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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Worried about overcarbonation in my first batch
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:01 AM   #1
thomrenault
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Default Worried about overcarbonation in my first batch

Hello everyone, I just started brewing. I worked with a cooper's lager kit which I had in the primary fermenter for the last week. I added a cup of molasses which I boiled in about 3-4 cups of water two days ago, and I thought that fermentation had stopped today, so I bottled some of the batch... about 16 of the large PET bottles (750 ml). While I was bottling I tasted the beer and it seemed a bit sweet, so I checked my hydrometer (which I'm not really sure how to use, and it looked like the reading was 1.02) I was adding about half of the sugar which the coopers recipe called for to each bottle, because I wasn't sure that primary fermentation had stopped. So now I'm worried that these bottles will be over carbonated, and become bottle bombs. My fermenter is producing bubbles about ever 10-15 seconds, but I didn't notice when I first checked because the tv was on loud in the other room, and the room with the fermenter was pretty dark. Does anyone know how much carbonation I can expect in these bottles?

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:53 AM   #2
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You should really wait until your beer is finished before you bottle. If you're not sure if it's done fermenting, don't bottle it.

You can probably expect too much carbonation. How much, I have no way of guessing.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:06 AM   #3
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You have to check your hydrometer reading and when it reads the same 2-3 days in a row your brew is done. Some people who are more advanced just have a sense of the timing but I would always get a reading for 2-3 days then bottle. The fact that your brew measures at a 1.020 I would say you must be fairly close to completion, but without having a OG reading, and not knowing your recipe; its hard to guess.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:08 AM   #4
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p.s. On how to use the hydrometer :

Fill the tube it came in with brew. Put the tube on a flat surface then put the hydrometer into tube, and spin it to dislodge bubbles etc..... let it settle and take a reading. Very simple.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:08 AM   #5
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when it doubt, wait it out. there's no harm in letting it sit longer even if you think the beer is done fermenting. and like nateo said, there is no way of knowing how much carbonation there will be.

wait a week and crack one open, see how carbonated it is. you risk ruining that particular bottle but at least you will get an idea of the carbonation level.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:43 AM   #6
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I think I'm getting the hang of this whole homebrewing thing... Waiting is the hardest part, so have a brew when you're getting impatient... Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know how it turns out.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:51 AM   #7
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Yea the waiting part sucks the most. That's why I got 3 primary buckets so I can always have one going. Getting a glass carboy is good for folks like us as well. At least when you can see whats going on inside it helps. I ruined my first couple beers by being impatient.

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Old 01-02-2011, 02:50 AM   #8
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It probably started between 1.040 and 1.050. You are probably looking at 1.010 to 1.015 as an FG.

Do you remember how much of what ingredients went into it. Need to know the yeast used too.

Fortunately you bottled in PET bottles. Do they have screw tops? You can relieve the pressure every couple of days, or just leave them cracked and undisturbed for a few days and then screw on tightly.

If you get the ingredients and the yeast posted we might be able to tell you a reasonable FG, and when the main batch reaches 3 points before that, then tighten the caps on the bottles. Typical priming is about 2 to 3 gravity points.

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:21 AM   #9
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According to a friend who has brewed the kit as per instructions, the OG is 1.040. I added the cup of molasses though, so that probably increased the gravity. I don't know what the specific strain of yeast is, I do know that it was an ale yeast. The PET bottles do have screw tops, and I was planning to unscrew them and let off some pressure. The Cooper's kit instructions didn't really mention the importance of OG to determine whether your brew is done, so I didn't take one (of course now I'll know for next time). Thanks for all of the advice... I really hope it turns out well.

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Old 01-10-2011, 02:01 AM   #10
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I had the first beer tonight, it tasted pretty good still a little cidery, but it didn't over carbonate. Thanks for the advice.

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