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Fisher kel Tath
04-19-2011, 08:30 PM
Not really blowing out, but a slow push out on a mead I just bottled. Figured I might not of given it enough time to degas and just residual Co2 coming out cause it's not doing it to each bottle, just 1 or 2 or so.

So what to do...what to do... do I pull the corks out of all of them and transfer the liquid to 1gallon carboys? Do I just wait and see if the corks blow out and recork when it does...kinda wish I had never bought the bloody corker, but needed it for Belgian beers.

Brad Dahlhofer
04-19-2011, 10:14 PM
Corks can push out for a number of reasons, so I'll take a shot in the dark and see if I can help. I'll assume you *don't* have a re-fermentation issue.

Manual corkers can trap a lot of air in the bottle if you don't push the corks in fast enough (and sometimes even if you do). That extra air can cause a couple issues, slight carbonation, and corks popping out. The cork popping can especially happen when the bottles are corked at a colder temperature, and then allowed to warm up. The gas starts to expand and begins pushing the corks up. In this situation, an easy fix is to open up the bottles and recork (using new corks).




Not really blowing out, but a slow push out on a mead I just bottled. Figured I might not of given it enough time to degas and just residual Co2 coming out cause it's not doing it to each bottle, just 1 or 2 or so.

So what to do...what to do... do I pull the corks out of all of them and transfer the liquid to 1gallon carboys? Do I just wait and see if the corks blow out and recork when it does...kinda wish I had never bought the bloody corker, but needed it for Belgian beers.

Oskaar
04-20-2011, 12:12 AM
There's another fairly easy way to check if you suspect a secondary or additional degassing in the bottle. Take a look at your bottles with a flashlight and see if you have any sediment on the bottom. If there is, then it's a good indicator that there is a secondary ferment, or a "creeper" ferment going on in the bottle.

A "creeper" ferment is one that looks like it's done, but still keeps going slowly and throws such a small amount of lees that it's virtually undetectable to the naked eye.

Another quicker, slightly riskier way to check is to invert the bottle a couple of times and look for foaming or fizziness. If that happens, get your bottles uncorked immediately before they either explode or blow off the corks and foam over.

OK, so now the standard questions:


What was the original gravity?
What was the final gravity?
What was the recipe?
What yeast did you use?
What is the ABV based on start/finish gravity?
Did your yeast reach Alcohol morbidity level before it gave up?
What was your fermentation management regimen/process?
How did you stabilize?
Did you stabilize?
What was the start date?
What was the bottle date?

Whenever you post a question asking for help with an issue please be sure to provide all the information above for the Mead Mentors in order to give them complete information about your batch and how it was crafted. This will help them give you very specific advice about fixing your issue and avoiding repeat episodes in the future.

Hope this helps,

Oskaar

AToE
04-20-2011, 12:23 AM
I'll second that, especially when the question could potentially involve bottle bombs it's good to show the data that explains why you're pretty sure it's not fermenting in the bottle. Even if you really are totally right and have a good reason to believe this - everyone reading the post is going to stress out a little bit wondering if there's danger involved!

Fisher kel Tath
04-20-2011, 10:16 AM
What was the original gravity?
1.109
What was the final gravity?
1.021

What was the recipe?
3.5lbs honey, 3 gallons of water, 1 dozen blood oranges

What yeast did you use?
D-47

What is the ABV based on start/finish gravity?
13% (+/-)

Did your yeast reach Alcohol morbidity level before it gave up?
within 1 percent

What was your fermentation management regimen/process?
aerate twice a day and 1.5g of nutrient per aeration for 4 days (1/3rd)

How did you stabilize?
2 teaspoon Sorbate and enough K-meta for 300ppm

Did you stabilize?
Yes.



Quiet possible that it's just Air pressure too, first time I bottled in a wine bottle, it kinda...exploded(I overfilled), so this time was very nervous about that not happening.

Medsen Fey
04-20-2011, 10:33 AM
I get an estimated ABV of about 12% with those numbers which is well short of the ABV tolerance of D47. However, with that much sorbate and sulfite you'd think that would be enough to prevent refermentation.

I'd take a bottle and stick it in the fridge to chill it down and reduce the pressure. Then I'd open it up and I'd de-gas and check the gravity. If the gravity has dropped below 1.021, then the fermentation has kicked up again and I would chill and empty these bottles back into a carboy and wait until the gravity is stable.

If the gravity hasn't dropped in the bottle and it is just a case of gas needing to be released, you can take the old corks out, and re-cork with new ones and it should be okay.

Fisher kel Tath
04-20-2011, 10:49 AM
Hrm, seems my final gravity written down, might not actually be my final gravity, as there was 6 days between the reading and racking off.

anyway... I pulled the cork out of the worse of the bottles this morning and recorked it, with a single fast motion and there was a hiss with it, and since the cork hasn't moved back out.

