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trn

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I have a few outstanding questions I haven't resolved... that would be "outstanding" as in "not resolved", not as in "great".

1) I'm using a hardware store bucket for bottling. Is using a non-food grade bucket for bottling bad?

2) My first two batches are gushers. If I open the bottle, it foams for a good while. If I pour the beer into a pitcher and wait for the head to drop it's OK, but it's obviously something I need to fix. One thing that I was thinking is that I was stupidly inefficient with my racking, so the 3/4 cup per 5 gallons ended up being like 3/4 cups for less than 4 gallons. Is this enough to make gushers? In case you ask, hydrometer readings were constant for consecutive readings before bottling.

3) Totally, anecdotal, but I bottled into 12 oz and 22 oz bottles. I feel that beer conditions better in 22 oz bottles. Am I full of $#!+ or is there something too this?

trn
 

Six_O_Turbo

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I'm relatively new at this also, so this advise is probably worth what you paid for it,. but...

1) Hardware buckets usually are fine. If you look at the bottom of the bucket and see the recycling symbol with the arrows around a number, and the number is 1 or 2 you should be fine. Other types of plastic may or may not leach bad stuff into your beer.

2) You may just need more time in the bottle. I have seen where gushers will settle down after 3 weeks or so, but it may also be excess priming sugar.

3) I can't imagine why beer would condition better in 22oz bottles vs. 12 oz. I have been kegging for some time and haven't noticed a difference in quality, just faster carbonation.
 
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trn

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2) You may just need more time in the bottle. I have seen where gushers will settle down after 3 weeks or so, but it may also be excess priming sugar.
Not likely. Batch 1: 36 days in the bottle at room temp and cellared since 3/21. Batch 2: 18 days in the bottle and cellared since 3/19. By "cellared" I mean that the temp was usually between 45 F and 55 F.

3) I can't imagine why beer would condition better in 22oz bottles vs. 12 oz. I have been kegging for some time and haven't noticed a difference in quality, just faster carbonation.
I can't either... I just seemed to have that impression and wanted to make sure nobody else had. I haven't been at all systematic about it. It was just a note I jotted down one day.
 

JPicasso

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The only time I had gushers, I replaced all my hoses and no problems since.
Now, I replace hoses every year.

I would recommend getting a bottling bucket with spigot and bottle wand. You may be introducing infections with your siphon methods.

What are you using to sanitize?
 

seanhagerty

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1. The bucket will be fine as long as it is clean and sanitary. It isnt in contact with the bucket that long. RDWHAHB

2. Your problem may be the beers didnt go the full length of fermentation. A lot of folks dont wait until the fermentation is completely done. It is better to wait rather than do anything to your beer, once you have pitched. (with in reason) Since you didnt get any off flavors, I'm betting this is the issue.

3. Beer conditions the same in any size container at our level.

Brew strong

Sean
 

HOP-HEAD

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3/4 of a cup in 4 gallons is very high... in a sense, it's almost the same as if you'd have used a full cup for the full 5 gallons.

For reference, many folks carbonate to around 2.4 or 2.5 volumes... which is relatively medium. Your batch, assuming about 4.5 oz (which is generally close to 3/4 cup depending on how tightly packed it was), would give you about 3.6 volumes in 4 gallons...

Promash considers 1.8 low, 2.3 medium, and 2.8 high... which makes 3.6 ~cRaZy~ high.
 

nebben

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Have all beers been gushers from that batch? Keep drinking and report back! :) I believe my last batch had some excessive foam in certain bottles because I didn't mix the priming sugar well enough before bottling. Some have very little CO2, others have plenty. I open a foamer, and a flat at once if I'm lucky, and voila: 24oz of properly carbonated beer!
 

Homercidal

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Those buckets are ok. Not in contact long enough to do anything. Just make sure they are sanitized.

I believe you have over-primed your beer. You should have reduced the sugar to match the volume of beer you are priming. 3/4 is for 5 gallons, not 4. You would have just enough sugar to create gusher, but hopefully not enough to create bottle bombs. (plus, you may have bottled before the beer was completely fermented, which means there was extra sugar still in the beer when you bottled it...)

22s should taste the same as the 12s. In fact, some say that having more beer is better than having less!
 
