Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: jtwags70 on December 12, 2013, 03:17:40 AM

Title: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: jtwags70 on December 12, 2013, 03:17:40 AM
Hello guys,
I just made a California Common.  Turned out great.  I put it on C02 to carbonate....everything was going along tasting great until it wasn't.  I believe it got overcarbonated within a couple days.  Now it as a weird seltzer-like chemical taste. 

I need to serve this in two days... ouch.  Am I screwed?  I will try to bleed off the carbonation.  Will I be stuck with that bad taste?  Have I gone past the point of ruin?

Please help.  Any ideas, tips?

Thanks in advance,
John
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: gymrat on December 12, 2013, 03:40:02 AM
I didn't think carbonation would change the flavor. But yes you can bleed some of the CO2 off to adjust it.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: euge on December 12, 2013, 03:41:50 AM
Bleed it off but pour a few beers after bleeding the keg to create more space. I'll vent enough co2 to where the out-gassing pushes the beer. When your beer is where you want leave it until serving.

And yes over-carbonation changes the flavor IMO. More acidic, sharper.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Stevie on December 12, 2013, 03:49:22 AM
Turn of the gas and vent every few hours.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: jtwags70 on December 12, 2013, 04:52:59 AM
Thanks guys for your advice.  I forgot to mention:  I had it set up to carbonate @10 psi.  My fridge is normally 40F.  There has been a cold snap in the Bay area.  Temps out in the garage got in the 28-32 range.  I can only imagine how cold my fridge got.  It is old, I doubt it has any true temperature control other than the big dial setting.  My guess what happened is 10 psi at that low temp carbonated even greater than it would have at 40F. 
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: majorvices on December 12, 2013, 12:31:53 PM
To properly "decarbonate" you will need to let beer rise to room temp and purge. Otherwise the co2 will want to remain in solution.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Jimmy K on December 12, 2013, 01:52:27 PM
Thanks guys for your advice.  I forgot to mention:  I had it set up to carbonate @10 psi.  My fridge is normally 40F.  There has been a cold snap in the Bay area.  Temps out in the garage got in the 28-32 range.  I can only imagine how cold my fridge got.  It is old, I doubt it has any true temperature control other than the big dial setting.  My guess what happened is 10 psi at that low temp carbonated even greater than it would have at 40F.
I don't know. 10psi at 32 degrees is will give you higher carbonation, but not too high. I keep my kegerator at 12psi and 36 degrees. But if the garage was 28-32 and the fridge kept running, maybe some of the beer froze in the keg. That would really change the flavor. I really doubt you need to decarbonate.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: blatz on December 12, 2013, 03:37:32 PM
To properly "decarbonate" you will need to let beer rise to room temp and purge. Otherwise the co2 will want to remain in solution.

this^^^

It is amazing how long CO2 will stay in the liquid at cold temperatures.

another method, if you don't want to warm it up (or wait) is to shake the keg and purge periodically.  of course, if the beer is close to the relief, foam will develop and you may get a  beer foam shower, so it may be best to shake, let it sit 15 min, pull the relief, repeat until you think you're where you want.  then it will need to settle a few hours before serving.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 12, 2013, 04:17:25 PM
To properly "decarbonate" you will need to let beer rise to room temp and purge. Otherwise the co2 will want to remain in solution.

I suppose it depends on how quickly you want to reduce the carbonation.  If I'm overcarbed, I just vent off from the PRV a couple times and let the pressure in the keg equalize.  At most, though, I'm hitting a couple pints every few days, so I'll vent over a period of days to get where I want.  It does take time, but in the meantime I can still tap a draft when I want one and I don't have to move the kegs around.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: duboman on December 12, 2013, 06:18:38 PM
I'd make sure the beer didn't partially freeze first, that could be the problem. Either way you should let the keg come to room temp and then begin bleeding off the excess co2
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: tschmidlin on December 12, 2013, 07:25:01 PM
Since you need to serve it tomorrow, I would pour off 4 pints and go with with the shake/purge method.  The four pints will lose carbonation and you can drink them while you're doing this.  You could warm it up, but then you have to chill it again.  Easier just to keep it cold.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Jimmy K on December 12, 2013, 08:36:50 PM
I'd make sure the beer didn't partially freeze first, that could be the problem. Either way you should let the keg come to room temp and then begin bleeding off the excess co2
Yeah, everyone missed the part where he carbed at 10psi. I think it's something else. If it's too foamy, maybe the serving lines are too short.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 12, 2013, 08:46:30 PM
"Seltzer-like chemical taste" sounds like carbonic acid.  Which would indicate overcarbing more than it would short lines or a blockage on the dip tube.

Of course, all things are possible.  Including that I am wrong.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: tschmidlin on December 12, 2013, 08:53:11 PM
I'd make sure the beer didn't partially freeze first, that could be the problem. Either way you should let the keg come to room temp and then begin bleeding off the excess co2
Yeah, everyone missed the part where he carbed at 10psi. I think it's something else. If it's too foamy, maybe the serving lines are too short.
If the beer was at 10 psi and <30F instead of 40F then it could be at nearly 3 volumes of CO2.  That explains everything we've been told.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Jimmy K on December 12, 2013, 09:22:51 PM
I'd make sure the beer didn't partially freeze first, that could be the problem. Either way you should let the keg come to room temp and then begin bleeding off the excess co2
Yeah, everyone missed the part where he carbed at 10psi. I think it's something else. If it's too foamy, maybe the serving lines are too short.
If the beer was at 10 psi and <30F instead of 40F then it could be at nearly 3 volumes of CO2.  That explains everything we've been told.
That'll teach me to talk before looking up the chart.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: jtwags70 on December 13, 2013, 04:19:16 AM
Thanks everyone for all your advice.

I wonder if it was partially frozen?  Good point.

I put my temp controller on the fridge to keep the temp from dipping too low.  I will try the shaking and releasing every so often until it tastes better.

I'll let you guys know Saturday if I'm still in good graces with my wife's dad for their party  ;)
 ;)
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: jtwags70 on December 15, 2013, 05:27:16 PM
The beer for the party ended up being really good.  The keg is empty, so it was a success.  All the over-carbonation issues were gone by then.  Thanks to all who passes along tips to me. 
I even had a few people say " Tastes just like Anchor Steam" which made me feel really good, because that was my intention.  I used the recipe from Jamil's book. 

Thanks again for the guidance and tips,
John
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: Joe Sr. on December 15, 2013, 06:01:31 PM
Congrats. Gotta love kegging.

I always sample a few days before a party so Ican make sure serving pressures and carbonation are dialed in.
Title: Re: Am I screwed? Overcarbonated beer in keggerator.
Post by: HoosierBrew on December 15, 2013, 06:29:10 PM
+1.  I've run into this problem before- have a week where I work a lot of hours, there's a bitter cold snap, kegerator in the garage, and I leave the keg pressure as is. Easily enough fixed though.