A couple of over-carbonated beers

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A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Mon Mar 20, 2017 23:33

Maybe three in total now... beers where a stable gravity was achieved which was higher than expected, which initially seemed to prime perfectly in the bottles but over several months got overly carbonated to the point of waste.

In all such cases I've roused the yeast and increased the temperature and left them for longer in the FV with no measurable gravity change over 1-2 weeks, and concluded they must be done. I'm wondering if they are slightly stuck and for some reason the yeast comes back to life when consuming the priming sugar. Or is it likely some other factor because I've not heard this idea before.

Next time I'll be extra cautious on the priming sugar amount and it'll probably end up flat :(
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby abeyptfc » Mon Mar 20, 2017 23:48

what was your starting/finishing gravity on the beers? if they were higher than expected then you have probably answered your own question! how much sugar did you prime your bottles with and what size were the bottles? after bottling how long did you keep in the warm for?
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby Strongarm » Tue Mar 21, 2017 10:08

Is it all the bottles from the same batch? Or just some from the batch?

If it's some then could be priming solution not mixed enough. I've had batches where some have been flat and others escaping, back when I used to trust the swirl from the syphon to mix it in. Now I don't trust that and pick the FV up occasionally during siphoning and gently swing it around, to get movement but not splashing. I often do this during bottling too, every few litres (normally when I stop to capt the 10-15 bottles I do between capping).

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby Rolfster » Tue Mar 21, 2017 12:04

I also find I get this happening to me. I personally have put it down to the yeast stalling near fg. And then kicking off again once it's moved into bottles.
It's a pain in the arse!
I've just reduced my priming sugar :oops:
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Wed Mar 22, 2017 15:09

Sorry for delay; thanks for the comments.

I do not believe it is due to badly mixed beer when batch priming, as it seems the beers get fizzier over time rather than one being fizzy and the next one being flat. The chance that I'm drinking them in the order they were bottled seems too small to consider!

I believe all the cases were batch-primed not adding sugar to each bottle. Here are 3 examples... the stout has only just started to show this behaviour and it's particularly annoying as who wants a fizzy stout?!

I leave my beers to prime for at least 2 weeks before trying them and generally at that point they have the desired level of expected carbonation. More recently I have conditioned them in my fridge at a a controlled 20-22C




BeerOGFGPriming g/L
Bitter103410104.7
Youngs Red IPA104810144.8 (came with kit)
St. Peter Honey Porter104210124.1


I just finished the Red IPA the other day and it had got so fizzy I had to de-carbonate it before it was drinkable or even pourable. This and the porter were both bottled in November and white the porter was initially good, it too is now quite fizzy. Ironically the head has got much more long-lasting as it's aged but I'm having to de-carbonate it and I have a case left to drink. I can chill it more but even so.

I'd been advised that once yeast stalled/stuck this meant it could only then cope with simple sugar. But it does give the appearance that bottling after priming, the yeast is kicking off. Maybe I should take a gravity reading on one to see if this is really the case... if the gravity dropped more than a point or so, the priming sugar can't be to blame.
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby robwalker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 16:57

What yeast?
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Wed Mar 22, 2017 17:32

Dunno they were all kits. Generic ale yeasts though the Young's red IPA is a premium kit maybe with a slight variation, maybe a us strain.

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby sandimas » Wed Mar 22, 2017 18:11

MrBoy wrote: it seems the beers get fizzier over time

I just finished the Red IPA the other day and it had got so fizzy I had to de-carbonate it before it was drinkable or even pourable. This and the porter were both bottled in November and white the porter was initially good, it too is now quite fizzy.


How did it taste? Those 2 statements to me suggest you've got an infection, as with normal carbonation it's over and done with in 2-3 weeks. Infections chew on the non-fermentables and take 3-4 months to become apparent, they also just keep producing more and more CO2 giving the symptoms you describe.

Have you got any left? Leave it another month and see if it's even fizzier. Maybe leave it somewhere safe in case it explodes, as that will eventually happen if it is an infection - it'll produce more CO2 than the bottle can take and you will have a bottle bomb. :o

The last time this happened to me, the beer hit the ceiling on opening one bottle and several later exploded. It was only in the real late stages that the beer tasted infected, TCP-like.
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby robwalker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 19:40

Imo the problem is bottling is really difficult to get right without either a yeast you know completely finishes up and you can prime, or somewhere to store your beers below fermentation temperature when the fizz is right. A lot of ale yeasts are designed to ferment fast then slowly to condition beers well. Priming simply adds to the level of fermentable sugar left, but with a little patience it's not necessary with most yeasts.
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Wed Mar 22, 2017 20:48

That's interesting Rob, not heard that before although i guess it just adds to the importance of sitting in a cellar so the yeast doesn't get the chance? Is there a safe temperature?

