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Old 02-02-2010, 06:05 PM   #1
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Default Any Solutions for Excessive Bottle Carbonation?

I bottled a pale ale 11 days ago with 3/4 Cup of Priming Sugar (for 49 bottles worth of beer), and left it in my brew closet at 70. After work yesterday I was curious as to how it was doing so I took a bottle and put it in the freezer for a little bit, then stuck it in the fridge for an hour or so. To make a long story short, it was way overcarbed. I mean, like alkaseltzer fizzy. Could this be a product of the rapid chilling? I have only made one other pale ale and the same thing happened - it got overcarbed! What is going on here?
What can I do to fix this? Could I empty the bottles into a keg or something?

I don't understand why none of my other batches get overcarbed when using the standard 3/4 Cup priming sugar, but my pale ales are like bottle rockets????


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Old 02-02-2010, 06:11 PM   #2
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Yeah, let them sit for at least 2 more weeks then chill them for at least 48 hours...and then tell me if they are over carbed...you opened it at a point where although there was co2 present in the headspace, it hadn't fully integrated into solution. In other words it wasn't carbed yet.

How long did you chill the bottle before tasting it? The longer you chill it the more it will pull it into solution as well.

But generally we recommend a minimum of three weeks at 70 to carb and condition most average gravity beers. Some take longer, weeks or months even.

I bet that if you leave your bottles alone for another 2.5 weeks minimum, then chill a couple down for at least 48 hours...your beer will be carbed just fine.

More info about carbing and conditioning, can be found here, there is a video that shows EXACTLY what just happened when you opened your bottle prematurely.

Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."


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Old 02-02-2010, 06:28 PM   #3
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Revvy, that was an awesome video and lots of great info!

The thing is that my sample last night was not flat with just a lot of head. It was like alka seltzer effervescent. The sample was cold because I had put it in the freezer for like 15 mins, then in the fridge for another hour or so. When I popped the cap, there was a huge hiss too. Lots of head like in the video, but the beer was not flat.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macabra11 View Post
Revvy, that was an awesome video and lots of great info!

The thing is that my sample last night was not flat with just a lot of head. It was like alka seltzer effervescent. The sample was cold because I had put it in the freezer for like 15 mins, then in the fridge for another hour or so. When I popped the cap, there was a huge hiss too. Lots of head like in the video, but the beer was not flat.
15 minutes in freezer and an hour in the fridge, is not the same as 48 hours to a week in the fridge. We're talking about pulling the co2 back into solution, that's not the same as makign liquid cold......
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:34 PM   #5
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I have a couple bottles in the fridge chilling down now. I will test it this weekend to see if there is any difference. The rest of the bottles are still at 70 aging, so I will be able to kind of keep track of the progress like in that video.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:13 AM   #6
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I just had the same thing happen to me tonight. I took a 1.5 week bottle and quick chilled in the freezer for 30 minutes and then the fridge for another 15 or so. When I opened the beer it was really, really carbonated to the point of being tingly. I know it can take a while to carb, but this was overcarbonated at 1.5 weeks.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:20 PM   #7
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Also something else I noticed, that I didnt see anyone touch on. You stated that you used 3/4 cup priming sugar, I would never use a measured amount. Use a Carbonation Chart to calculate the weight of sugar you will need for the total amount of beer you have.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by macabra11 View Post
I have a couple bottles in the fridge chilling down now. I will test it this weekend to see if there is any difference. The rest of the bottles are still at 70 aging, so I will be able to kind of keep track of the progress like in that video.
It wasn't "overcarbed" it is that at 1.5 weeks, and only a little time in the bottle, the co2 hadn't fully integrated into solution. It hadn't settle into the correct level of carbonation. There's a peak point where the co2 hasn't maxed out the headspace and been forced into solution. That's also one of the reasons often people who decide to bottle in growlers have them explode, because even though they are rated for already carbed beer they usually cannot handle that "peak moment."

The video in this link http://www.homebrewtalk.com/1030387-post8.html shows exactly what is going on with your beer at this point.

It's not over carbed, you didn't do anything wrong even measuring by volume instead of weight is fine, that's not why you are foaming.

There's nothing wrong with your beer, it's only "operator error" I suggest waiting the full minimum three weeks at 70 that we suggest, AND chilling your beer in the fridge for at least 48 hours. You will find your beer will more than likely be perfectly carbed, and balanced. The reason it foamed is because you are impatient, not there's anything wrong.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
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that's not why you are foaming
Revvy, you're awesome for the amount of time you take to give responses on here.

You keep referring to the the foaming aspect of premature aging, but I think the piece that your responses aren't addressing is the fact that there is a TON of CO2 in suspension in the beer. It sounds like OPs situation and mine are the same in that we quick chilled the beer and found the beer to be ridiculously carbonated. I also used 3/4 priming sugar added to bottling bucket and then racked beer over the sugar and let the swirling of the siphon mix the solution.

If it is going to be OK in another couple weeks that's fine, but now I'm just curious why there is so much CO2 in the beer. Does flash chilling the beer change the chemistry of the beer in a way that makes the CO2 effervesce more? Like the OP, my beer was alka seltzer like. I agree it needs more time in the bottle; I'm just curious why the beer acts this way.
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Old 03-11-2010, 05:56 PM   #10
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Once in a while I get a batch that has some fizzy bottles...even after many weeks of aging. I've always figured it was due to not getting a bottle or two clean enough. I'm very careful about soaking and sterilizing the bottles before adding the starsan. The one process point that is full of assumption though is the addition of the priming sugar. I usually use DME for priming. When I mix and boil DME and 2 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes, it's very, very sweet and more viscous than the beer (fermented wort). I always assume that the priming sugar water gets stirred into solution during the racking, but I'm careful to not agitate the beer to introduce oxygen. So, how can I know that there won't be higher concentrations of priming sugar in some bottles? I bottle from the spigot in the Ale Pail. If the whole batch is fizzing, which I've never seen, then other things are at work, but do you really think it's safe to assume that the priming sugar is getting uniformly stirred into solution?


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