Over-Carbed Stout

Hello Everyone,

Last night I opened my first bottle of Jamil’s Oatmeal Stout from Brewing Classic Styles. I liked the beer in every way except for one aspect: it was significantly over-cabonated. I was aiming for 2.1 volumes but from the look and taste, I seem to be closer to 2.4. Does anyone have a suggestion for how to retro-fit a situation like this? Would recapping the bottles be crazy talk? I can tell that there is a real creaminess to the beer that I would enjoy if all of those bubbles weren’t in the way.

On a related note, when a beer goes through a variety of changes in temperature throughout fermentation and aging prior to packaging (fermentation temp, lagering or cold crashing, D-rest, cellar aging, etc.), which temperature is used to calculate the priming sugar addition?

I usually just check the temp on the fermometer on bottling day and go with that.

I wouldn’t recap unless you find that they are all consistently over carbed…even then, it’s more likely I’d just let each beer I opened to drink sit out/in the fridge until it was closer to what I wanted…or, even more likely, just enjoy it as is and remember for next time.

The temperature you would insert into the carbonation calculator is the temperature of the wort at bottling time. The amount of dissolved carbon dioxide is at the moment. Atmospheric pressure will also change it for the same temperature, but may be negligble so therefore no calculator developed.
What was your OG, FG, and temperature at bottling. What was your priming procedure? Did you chill your bottle for a couple of days before opening? The bottle you opened; was it one of the first bottled or one of the last (if known)? If your priming solution was not mixed well in the bottling bucket you may have some bottles over carbed and some under carbed.

Opening and re-capping works fine. I’ve done it, even won medals on bottles sent for competition. If your careful, you can even “burp” the bottle then re-seal it with the same cap.

I have no problem with dunking a straw or a spoon into an overcarbed pint of beer (such as a bitter, or in your case, a stout) and agitating a bit to get to the right carb level.

As far as fixing it in the bottles, there might be ways, but its probably more trouble than its worth IMHO.

Thanks for all of the feedback.

I’ve always used NB’s calculator

(which uses current temperature and volume of beer) for priming with good success, but this time around the results were very different, which leads me to believe that I did something wrong on my end, although I can’t think of what it might have been (probably mis-entered the data).

Pietro, I like your idea of stirring a pint to get it into range – much quicker than letting it sit out for an extended period. I think I may try to recap a few bottles to see how it goes and then maybe recap the rest if the results are promising. Sl8w, I’ll also try “burping” a few!

Just be sure to sanitize anything that you might use to stir if you’re going to recap after…

You should use the highest temperature the beer saw. What if you’re cold crashing a beer prior to bottling at 30F. The calc would think you have 2.0vol of dissolved CO2. Liquid can only hold onto a certain amount of CO2. At warmer temps, the amount of gas that can stay in the beer is lower. A lager that has been warmed to 65F for a D-rest will have released much of the absorbed CO2 due to the warmer temperature. When it’s brought back down to lager, that same amount of CO2 is still in the beer.

So, use the warmest temperature reached by the beer.
Also, weigh out the sugar amounts. It’s more accurate than volume.

Thanks - this really help to keep things simple. I had long thought that the rule of using the “current beer temperature” at bottling somehow didn’t take into account the lifespan of temperatures that the beer had been put through up to that point. Your explanation was very helpful.