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Why would I want to over carbonate? Simple I’m trying to debug my under carbonated batches. So far I’ve had 4 batches all primed with coopers carbonation tabs and while they have all had some bubbles it’s not nearly the amount I’m looking for. I’ve deliberately added more than i should to see if I can increase the levels but it seems to top out at say porter level carbonation. Not the 3x CO2 I want in a Belgian.

So I’m looking to try and go too far and create some bottle bombs. At least if I can hit the top end I can work backwards in my system. Can someone give me a surefire way to do this with a 7% Belgian Blonde?

I’m conditioning at between 20-22 degrees C and using both caps and swing lids.

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Bottle bombs are usually beers that are about 10 gravity points above terminal gravity for standard 12oz bottles, then hit TG in the bottles. So 1.020 SG when 1.010 is TG.

For typical normal carbonation, 3-4 points above TG. Most 5 gallon batches call for about 4oz of monosaccaride priming sugar.

Rather than trying to make bombs and risk a mess and possible injury. Try to apply best practices for bottle conditioning.

  • rack to a bottling vessel from fermentor, this allows you to get mostly fined beer and then able to control how much trub you bring in. In 5 gallons I would intentionally bring in about 100m l of the yeast trub and mix.

  • use a powdered monosaccaride priming sugar (corn sugar), mix well in your bottling vessel.

  • repitch fresh yeast at bottling, if there was extreme fining or extended time in fermentation that would significantly reduce yeast health.

  • make sure your caps are sealing well. Cappers fatigue after a while and don't crimp very tight. Test by seeing if you can spin a cap on a capped bottle without tearing flesh on your hand. They shouldn't turn even by the strongest of us.

  • swing cap seals, these too can wear out or cause gas off from cracks or chemical damage. Some sanitizers can degrade the seal and cause it to become pourus allowing small molecule gasses to escape. When this happens they can even function like a regulator and only leak at certian a psi. So they still maintain some pressure but not as much as they should.

  • Wet the caps. Bottle caps should be pulled from submerged in a sanitizer withat least 90% water, or sprayed before going on the bottle. O2 absorbing caps require water to activate and it changes the media to make a good seal. Inverting bottles capped with dry caps doesn't wet the sealing area, so it's not enough.

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    Thanks. I’ve tried most of that apart from pitching fresh yeast. I’ld rather eliminate the sugar volume before I start faffing with extra yeast at bottling time. I doubt the caps are the problem because I have multiple different types and I always have consistent carb levels. – EnduroDave Apr 7 '18 at 15:41
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    Wow, this is incredibly useful information! Helped me a lot. – Martin Apr 8 '18 at 6:12
  • I my experience it’s harder to over carbonate on yeast specifically sold for bottling conditioning purposes even though they’re designed to withstain high pressure. So it might be a good idea to stick with the same strain used in primary. – Martin Apr 8 '18 at 8:16
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    @Martin yes the best take away from these "bottle conditioning" yeasts, is that it's just Champaign yeast. It has the ability to kill other yeasts, along with high psi and abv tolerance. Used to protect proprietary yeasts from public and to make effervescent carbonation levels. – Evil Zymurgist Apr 8 '18 at 14:47
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Any beer over 6 per cent will not carbonate well. Use 3.5 to 4 oz. corn sugar to bottle after 2 weeks fermentation. Your first pitch yeast will still be good enough without pitching new stuff. Also include a half pound of carapils malt in your recipe. Dextrin malts help with body and head retention. I also like adding some white wheat for the same effect, but wheat will add flavor. Cheers! Brewdog333

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