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trn

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1. The bucket will be fine as long as it is clean and sanitary. It isnt in contact with the bucket that long. RDWHAHB

2. Your problem may be the beers didnt go the full length of fermentation. A lot of folks dont wait until the fermentation is completely done. It is better to wait rather than do anything to your beer, once you have pitched. (with in reason) Since you didnt get any off flavors, I'm betting this is the issue.
1. I used the bucket for my first three batches, so I'm not too concerned... just wondering.

2. I'm figuring one of the batches went long enough: 26 days in primary and 10 in secondary to dry hop. The other not as much, 7 primary, 12 secondary. I got one bottle bomb. May have been some issues with uneven mixing too. But in both cases, hydrometer readings were constant on successive days prior to bottling.
 
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trn

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The only time I had gushers, I replaced all my hoses and no problems since.
Now, I replace hoses every year.

I would recommend getting a bottling bucket with spigot and bottle wand. You may be introducing infections with your siphon methods.

What are you using to sanitize?
Thanks for the suggestions. My hoses are all relatively new still ~4 months.

Right now I have a bottling wand and a racking cane. I fill the whole contraption with tap water and let the first bit drain off into a sanitized pitcher. Then I fill bottles on the floor Papazian style. Does this seem problematic?

I use iodophor to sanitize, though my first batch used bleach... boo bleach... boo phenolics.
 
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trn

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Have all beers been gushers from that batch? Keep drinking and report back! :) I believe my last batch had some excessive foam in certain bottles because I didn't mix the priming sugar well enough before bottling. Some have very little CO2, others have plenty. I open a foamer, and a flat at once if I'm lucky, and voila: 24oz of properly carbonated beer!
Yep. I'm sure I have this issue with at least one batch. Had one bottle bomb. I haven't paid close attention to this issue. Besides, sometimes I'll stick the bottle in the fridge and sometimes I'll grab it out of the cellar (50F), and that makes the carbonation vary too.
 
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trn

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For reference, many folks carbonate to around 2.4 or 2.5 volumes... which is relatively medium. Your batch, assuming about 4.5 oz (which is generally close to 3/4 cup depending on how tightly packed it was), would give you about 3.6 volumes in 4 gallons...

Promash considers 1.8 low, 2.3 medium, and 2.8 high... which makes 3.6 ~cRaZy~ high.
So I was already planning on adjusting priming sugar like you suggest, not just saying 3/4 Cup and rdwhahb, but you seem to suggest that it's better to add it by weight, not volume, since it can be packed tighter or looser. Is this a better way to go?
 

BioBeing

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So I was already planning on adjusting priming sugar like you suggest, not just saying 3/4 Cup and rdwhahb, but you seem to suggest that it's better to add it by weight, not volume, since it can be packed tighter or looser. Is this a better way to go?
What I have read has said you should always do it by weight, not "cups".

My first batch had uneven carbonation, as I think I did not mix my sugar in well.
 

HOP-HEAD

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So I was already planning on adjusting priming sugar like you suggest, not just saying 3/4 Cup and rdwhahb, but you seem to suggest that it's better to add it by weight, not volume, since it can be packed tighter or looser. Is this a better way to go?
Weight is much more consistent and recommended.... but with that said, I do not have a dependable scale, so have always used 3/4 of a cup or prepackaged 4.5 oz. baggies of priming sugar if it comes in a kit. I generally just try to pack the sugar in the cup a little.... and have found that the 4.5 oz. weighed packages come pretty darn close to 3/4 of a cup.
 

webnmar

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+1 on weight of priming sugar

I also bake and when I do that, I weigh the flour for the exact same reason, you can pack flour, sugar, (probably even cocaine, alhtough I don't have experience on that front :cross: ) either loosely or tight and it will make a huge difference in consistency, texture, and flavor. Same is true in your HB.

I would also add that temperature prior to opening is an influence. If you are taking it out of 50 deg basement and opening, then you are not maximizing the CO2 that could be dissolved in your nectar. Try to get your beer into a 35deg fridge for 1 week ahead of drinking. Then take out, let warm slightly, then open and see if that helps.

Still a noob so its worth what you paid for it!
 
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