General Beer Discussion by PKSMITH
A friend recently brewed a honey/ginger mead. He used Champagne yeast. Initially, the beer was great, with a tight, full head. After having had it bottled for a few months, the tops started popping off and every one did so. This brew is recommended to allow conditioning for up to a year, any suggestions as to what went wrong? Our only conclusion was the use of champagne yeast, as this was the first time using it. Of note: no one in our brew circle has never experienced this before.
18 years ago
In Reply To #1 Nothing like beer pongs to really piss you off and ruin a batch of beer. There are several possibilities as to what went wrong here. Was the mead done fermenting? Honey takes a while to fully ferment out, and I suspect this one wasn't quite done. How much priming sugar was added? Did you prime with sugar or honey? Is the capper wearing down? Usually when something overcarbonates, the whole bottle explodes from the neck up. Since it's just the cap popping off, I am inclined to think your capper was too loose. What kind of bottles did you use? Twist off don't hold as well, and caps are more likely to fly off of those. What temperature were they stored in? If you had them store at 55-60, and then moved them to something 65-70, then that could be cause for tops popping. I find it odd that they didn't start popping for a couple months. How much air space did you leave in the bottle above the brew? If you left too small of a space then that would promote exploding bottles or popped tops. I've never used champagne yeast myself, and that could be the culprit after all. I just thought I'd throw out some suggestions.
Thanks, Cottrell. After reading over all the possibilities, I still believe it was the yeast. With the exception of fermentation time, everything was consistent with other brews. I believe he fermented it for at least 30 days, as was recommended by our brew master.