Here’s a fun little first-of-the-year account (or end-of-the-year, depending on how you look at it) of something you rarely get in commercial beers: excessing foaming.

I had a bottle chilled to about 45 degrees and when opened, foam immediately started spilling out of the bottle. I quickly got it into a pint glass, where I was left with a half-inch of liquid in the bottom and foam that was three inches above the top of the glass.

To top it off, the foam still kept coming out of the bottle like a lava flow. It took about 10 minutes for the rambunctious brew to settle down….

I’m guessing the makers of this batch did not let the beer ferment long enough before bottling, and the excess unfermented malt combined with the too-active yeast to cause the excessive foam. Chilling it in the freezer had no effect on the foaming.

The beer in question: Arcadia Brewing Company‘s Battle Creek Special Reserve. Once he got past the foam, he gave it a decent review.

I had this happen to a homebrewed batch of brown ale once; you would open a bottle, and foam would start rising. I even had a bottle from that batch explode. And I’ve noticed a tendency in other brown ales I’ve brewed to be excessivly carbonated, too; I don’t know if it was the yeast I chose and didn’t ferment out, too much priming sugar in the bottles, or (just as likely) a random infection from a wild yeast or bacteria that over-carbonated the batch.

Via Beer – The Blog.


  1. What I’ve always wondered is how you know when the yeast has fermented "enough". Also, I guess wild yeast/bacteria isn’t that likely, as in that case shouldn’t there also be a sourish off taste?

  2. You generally know the yeast has fermented "enough" based on the activity (or lack of) you see happening with the airlock on the carbuoy/fermenter: when active, the airlock is bubbling constantly, outgassing the carbon dioxide that the yeast produce. When the bubbling of the airlock has dropped to say, 1 bubble per minute (or more), then the yeast are pretty much done, and the beer can be bottled.

    As far as infections, there wouldn’t necessarily be any off or sour tastes; it depends on what infected the batch. Explosive carbonation is definitely one possible symptom.

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