Also of note, I'm using synthetic corks, if that makes a difference.

wayneb
04-20-2011, 10:55 AM
Sounds like you've got continuing fermentation in there. You should follow Medsen's advice and check one to see how much further the gravity has dropped. That could give you some clue as to how much more pressure you're likely to see building up in the rest of them.

To be on the safe side you might want to check the pH of that sample, since I'm not sure you had 300 ppm of free SO2 from your K-meta addition. Usually a dose that high will knock down most yeast - even a workhorse strain like D47. Since the amount of free SO2 depends highly on the pH of the liquid, as well as on how many other compounds are in there that can bind with sulphite, your estimated dose might be off.

Fisher kel Tath
04-20-2011, 11:00 AM
well, the current gravity is 1.013, but I don't have a reading for when I racked it, only a reading for a week before I racked it which is 1.021, and it's been 3 months.

wayneb
04-20-2011, 11:04 AM
That's enough of a change to strongly suggest that fermentation continues or at least continued for a bit, post bottling.

Fisher kel Tath
04-20-2011, 11:09 AM
Unless of course that was the final gravity...and I'm just now getting measure of it because I forgot to originally.

Well, that was easy to test.

Took bottle A: Flip top, that had been put in fridge right after bottling, drew sample, allowed to warm up. 12br on refractometer(not corrected)

Took Bottle B: Corked bottle, room temperature since bottling, uncorked, drew sample. 12br uncorrected.

Medsen Fey
04-20-2011, 11:19 AM
I'd error on the side of caution and chill the bottles then place them back under airlock.

wayneb
04-20-2011, 11:30 AM
That's almost certainly not the case. Pushed corks happen when the gas pressure in the headspace of the bottle is relatively high - on the order of a couple of atmospheres or higher. Unless you took great pains to fully saturate your mead with CO2 before inserting the corks, you can't get enough CO2 to come out of solution to create a pressure that high. I'm not even sure that you can get enough CO2 in a fully saturated solution to result in a headspace equilibrium pressure that would be much above one atmosphere.

It is virtually certain that some additional CO2 has been produced (through fermentation) since you bottled and corked these bottles.

Fisher kel Tath
04-20-2011, 11:42 AM
That's almost certainly not the case. Pushed corks happen when the gas pressure in the headspace of the bottle is relatively high - on the order of a couple of atmospheres or higher. Unless you took great pains to fully saturate your mead with CO2 before inserting the corks, you can't get enough CO2 to come out of solution to create a pressure that high. I'm not even sure that you can get enough CO2 in a fully saturated solution to result in a headspace equilibrium pressure that would be much above one atmosphere.

It is virtually certain that some additional CO2 has been produced (through fermentation) since you bottled and corked these bottles.

see, thats the thing, the corks were being pushed out seconds after being bottled, not just overnight, and the worse ones were the ones slightly more filled than the others, that's why I'm assuming it's simply the air in the headspace being compressed, and pushing out the wet cork.

Medsen Fey
04-20-2011, 12:42 PM
If you do not leave enough ullage (air space) in a bottle then the pressure created by putting in the cork can be enough to cause it to push back out. This is one reason that after bottling, corked bottles should remain upright as that will allow some air to escape (if necessary) while the cork is re-expanding. Are these synthetic corks by the way? I ask because I've seen this problem more frequently with synthetic corks than with natural corks.

When you see this occurs you need to take the cork out, remove a small amount of liquid and re-cork.

However, if your liquid is fizzy at all, and there is any question about possible re-fermentation occurring in the bottle, it is potentially dangerous to blow it off, so I would encourage you to make sure you aren't making bottle bombs by insuring that the gravity is stable. The eye you save may be your own.

AToE
04-20-2011, 12:58 PM
He does mention sythetic corks above, so that makes sense.

And the fact that the corks were being pushed out right away does seem to suggest a lack of headspace rather than refermentation being the problem (that said, based on what the process was stated to be for this, there's no reason re-fermentation couldn't still be a threat with these).

The scary thing to me here is that there really was no testing of the stabilization, with my dry meads this never comes up obviously, but from what I've read around here, you let the mead clear (or fine it) after you're sure fermentation is done (sure as in: watching SG readings, not bubbles), then you stabilize, note the SG, wait a week or two, check the SG again to make sure it hasn't moved, and then bottle.

Because stabilization has been known to fail right? Especially if the primary ferment is still creeping along?

Medsen Fey
04-20-2011, 01:07 PM
He does mention synthetic corks above, so that makes sense.
Thanks, I missed that.


...but from what I've read around here...you stabilize, note the SG, wait a week or two, check the SG again to make sure it hasn't moved, and then bottle.