I don't believe it's infection thought it could be. Would testing the gravity help distinguish between fermentation and other processes?

Keeping one safe for much longer as a test is an interesting idea though, good thought.

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby robwalker » Wed Mar 22, 2017 21:03

Very low FG would possibly mean an infection, but it's likely to be accompanied by other obvious off flavours. 8c and below should halt ferment on most ale yeasts
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby sandimas » Wed Mar 22, 2017 21:20

I shot a short video of one of my infected bottles, only had to loosten the lid a little and the thing starts to foam like crazy
https://youtu.be/tML3k0sr308

Here's another from someone else, classic infection that took a good few months to take hold
https://youtu.be/e6EMdl8yHQA

Are your bottles that bad yet?
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Wed Mar 22, 2017 21:58

No nowhere near... When you open then all is fine except you hear a much louder/longer hiss.

But the moment you start putting it's all head no matter how careful.

If I degas then the beer is great...

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby sandimas » Fri Mar 24, 2017 07:27

I think the only way you'll know for sure is to put one aside for another month and do an A/B comparison on carbonation levels. Normal carbonation should have stopped long ago.

I have had the odd brew that produced a lot of CO2 but hasn't been infected, in fact I have one at the moment (Old Peculier clone) - I think I bottled it a tad early.
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Fri Mar 24, 2017 08:48

MrBoy wrote:Sorry for delay; thanks for the comments.

I do not believe it is due to badly mixed beer when batch priming, as it seems the beers get fizzier over time rather than one being fizzy and the next one being flat. The chance that I'm drinking them in the order they were bottled seems too small to consider!

I believe all the cases were batch-primed not adding sugar to each bottle. Here are 3 examples... the stout has only just started to show this behaviour and it's particularly annoying as who wants a fizzy stout?!

I leave my beers to prime for at least 2 weeks before trying them and generally at that point they have the desired level of expected carbonation. More recently I have conditioned them in my fridge at a a controlled 20-22C




BeerOGFGPriming g/L
Bitter103410104.7
Youngs Red IPA104810144.8 (came with kit)
St. Peter Honey Porter104210124.1


I just finished the Red IPA the other day and it had got so fizzy I had to de-carbonate it before it was drinkable or even pourable. This and the porter were both bottled in November and white the porter was initially good, it too is now quite fizzy. Ironically the head has got much more long-lasting as it's aged but I'm having to de-carbonate it and I have a case left to drink. I can chill it more but even so.

I'd been advised that once yeast stalled/stuck this meant it could only then cope with simple sugar. But it does give the appearance that bottling after priming, the yeast is kicking off. Maybe I should take a gravity reading on one to see if this is really the case... if the gravity dropped more than a point or so, the priming sugar can't be to blame.



Your final gravities seem quite high for the beers concerned and I would hazard a guess that the priming figures came from an American site. Try dropping the sugar to 2.5 gr a litre.

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby Rolfster » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:10

MrBoy wrote:Dunno they were all kits. Generic ale yeasts though the Young's red IPA is a premium kit maybe with a slight variation, maybe a us strain.

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Some kits are known for stalling, it generally is down to the small packets of yeast!
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby Pakman » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:25

MrBoy wrote:I do not believe it is due to badly mixed beer when batch priming, as it seems the beers get fizzier over time rather than one being fizzy and the next one being flat. The chance that I'm drinking them in the order they were bottled seems too small to consider!
.....


I have been noticing the same issue - If a bottled beer appears nicely carbonated when I start drinking a batch (4-6 weeks after bottling) then it starts getting overactive after 3 months. I tried reducing the priming amount and now they appear a little flat when first started drinking but improve to be suitably carbonated after a couple of months.

I think the solution can be either one of two options :-
1. Normal priming amounts and drink-em quickly. :drunk:
2. Under prime and leave em longer before opening. :hmm:

Hope this helps

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby Strongarm » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:27

INDIAPALEALE wrote:
MrBoy wrote:Sorry for delay; thanks for the comments.

I do not believe it is due to badly mixed beer when batch priming, as it seems the beers get fizzier over time rather than one being fizzy and the next one being flat. The chance that I'm drinking them in the order they were bottled seems too small to consider!

I believe all the cases were batch-primed not adding sugar to each bottle. Here are 3 examples... the stout has only just started to show this behaviour and it's particularly annoying as who wants a fizzy stout?!

I leave my beers to prime for at least 2 weeks before trying them and generally at that point they have the desired level of expected carbonation. More recently I have conditioned them in my fridge at a a controlled 20-22C




BeerOGFGPriming g/L
Bitter103410104.7
Youngs Red IPA104810144.8 (came with kit)
St. Peter Honey Porter104210124.1


I just finished the Red IPA the other day and it had got so fizzy I had to de-carbonate it before it was drinkable or even pourable. This and the porter were both bottled in November and white the porter was initially good, it too is now quite fizzy. Ironically the head has got much more long-lasting as it's aged but I'm having to de-carbonate it and I have a case left to drink. I can chill it more but even so.

