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Bottles only half full

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I really screwed up this batch and I’m hoping I can save it. Brewing Crater Stout. When I started brewing a few weeks ago I realized I was out of sanitizer (not sure why it didn’t come with the recipe). I went to my local brew supply store and got some Star San. If you’ve ever used it, you know it foams. No biggie for the LBK because there was room in the keg even with the foam. But it was a different story for bottling. The foam took up a lot of room and so I couldn’t fill my bottles (plastics) to where I normally would and didn’t have non foaming water to rinse.


To make matters worse I got distracted and ended up forgetting to put carbonation  tablets in half of my bottles and didn’t realize it until I had boxed them up. I was probably too focused on the foam. It’s been two days and the foam settled leaving me with several half full bottles, half of which have no carb tabs. Any thoughts on saving even part of this batch? Is it worth trying to combine them? I figure I can add tabs to any bottles that aren’t carbonating after a couple of days but most of them are pretty far below the proper fill amount anyway. 

So frustrated because this was my first foray into recipes.

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Leave them alone.  What's done is done.  Mixing will aerate them, ruining them further.  And you have no way to know what's carbonated and what's not.


You didn't use the StarSan properly. It doesn't get rinsed (as you suggested you might do).   You put it in the bottles, dump it out, IGNORING THE FOAM.  Then you fill, letting the foam pour out of the bottle as the liquid fills them.  You fill the bottles just like with any other sanitizer.


There is a saying with StarSan - don't fear the foam.  


You learned a value lesson. Follow a procedure.  Sanitize all bottles, then put in the carbonation drops in all bottles, then fill all bottles.  

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If you used plastic bottles give them a squeeze in a few days. You should be able to tell which have sugar (carb drops). I would add some plain sugar to those which are still soft. Also, I would  use a paper towel with some sanitizer and wipe the bottle top, dip the caps and work quickly, one at a time, minimizing the time each bottle is left open. Can't hurt. Good luck.

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