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What actually causes a foamer?

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Grinder12000

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I've had two friends give me their home brew this weekend and while both taste good both were foamers.

I've made 22 batches and have had three bottles that were foamers but all three still tasted good.

I'm surprised at one of the ones as it was brewed at a brew your own brewery whre I would assume sanitation would be better then average.
 
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Grinder12000

Grinder12000

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Yea - open the bottle - pour gently and I have 1 inch of beer and 8 inches of foam.

Still tastes good! but . . . . . . . .
 

Evan!

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3 obvious, main causes. One would be an infection in the bottle, whereby the wild yeast or bacteria eat the dextrins that the saccharomyces could not, and thus produces excess co2. You'll probably also notice a funky, off-flavor from this too, along with astringency.

The other cause would be screwing up the priming amounts.

The third, and probably most common, cause is that the yeast stalled during primary fermentation, and left fermentable sugars. Once transferred to bottle, they get roused and start back up, and so you have the co2 from the priming sugar in addition to the co2 from the leftover fermentable dextrins...leading to an excess of co2, and thus, gushers.
 

the_bird

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Either too much priming sugar or bottled too early, before fermentation was finished. Could be a mild infection that's not quite enough to taste; you'll find out if the beers get a lot worse over time.
 
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I've seen a tiny dried-on soap crytal on the inside of beer glass cause a perpetual gusher in a tap beer.

Perhaps soap residue in the bottle.
 

RCCOLA

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I had a couple batches have some overcarbed and undercarbed bottles before I started stirring in my priming mix.No problem since I started stirring.
 

ivanavich

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I also had this happen to me on one occasion but it gushed right after popping the top. lost half the beer. Was the only one like it from the batch.
 

Braid

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My buddy and I split a batch once. He said he kept having gushers. I asked him how long he chilled them and he said for a few hours. I let mine fridge for at least two days and never had a problem. Was lack of chilling the cause, dunno, but he hasn't had anymore since he's been chilling them longer.
 

rocketman768

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Yeah, I think the usual cause is that the CO2 hasn't fully dissolved. This means you didn't chill it long enough. When not fully dissolved, the CO2 will readily explode out of the liquid when the pressure above the liquid gets relieved (like when you open the cap).
 
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