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ghast

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So as the title says, I need help. Most batches I make, end up being gushers, literal exploding-when-opening beers. As most of you might say, its not carbonation, because I use similar amounts of priming sugar on all of my batches (4-5oz of dextrose)... and those that don't become gushers end up with low to med levels of carbonation.

I think the problem comes to something infecting the beer in the bottling process as most of the beers I brew, taste AMAZING before bottling. I really dont know what I'm doing wrong, im sanitizing everything (the bottles, the spigot, the hose, the caps, the bottling bucket, everything) and putting the correct amounts of priming sugar.

I know with this little amount of info its hard to determine whats the problem, but im thinking of buying a keg and see if the problem resolves.

Any way, I know this is a really rare case, and thanks for reading. Any tips or recommendations be would greatly appreciated.
 

FatDragon

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What's the ratio of gushers to low-med carbonated bottles? Is it possible that your priming sugar is getting disproportionately mixed into some bottles via stratification in the bottling bucket?

How do you sanitize? Do you clean before sanitizing? Have you tried a deep clean of everything across your cold side process?
 

Abrayton

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If some are gushers and some aren’t I’m guessing either uneven distribution of priming sugar or some bottles aren’t completely clean.
 
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ghast

ghast

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What's the ratio of gushers to low-med carbonated bottles? Is it possible that your priming sugar is getting disproportionately mixed into some bottles via stratification in the bottling bucket?

How do you sanitize? Do you clean before sanitizing? Have you tried a deep clean of everything across your cold side process?
The thing is that, whole batches are gushers and whole other batches are fine... I drop the priming sugar in the bucket before siphoning the beer in.

My sanitation process is like this:
First I clean up any dust and particles with water.
Then fill the bottling bucket with water and star san (a whole lot of it), then putting all the things im using in the bucket and then I siphon the star san water into the bottles and then I just flip the bottle for the water to come out, leaving some star san foam in the bottles.

I dont usually clean with anything other than star san, maybe every now and then I use PBW, but I mostly use it for carboys, haven't really "deep cleaned".
 

MaxStout

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What is your method of mixing the priming sugar with the beer? I have good results boiling the sugar in a small amount of water, pouring it into the bucket and racking the beer on top of it. Then I give it a very gentle stir with a long-handled spoon, making sure I don't whip air into it.
 
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ghast

ghast

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If some are gushers and some aren’t I’m guessing either uneven distribution of priming sugar or some bottles aren’t completely clean.
No, its entire batches which are gushers, and some other batches are completely fine...
 
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ghast

ghast

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What is your method of mixing the priming sugar with the beer? I have good results boiling the sugar in a small amount of water, pouring it into the bucket and racking the beer on top of it. Then I give it a very gentle stir with a long-handled spoon, making sure I don't whip air into it.
I do that exact process but without stirring it.
 
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ghast

ghast

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Incomplete fermentation before bottling perhaps?
Doubt it, I usually do one week primary, two and maybe three secondary... ive never seen bubbles coming up on the airlock when I go bottling...
 

khannon

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rant ...Drop the secondary... unless... /rant
It sounds like an infection, but not sure..

How much priming sugar are you using to what size batch?
you could try carb tabs or sugar cubes, if you are sure of fermentation being done..

Are you looking at FG vs OG? what temp are you opening bottles? Are the bottles new or reclaimed? There are a number of variables that we (HBT) are unaware of, walking through the process from start to finish might help us help you..

Talk about the bottling bucket.. Has it been "deep cleaned"? Taken apart fully, soaked in PBW then Starsan? You might have something simply in the spigot that is enough to taint all the beer going through..
 
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ghast

ghast

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rant ...Drop the secondary... unless... /rant
It sounds like an infection, but not sure..

How much priming sugar are you using to what size batch?
you could try carb tabs or sugar cubes, if you are sure of fermentation being done..

Are you looking at FG vs OG? what temp are you opening bottles? Are the bottles new or reclaimed? There are a number of variables that we (HBT) are unaware of, walking through the process from start to finish might help us help you..

Talk about the bottling bucket.. Has it been "deep cleaned"? Taken apart fully, soaked in PBW then Starsan? You might have something simply in the spigot that is enough to taint all the beer going through..
4-5 oz of dextrose, 5gal batches. I might try those carb tabs.