I'd been advised that once yeast stalled/stuck this meant it could only then cope with simple sugar. But it does give the appearance that bottling after priming, the yeast is kicking off. Maybe I should take a gravity reading on one to see if this is really the case... if the gravity dropped more than a point or so, the priming sugar can't be to blame.



Your final gravities seem quite high for the beers concerned and I would hazard a guess that the priming figures came from an American site. Try dropping the sugar to 2.5 gr a litre.


I tend to do 5gr/l for flatter styles up to maybe 8gr/l for a saison.

Can you even notice 2.5gr/l?

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Fri Mar 24, 2017 10:28

I do run a little higher on sugar, not sure why it's gotten that way although the Red IPA came with priming sugar supplied. I've had success with more carbonated beers closer to lagers but ales don't need to much.
That said, only getting really fizzy after 1-2 months when they'd been fine before still makes me think it's something else - though clearly it would lessen the issue.

Maybe as Rob intimates, for beers left to mature longer I should go light on priming sugar to allow for residual fermentation.

The Red IPA FG was definitely high, it finished closer to 4.5% and should've been just above 6%. The Youngs American kits are generally really great with lots of yeast.

The real pain is my technique must've improved now I've done quite a lot of brews and I didn't get this early on. I even got a brew-fridge for the last couple and it still happened :( I wonder if I've gotten lazy on some aspect, like over/under aerating my wort.
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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby INDIAPALEALE » Fri Mar 24, 2017 13:23

Strongarm wrote:
INDIAPALEALE wrote:
MrBoy wrote:Sorry for delay; thanks for the comments.

I do not believe it is due to badly mixed beer when batch priming, as it seems the beers get fizzier over time rather than one being fizzy and the next one being flat. The chance that I'm drinking them in the order they were bottled seems too small to consider!

I believe all the cases were batch-primed not adding sugar to each bottle. Here are 3 examples... the stout has only just started to show this behaviour and it's particularly annoying as who wants a fizzy stout?!

I leave my beers to prime for at least 2 weeks before trying them and generally at that point they have the desired level of expected carbonation. More recently I have conditioned them in my fridge at a a controlled 20-22C




BeerOGFGPriming g/L
Bitter103410104.7
Youngs Red IPA104810144.8 (came with kit)
St. Peter Honey Porter104210124.1


I just finished the Red IPA the other day and it had got so fizzy I had to de-carbonate it before it was drinkable or even pourable. This and the porter were both bottled in November and white the porter was initially good, it too is now quite fizzy. Ironically the head has got much more long-lasting as it's aged but I'm having to de-carbonate it and I have a case left to drink. I can chill it more but even so.

I'd been advised that once yeast stalled/stuck this meant it could only then cope with simple sugar. But it does give the appearance that bottling after priming, the yeast is kicking off. Maybe I should take a gravity reading on one to see if this is really the case... if the gravity dropped more than a point or so, the priming sugar can't be to blame.



Your final gravities seem quite high for the beers concerned and I would hazard a guess that the priming figures came from an American site. Try dropping the sugar to 2.5 gr a litre.


I tend to do 5gr/l for flatter styles up to maybe 8gr/l for a saison.

Can you even notice 2.5gr/l?


This is 2.5 gr a litre

URL=http://s1272.photobucket.com/user/Lastfrontiersman1/media/DSC_0255_zpsozazn7wk.jpg.html]Image[/URL]

And this is how much sediment is in the bottle.

URL=http://s1272.photobucket.com/user/Lastfrontiersman1/media/DSC_0132_zps1de03c74.jpg.html]Image[/URL]

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby jkp » Mon Mar 27, 2017 06:42

Perhaps you already know this, but there is an easy way to resolve over-carbonated bottled beers.

First you need to use your opener to just pry the lid open enough to release some gas. That means you don't remove the cap, or even deform the cap at all! You just need it to apply enough upward pressure so that the seal is no longer tight. This will release some gas; you'll hear and see the co2 escaping from the beer. Once the resulting foam gets close to the top of the bottle then remove the pressure from the cap and the seal becomes tight again. If you want you can use a capper to make sure it is tight again. You'll need to do it a number of times depending on how over-carbed the beer is of course.

Obviously this doesn't solve the problem of why this happened in the first place, but at least you'll be able to drink the beer.

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Re: A couple of over-carbonated beers

Postby MrBoy » Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:34

My beers never overflow when opened, they're not that fizzy. If it was a lager or cider it'd probably be fine but the head on an ale makes it go crazy when poured.

So this could be a great idea.

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