Newbie

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by Sully100, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    Hi,
    I am new to brewing, currently I'm the middle of my second brew.
    My last was a lager and it was lovely if I say so myself.
    However, this one is Woodforde's Wherry ale that needed no sugar at first but half a teaspoon per pint. I actually miscalculated and thought I needed to put in a little more than half a teaspoon in each 500ml bottle instead of a little less.
    However, I have heard that too much sugar can make a 'bottle bomb'. Firstly, was exactly is meant by that? Secondly, how much is too much?
     
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  2. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,948) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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  3. riptorn

    riptorn Disciple (381) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    If you discover that you might have added too much sugar, let the bottles condition/rest in an enclosed, sturdy container (like a plastic bin with a lid). You probably won’t get any warning when any particular bottle will fail.

    Edited to add: Congratulations in your first attempt being a success, I think that's probably more rare than common.
    Welcome to BA and to the sport of homebrewing. :beers:
     
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  4. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,244) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    If you can refrigerate all the bottles once they've carbonated to the point you enjoy, you should. Also, you should drink them quickly.

    If you can't keep them cold, a sturdy, closed container like @riptorn mentioned is necessary.
     
  5. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    Good thick Grolsche style
     
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Poo-Bah (1,948) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
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    I haven't bottled anything high pressure in them, so can't really advise on those. Did you figure out your CO2 volumes with the calculator?
     
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  7. Applecrew135

    Applecrew135 Initiate (58) Jul 18, 2012 Pennsylvania

    My experience with Grolsch bottles is that the seal will blow out before the bottle explodes, but I would not rely on that as a safety measure. There will always be a weak link, and if you're unlucky enough, it will be the glass that goes. I agree with everyone here, use a priming sugar calculator. Prepare the solution and add it to your bottling bucket. Make sure it is weil mixed-in, and bottle. This avoids issues with priming individual bottles.
     
  8. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (479) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    A real Grolsch bottle can take extreme pressure (experience talking) before failing. At some point anything will fail, but the pressure needed to explode a Grolschie will probably alarm your neighbors when it goes.

    But you can be pro-active here. After 7 - 10 days take one of the bottles and chill it , then open and check results (critical to have it chilled). Repeat every couple of days. If disaster is approaching you can chill the lot, then open/re-close to reduce pressure. A little bit of trial and error involved here. If they are merely over-carb'ed (but not gushing) you can easily open and wait a couple of minutes before serving (many homebrewers have done this). Remember, the cooler the beer the lower the pressure.

    Also not a fan of individual bottle carbing. Use the calc and mix in bottling bucket for best results. Buy a mini-scale from Amazon for under 10 bucks (tell wife it's for weighing postage).

    EDIT: you didn't ask, but equally important is being sure fermentation is complete before bottling. You do this with hydrometer measurements that are stable several days apart. Even if primed correctly, if you bottle too early and those yeasties eat more than the priming sugar some serious pressures can occur.
     
    #8 PortLargo, Jul 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
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  9. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,773) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    The Grolsch bottles strike me a being strong glass, so probably no worries, especially if you monitor the progress of the carbonation progress like @PortLargo suggests. My only suggestion when re-using swing-top bottles is to make sure you use a pliable washer on each bottle. I've had some old washers leak the CO2 and I ended up with still beer.
     
  10. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    Yeah, they were a little out but not much.
     
  11. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    Thanks for the advice all.
    I am going to put one in the fridge today and open it on Tuesday. That will be 7 of the 14 days it's meant to sit cool (currently in my hall, coolest place in the house).
    If that one is a bit volatile I'll cool and open the others to release the pressure.
    Fingers crossed.
     
  12. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,773) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    If your test bottle has way too much pressure your best option might be to release pressure and re-cap all of the beers. However, if your test bottle is just about right with the pressure, and if you have room to refrigerate all of the bottles, do that. The refrigeration will stop the re-fermentation and keep all of the bottles at that pressure. But you do want to drink them relatively soon (and be close to a sink when you pop a cap).
     
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  13. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    I am pleased to say that the test bottle had only a little pressure which would suggest it is well on course to being about right.
    Thanks for the advice all.
     
  14. PortLargo

    PortLargo Devotee (479) Oct 19, 2012 Florida

    That's good news. But be aware your yeasties have not read the priming instructions. Yes, two weeks usually does the job, but lots of variables can change that schedule. One of the biggest inputs is temp. Most reference "room temp" but that means different things to different rooms. In my "room" the temp is usually high 70s and it's not unusual for carbonation to be complete in less than a week. So, depending of yeast health, ABV, strain, etc. your time can vary. If your beer isn't too dark you can semi-monitor the progress by slowly inverting a bottle and observing the miniature trub settling off the bottom. The more you brew the better feel you'll get for all of this.
     
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  15. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    I'm going to put another bottle in the fridge on Monday and open it Tuesday to see what it's like. The first lot of bottles I bought (for my first attempt, this is my second batch) were brown so couldn't see what was happening - topped up my stock for this one and got some clear ones. As you say, you learn as you go.
    I am keeping an eye on the clarity and the small level of sediment at the bottom. They are looking good.
     
  16. riptorn

    riptorn Disciple (381) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    You might already know this, but beer in clear bottles should be kept away from sunlight.....makes for skunky beer. :grimacing:
     
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  17. Sully100

    Sully100 Initiate (16) Jul 3, 2020 England

    I didn't know that.
    Luckily, my hallway does not have much light.
    I have just opened my first full-term bottle!
    I am pleased to say it is another triumph!!
     
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  18. riptorn

    riptorn Disciple (381) Apr 26, 2018 North Carolina
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    It doesn't take very much light or time. If you put them in a light-blocking box (like cardboard) your triumph has a better chance of remaining good for a longer time!