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Carbonation bombs

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jayhawk73, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. jayhawk73

    jayhawk73 Savant (345) Maryland Jan 20, 2010

    So.. I brewed my first batch of homebrew 6 weeks ago (from extract). Turned out better than I thought, with room for improvement- an Irish Stout. Anyway.. All the bottles have been relatively the same w/ carbonation, except the two I opened yesterday. I stuck a six pack in the fridge several days ago, opened two of them yesterday, and BOOM. Massive carbonation all over the place. Had to drainpour them, and there was a slightly metallic taste present (but not bad). Immediately opened a bottle that had been sitting at room temperature, and it was like all the others, good carbonation and flavor. Is there a chance these two bottles were infected? Surely sticking them in the fridge wouldn't have done that.. Right? Any thoughts appreciated...
  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Putting bottles in the fridge will not cause gushers. It's possible they were infected, but it's more likely that those bottles had more priming sugar than the others. How did you add your priming sugar?
  3. jayhawk73

    jayhawk73 Savant (345) Maryland Jan 20, 2010

    After boiling the priming sugar in water, I put it in the bottling bucket and then did the auto syphon from the secondary w/ the brew. Made sure not to introduce oxygen. All the bottles have had normal carbonation until these two.
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    This method works well for some and not so well for others. If you rack too carefully/well, it can result in a non homogenous mixture, with some bottles getting more sugar than others. The way to avoid this is to stir very gently after the beer has been racked over onto the sugar solution.
    jayhawk73 likes this.
  5. jayhawk73

    jayhawk73 Savant (345) Maryland Jan 20, 2010

    Good to know.. I've got a Belgian Trippel I'm bottling tomorrow, so I'll try that. Thanks for the info.
  6. DmanGTR

    DmanGTR Advocate (510) Florida Feb 19, 2008

    Overcarbonation can be due to a couple things:

    1. Too much priming sugar. I'm very lax about measuring things when I brew except for priming sugar. It's a finicky thing that deserves more attention and precision.

    2. Infection. Sometimes it just happens. Better for it to happen to a couple of isolated bottles rather than a whole batch. Just make sure next time you're more careful about sterilizing things that come in contact with your beer.

    3. If you're kegging, check the dial on your CO2.
    jayhawk73 likes this.
  7. This was how I primed my first few batches, and I got results all across the board - from entirely flat bottles to explosions. Even with some slight stirring I still got radically unpredictable carbonation from bottle-to-bottle.

    My solution has been to take the slightly more labor-intensive step of priming each bottle individually - just put a few teaspoons (I think it's 1.5 for a 12oz, 3 for a bomber, but you'll want to double-check) of sugarwater in each bottle before filling. I haven't had a problem since.
  8. jayhawk73

    jayhawk73 Savant (345) Maryland Jan 20, 2010

    Interesting... Never thought of that. I'll have to check that out too.
  9. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Champion (790) Texas May 21, 2010

    Last time I bottled I added about a gallon of the beer before carefully decanting my boiled priming sugar liquid. I don't have enough data points to know if this is the solution, but it seems to have worked. Then again, my first batch was done same as yours, and it worked too. I think adding a little beer before you decant the boiled priming sugar solution is an idea you should try. When I was doing Mr Beer I primed each bottle individually and it was a royal pain in the ass, don't want to go there again.

    I would think that a lot of people prime with liquid boiled sugar. If you didn't get good mixing, it could make gushers. Infection could make gushers too, but I personally haven't had that problem. If your sanitation is good, try siphoning a little young beer before adding the priming sugar solution to ensure good mixing.

    FWIW, that's my 2c.
    jayhawk73 likes this.
  10. jayhawk73

    jayhawk73 Savant (345) Maryland Jan 20, 2010

    I will try that tomorrow when I bottle my second brew. Thanks!
  11. jbakajust1

    jbakajust1 Moderator (510) Oregon Aug 25, 2009 Staff Member

    I did what you did for my first 8 batches and had much the same issues as you. I sanitize my slotted spoon and give it a good (but not sloshing stir) before bottling now. Just a heads up, as you are probably alreeady aware, the Tripel will more than likely take longer to carbonate than your first batch, and you will want higher CO2 levels.
  12. jayhawk73

    jayhawk73 Savant (345) Maryland Jan 20, 2010

    So, for my tripel today..... I siphoned a gallon, then added the boiled sugar. Stirred very gently for a minute after the beer was in the bottling bucket. Thanks for the knowledge, we'll see what happens!

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