With beer, a little carbonation goes a long way. While flat beer is undesirable, beer as carbonated as soda pop is equally disliked. Under certain circumstances, homemade beer can over-carbonate so much that as soon as the top is popped off, the bottle becomes a gushing volcano of foam. Over-carbonation can be caused by pouring too much priming sugar into the bottles, by bottling the beer before fermentation has finished, or through an infection of a strain of wild yeast. Luckily, most occurrences of over-carbonation can be corrected even after the beer has been bottled.
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Things you need
- Bottle Caps
- Bottle Capper
Carefully pop the caps off of the tops of all of the bottles. Do this over a sink for safety, because if the bottles are extremely carbonated, beer might gush over the sides and spill.
Cover the tops of the bottles with small pieces of aluminium foil or loose cling film. Allow the opened beer bottles to sit for a few minutes so that the excess carbonation will escape. If the beer is extremely over-carbonated, it may need to sit for a couple of hours.
Recap the bottles using fresh caps. Used bottle caps cannot be reused. Make sure to sterilise the new tops before capping, so that the beer doesn't become contaminated at this point.
Chill the beer and drink it. Hopefully uncapping and recapping the bottles has adjusted the carbonation to the proper level. However, If wild yeast has entered the beer at some point during the brewing process, the problem might not be fixed. Some strains of yeast continue fermenting until all usable products are consumed--producing carbon dioxide and altering flavours all the while. If this has happened to your beer, your best chance of enjoying your home brew is to drink it as soon as reasonably possible.
Tips and warnings
- When making the recipe again, adjust the amount of priming sugar added before bottling.
- Make sure that the airlock has totally ceased bubbling before bottling.
- Don't store carbonating beer in too warm of an environment. 18.3 to 21.1 degrees Celsius is recommended.
- Over-carbonated bottles can sometimes explode. Store carbonating bottles in a container with a lid so that the mess will be easier to clean up. Open bottles over the sink and use eye protection if they are extremely pressurised.
- If a bottle explodes, make sure that all broken glass is cleaned up.
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