As dnult suggests, the internal circuit breaker heats up and pops open. During the heavy charge cycle, measure with DMM across battery terminals.
If reading is above 16 volts, battery may be bad.
When charging a battery, the colder temperature it is, the more voltage needed to recharge it. Once the battery is starting the chemical process and taking a charge, it heats up. As the battery gets hotter, the more recharging current it accepts, the higher the voltage.
Battery chargers are current sensitive, they could care less about voltage, its not monitored, as least for the cheaper models. Alternators on the other hand, are voltage sensitive. Read your ammeter. High charge at first, then levels off. As battery heats up, less current is provided for recharge because alt is regulating voltage, not current.
As long as it not boiling the electrolyte out, it should be good to go. Have a battery load test done once you get it on the road.
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