Question about excess foaming upon opening bottle

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MooDaddy

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My stout extract kit included 5 oz of priming sugar, which I used, but I realized after all was said and done that I had accidentally shorted a full half gallon of water that was called for in the recipe. Could this account for the excess foaming I discovered after opening one of the bottles?
 

MMP126

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More than likely.

Most kits come with a set amount of priming sugar for bottling, in your case, 5oz. This is their estimation on how much sugar you will need to carbonate your batch IF you hit all of your volumes right...

In the future, I would check how much priming sugar I need with an online calculator, and confirm how much you ACTUALLY need, versus how much was in the kit.


So, if you bottled 4.5gal (assuming here) of beer with 5oz of priming sugar, your beers would carbonate to about 2.75vol of CO2. Which, isn't too terrible, but they are going to foam up a little extra when you open them. Get them very cold, and this should help with over-foaming when you pour one of the bottles.

It could be a few other things too...I guess I can touch on a few more.

1. Did you mix the sugar well with ALL the beer before you bottled it? If not, you could have some bottles that are more carbed than others. Did you open just one bottle, or more than one?

2. It could be an infection. Are there off flavors at all?

I would bet if its just slight, you used just a bit too much priming sugar for the volume of beer you bottled...
 
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hotbeer

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Yep, been there done that.

Having pre-made my priming solution prior to knowing exactly how much beer I had to bottle was a prime suspect for the one and only time that I had volcanos. I calculated for 3 vols of carbonation but was quite a bit shy with the amount of beer I siphoned into the priming solution. Might have been some other factors too, but too much priming sugar is the main one.

So now I siphon the beer first and then make up the priming solution. I know that goes against the conventions of some because of aeration, but I feel like I'm able to mix the two thoroughly with out getting it aerated enough for oxidation to be a factor.

By the time I'd gotten to the last few bottles and experimented with varying ways of mitigating the volcano experience when opened, I found that putting the beer in the freezer and leaving it just long enough to get as cold as possible without freezing seemed to help greatly. Though being that cold really affected how the flavors came through. And also, by that time, I had no more of that batch to test if it was really the super cold temps that helped keep them from being volcano's.

What was really impressive was the bottle I didn't chill and opened at room temperature. As soon as the cap was off the entire bottle contents seemed to immediately go from liquid to bubbles at that instant.
 
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MaxStout

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Yep, been there done that.

Having pre-made my priming solution prior to knowing exactly how much beer I had to bottle was a prime suspect for the one and only time that I had volcanos. I calculated for 3 vols of carbonation but was quite a bit shy with the amount of beer I siphoned into the priming solution. Might have been some other factors too, but too much priming sugar is the main one.

So now I siphon the beer first and then make up the priming solution. I know that goes against the conventions of some because of aeration, but I feel like I'm able to mix the two thoroughly with out getting it aerated enough for oxidation to be a factor.
That's what I do, as I ferment in Brew Buckets and can't see how much I'm going to rack off the cake. I have the scale ready, the sugar on hand and a beaker with hot, sanitized water. Rack beer into the bottling bucket, check the level, then do the calcs. Weigh the sugar, dump it into the hot water, microwave for a minute just to make sure, then pour in. A few gentle stirs with a long-handled spoon and I'm good to go.
 

TestTickle

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I came here to say what @MaxStout and @hotbeer said...find out the volume you are actually bottling before measuring and adding the priming sugar. Just be gentle with everything and oxidation won't be an issue.

If you were short by 1/2 gallon in the kettle, and say 1/2 gallon was lost in the fermenter, you are actually closer to 4 gallons. 5 oz of priming sugar for 4 gallons of bottled beer would put you over 3 volumes of CO2. For a stout, that is way high and is most likely your issue. Like @MMP126 said, there is also the possibility of contamination causing excessive foaming, but if there are no obvious off flavors, then it more than likely is overcarbed (although there's also the small chance of it being both).
 
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MooDaddy

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Thanks folks. The beer actually tasted fine so I'm guessing it was the priming sugar overload as you suggest rather than infection. Lesson learned.
 

Rish

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My stout extract kit included 5 oz of priming sugar, which I used, but I realized after all was said and done that I had accidentally shorted a full half gallon of water that was called for in the recipe. Could this account for the excess foaming I discovered after opening one of the bottles?
+1 on what has already been said. Also, did you make sure fermentation was done by getting identical hydrometer readings a few days apart? If it wasn't done, that could be part of the issue.
 

GrowleyMonster

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Meanwhile, you have overcarbed bottles. Not a big deal, though I would rather have under than over carbing. So when you open, it is gonna be a process. Chill the beer good. Ice cold is great. Don't jostle it, let it sit for a while. With your hand held bottle opener, not a wall mount bar style opener, just barely crack it. Hear the fssssss! sound. Let the cap back down. Do it several times. Give that gas a chance to bleed off. When you open the cap all the way, you are committed. Geyser city. About 10 or 12 little releases will tame it down a little. Be ready to pour, beer glass in the sink. Two or three glasses, maybe. In 10 or 15 minutes, those glasses of foam will turn into 1/3 glasses of beer with a good head on them. You can pour them together and add whatever is left in the bottle, give the drinking glass a wipe on the bottom and sides, and enjoy. A PITA but it's worth it.
 

pc_trott

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You didn't mention who's kit you were brewing. I've made several Northern Brewer kits, and if you request sugar, they always supply a 5 oz. bag. But in the fine print of their bottling directions, they usually say to add 2/3rds cup of sugar to the bottling bucket. The 2/3rds cup is significantly less than 5 oz.
 

thomer

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You didn't mention who's kit you were brewing. I've made several Northern Brewer kits, and if you request sugar, they always supply a 5 oz. bag. But in the fine print of their bottling directions, they usually say to add 2/3rds cup of sugar to the bottling bucket. The 2/3rds cup is significantly less than 5 oz.
Its the same with Brewers Best. They put a 5oz packet of sugar in each pack, but you add between 4oz-5oz depending on the style.
 
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