factor.

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Old 12-05-2011, 09:06 PM   #8
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Give the beer at least 3 weeks at room temp to condition as well as carbonate. I give them at least a week,preferably 2 in the fridge to get thicker head,& longer lasting carbonation. These time frames also give the beer more time to absorb the co2 into solution. You get less,but thicker head,And better carbonation balance that lasts longer in the glass.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:11 PM   #9
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The above advice is dead on.

One other question - are you sure fermentation was complete? (How long in the primary, OG & FG?). I bottled a batch too early once - hit my target FG, but apparently yeast had more to go. Holy foam batman.

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Old 12-07-2011, 12:35 AM   #10
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Again, thanks for all the info.

To answer TyTanium's question, I primaried for 4 weeks. I screwed up my original hydrometer reading so I wasn't able to record accurate OG and FG.

I think you guys nailed it, though. The beer hadn't bottle-conditioned long enough and it wasn't nearly cold enough. I'll remedy both those problems and check back in with this thread if I'm still having trouble. Thanks!

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