Author Topic: lowering carbonation  (Read 966 times)

Offline ram5ey

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lowering carbonation
« on: July 28, 2014, 08:39:02 PM »
I have a scottish 60 that i'm entering in competition and I'm a little worried that it will be judged as be too carbonated.  Is it a terrible idea to pop the tops and re cap them to just kind of lower it a little? or is that just a crazy idea? 
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Offline denny

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2014, 08:47:34 PM »
I have a scottish 60 that i'm entering in competition and I'm a little worried that it will be judged as be too carbonated.  Is it a terrible idea to pop the tops and re cap them to just kind of lower it a little? or is that just a crazy idea?

I'd say crazy since you don't have any way to control it.
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Offline ram5ey

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2014, 10:03:49 PM »
Well if Denny calls crazy, I know it is!  Thanks for the help!

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Offline denny

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2014, 10:19:57 PM »
Well if Denny calls crazy, I know it is!  Thanks for the help!

Well, yeah, but I'm crazy.  It might work, but I don't know how you could control how much pressure was released and make it consistent from bottle to bottle.  It would have to be REALLY overcarbed to make it worth taking a chance, IMO.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2014, 10:22:42 PM »
Over carbonation will lose you a point max. Oxidized beer could lose you many more.
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Offline Stevie

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 10:29:48 PM »

Over carbonation will lose you a point max. Oxidized beer could lose you many more.

Good call. I would say not worth the hassle.

Offline dmtaylor

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 11:45:12 PM »
I don't think it's crazy.  I'm sure I've done it before.  Anyway, IF you are able to very carefully open the caps without denting them, or you have a second person there with sanitized caps ready to recap them for you right away, there will be negligible risk of any oxidation.  Might be worth a try.

But yeah, I would only do this if your bottles are pretty bad gushers.  If they are just well carbonated, but not gushing, then it might not be worthwhile, or you might end up with carbonation being too flat instead, which might be even worse, depending on the particular judges.

Use your best judgment.  Only YOU know how carbonated those bottles really are.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2014, 06:00:18 AM »
I wouldn't waste your time. For a properly-filled bottle you aren't going to lose much carbonation doing this. You're only going to be venting off whatever excess CO2 pressure has built up in the headspace, not what is dissolved in the beer. It has taken me 4-5 vent cycles to get a beer to go down what was (in my best estimate) maybe 0.2-0.3 volumes of CO2.

If you do try it, I'd recommend simply lifting the edge of the cap with an opener very slowly until you hear the CO2 start to vent. The cap should reseal on its own when you release the opener.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2014, 06:17:36 AM »
Define "over carbonated". When you open them do you get wet? Is there anything left in the bottle? If its just that you were aiming for 1.8 volumes but you got 2.3... I wouldn't sweat it.

Offline mugwort

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #9 on: July 29, 2014, 06:11:31 PM »
This actually can work quite well.  Done it a handful of times over the years.  First, chill your bottles in the fridge, especially if your warm bottles want to throw beer.  Give the beer a few days in the fridge, then crack one at serving temp before you pass judgment on the carb level.

One at a time, pop each cap and place a new sanitized cap on top of each bottle.  As time passes and the bottles warm, CO2 comes out of solution into the headspace and pushes out under the loose cap.

How long to leave the bottles breathing before clamping down the new caps depends on a number of factors and ends up being your best guess.  I've done as little as 10 minutes to around two hours with maybe a 20 degree temp increase over that time.

If you're dealing with some degree of foamer/gusher, it helps to weigh down the cap with a good size foil sheet umbrella to keep the cap from floating away on the wings of foam.

Finally and most importantly since this is all CO2 whispering and such (you don't really know how long it'll take to get the residual level you desire), do a test run or two.  Vent two bottles, let breathe for 30 minutes at room temp (note the temp), cap down and then give them a few days for solution and headspace to equalize.  Then refrigerate if not already and taste test.

Don't worry, no oxidation here.  You're recapping on a regenerating CO2 headspace blanket.
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Offline ram5ey

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2014, 12:09:10 PM »
Well I didn't do it and it scored a 43 winning it's category and 3rd place overall. So I guess a lot of worry about nothing!
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Offline erockrph

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2014, 01:19:40 PM »
Congrats!
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: lowering carbonation
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2014, 04:35:23 PM »
Wow thats awesome!