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Old 05-28-2012, 11:56 PM   #1
BrewskiMD
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Default Beer carbonated in 2 days, very tasty but worried...

This is my first brew. It's an Irish red ale extract kit from Midwest with the standard dry yeast option. I was very diligent about sanitation during brewing, although it was just Easy Clean No-Rinse Cleanser that came with my Groupon deal. OG was 1.048. I took a reading at two weeks in primary which was 1.017 and another four days later which was the same at 1.017. It did stall out at the end (expected FG was 1.010-1.012), which I read was not uncommon with dry yeast pitched not with a starter. I decided to go ahead an bottle them two days ago (sanitation diligence with copious StarSans this time). I also decided that I would test a beer every two days just to learn a little more about the carbonation timeline and to quench my homebrew-virgin-thirst. I put one in the fridge for 6 hours and cracked it open this afternoon. Pouring it had a good amount of head and drinking it had an average amount of carbonation and really a great taste. From my wife, she described it as "not undercarbonated, not too carbonated, not too sweet, but very beer'y, overall I like it". I agreed-- these taste like a very slightly sweeter Killian's. I tried a second one, thinking the one may be a fluke, and it was the exact same.

Anything I should be worried about? Obviously I'm wondering if I'm looking at having bottle bombs in the next week or so. Should I go ahead and fridge these to put the yeast into hibernation? Infection? Should I just RDWHAHB? Thanks everyone.


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Old 05-29-2012, 12:28 AM   #2
michael.berta
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RDWHAHB

Keep in mind there's a difference between pressurizing the head space in the bottle vs pressurizing the beer that's in the bottle. It's possible that you are getting head on a beer that's only part way carbonated.


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Old 05-29-2012, 12:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by michael.berta View Post
RDWHAHB

Keep in mind there's a difference between pressurizing the head space in the bottle vs pressurizing the beer that's in the bottle. It's possible that you are getting head on a beer that's only part way carbonated.
+1

Leave it alone. Put them in the fridge when they taste great. The only thing to be worrying about is what you're brewing next
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:43 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting this question! I had been wondering myself!
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Old 05-29-2012, 12:49 AM   #5
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I'm more concerned than others. 1.048 down to 1.017, that is only about 60% attenuation. I think you did something that got the yeast going again when you bottled.

Continue checking as you plan, but when you get a gusher (foam starts coming out of the bottle before you can pour it .... unless you are real quick), take a gravity reading of the beer (you might need to let it settle down to get a decent reading), and if it is 1.015 or less, fridge the rest of the bottles and drink quick.

'Potential' bottle bombs are not really a problem, provided you monitor them. If you check them and take the right action (cool and drink), they really not a problem.

I lost a bottle a couple of months ago (exploded), it was my first in 10 years. I cooled the rest of the batch and drank quick. Dam good stout too. I bottled at 1.016, I thought it was done. I checked one of the bottles and it was 1.012 ...... That told me I bottled too early.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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I lost a bottle a couple of months ago (exploded), it was my first in 10 years. I cooled the rest of the batch and drank quick. Dam good stout too. I bottled at 1.016, I thought it was done. I checked one of the bottles and it was 1.012 ...... That told me I bottled too early.
Interesting.. I like the idea of testing FG after bottle aging....
I think we need to do that for one of our Nut Brown Ales
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:13 AM   #7
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I just want to say I love Smithwicks... but then I found out it had corn syrup or something like that when I googled for a 'copy' recipe. So I felt like a chump (still like it though).

I am new at carbonating and I have bottles in a thick garbage bag just in case...

I also have flip top bottles which seem really much more sturdy with caps and with thick glass.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:57 AM   #8
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I'm more concerned than others. 1.048 down to 1.017, that is only about 60% attenuation. I think you did something that got the yeast going again when you bottled.
Ok, I'm totally new and haven't done squat in brewing yet. So please bare with this newbie. If the OP had 1.017 for several days. Would that mean that the yeast had finished doing it's job already? Even if that number stays the same several days, is it just too high still? And one final question, if the yeast is done doing the work, how can it be reactivated? I sure would hate to bottle bomb my house.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:40 PM   #9
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Yeast is done when there are no more sugars to eat. when you bottle you add the correct amount of sugar to "feed" the yeast. If you add to much priming sugar, you then risk bottle bombs
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SmoothSmoke View Post
Ok, I'm totally new and haven't done squat in brewing yet. So please bare with this newbie. If the OP had 1.017 for several days. Would that mean that the yeast had finished doing it's job already? Even if that number stays the same several days, is it just too high still? And one final question, if the yeast is done doing the work, how can it be reactivated? I sure would hate to bottle bomb my house.
I think the thought with bottle conditioning is that the giving yeast an extra load of fermentables (i.e. priming sugar) will allow them to get back to work and carbonate your bottled beer. I am worried about my FG being too high. Some thoughts and observations on my peculiar gravity:
  • I aerated by pouring cooled wort from brew pot to fermentation bucket, back and forth 3 times.
  • Airlock activity was very active within two hours of pitching but then essentially stopped at about 3 days.
  • Fermentation temp steady at 65-68 for two weeks.
  • When I did my first grav check and noticed the 1.017 I gently swirled the fermentation bucket. Airlock activity seemed to resume (prob just CO2 coming out of solution) but grav remained unchanged three days later.
  • Primed at bottling with 5 oz dextrose, gently stirred once in bottling bucket.
  • I read in a few other threads that using pitching dry yeast (I used 6 g Munton's rehydrated) without making a starter will sometimes limit the attenuation that you can achieve. Mine calcs to 65%.
  • I also read that extract recipes sometimes are plagued by the "1.020 curse" where its difficult, very timely, or impossible to get them below this gravity-- this kind of sounds like bologna...
  • I didn't account for boil off volume during brewing and my volume bottled was only 4.4 gal out of an intended 5 gal recipe-- wondering if this concentration factor may explain it all.
  • Had several friends over last night and went through about 12 of these bottles. All of them were carbonated (and tasty!) and had great head retention after pouring.

Still, the rate of carbonation in bottles worries me. I'll be opening (at least ) one up every day just to check the carb levels.


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