I actually check gravity again in a MONTH or two. Re-fermentation can proceed very, very slowly. And yes, stabilization can fail so it really pays to confirm stable gravity before bottling.

Chevette Girl
04-20-2011, 07:25 PM
see, thats the thing, the corks were being pushed out seconds after being bottled, not just overnight, and the worse ones were the ones slightly more filled than the others, that's why I'm assuming it's simply the air in the headspace being compressed, and pushing out the wet cork.

I use composite corks and I usually get that with a couple of bottles every batch even when I use my bottling wand for consistent filling level, I just shove them back in with my thumb, sometimes it takes a couple times before they stay.

Brad Dahlhofer
04-20-2011, 08:01 PM
well, the current gravity is 1.013, but I don't have a reading for when I racked it, only a reading for a week before I racked it which is 1.021, and it's been 3 months.

Ahh...the plot thickens! ;)

Oskaar
04-21-2011, 12:30 AM
Ahh...the plot thickens! ;)

Exactly!!!

Oskaar
04-21-2011, 12:39 AM
see, thats the thing, the corks were being pushed out seconds after being bottled, not just overnight, and the worse ones were the ones slightly more filled than the others, that's why I'm assuming it's simply the air in the headspace being compressed, and pushing out the wet cork.

Dude, you've got secondary going on, and a lot of people pointing it out in very polite ways. Your mead was in the process of degassing and still fermenting when you were bottling which is why you had an immediate push out of the corks. Handling, racking and bottle filling all agitate the mead enough to cause significant enough off-gassing to push out your corks almost immediately.

Remember that sorbate and sulfite additions are not a completely sure fire way to stop fermentation which is why commercial meaderies and wineries use filtration, cold stabilization or extended racking and aging to ensure a complete cessation of fermentation.

Save yourself some grief and get them out of the bottles and back under airlock, especially if you plan to give any as gifts or send any to friends. Last thing in the world you want is to have one blow up in a friends face, in transit or in your face.

Cheers, and please take heed of the advice given here,

Oskaar

Oskaar
04-21-2011, 12:42 AM
What was the original gravity?
1.109
What was the final gravity?
1.021
What was the recipe?
3.5lbs honey, 3 gallons of water, 1 dozen blood oranges
What yeast did you use?
D-47
What is the ABV based on start/finish gravity?
13% (+/-)
Did your yeast reach Alcohol morbidity level before it gave up?
within 1 percent
What was your fermentation management regimen/process?
aerate twice a day and 1.5g of nutrient per aeration for 4 days (1/3rd)
How did you stabilize?
2 teaspoon Sorbate and enough K-meta for 300ppm
Did you stabilize?
Yes.



Quiet possible that it's just Air pressure too, first time I bottled in a wine bottle, it kinda...exploded(I overfilled), so this time was very nervous about that not happening.

I don't see a start and end date, or a elapsed timeline from onset of fermentation to bottle, can you post that up please?

I totally doubt this is just air pressure dude. I understand your nervousness about that, but this is pretty much a result of continued fermentation in the bottle.

K5MOW
04-21-2011, 07:23 AM
I don't see a start and end date, or a elapsed timeline from onset of fermentation to bottle, can you post that up please?

I totally doubt this is just air pressure dude. I understand your nervousness about that, but this is pretty much a result of continued fermentation in the bottle.

What was the original gravity?
1.109
What was the final gravity?
1.021
What was the recipe?
3.5lbs honey, 3 gallons of water, 1 dozen blood oranges

How can the OG be 1.109 with only using 3.5 pounds of honey and 3 gallons of water? Maybe the 1 dozoen oranges, WOW will the oranges make it go that hight?

Roger

Fisher kel Tath
04-21-2011, 08:26 AM
i miss read my brewlog, which is made worse because I built the damn sheet.

10lbs of honey/ 3.5gallons of water

Oskaar
04-21-2011, 05:09 PM
If you started at 1.109 and are now at 1.021 you've only reached about 11.4% ABV which is well shy of the advertised 14% that D47 will tolerate.

It's also been my experience that D47 will go well above 14% ABV (I reach 16% with my cherry cyser on a regular basis) so your ABV tolerance has not been reached with this mead using D47.

That time-line would be helpful because it sure seems that this mead is very young and was bottle prematurely.

Best of luck and give us that timeline dude ;)

Oskaar

Fisher kel Tath
04-22-2011, 05:39 AM
it sat for 1 month in bucket, and 3 months waiting, I pulled it out to sample it and it tasted excellent, thus bottling it. Seeing as no more corks have moved since recorking the ones I was having problems with. I'm still more inclined to believe that it was air pressure pushing them out, but waiting a couple days and gonna pull a sample out of a bottle and confirm it.