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  1. #1

    Default Corks pushing out

    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.
    Accumulate as much knowledge as you can about something, and the rest will come through practice.

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  2. #2

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    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).



    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher kel Tath View Post
    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
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    B. Nektar Meadery - www.bnektar.com
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  3. #3
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    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:

    1. What was the original gravity?
    2. What was the final gravity?
    3. What was the recipe?
    4. What yeast did you use?
    5. What is the ABV based on start/finish gravity?
    6. Did your yeast reach Alcohol morbidity level before it gave up?
    7. What was your fermentation management regimen/process?
    8. How did you stabilize?
    9. Did you stabilize?
    10. What was the start date?
    11. 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
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

  4. #4
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    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!
    ~AToE (A Thing of Eternity... it's a nerd thing...)

    AKA: Alan H

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oskaar View Post
    1. What was the original gravity?
      1.109
    2. What was the final gravity?
      1.021
    3. What was the recipe?
      3.5lbs honey, 3 gallons of water, 1 dozen blood oranges
    4. What yeast did you use?
      D-47
    5. What is the ABV based on start/finish gravity?
      13% (+/-)
    6. Did your yeast reach Alcohol morbidity level before it gave up?
      within 1 percent
    7. What was your fermentation management regimen/process?
      aerate twice a day and 1.5g of nutrient per aeration for 4 days (1/3rd)
    8. How did you stabilize?
      2 teaspoon Sorbate and enough K-meta for 300ppm
    9. 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.
    Accumulate as much knowledge as you can about something, and the rest will come through practice.

    Brewlog V3 for all your logging needs.

  6. #6
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    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.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  7. #7

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    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.
    Accumulate as much knowledge as you can about something, and the rest will come through practice.

    Brewlog V3 for all your logging needs.

  8. #8
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    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.
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  9. #9

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    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.
    Accumulate as much knowledge as you can about something, and the rest will come through practice.

    Brewlog V3 for all your logging needs.

  10. #10
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    That's enough of a change to strongly suggest that fermentation continues or at least continued for a bit, post bottling.
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  11. #11

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    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.
    Last edited by Fisher kel Tath; 04-20-2011 at 11:18 AM.
    Accumulate as much knowledge as you can about something, and the rest will come through practice.

    Brewlog V3 for all your logging needs.

  12. #12
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    I'd error on the side of caution and chill the bottles then place them back under airlock.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  13. #13
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    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.
    Na zdrowie!

    Wayne B.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wayneb View Post
    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.
    Accumulate as much knowledge as you can about something, and the rest will come through practice.

    Brewlog V3 for all your logging needs.

  15. #15
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    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.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  16. #16
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    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?
    ~AToE (A Thing of Eternity... it's a nerd thing...)

    AKA: Alan H

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by AToE View Post
    He does mention synthetic corks above, so that makes sense.
    Thanks, I missed that.

    Quote Originally Posted by AToE View Post
    ...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.
    Lanne pase toujou pi bon
    (Past years are always better)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher kel Tath View Post
    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.
    "The main ingredient needed is 'time' followed closely by 'patience'." - The Bishop 2013
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  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fisher kel Tath View Post
    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!
    Brad Dahlhofer
    Co-Founder / CEO
    B. Nektar Meadery - www.bnektar.com
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Dahlhofer View Post
    Ahh...the plot thickens!
    Exactly!!!
    Is it tasty . . . precious?

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