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vgates

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This is my first time entry in any forum. I'm a novice at home brewing and have been using kits till recently. I have bashed a Red Ale kit with amylase enzyme and an extra pound of DME. My OG. was 1044. after a fermenting of 8 days my spec. grav ran a constant 1006 for an additional 4 days totaling 12. I bottled it priming the racking container with 1/2 cup of corn sugar. I let it rest a couple of weeks and found myself with a beer I liked well enough to give to a friend. Recieved a call from him telling me I had solved my lack of head problems. When it stopped blowing foam he got just a little taste. I just tried to open one of my last three bottles and the neck blew off opening up my hand. Should the priming sugar be used when upping the octane with added DME?? Is a FG of 1006 too High? Help!
 

SwAMi75

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With a FG of 1.006, it fermented well. The extra DME in the boil shouldn't have anything to do with it....it fermented away. 1.006 is quite low.

From the info you gave, I can't see what the problem might have been. You didn't let the bottled beer sit in the heat, did you?

Welcome to the forum! I'm just up the road in Newport News.
 
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vgates

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Hi Sam75. The bottle was room temperature. It was one of the large reused commercial bottles. I fear to pass out any more as gifts. would an additional week or so of fermention time be good insurance against further mistakes because I sure made one somewhere. thanks for responding.
 

Sir Sudster

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Sams is right on here. With a FG of 1.006 you should have been well under the cation zone. Since the beer was not subject to extreme heat it had to have started at bottling time. Lets start with the obvious. How did you sanitize your bottles and caps? Could be that you have an infection here that
has taken over and is producing excess gases. Does the beer smell funny?
 

Sasquatch

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The only other thing that comes to mind is maybe you didn't manage to stir the priming sugar around enough in the beer, which is to say, maybe some bottles got a bit too much, some not enough???? That's a sad fate for good beer.
 

SwAMi75

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Sasquatch said:
The only other thing that comes to mind is maybe you didn't manage to stir the priming sugar around enough in the beer, which is to say, maybe some bottles got a bit too much, some not enough???? That's a sad fate for good beer.
Good call....also, did you mix the priming sugar with some water, and boil it for a few minutes?
 
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vgates

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Hi Sudster. The beer smells good and still tastes good. I used "c-brite" to sterilize everything that touched the wort after the boil. I used my wort cooler for the first time but it was sterilized. I cooked and cooled out doors keeping the cooker lid on but ajar to allow for the water hoses to clear after inserting the cooler. There was a breeze that day could a wild yeast or microbe have been blown into the wort at the tail end of the cooling cycle? Now for a big woops - come to think of it - I don't remember sterilizing my caps! (Blush)! Will turn my rump kicking machine on and use it. But still, is it safe to briefly expose the wort to the out doors after the boil as I did to put the coil in and out of the cooker? thanks again.
 
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vgates

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Hi Sasquatch. I poured my priming sugarwater into the racking bottle then siponed in from the fermenter on top of it but I truly did nothing to stir the mix. - Will do so next batch. Looks as though I'm going to the learn the hardway school. Thanks for the thought!
 

MaltyRod

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i'm new here but one of the tips I saw if bottling alone, after adding the priming sugar stir your batch from top to bottom every six bottles you fill or so. to keep the sugar consistent.
 
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vgates

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Hi maltyrod and sam75. In referance to the priming sugar I did boil it. But the more y'all mention the stirring the more I think if I didn't infect my brew that's probably it. The bottles I am down to are the first ones I filled and my racking container feeds out from the bottom. I could have had a sugar rich strata. I had no problems with 7/8 of brew. I may well have a similar problem with my wheat beer that's conditioning now. I'll be super careful with the fortified Irish stout kit that is fermenting now. It's my first attempt to crush and steep grain. (the OG is 1.062 on that one). Thank you all for the advice it's neat to have some one to talk to about this complicated craft.
 

uglygoat

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your wort should not have gotten infected because you left the lid ajar when cooling it, even if something got in there, the yeast pitch should have killed it...

if you say you didn't sanatize your caps, i think you have found your culprit right there. the gushing is a symptom of an infection. you can boil the caps for a few minutes or put them in a sanatizing solution before you bottle.
 
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vgates

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To Timaster:
It appears to me from the hints I have recieved that I committed a cluster goof on that Red Ale. I'll learn from those errors so I am greatfull for the advice. As far as the great outdoors boiling is concerned. It has prevented me from recieving further broom bash marks from the war department for boil overs on her stove. I used to have an Irish Setter that loved a good Ale as much as I - we spent quality time together in the dog house. :)
 

andre the giant

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One last question, what size batch was it? I assume it was a 5 gallon batch. If so, 1/2 cup of corn sugar is a bit low. If it was a small batch, like a Mr. Beer type kit, I would think that 1/2 cup of corn sugar might be a bit much. (edit: oh, stupid me... I just read where you said you were trying grain, using a chiller, etc. Still, if you're doing a 2-3 gallon batch, the above is still accurate)

I've had a recent batch where I racked the beer onto the priming sugar mix. But I forgot to give the stuff a good gentle stirring, so I ended up with some flat beer, and some that is pretty lively. (Thank god it was the chocolate porter, which has inherent head retention problems due to the cocoa butter content of the chocolate. The flat stuff is still good, but the over carbed stuff makes a great brown foamy head.)

The idea that an infection may have caused the gusher is quite possible too. Well, at least you've got something you can change for your next batch.

Part of brewing is troubleshooting...
 

bikebryan

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t1master said:
your wort should not have gotten infected because you left the lid ajar when cooling it, even if something got in there, the yeast pitch should have killed it...

if you say you didn't sanatize your caps, i think you have found your culprit right there. the gushing is a symptom of an infection. you can boil the caps for a few minutes or put them in a sanatizing solution before you bottle.
Boil caps? From what I've read that's never a good idea. I do sanitize my caps, however, using iodophor just before bottling.
 
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vgates

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Andre & Bikebryan
I mistated the priming sugar quantity it was infact 3/4 cup to a 5 gallon brew. Am convinced at this point I committed the multiple sins of not sanitizing my bottle caps and I didn't even attempt to stir the priming sugar water once in the racking container. I'm learning - thanks again.
 

Kephren

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Learning is half the fun. I've done several dozen batches now (lost count years ago) and I learn something new every batch. Subsequently, every batch gets a little better :)
 
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vgates

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kephren and all who replied - Thanks.
Sam introduced me to IDOPHOUR and I now posses a bottle that will be vigorously used. I opened the first bottle of wheat beer that was conditioning and guess what, unrefridgerated it was a real foamer. Have been using "C-BRITE" only to clean and I thought sanitize. I will now use Idophour prior to bottling on everything. The Racking container could have been a source of multiple infections as it has only been cleaned with c-brite.
 
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