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Too much carbonation!

Novice brewer. Very first batch. Did a search and could not find anything on this subject.

Cooper DIY brewing kit using a Cooper dark ale extract kit. Everything done per instructions, and seemed to go just fine. About 10 days into the process I dry hopped the wart with 1/2 packet of Cascade hops on a suggestion from my local HB store. That was the only modification.

Opened my first bottle last night (a big 22oz PET screw cap model that came with the kit) of the hopped beer to a big fizzing, spraying, foaming mess. Luckily I had the bottle in the sink because I was unsure, but it still gassed beer all over me, the sink, counter and floor. By the time Vesuvius was finished there was only about 6oz of liquid in the bottle.

Wow! Was that that ever great beer! I’m hooked. :mrgreen:

But I’d like to know what went wrong. I’d like to have more than 25% of my product survive the uncapping. Any ideas greatly appreciated.

Could use a few more details like: 1.when and at what SG did you bottle, much priming sugar, 3.what temp did you keep them at, and for how long, and 4. how long have you refrigerated the bottle prior to opening.

Gladly !

► Bottling began when SG stabilized at 1.025 for 3 days. Half the beer was bottled without hops. Then the half bag of Cascade hops was added to the remaining 3 gallons. That was allowed to sit another week. Either the addition of hops or the gentle agitation from lifting the vat started a secondary fermentation which quickly finished within 24 hours. Then the remaining beer was bottled at the same SG. So I have 3 gallons with hops and 3 gallons w/o hops as a “control”. (First batch experiment. )

► Priming sugar was the carbonation “pills” provided with the Cooper kit. Since these were big bottles they suggested 2 per. Not optimal I know, but adequate.

► Vat and bottles all sat in the guest bathtub with curtain drawn (wife was afraid of spills and explosions!) at an indicated vat temp of 65F for the entire time.

► Bottle was only refrigerated a short time. Maybe 60-90 minutes max. (I don’t like really cold beer.) Remaining bottles are still finishing in the tub.


1.025 Final SG is telling you this beer was not fully attenuated/ fermented out, even though you thought it was “Stabil”. In the future you must let it drop well under 1.020 and if it is not dropping then you are encountering a stuck ferment which is rare or your pitch was dead/ inadequate in the first place. I am guessing due to the fact it started the yeast would have done the job they were simply being sluggish and it would have taken another week or so to drop to an expected terminal SG.

Extract beers can leave final SG’s higher than all grain beers but not this far apart.
Most ales will finish around 1.007-1.013 depending on all grain procedures used along the process most typically on average would be 1.010.

Extract beers of average gravity will finish typically 1.010-1.018 depending on actual extracts used.
I would imagine you should have been much closer to the 1.015 realm if not lower with what info you have provided.

IT -

Thanks for the numbers. None of my beginner “how to” documents mentioned any numbers. Thanks to this board I knew it would be longer than 7 days that the Cooper video hinted. Being hyper-active and thirsty, I knew I was pushing the time boundaries. :mrgreen:

My main worry (by far) was the taste. And that’s turned out really great. The un-hopped portion tastes like Negra Modelo, and the hopped portion tastes like a lovely English brown ale. So I’m tickled pink with the pleasant results. The low ABV is of no consequence, but the thought that taste could actually improve is compelling enough to give my second batch a lot more time.

Thanks again for the input.

Your welcome, much of what I stated will be learned over time, but that is why you can feel free to ask first and then many peers that have been there/ done that can help you avoid these errors in the future. There is no reason to continue to beat your head against the wall when the resources are available. 20+ years ago, you might have had to do more trial and error as homebrewing info was in its infant stages but now there is almost too much available to stumble like this. On the bright side I am glad you are not discouraged and the 2nd will be stellar if you have a mind to do a bit of research outside of the kit instructions now.

Also 1 week is far too short as you now realize. You may have read my response to the other new guy today about banana esters. But if not give it a read as that will spell out why it is important to go at LEAST 2 weeks until you know exactly what is going on with the yeast/ wort/ ferment, for more reasons than just fermenting fully such as your situation.

If you haven’t seen—> look to this free online version of how to brew for plenty of great overall info.

Also using dry yeast is the best recommendation I can give you right now until you understand more of the principles around liquid slurries.
For some good info regarding liquid slurries look to this website:

Specifically this article first:

Then to further understand starters and such:

This is just one article there is literally 1000’s of topics about proper O2 in the wort and yeast pitching rates when using liquid slurries.
This calculator then can be used for both dry and liquid yeast to help you understand the concepts discussed within these above articles:

Also the forums FAQ’s may provide instant answers also. Do not be afraid to ask as stated above but please consider conducting searches on some of your early questions, because often the same questions and answers have been already discussed 100+ times in the 15 some years this forum has existed.

Peace out.

I’ve seen where numbers ranges for FGs are hard to come by, and I made the exact same mistake on an earlier batch of mine, so you’re not alone. Unfortunately it seems the kit vendors find that even recommending taking FG readings scares people off. I would think exploding glass bottles is scarier than a hydrometer, but then I’m not running a bazillion dollar homebrew supply site, so what do I know? At least you’re taking the readings, and ITs has referenced some great resources for you. So I foresee even tastier brews in your future.

No one has ever complained, “I waited too long to bottle,” if you’re ever not sure about a fermentation, give it another week.

Also the kit instructions are “adequate” at best to make beer. Don’t blindlessly follow a calendar to tell you when to perform a function. Let the beer tell you. Look through this site, LOTS of good info based on real experiences and results.

This has been a huge help.

Thanks again, guys.

All good recommendations. Another thing I would mention is the refrigeration after the carbonation phase. A couple days in the fridge will help drive the CO2 back into solution, so you’re less likely to get a gusher. So, refrig. it, and then if you don’t want it cold, you can take it out.
If the hopped version, which fermented longer, doesn’t give you gushers, (and the undryhopped version does) then you know for sure the initial fermentation wasn’t finished.
If both versions gushed, then it might just be they need to be chilled longer.

I’ve personally never used the “tablets” for carbing but I’ve heard the results can vary pretty widly from undercarbed to overcarbed. Not sure if this is true about the coopers tabs specifically though. In the future I suggest getting a scale that can measure in grams and use a carb calculator (I use this one

) to measure out exact amounts of sugar. Boil that in 2 cups of water and let it cool a bit then add it to your bottling bucket, then siphon the beer into the bottling bucket.

If you plan on splitting batches like you did on your first batch, your measurements of beer volume can be adjusted in the calculator but be sure you are accurately measuring your volumes or this could also result in either undercarbing or overcarbing depending on the discrepancy in volume measurement.

Every time I read this thread title I get the police song stuck in my brain. OK, so it’s “information” not “carbonation”, but still.

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