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Carbonation blunder.. please help!

ahhhgggg. Just when i thought i had things down I made a stupid mistake. I brewed a 3 gallon batch, 2nd batch- 1st partial mash. This morning after 4 weeks of waiting it was time to bottle.

I found a priming cart, found my residual carbonation, subtracted that from my desired carbonation, weighted the proper about of priming sugar, boiled it, Bottled, cleaned up. Cool. Everything went great muchh smoother than my first batch.

Until the thought just hit me like a ton of bricks that it was a 3 gallon batch not a five gallon batch… I feel like an idiot, Im looking at 3.6 volumes of co2 which i assume is the same amount needed for an atomic bottle bomb…

Can i save this??

I think u will be fine. Not much else to tell u since its bottled already. Hope u like fizzy beer. Relax man it will be ok

Make sure to get the beer good and cold before opening and for at least the first couple, open over the sink to check for gushers.

Good tip on the cold. If it has not been long, wait a week or so and then check the carbonation level. If adequate, keep them all ice cold and that should slow it down or stop it all together. They will be a tad sweet.

1+ to keeping them cold after they are carbonated.

Additionally, if they are too carbonated you can open them with a bottle opener that doesn’t deform the caps and then immediately re-cap. This will release the head pressure and some additional co2 will come out of solution to fill the head space. The result is you will have less carbonation in a week or so.

I just bottled today. If i check one every few days and find that they are about where i them, putting them in the frig as cold as it will go should stop and at least drastically slow carbonation down?

I’m not sure that putting the beers in the fridge is going to “slow the carbonation down.”

What putting the beers in the fridge does is lower the internal pressure in the bottle and lessens the chance that the bottle will break (explode) from the pressure. Temperature and pressure are inversely related in a closed system like a beer keg or a bottle.

For example if you have a keg (or bottle in your case) of carbonated beer at room temperature (68F) and it is carbonated to 3 volumes of CO2 the internal pressure in the keg is 35.5 psi. Now if you take that same keg and refrigerate it at 40F the internal pressure drops to 17.7 psi, however, the beer will still have the same carbonation level (3 vols of CO2). So by putting the beers in the fridge you don’t change the carbonation level of the beer you just avoid bottle bombs.

[quote=“Duxx”]I’m not sure that putting the beers in the fridge is going to “slow the carbonation down.”

What putting the beers in the fridge does is lower the internal pressure in the bottle and lessens the chance that the bottle will break (explode) from the pressure. Temperature and pressure are inversely related in a closed system like a beer keg or a bottle.

For example if you have a keg (or bottle in your case) of carbonated beer at room temperature (68F) and it is carbonated to 3 volumes of CO2 the internal pressure in the keg is 35.5 psi. Now if you take that same keg and refrigerate it at 40F the internal pressure drops to 17.7 psi, however, the beer will still have the same carbonation level (3 vols of CO2). So by putting the beers in the fridge you don’t change the carbonation level of the beer you just avoid bottle bombs.[/quote]

got ya. I thought maybe the yeast would stop working at lower temps since its ale yeast and i could stop the carbonation process before it was finished

[quote=“beerme11”]I thought maybe the yeast would stop working at lower temps since its ale yeast and i could stop the carbonation process before it was finished[/quote]It will slow it down if not stop it all together, but it’s not a guarantee and you have to catch it early enough. You should also consume the beer fairly quickly if you don’t want to risk bombs going off in the fridge if your power goes off while you’re out of town.

You could explore opening your bottles, relieving the excess pressure, and recapping them. I haven’t done it, but it’s been discussed on these forums a few times. Probably going to be more art than science, but perhaps worth considering.

3.6 vols may be on the high side, but not all that much - this is from a BYO article at http://byo.com/resources/carbonation
German weizens 2.8–5.1

It may not be to style for your beer, but I wouldn’t expect bottle bombs.
I did something like this once, and the bottles would foam over for several minutes. I put the bottle into a wide mouth glass, opened it, then let it foam into the glass for about ten minutes to degas. I then poured the rest into the glass and it was pretty drinkable.

I’ve carbonated a couple of times at 4.0vols. No bombs. A few gushers due to them not being cold before opening. The beer was dunkelweizen. Keep them stored in a bin or something you can cover just in case. If it’s overcarbonated for your liking, put your glass in the fridge for a bit until some of the gas escapes.

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