Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: nofunsally on June 18, 2010, 03:46:12 AM

Title: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: nofunsally on June 18, 2010, 03:46:12 AM
Hello,

I am having some troubles with excessive foam from by bottled beer (its all bottled).  My first brew (2 years ago) definitely had some geysers.  The breakdown was 1/3 fine, 1/3 geysers and 1/3 under carbonated.  This I've chalked up to ill-mixing of the priming syrup.   

Since then I have had a few brews that are 'climbers'. Beers with foam/head that just climbs out of the bottle with varying degrees of quickness.  Can I assume this is the cause of an infection? I have had beers with none, a few and a lot.  I have a cream ale that foams a lot if am lucky I can pour the whole beer into a glass without the foam breaching the top.  And it takes awhile for the head to subside.  Great head retention. 

Opinions?

Thanks,
Mike
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: pyrite on June 18, 2010, 04:25:09 AM
I would not rule out an infection, but I would absolutely revise and pay very close attention to your bottling technique.  I've experienced that same problem before; some bottles were gushing while the others were normally carbonated, it came down to adding the right amount of priming sugar and distributing the right amount of priming sugar throughout the beer.  Because of what I experience with gushing bottles that one time, I do not add priming sugar to the bucket any longer, and I now add priming sugar solution to each individual bottle. 
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: dzlater on June 18, 2010, 10:53:52 AM
This doesn't really solve the problem and I don't know if this actually works, I heard it mentioned on some podcast.
 But to get a better pour try putting the bottle in the freezer to get it really cold (more co2 in solution) and just try cracking the cap a bit to let off some gas before pouring. I think they even said you could vent off some co2 and then recap it.
Again I haven't done this so proceed at your own risk.
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: nofunsally on June 18, 2010, 06:22:53 PM
I think I mix in the sugar/syrup well but at the same time I don't want to oxidize the beer.  Pyrite I had been thinking about doing this and I think I'll give it try on the next batch.  Dzlater I will give this a try.  However, some bottles may be passed this potential fix. 

Is there a way to know if its infection vs poor sugar mixage? Everything tastes fine.

Cheers,
Mike
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: EHall on June 18, 2010, 07:06:59 PM
How does it taste? That to me is the best indicator if you have an infection or not. One of the things I learned when I was bottling was to add the cooled corn sugar mixture to the bottling bucket, then rack your brew on top of it so it 'stirs' it up then take a sanitized spoon and gently stir it up again just to make sure its incorported in there good enough. These days since I bottle so little, I use the carb tabs now.
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: mrbounds on June 19, 2010, 02:01:30 PM
I too have experienced some "gushing" problems on a couple of batches and with mine also the beer tastes great so I am leaning towards the priming sugar being the cause. So if I was to add the priming sugar directly to the bottles rather than a bottling bucket how do I calculate how much sugar to put in each bottle and in different size bottles?
Thanks!
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: bo_gator on June 19, 2010, 02:37:20 PM
IMO, a lot of people like to blame everything on infections, but I don't know if an infection could cause gushing without producing off flavors/aromas. If the infection was producing CO2 to increase the foaming then it was fermenting and introducing its byproducts to the beer which would result in off flavors/aromas. Therefore, I am willing to say if the beer tastes/smells fine that it is a priming problem.


For you next batch I would recommend using 2 Coopers' priming tablets per bottle, and then do everything else as normal (except don't add priming syrup) and bottle. The Coopers product is very consistent, and if you have gushers then, we will need to discuss infections and off flavor identification.

Just my opinion ;D 
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: euge on June 20, 2010, 05:16:50 PM
It sounds very much like the priming sugar isn't mixed up properly. I dissolve mine with tap-water in a measuring cup in the microwave. When bottling add the hot solution to the bottling bucket first and then drain the brew into it making sure it mixes well.

Never had a problem doing it this way.

Another solution is to use a syringe to "dose" each bottle with the priming solution.
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: pyrite on June 20, 2010, 05:43:26 PM
Another solution is to use a syringe to "dose" each bottle with the priming solution.

This is exactly how I do it. It's truly very simple and easy to do using a Jumbo syringe.  One can dose many bottles fast..  I distribute the priming solution evenly though out the 12oz, 22oz, 1 liter, and 2 liter bottles I use.
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: mrbounds on June 21, 2010, 01:07:55 AM
I have always added the priming sugar solution to the bottling bucket (in my case a carbuoy) and then siphoned the beer on top but have still had these issues so I really want to try the dosing each bottle technique but how much priming sugar solution do i add to each different size bottle?
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: euge on June 25, 2010, 06:22:54 PM
Just break it down. Divide the given volume of solution by the number of bottles.
Title: Re: Probably infections right? Excessive / climbing head.
Post by: theoman on June 25, 2010, 07:15:26 PM
I always add the priming sugar dissolved in boiling water and syphon on top, too. One thing that might have happened is what I'm afraid of with my latest brew. I calculated the sugar for 20 liters and only got 16 or 17 pulled off to mix with the sugar. I guess that would be one advantage to the syringe method.