Quantcast

How to deal with overprimed beer

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

frankvw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
220
Reaction score
68
Location
Johannesburg
I brewed two Belgian big beers (one dubbel, one tripel) using WLP504. This is a yeast that likes to take its time and continues to attenuate the wort/beer very slowly for many weeks after you think it's done in the fermenter. Think 1 gravity point per week or so.

(Anyone else have the same experience with WLP504?

Even though I primed the dubbel conservatively and initially all was fine, after almost three months in the bottle it is now so highly carbonated that it simply won't pour anymore: it will produce more than six times its own volume in foam. So far no exploding bottles (yet!) but it's still early days.

Last week I bottled the tripel. Left to its own devices it will go the same way.

Is there anything I can do to at least try and rescue the tripel?
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
3,669
Reaction score
5,897
Location
Albany
I brewed two Belgian big beers (one dubbel, one tripel) using WLP504. This is a yeast that likes to take its time and continues to attenuate the wort/beer very slowly for many weeks after you think it's done in the fermenter. Think 1 gravity point per week or so.

(Anyone else have the same experience with WLP504?

Even though I primed the dubbel conservatively and initially all was fine, after almost three months in the bottle it is now so highly carbonated that it simply won't pour anymore: it will produce more than six times its own volume in foam. So far no exploding bottles (yet!) but it's still early days.

Last week I bottled the tripel. Left to its own devices it will go the same way.

Is there anything I can do to at least try and rescue the tripel?
Kinda late now, they’ll probably foam out. You can try getting them extremely cold, and just cracking the top a touch to let the co2 more slowly and then just waiting til it stop foaming over.

In the future, don’t bottle until you’re sure you it final gravity and prime with the correct amount sugar. Over carbing bottles is a preventable issue. Next time when you sample your beers and it seems like they are at the carb level you like, get them all cold to prevent more carbing
 
OP
frankvw

frankvw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
220
Reaction score
68
Location
Johannesburg
Kinda late now, they’ll probably foam out.
The Tripel is not yet that high in carbonation. The dubbel is probably past it due to
excessive foaming.

You can try getting them extremely cold, and just cracking the top a touch to let the co2 more slowly and then just waiting til it stop foaming over
I'll give it a go!

In the future, don’t bottle until you’re sure you it final gravity and prime with the correct amount sugar.
I did. I left it in primary for 1 week, then in secondary for 2 weeks, and in the last three or four days I didn't see it go down by even one gravity point. Common sense says that means it's done. And I primed with less sugar than is appropriate for the style. I usually err on the side of caution with priming sugar.

Also, I'm at about 5800ft altitude (15% less air pressure) and I've noticed that leaving it in the fermenter for that long actually makes you lose a lot of the spicy but volatile phenols.

Over carbing bottles is a preventable issue.
Granted, provided that you don't get a lot more residual wort/beer attenuation in the bottle than you expected. :)

Next time when you sample your beers and it seems like they are at the carb level you like, get them all cold to prevent more carbing
Unfortunately I have far more beer than I have fridge space. Also, Belgians can benefit from lengthy maturation at cellar temperatures, not fridge temperatures... :)
 

Dgallo

If you ain’t first, you’re last Ricky Bobby
Joined
Jan 15, 2017
Messages
3,669
Reaction score
5,897
Location
Albany
The Tripel is not yet that high in carbonation. The dubbel is probably past it due to
excessive foaming.


I'll give it a go!


I did. I left it in primary for 1 week, then in secondary for 2 weeks, and in the last three or four days I didn't see it go down by even one gravity point. Common sense says that means it's done. And I primed with less sugar than is appropriate for the style. I usually err on the side of caution with priming sugar.

Also, I'm at about 5800ft altitude (15% less air pressure) and I've noticed that leaving it in the fermenter for that long actually makes you lose a lot of the spicy but volatile phenols.


Granted, provided that you don't get a lot more residual wort/beer attenuation in the bottle than you expected. :)


Unfortunately I have far more beer than I have fridge space. Also, Belgians can benefit from lengthy maturation at cellar temperatures, not fridge temperatures... :)
So I’ll try to respond simply to them all. You either didn’t let it ferment out, put to much sugar in, got and infection or are using too big of bottles for the priming solution. So priming sugar is completely fermentable and will be at practically 100% attention, so regardless of yeast you’ll get the same attenuatuon there. The bottle size will also have an impact on level of carb due this head space. Head space is typically the same volume in all bottle types if done properly. If you mixed the solution well, all bottles will have the same amount of proportional sugar. With that said, bigger bottles will have more sugar and less proportional headspace than a 12 oz bottle and with increase the level of carb.

It’s true, Belgians do benefit from being aged at room temps over fridge temp.. as long as the carb is set properly. In this case you said their almost foaming out, the benefit of aging is not being gained in the end result anyway
 
Last edited:

dmtaylor

Lord Idiot the Lazy
HBT Supporter
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Messages
4,141
Reaction score
2,259
Location
Two Rivers, WI
As you are finding, I too have found that extra patience is required with Belgian yeasts before bottling. They'll seem fine for a few weeks, then overcarbonate and gush all over the dang place.

What I have done successfully a few times with an overcarbonated batch is to vent then re-cap. If done very lightly, I can even vent a cap just enough such that I can re-use the same cap again for re-capping, although I'll admit this is a bit dangerous and might end up with leaks -- would be best to just re-cap with new caps. You can even leave the caps popped for several hours or a full day or whatever as long as they aren't gushing too badly. The gushers would lose a lot of volume, but if not gushing then this technique can work reasonably well.

An alternative which I have used MANY times over the past 20 years is to pour a beer into a pitcher 5-10 minutes before drinking it, let all the foam settle down, then re-pour into your drinking glass after. Then it turns out just fine, albeit likely a little hazy but a little haze never killed anyone.

A rarely used last-straw alternative is to pour every bottle back into a fermenter and let it finish up completely, then re-prime. I've only done this like once or twice in 20 years. But for gushers it is most effective. Might result in some oxidation, but ask yourself which is worse -- possible oxidation, or gushers or explosions? It can be a tough call.

Good luck.
 
OP
frankvw

frankvw

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2011
Messages
220
Reaction score
68
Location
Johannesburg
What I have done successfully a few times with an overcarbonated batch is to vent then re-cap. If done very lightly, I can even vent a cap just enough such that I can re-use the same cap again for re-capping, although I'll admit this is a bit dangerous and might end up with leaks -- would be best to just re-cap with new caps. You can even leave the caps popped for several hours or a full day or whatever as long as they aren't gushing too badly. The gushers would lose a lot of volume, but if not gushing then this technique can work reasonably well.
I'll give that a try!!

An alternative which I have used MANY times over the past 20 years is to pour a beer into a pitcher 5-10 minutes before drinking it, let all the foam settle down, then re-pour into your drinking glass after. Then it turns out just fine, albeit likely a little hazy but a little haze never killed anyone.
I already tried that. :) Poured half a 33cl bottle very carefully into a 2 litre pitcher (pre-chilled and rinsed with clean water). I had about 1cm of beer in the bottom with 2 litres of foam on top. When the foam had subsided I had about half a glass of flat beer.

A rarely used last-straw alternative is to pour every bottle back into a fermenter and let it finish up completely, then re-prime. I've only done this like once or twice in 20 years. But for gushers it is most effective. Might result in some oxidation, but ask yourself which is worse -- possible oxidation, or gushers or explosions? It can be a tough call.

Good luck.
I've considered that and will use it as a last resort option. I'll try to vent off first; it's safer and I can try it with a few bottles rather than risk the whole batch.

Thank you, kind sir!
 
Top