too much head ? is it possible ?

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yeasty

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most of my batches are typically a little undercarbed and have no head. i guess i drink them too green. i have one batch that almost explodes with carb bubbles when i pour it and it tastes like crap. what causes this ? is my guess of bottle infection correct ? what makes me wonder is that batch also shares an after taste characteristic that another beer i brewed has (that has NO head) and i was attributing it to fuesel(sp?) alcohol from high ferment temps. maybe i got two issues ?
 

ArcaneXor

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Could be overcarbonation of a green beer, or it could be a yeast infection, but if every bottle in the batch is like this, it'll have been introduced before going into the bottles. Unlike most infections, wild yeast infections rarely improve with age in my experience.

I'd vent the bottles, then recap and let them sit for a month or two, occasionally checking to make sure the carbonation remains within safe limits. Then give them another try. It'll either be watery nastiness, a pleasantly funky or sour beer, or a perfectly normal drinking beer by that point.
 
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yeasty

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how could it be over carbed when i typically use less priming sugar than they ask for ? i also dont have a problem when i pop the tops just after i pour (and no its not the glasses, i'm sure. ) it IS all the bottles...can you elaborate on "wild yeast infection" ?
 

Clonefarmer

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how could it be over carbed when i typically use less priming sugar than they ask for ? i also dont have a problem when i pop the tops just after i pour (and no its not the glasses, i'm sure. ) it IS all the bottles...can you elaborate on "wild yeast infection" ?
Was the volume you started with 5 gallons? If the starting volume is lower they will all be over carbed.
 

ArcaneXor

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A wild yeast infection occurs when some wild, usually airborne yeast (i.e. not brewer's yeast) makes its way into the wort or beer and manages to reproduce to high enough levels to affect the flavor of the beer significantly. Sometimes, these yeasts can metabolize different sugars than brewer's yeast, and they'll keep working until those sugars are depleted. This will result in a watery, overcarbonated and unpleasant-tasting beverage.

Overcarbonation can occur without infections, for instance when using too much priming sugar or when bottling prematurely, especially if you experienced a stalled fermentation that gets revived in the bottle. Sometimes, actively carbonating bottles will gush even if you did everything right if the CO2 hasn't been given a chance to get re-absorbed into the liquid from the headspace.

Finally, you can usually adjust your pour to get a reasonably sized head - just pour very slowly and at a small angle.
 
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yeasty

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it was 4.5 US gallons and i adjusted the corn sugar for the lower volume. it definately could have been bottle prematurely as this was one of my first batches....it has been in the bottle 6 weeks. no matter how i pour i get the same results. would someone be willing to have me ship one to them for a first hand experience ? i am leaning toward wild yeast or infection of some sort. it tasted great but flat at 5 days but has steadily gotten worse. i am REAL concerned because i have noticed this flavor in the past.....in fact this flavor is why i stopped brewing years ago.........
 

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What did you clean your bottles with? I have had problems of using oxyclean and not thoroughly rinsing them and would end up with "overcarbonation". Just a guess.
 

ericm

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if it's gushing but tastes ok you probably bottled too soon (before fermentation was done); if it's gushing and tastes nasty (and is getting worse) it's probably an infection.

how do you sanitize? how old are your hoses? if bottle has the same problem, the contamination could be happening anywhere (if it was just some bottles, specifically your bottle sanitization would probably be the culprit)
 

viking999

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What were your gravity measurements? If the final gravity was still too close to the original gravity, then the beer may not have been fully attenuated when you bottled, and the yeast were converting both priming sugar AND wort sugars to CO2.
 

david_42

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how could it be over carbed when i typically use less priming sugar than they ask for
Bacteria breaking down complex malts that then get fermented is another reason.
 

giligson

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Bacteria breaking down complex malts that then get fermented is another reason.
Yup. For one reason or another it sounds like you have lots of monosaccharides = thin beer and all the sugars used for food by wee beasties. And very few polysaccharides (the bit that gives beer its particular mouthfeel and also contributes to head formation).
This may be caused by your wort being balance too far to the simple sugar side of things or might be caused by growth of bacteria that are able to utilize long chain carbohydrates that yeast cannot.
 

Shooter

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I had a bit of a disconcerting bottle last night myself. It is a modified Mr. Beer batch, just say no to booster! It was in primary for 2 weeks and has been in the bottles for a while now. I've gone through a couple of bottles and they've all been fine. Last night I opened one and got a pretty sharp release of CO2 when I cracked the cap. It was very difficult to pour without it really foaming up.

The beer tasted good, maybe a little sour with an odd aftertaste that I hadn't noticed in the other bottles, almost like sharp cheese. I can't say that it was necessarily bad. It seemed like the foam in the head was kind of taking on a thick, slightly slimy texture when it warmed up in my mouth.

I didn't chill this bottle very long before serving and it's possible that was part of the issue. I'm going to try to chill another one for at least 48 hours and see what happens.
 

lowlife

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I wouldnt think it was possible for too much . My wife seems to think that any is too much though. She formed these thoughts about 30 seconds after we were married as far as I can tell.
 

ericm

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I had a bit of a disconcerting bottle last night myself. It is a modified Mr. Beer batch, just say no to booster! It was in primary for 2 weeks and has been in the bottles for a while now. I've gone through a couple of bottles and they've all been fine. Last night I opened one and got a pretty sharp release of CO2 when I cracked the cap. It was very difficult to pour without it really foaming up.

The beer tasted good, maybe a little sour with an odd aftertaste that I hadn't noticed in the other bottles, almost like sharp cheese. I can't say that it was necessarily bad. It seemed like the foam in the head was kind of taking on a thick, slightly slimy texture when it warmed up in my mouth.

I didn't chill this bottle very long before serving and it's possible that was part of the issue. I'm going to try to chill another one for at least 48 hours and see what happens.
foaming with a sour cheesy taste sounds like an infection to me.
 

Shooter

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foaming with a sour cheesy taste sounds like an infection to me.
That's my concern as well. I've got another bottle chilling in the fridge for a couple of days and I'll see what happens. The first few bottles were fine, but the one last night was not right. I'm hoping maybe it's just an infection somehow in the one bottle, but time will tell.

I think I've been pretty meticulous with my sanitation, but I have been using the Mr. Beer one-step sanitizer on those batches and I'm thinking of switching over to Star San like I use on the bigger five gallon batches.
 
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