Maybe bottled too soon - Release pressure or refrigerate?

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GoodTruble

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I did a 5-gallon batch of saison that I then split into two 3-gallon fementers so I could experiment with one side and compare the two.

In one fermenter, I added mango juice after primary fermentation. After 16 days in the fermenters, the mango side had held steady at 1.004 for three days, and so I decided to bottle.

I wrongly assumed that the regular "control" fermenter would be ready too (because it presumably had less sugar to ferment since no mango juice was added).

That assumption was wrong. Within 3 hours, the control bottles were clearly carbing faster than the mango bottles (I fill a small number of plastic bottles to be able to check on carbonation levels).

I think the control bottles are still fermenting (all bottles had same priming solution/amounts, individually added). So....all the control bottles accept 1 are either swing top or screw on, so I've been able to let out the pressure a couple of times (to roughly match the mango bottles - which seem to be carbing at a normal rate)......but, should I just let the control bottles carb up to normal finished level and then put in the fridge? Would that essentially stop the fermenting, with the bottles now carbed (just at a quicker than normal rate)?

-Also, all the bottles are contained in a cooler for now - to guard against blowouts/explosions).

Appreciate any advice anyone may have.
 

dwhite60

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What yeast?

Tough call. Venting them works but you may end up undercarbed.If I could I think I'd refrigerate them but keep an eye on them.
 

NotSure

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I did a 5-gallon batch of saison that I then split into two 3-gallon fementers so I could experiment with one side and compare the two.

In one fermenter, I added mango juice after primary fermentation. After 16 days in the fermenters, the mango side had held steady at 1.004 for three days, and so I decided to bottle.

I wrongly assumed that the regular "control" fermenter would be ready too (because it presumably had less sugar to ferment since no mango juice was added).

That assumption was wrong. Within 3 hours, the control bottles were clearly carbing faster than the mango bottles (I fill a small number of plastic bottles to be able to check on carbonation levels).

I think the control bottles are still fermenting (all bottles had same priming solution/amounts, individually added). So....all the control bottles accept 1 are either swing top or screw on, so I've been able to let out the pressure a couple of times (to roughly match the mango bottles - which seem to be carbing at a normal rate)......but, should I just let the control bottles carb up to normal finished level and then put in the fridge? Would that essentially stop the fermenting, with the bottles now carbed (just at a quicker than normal rate)?

-Also, all the bottles are contained in a cooler for now - to guard against blowouts/explosions).

Appreciate any advice anyone may have.
I had a similar experience recently. I'd take the gravity of the control beer first to be on the safe side. Provided the gravity isn't much off from 1.004, I'd think you're OK to carb to normal levels and put them in the fridge. Assuming you're using Saison yeast the cold should shut them down and they don't have much more sugar to munch through anyway.
 

hotbeer

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I don't know that how you are testing the carbonation accurately tells you how much more CO2 the beer can hold.

I've had beers look all bubbly and active when poured and then be flat a few minutes later. Beers that bubbled for a long time didn't look or act any different at the first pour than the others that went flat early.
 
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GoodTruble

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This really stumps me - carbing up faster within three hours. Did you mean three days?
No, 3 hours. Hence my concern. I vented them 3 times, every 4-5 hours. I think they have finally slowed, and I'm hoping to not have to vent again.

And I check carbonation by bottling 3 in plastic bottles. So you can just go by feel/squeeze the bottle. I do three to
guard against drawing conclusions from just 1 example. The 'regular' saison bottles, all three plastic bittles felt like fully carbonated beer after 3 hours.
 

ncbrewer

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I don't know what to think about the bottles feeling carbonated after three hours. All I can suggest is to err on the side of safety - better to have undercarbonated beer than bottle bombs.
 
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GoodTruble

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I don't know what to think about the bottles feeling carbonated after three hours. All I can suggest is to err on the side of safety - better to have undercarbonated beer than bottle bombs.
Agreed. And I store them all inside a cooler jist in case.
 
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GoodTruble

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Quick (and hopefully last) Update:

I wound up venting the bottles 5 times over the first 48 hours. Just popped them open (or slowly unscrew) to release pressure for a 1/2 second and then re-sealed (because the foam is/was coming, just takes 1.5 seconds to arrive =c) ). -Again, these were all (luckily) swingtops or screw ons. They have now been at a normal level of carbonation for 24 hours and feel normal (same level of carb as the mango bottles). So I think I'm in the clear.

The one 'regular' capped bottle that I couldn't vent (pop-top) was put in the fridge on day 2. Hasn't blown up yet, and I will probably just open it and attempt to drink it this week rather than risk leaving it in fridge too long. I fully expect it will gush everywhere.

And in response to the above question, the yeast was Wyeast 3724, which is a finicky yeast. I'm guessing the"regular" saison batch stalled while the mango batch didn't because of the extra sugar. So then when the regular got bottled with priming solution, it kicked back into a more active fermentation. -It's just a guess. But if I ever use that yeast again, and it appears to stall, I will add some type of sugar to attempt to kickstart it.

I will update again if anything interesting happens and/or when the beer is ready in 6-8 weeks.

Second Quick Update - I drank the one pop-top I put the fridge, and it is damn good! Carbonation was perfect, no gushing (which was a surprise). So I may just let the rest carb the rest of this week and put in the fridge instead. At least, thinking about it.
 
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GoodTruble

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Last update: Letting pressure out, all bottles eventually wound up with normal carbonation. And the regular saison (which were the bottles that needed the pressure release) wound up way better than the mango side (but that's why split batches to experiment on - you can only screw up half the beer!).
 
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GoodTruble

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P.S. - The regular saison wound up great, maybe the best beer I've brewed. ......which led to a theory that maybe the overcarbed bottles that I then let out pressure resulted in less oxygen in the bottles, resulting in better beer?

On my last batch, I tried other methods to limit oxygen in bottles (squeezed plastic bottles to remove air & used picnic tap hooked up to CO2 to push CO2 into glass bottles). Will see if those methods produce any notable differences (I have test bottles and control bottles). - But on the next batch, I may circle back to intentionally overcarbing some bottles to then let put gas during the first day. Just to see if it again results in a notably better beer.

Update - The other oxygen reducing bottling methods had no noticeable effect after 1 week. Color & taste tests were almost indistinguishable. I will compare samplez again at 1 month, but I don't expect much difference.
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GoodTruble

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@ncbrewer

Not THAT overcarbed. =c)

But it is fair to note
Hooper survived (the movie), and the singing Captain Quint did not.
 
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