Foam during bottling

Yesterday when I bottled my beer there was a ton of foam in each bottle. I brewed a Kolsch recipe from the Joy of Home brewing book. It was a real pain because it made filling the bottle to the right amount very difficult. This foam wasn’t there when I bottled my previous two batches. I’m just wondering if anyone else has experienced this? What might have been my mistake? How do I make sure it doesn’t happen again?

StarSan residue in the bottles?

I mixed starsan a little "maybe a lot " strong last time I bottled. Had the same problem. After 3 or so I started rinsing them and it went away.

Are you filing the bottles from a keg? What kind of bottle filler are you using?

I had the same problem when I bottled the one and only batch that I have done so far. I just figured it was normal. I used a bottling bucket and spring loaded wand. I did soak my bottles in a starsan solution before bottling. Some bottles were worse than others. So should I also rinse my bottles after starsan or is that defeating the purpose of using the sanitizer solution? I know that some of the bottles still had a few bubbles inside when I filled them. Will this change the flavor of the beer? They will be conditioning 2 weeks tomorrow.

There is residual Star San foam in my bottles when I’m filling them. I use a spring tip bottling wand. I keep the flow going into the bottles until the rising level of the beer pushes the foam out of the bottle. I will lose only about 6 to 8 ounces of beer for 48 to 50 12 ounce bottles doing this and end up with the right amount of headspace in each bottle.

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Yup, let the beer fill all the way to the top of the bottle and overflow the foam, and remove bottling wand. You’ll have the appropriate amount of headspace and the minimal amount of star-san left in the bottle will not have any effect on the beer.

It also helps if you store the bottle inverted for 10 minutes or so to let as much of the residual foam to flow out of the bottle. I really like the fastrack for this, although I’m sure a bottle tree would work just as well.

I agree inverting the bottles for a period of time is key when using starsan.

Awesome, then I guess I did everything the correct way. Used the fast rack to let drain. Probably could have let it drain longer but I was leery of waiting too long. Could still see bubbles clinging to the inside of the bottles on most of them. Filled bottles until the foam came out. Kind of a messy job to say the least, but actually went faster than I thought it would. Helped that my wife was capping as I filled.

Thank you for the comments. I was thinking it was the Star San solution, but I wasn’t sure because it didnt happen the last two times i bottled. Here is another question. If you sanitize a bottle how long do you have until it isn’t sanitize anymore? Also what is the best way to store them until you use them to bottle?

As long as they remain damp, they’re sanitized. But realistically, microbes are unlikely to float up into the bottle if it’s sitting upside down. I’d be fine using them within an hour or two.

When I pour a beer, I give the bottle a quick triple rinse and put it in a dish drainer to dry. I usually check it to see if it has any yeast film inside the bottle. If it doesn’t, then it goes into the fast-rack where it stays until I’m ready to bottle something. Usually weeks to months before it gets used.

On bottling day I pour star-san from one bottle to the next to sanitize, then back into the fastrack until they’re all filled.

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I really like my Fast Rack for bottling day. Sanitize my bottles then flip em upside down in the rack until I’m ready to start filling them. I’ve never had a huge issue with star san foam when filling though even before flipping them upside down to drain. Sometimes it’s hard to see the beer level with the foam but I try to almost overfill each bottle before pulling out the bottle filler like flars said. Sometimes they spill over.

I normally use a 5 gal bucket to submerge the bottles then carefully pour them out to keep the foam down. Then into the fast rack until bottling. no foam.

How long does that take for a couple cases of bottles? Sounds like a good solution, but kind of a lot of work.

about 20 min they only have to be in contact with the star san for about 15 sec. I just take a seat have a home brew and take care of business.

I can totally see this working. Mostly because as you submerge a bottle, all the foam will be pushed out and when you dump the star-san, you’ll just have a little film and some large bubbles. It’s a great idea. My problem is that star-san really tears my hands apart so I don’t think it’ll work for me, but it’s something that folks should consider. Even 2 bottles at a time, I could see it going pretty quickly.

I generally use the dishwasher method, but I always do at least one plastic bottle that I soak in Starsan. I do the same as flars and porkchop. Works well.

I did the Starsan bucket but like Porkchop my hands got shredded by this process. I have a spray bottle (Spraymaster THE spray bottle) that I spray 5 or 6 times in the bottle, shake, then upside-down in a leaning milk crate that I sprayed down earlier. My Fastrack is supposed to arrive this week which will repave the milk crate.

Guess I’m lucky star san really doesn’t effect my hands. I’m confident you’ll find a method that works well for you.