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Potential Bulk Priming Problem

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Kai

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Greetings

I bottled my latest batch tonight, and bulk primed by racking my beer to a 25L cube which had roughly 200mL of sugar syrup in it (I primed at a ratio of a little over 7g/L). However, I had one of my tard moments and didn't swirl or leave it to sit to disperse or anything, I went straight into the bottling. I tasted the dregs at the end and they were mighty sweet, so I don't really think my sugar dispersed properly into the beer.

What do you think the chances are that I've just bottled a heap of flatties and a peppering of bottlebombs? How do you dudes make sure your sugar is properly mixed into the beer in a situation like this? I'm thinking just waiting fifteen minutes or so and perhaps giving it a bit of a gentle rock might be the go.


And to heap further indignity upon myself, when I was trying to take an SG of the dregs, the cylinder slipped out of my fingers and struck my hydrometer right at the juncture of the bulb and cylinder, so now I need a new hydrometer too :(
 

Murray

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:(

I'd say the chances of having quite a few bottle bombs are quite high. If it was me I'd take the oxidation risks, open the bottles and gently pour them back into a sanitised fermentor, mix and rebottle. You could also open and recap the bottles every week, but in a sense that would be more impractical.

As for mixing, a sanitised paddle is the go. No splashing, obviously. In a jerry I would just cap it and gently spin it a few times and let it stand for a few minutes.
 

Kai

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http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...hl=bulk+priming

I dug that one up. Looks like I might be up shit creek after all.

I'm not really sure I want to crack, pour and rebottle them all, though. I think I'll just treat them with kid gloves. Really, really thick kid gloves.

What I might do is wait a couple days, then crack open one of the bottles that I bottled last (they involved tilting the cube, so I'd say they are the most likely to have too much sugar). If it is squirt-happy, I'll chill and recap the lot.

Next time I do this I'm going to seal up the cube and give it a damned good tilting.
 

Kai

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Because I knew I wouldn't sleep tonight otherwise, I replicated the priming and filling process using brown sugar and water. The sugar does indeed disperse (as evidenced by the brown colour spreading throughout the water on filling), but the bottom corneris a dead zone for flow and so the sugar concentration in this corner remains high. However, this corner is the far corner from the tap, so I think that the majority of my beers will be fine apart from the last three or four bottles which I had to tilt the cube to fill.
 

RobW

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Kai, if you know which ones you bottled last why not separate them & loosen the caps & then reseal them every few days for a couple of weeks. That will save you the dramas of hand grenades. The other ones should be fine if yo used 200g of sugar initially.
 

sosman

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Have you considered kegging? If not, this batch should give you something to think about.

Also I have found with bulk priming (I have used this with ginger beer into PET bottles) that the carbonation is uneven. That is despite dissolving and stirring in the sugar well.

The only reason I can think of is that even while bottling, the yeast settles fast and some bottles get more yeast than others. That is pure conjecture though.

Sorry this doesn't help your bottle bombs much :(
 

deebee

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I have had more than my share of brewing hassles and stuffups but bulk priming has never been involved (except with the old leave-the-tap-open-on-the-priming-vessel trick).

I just make sure the racking tube is curled around inside the bottom of the priming vessel. While racking, the beer creates a whirlpool and mixes it all up. I leave it while I get the bottles ready, 15-60 minutes, and then bottle. I never stir it.

I have never had inconsistency in carbonation. Never had a bomb. Not a one.
 

Kai

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The whirlpool concept with my secondary vessel doesn't work because it's both square and has large depressions in the bottom where the flow will not reach. I'm not 100% sure which bottles are the last ones, but I have a reasonably good idea, so I'm going to crack one tonight or tomorrow to check it, then probably chill, crack & reseal the other few likely candidates.

sosman: I have indeed contemplated kegging, but I unfortunately do not have the room nor the resources to implement it. I also fear the beer would stale before I had a chance to finish it (shocking, I know...). I don't think the quantity of yeast in the bottle would affect the extent of carbonation, only the time till carbonation is complete.

Anyway, I'm gonna go don my safety glasses and check the first one, even if it has only been a day.
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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The cubes are great for cold conditioning and the like. To bulk prime rack back into primary fermenter now doing duty as a bottling bucket.

