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Old 10-17-2013, 01:04 PM   #1
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Default What Causes Gushers???

Brewing friends...last night I sat down at the dinner table, ready to eat some delicious homemade pizza and enjoy a bottle of my Midnight Beatdown Wheaten Porter. I popped the bottle cap...and INSTANT GUSHER! I managed to pour well over half the beer into my glass, but the rest ended up on the table. This is the FIRST gusher I've had in this brew, and I'm wondering what could have caused it? Anybody want to offer some possibilities?

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Old 10-17-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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My guess, though I'm far from an expert, is infection. An infection will over carbonate your beer. It happened to me in one batch, and ultimately resulted in bottle bombs. Be careful.


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Old 10-17-2013, 01:16 PM   #3
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if it's in just one bottle, it is (a) because the bottle wasn't quite sanitized and had some wild yeast/bacteria in it. or (b) because your priming sugar was mixed unevenly and this bottle got too much of the sucrose or dextrose.

if it is in every bottle, it is (a) because the batch was infected in some way or (b) because you bottled too soon and the beer hadn't finished fermenting

to me, the easiest way to know if it is an infection is from the taste. i find that most gusher-infection have almost a sort of belgian character to them. kind of hard to describe, but i know it when i taste it.
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Old 10-17-2013, 01:25 PM   #4
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I agree that if it's just one bottle that bottle might have had some crud in it that prevented it from being sanitized. I would think it's also possible that something airborne fell into that bottle while you were filling that beer that didn't get into the other ones. I had a gusher in a batch where I am sure the bottles were all clean as I did a pbw soak overnight and then scrubbed them before sanitizing since they were used bottles from another brewer friend and they had been in storage for a while. They all appeared clean before I did this and they were very clean after, so it makes me think the falling spore idea is plausible.
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Old 10-17-2013, 07:48 PM   #5
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Yeah, crack another one. I've had batches that slowly developed gushers before. They didn't taste too bad, but I imagine some sort of very slight infection that took forever to build up enough to overcarbonate (months after bottling).
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Old 10-18-2013, 04:06 AM   #6
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I always check on my batches. I age and hang on to batches,therefore I check on them moreso in the beginning of conditioning. If I get a bottle starting to overcarb I end up sticking the whole batch in the fridge or at least check on some in the same batch in a few more bottles to make shure-if I see consistant overcarb they go to the fridge and are drank soon. Ive saved some good batches good yes but maybe not great. I have found out why and what I did wrong though because I write down everything. I still have bottles of batches that have been infected but some of that same batch it just disapeared also and are fine. Which makes me belive the infection I had needs oxygen and it didnt survive-just a guess. Also temps have something to do with it the warmer the more potential it will increase with time.
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Old 10-18-2013, 08:06 AM   #7
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When I first started brewing I used the 5oz pack of priming sugar that came with the recipe kit every time. Didn't bother to account for less beer than 5 gallons or dissolved CO2 or anything. Needless to say I had a lot of over carbonated beers. Sometimes I would add a room temperature beer to the fridge and open it as soon as it had chilled to serving temperature. Boom, gusher every time. Took me a while to figure it out but I'm confident it was not infection cause it has not happened since I started using a priming calculator. I also realized I was overpriming when a stout burned my throat like a soda. I still put warm beer in the fridge (and sometimes freezer) to chill fast and drink it promptly with no problems. I am waiting for one now as a matter of fact.
This may not be your case just thought I would share my experience.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:01 PM   #8
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My thanks for posting answers to my question. I don't think the batch was infected...the beer tasted too good, and only this single bottle produced a gusher. Perhaps there was something in that bottle that didn't get cleaned out.

I usually g-e-n-t-l-y stir the beer and priming sugar just before bottling. On this particular batch, I neglected to do that. So, perhaps these 12 ounces had too much priming sugar, and thus over-carbonated.

Again, thanks for the responses.

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Old 10-18-2013, 07:15 PM   #9
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In my experience, (and this is in no way definitive) gushers are caused most often by large jets of gushing and over-foaming beer.

(I'm betting bottle gunk that didn't quite get cleaned out.)
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:18 PM   #10
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I too used the 5oz of priming sugar that came with the kit and has caused gushers. I have to be ready when it starts gushing to have a class under the bottle so it captures it. When it's done I pour the rest and enjoy.


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