Here’s what happened: After leaving the now-bottled beer for three weeks to condition (and carbonate), I enthusiastically grabbed a pint and, while heading to get a glass, popped the cap. All hell broke loose! I have never experienced a liquid – not even a violently shaken Coke – foam so violently in my life. Beer spewed everywhere; covering the ceiling, running down the kitchen cupboard doors. And the floor ended up one huge sticky puddle. Cursing, I had no choice but to mop everything up – not exactly the kind of domestic activity one enjoys performing on a week night. Actually, make that never!
Once my initial frustration had passed, my brain went into overdrive. What had gone wrong? Had I picked up some wild yeast carried in the wind while bottling? Hadn’t I sanitised the bottles properly? Thumbing through the trouble shooting section of John Palmer’s informative book, How To Brew, I read his advice on over carbonation: “Refrigerate the bottles, and drink them while there is still some flavour left.” I was also terrified I’d come home from work one day, only to find exploded bottles and another sticky mess to deal with, so I did just that.