Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:50 pm

I made my best IPA to date recently. Finally taking the time to slow down and keep out the wild yeast. That seemed to be my problem in the past, lots of little off flavors, gushers...etc. Its been about a week since I cracked the 1st bottle open, perfect carbonation. I opened one last night and it seemed a bit over carbonated. It might have been a one bottle issue, but I have kept one case in the house at >68F temps...so under normal non-contaminated conditions, will my Ale yeast keep eating remaining sugars and possibly over carbonate? I took my time before bottling, this beer sat in primary for 2 weeks. I did pitch a two liter starter which was appropriate for this OG/FG per Mr.Malty. I probably should have cooled the whole case when I had the beer carbonated to where I want? Not kegging yet. Thanks
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crashlann
 
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Re: Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:31 pm

The yeast will only "eat-up" certain types of sugars then go dormant when those sugars become unavailable, so overcarbonation in this case would be tied to 1) was the beer fully attenuated at the time of bottling (at 2 weeks and a proper yeast pitch probably yes) and 2) how much sugars did you add at the time of bottling (what was the volume being bottled). Being an IPA, you may have lost a lot of volume due to the excess hops, especially if you dry hopped. If that was the case, your 5 gallon batch with the 5oz of priming sugar could have turned into 4-4.5 gallons with that same 5oz priming sugar .... end result, overcarbonation in the bottles.

If it is a wild yeast, your gravity will often continue to drop well below your final gravity (gravity of beer at time of bottling but prior to adding the priming sugars). You can take a bottle, open it up, let it go flat, then take a gravity reading. If you get a 1.005 and it should have been a 1.012, then you got some sort of wild yeast that is consuming the normally unfermentable sugars.

Hope this helps.
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EagleDude
 
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Re: Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:31 pm

Bah, it's an IPA. Drink it fast & don't worry about it :D

and a +1 to everything Eagle said. I'd also add how well your priming sugar was mixed in at bottling time. Without a solid technique in practice it's pretty easy to get uneven mixing which will result in some a bit under & some a bit over. Also easy to do if you use a measuring cup for your priming sugar. Weigh everything. If you were both a little high on priming sugar & it didn't get mixed well... well that's just a good time if you ask me. :mrgreen:
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Ozwald
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Re: Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:39 am

Thanks for the great info. I think the amount of sugar might be my problem but I am going to test some beer to check for wild yeast also. Guess I will buy that scale after all.
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crashlann
 
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Re: Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:21 pm

While a scale is important, my biggest problem when I had issues with bottle priming was knowing what my actual bottling volume was. My '5 gallon batch' really varied from 4 1/2-6 depending on volume lost to yeast/dry hops/screwing up and until I nailed that down it was difficult to dial in the carbonation.
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Re: Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:05 pm

Be sure to utilize on-line priming sugar nomographs, or the one in the back of JZ's and Palmers Brewing classic Styles. Also be sure to measure your sugar by weight as stated above when using the nomograph. As indicated by JZ's chart in BCS you should also be using the temperature of your beer at the point of packaging as well as the volume of beer to help you better identify the proper priming sugar levels.
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Re: Will non-contaminated bottled beer keep carbonating?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:36 pm

anday6 wrote:While a scale is important, my biggest problem when I had issues with bottle priming was knowing what my actual bottling volume was. My '5 gallon batch' really varied from 4 1/2-6 depending on volume lost to yeast/dry hops/screwing up and until I nailed that down it was difficult to dial in the carbonation.


Another similar problem: trusting the volume markings on your bottling bucket. Grab a quart-sized measuring cup (or even better, a scale - a quart of water weighs 2#) & a Sharpie. You might be surprised at how far off some of those really are.
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