December 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm #1302
Its actually elderflower with raspberry, 5 gallons, and my plan was to fully ferment then bottle in pop bottles with teaspoon of sugar. This didnt work (no fizz), so I made a yeast starter, gradually added some wine to get the yeast ‘acclimatised’, and then added to each bottle with a pipette (turkey baster!). This has worked a treat, but its that fizzy that when I open a bottle it nearly explodes, disturbing the sediment. Any ideas as to how I can open without disturbing the sediment? To give you an idea, the actual tops of the bottles are bulging outwards due to the pressure.December 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm #1303
The colder you get it the more of the co2 will stay in solution. But further than that, you’ve no chance. Made a few gushers myself (tho beer). Nightmare.
And if the bottles are bulging be very careful and keep them still and cold. Exploding bottles are not funny. Once one goes they can all go and it’s lethal. The glass normally goes before the cap.December 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm #1304
Wondering whether a blast of plumbers pipe freezing stuff onto the base of each bottle would freeze/solidify the sediment? Will be giving it a bash anyway.December 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm #1305
Can fermentation produce enough pressure to burst a 2 litre pop bottle?December 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm #1306
pop bottles? the glass ones that go pop? or plastic?
cooling down will help. then try releasing some of the pressure very gradually with the cap.December 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm #1307
Not sure, it might cause the bottle to explode in your hand. Are they glass or plastic? I’d be getting them out of my house either way, but if they are plastic then it will probably be the cap that blows. Glass will blow the bottom off the bottle and the bottle can hit the roof. I have had a few go (and a cask, had to replace the carpet and paint the ceiling) and its really quite messy.
If they are safe then you could possibly rebottle them carefully after letting a bit of the co2 escape as they warm up, then drink from the new bottles with less sediment after rechilling. Oxidation would be a bit of an issue here though but it would depend how quickly you intend to drink them. A day or so would be ok. Not much more.December 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm #1308
Plastic bottles. I’m sat at work at the mo, and have a few in the fridge ready for works bash, and I will try and release a bit of pressure in one now……December 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm #1309
Plastic pop bottles (assuming the pop was also fizzy) are pretty strong. If you can get the cap off one without it resulting in a F1 podium style celebration then I would leave it off as it warms up to room temps and co2 will escape. (keep an eye on it as they start gushing). Then recap and rechill. And hope for the best. This should not oxidise it as co2 is heavier so no o2 will get in there.December 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm #1310
A latex glove helped with extra grip and managed to release some pressure, very slowly, loads of bubbles coming from the sediment. Still fancy a go with pipe freezer, just for the sakes of it. (yesterday, there was that much pressure I could hardly unscrew the cap).December 21, 2017 at 2:53 pm #1311
Similar experience here. I have resorted to occasionally “bleeding” a bit of pressure from the bottles so that when you finally pluck up the courage to open them they don’t empty themselves all over the kitchen.
Never managed to avoid disturbing the sediment, I’ve just accepted that it will be cloudy.
The other thing I found was that the sugar had been totally fermented out, so the final brew was tooth shatteringly dry. I cured this by making a sugar syrup & putting teaspoon of this in the bottom of each glass prior to pouring.
God knows what ABV it is, but it blows your head off.December 22, 2017 at 10:44 am #1424
my dad used to make this when I was young . glass bottles , but with corks . getting from one end of the kitchen to the other was like walking through a mine field .December 22, 2017 at 10:45 am #1425
If it is “champagne” then you need to treat it as such. Remauge and then degorgement are required.December 22, 2017 at 10:46 am #1426
It won’t help you now, but I remember once many years ago someone showing me the special plastic ‘corks’ he used in champagne bottles for home-brewed fizz – they had a valve which could be opened without removing the cork. So you stored the bottles upside down, the sediment formed in the neck, and then you carefully opened the valve a little to allow the pressure to blow the sediment out.December 22, 2017 at 10:47 am #1427
“Similar experience here. I have resorted to occasionally “bleeding” a bit of pressure from the bottles so that when you finally pluck up the courage to open them they don’t empty themselves all over the kitchen.”
I’ve done something like that with overcarbed beer in swingtop bottles before. Let the cap off, get the inevitable whoosh and then flip the cap back on before any actual liquid escapes. Repeat as often as possible until the whoosh starts slowing down.
By the way, I’d have thought that fermenting in closed bottles without an airlock would always have led to this sort of problem – I’m actually quite surprised that the bottles haven’t just burst. Get a carboy!December 22, 2017 at 10:47 am #1428
if you pick the flowers when its sunny there should be enough natural yeast on them for fermentation though Ive made it with frozen elderflowers which needed a bit of ordinary allinsons bread yeast to get it going.
I usually ferment it in a big bucket for about ten days/ two weeks then siphon it off into plastic pop bottles and leave it for another two weeks before drinking. I would not recommend putting it in glass bottles as you get some serious pressure building up and they will go off like a bomb…
Not sure how you’d completely get rid of the sediment or if you’d even want to? Its beer really not champagne and any decent brew always has a bit of yeast in the bottom though you could rack it in a barrel for a couple of days to let it settle and re-siphon it carefully into bottles which should get rid of most of it.
Good idea adding raspberries I usually just add lemons and limes.December 23, 2017 at 2:27 pm #3371
I need some of those ‘corks’. Got a load of elderflower cordial type stuff in the freezer ready for batches 1,2 and 3 throughout the year – those corks sound like the business.December 23, 2017 at 2:28 pm #3372
@jack sorry I have no idea what they were called, or where they were from. From memory they were similar to a standard white plastic sparkling wine stopper, with a cylindrical metal section in the middle – there was a ring attached to the top of this, with a string tied to it. You pulled the string, the cylinder slid up (or down, if the bottle was upside down) and this opened a valve to blow out whatever was in the neck of the bottle (again, assuming you’re still upside down, otherwise you’d just be releasing pressure). On releasing the string some kind of spring-load mechanism snapped the valve back shut again.December 23, 2017 at 2:29 pm #3373
Actual champagne method inverts the bottle to allow the sediment at the cork end and the neck is frozen hard before the bottle is reverted. The top is popped to drive out the ice plug containing all the sediment before being recorked. No idea if you can recreate this at home.
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