Where ever you read about bulk priming you read about uneven priming.

I look upon this as an advantage: you never know whether the bottle you selected will be fizzy or very still: the element of surprise aids the enjoyment of the beer

Jovial Monk
 

wee stu

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Not that it helps you any with this lot Kai, but I do the same as Deebee and have never yet (touch wood) had a bomb, or noticeable variation in carbonation in the batch. I keep an old fermenter spare for the purpose.
 

Kai

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I apply the same theory to all my brews, monk. That being, I can never bloody remember what brew is in what bottle, so every opening is a surprise.

I'm running on limited space while I'm at university, so the cube is really the only option for the moment. I think the sugar will disperse quite appropriately if I invert the cube once or twice after filling.


Anyway, I sacrificed two of my beers for peace of mind; one that I think was among the last filled was already heavily carbonated and slightly sweet, one from the start of the batch was slightly carbonated and not sweet. I've separated the suspect bottles and will recap them tonight.
 

Rubes

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Same here wee stu.

I always boil the priming sugar in a little water and dump this in the spare fermenter. I reckon having a hot sugar solution really helps the mixing with the cold swirling beer. Maybe not the best advice for your sleepy yeasties but seems to work for me.
 

Kai

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[update]

It's been a bit over a week, the beer has cleared and the sediment settled, and no amber grenades. I think I've dodged a bullet on this one.

Wheee
 

Jazman

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give time as i have thought the same then bang we lucky it in the cooler months
 

deebee

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After you have survived a big winter low pressure system Kai, THEN you are allowed to gloat.
 

Guest Lurker

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Its all about the pressure differential from inside the bottle to outside the bottle. So, if you notice on the weather on TV, that there is a large low pressure system parked over your house, be a bit careful.
 

Trough Lolly

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Jovial_Monk said:
Where ever you read about bulk priming you read about uneven priming.
Jovial Monk
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with the Feisty Friar!

Bulk priming is not about random or uneven priming, if it is done properly. I have used this technique for many years and swear by it. I can bottle Darwin Stubbies, any size PET bottle, any crown seal container and get fairly even priming distribution with a simple whirlpool syphon technique.

I have never had a bottle bomb since 1995 - touch wood! :blink:
Now I know that this is not a thread to discuss the merits, or otherwise, of bulk priming, but if the technique is done with some forethought on how to mix the priming solution into the wort without oxidising the wort, it should be fine.
Unfortunately, Kai, you have a problem with uneven distribution - but not because Bulk Priming is a wank, its just a technique that takes a bit of effort to get right.

And that goes for just about anything else in brewing... ;)
Cheers,
TL
 

Murray

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Trough Lolly said:
Jovial_Monk said:
Where ever you read about bulk priming you read about uneven priming.
Jovial Monk
I'm sorry but I have to disagree with the Feisty Friar!

Bulk priming is not about random or uneven priming, if it is done properly. I have used this technique for many years and swear by it. I can bottle Darwin Stubbies, any size PET bottle, any crown seal container and get fairly even priming distribution with a simple whirlpool syphon technique.

I have never had a bottle bomb since 1995 - touch wood! :blink:
Now I know that this is not a thread to discuss the merits, or otherwise, of bulk priming, but if the technique is done with some forethought on how to mix the priming solution into the wort without oxidising the wort, it should be fine.
Unfortunately, Kai, you have a problem with uneven distribution - but not because Bulk Priming is a wank, its just a technique that takes a bit of effort to get right.

And that goes for just about anything else in brewing... ;)
Cheers,
TL
I think you missed his point. Of course you are correct, but I've lost count of the number of times I've seen people discussing uneven mixing while bulk priming.
 

Trough Lolly

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Point taken...Sorry JM.
I need to relax and have a homebrew!

TL
 

Kai

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Rest assured, I'm not gonna be rubbing the unopened bottles over my face in celebration.

And I'm definitely not going to have the same brain seizure next time I bulk prime with the cube.

My bottles are stored in one of those cheapo stackable big plastic containers with the lid. I think I'll be right if I just don't open it up when the barometer's falling... though does that really make a significant difference, a low pressure system?
 

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