Yes, FG vs OG is pretty much how I expect it to be. Temperature might be a little bit too hot, as I live in a really hot weather and humid place. Bottles are stored in around 78F, and opened cold. The bottles are new.

I dont remember deep cleaning the bottling bucket though...
 

Jag75

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I dont usually clean with anything other than star san, maybe every now and then I use PBW, but I mostly use it for carboys, haven't really "deep cleaned".
This could be your issue . You should be cleaning with pbw everytime . Starsan doesnt clean, it sanitizes. You have to make sure everything is clean before you sanitize.
 
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ghast

ghast

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This could be your issue . You should be cleaning with pbw everytime . Starsan doesnt clean, it sanitizes. You have to make sure everything is clean before you sanitize.
I will

Huge thanks to everyone for all your fast replies :)
 

MaxStout

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Looks like you are doing the right things for priming--I doubt that's the problem. I'm thinking infection. Clean the bottling bucket (never with abrasive cleaners) then soak in sanitizer. Disassemble the spigot, carefully clean the parts and sanitize. Replace the plastic tubing and sanitize the new tubing.

Those plastic items are often a hiding place for germs. If the bottling bucket has scratches inside, replace it.
 

cswant88

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You can try a deep clean or replace the questionable equipment and start fresh with a thorough cleaning and sanitation regimen. Buckets, spigots, bottling wands, tacking canes and tubing are cheap. If the bottles are suspect, give them a PBW soak and scrub with a bottle brush. Rinse well then sanitize right before filling. You can also cover with foil and sterilize in the oven if you want to be 100% sure there is nothing living in there.

Edit: Also, star San reacts badly with hard water. If it’s cloudy, that’s the surficant coming out of solution which can reduce its effectiveness. If this is happening try using RO or distilled when mixing your solution.
 
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ncbrewer

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If you suspect infection, replace all the plastic.
I've read accounts of very thorough cleaning, with bleach, after an infection with good results. And some had bad results. I had an infection and tried a really good bleach cleaning, but the infection remained. Apparently, it depends on what particular organisms you have. It's up to you, but I wouldn't try cleaning more than once. If that doesn't do it, replace all the plastic. JMO
 

hottpeper13

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Are these all grain beers? If so whats your water profile and mash pH? If it tastes good it could be oxalate that was not precipitated in the mash.
 

Soulshine2

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So as the title says, I need help. Most batches I make, end up being gushers, literal exploding-when-opening beers. As most of you might say, its not carbonation, because I use similar amounts of priming sugar on all of my batches (4-5oz of dextrose)... and those that don't become gushers end up with low to med levels of carbonation.

I think the problem comes to something infecting the beer in the bottling process as most of the beers I brew, taste AMAZING before bottling. I really dont know what I'm doing wrong, im sanitizing everything (the bottles, the spigot, the hose, the caps, the bottling bucket, everything) and putting the correct amounts of priming sugar.

I know with this little amount of info its hard to determine whats the problem, but im thinking of buying a keg and see if the problem resolves.

Any way, I know this is a really rare case, and thanks for reading. Any tips or recommendations be would greatly appreciated.
whats the temperature where you keep it while its conditioning? Do you chill it between conditioning and serving?
 

Soulshine2

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Doubt it, I usually do one week primary, two and maybe three secondary... ive never seen bubbles coming up on the airlock when I go bottling...
are you using a hydrometer or just trusting the airlock???
 

Soulshine2

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I do that exact process but without stirring it.
stir,gently but thoroughly. Next time try putting 1/2 of your priming sugar solution in the bottom, rack your beer then add the other 1/2 and stir like youre folding rather than circles in the bucket. or figure eights . Just dont stir in air .

speculation-
I dont think you're getting good mix and the sugars are concentrated and staying in the bottom ,your first gallon of drawing beer to bottles is higher in sugar content making the gushers.

as many batches as Ive done, never had a bottle bomb nor gusher yet.
 

Silver_Is_Money

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Very low calcium mg/L (ppm) in the mash has been known to result in gushers due to insufficient precipitation of calcium oxalate during the mash (whereby it eventually precipitates downstream in the bottles and causes gushers).

https://beerandbrewing.com/dictionary/OYWATj5i7D/

If some entire batches are gushing, go back to your notes and see if these batches are the ones for which you added little to no calcium containing minerals in the mash water.
 
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