Beer tragedy update: good news, bad news

A week ago, I re-bottled my under-fermented, over-carbonated beer. The process was messy and physically painful, but I got it done. Tonight, I opened one of the re-bottled bottles to see how the beer had survived the process:


The good news is: I was able to open the bottle without causing a beersplosion, and the beer tastes good! Still a little sweeter than I would have chosen, but definitely deeper and richer than it was when I sampled it pre-rebottling.

The bad news is twofold.

First, even one more week’s fermentation has made the beer once more somewhat overcarbonated. The liquid didn’t spurt out (though I opened the bottle in the garden to be on the safe side), but I had to pour, then wait several minutes for the foam to subside, then repeat that process three or four times before the bottle was empty.

Inconvenient, but hardly disastrous. What’s a bit sadder is that my trusty plastic bottles have had their day. I’m going to have to throw them out and get some new ones if I brew another batch some day. The interior linings have detached from the more solid outer casing. And worse, the bottoms of the bottles have blown out so that they are now convex, and the bottles won’t stand up:


It’s not particularly clear in the photo, but there’s also a little everted nipple at the very bottom of the bottle — so even if I stand the bottle up very carefully it will fall.

Oh well. Best just focus on this: I have thirty pints of nice beer.


9 responses to “Beer tragedy update: good news, bad news

  1. If you need any help getting rid of it, I can assist!

    You have my admiration, though. I only did homebrew once: it was very labour-intensive and the results were frankly horrible.

  2. I feel like a slightly-too-fizzy beer might be really good in something like a shandy. Just a thought.

  3. Gerard Taylor

    I echo Vomet thoughts, I tried to make beer twice with a ten year gap, both times the results where ghastly and it’s not something I am going to be trying again but will done for your efforts.


  4. Honestly, at the level of beer-making we’re talking about here, I think the only skill involved is cleaning the equipment pedantically enough. Other than that, it’s just about picking a good kit.

  5. I think I fell down at “picking a good kit”: it had good recommendations (always a bad sign!) and though there was no sourness, clouding or other signs of something having gone wrong, the beer tasted rather thin and bitter: it was a stout, and ended up like a sort of unenthusiastic watered-down Guinness. Of course some of that may also be due to Oxford not being blessed with the finest tap-water in the country (yes I did dechlorinate it!)

    It rather put me off, though. It was a very labour-intensive way of making several pints of a drink that I think only the compost heap really appreciated.

  6. I’ve used the Festival Razorback IPA kit several times, to very good effect.

  7. Glad there is a semi-happy ending here! Bummer on the plastic bottles, although in my experience they don’t usually survive more than 1 or 2 cycles anyhow. Now the _real_ solution is to jump immediately to kegging. ;-)

  8. I’m surprised you’ve had problems keeping plastic bottles alive. Mine had been through at least one previous cycle with absolutely no degradation at all.

    Kegging is whole nother area that I don’t really want to get into. To my mind, the Bottle is the natural unit of beer.

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