Kegconnection Complete Starter Kit and More Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > *CRISP* carbonation

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-17-2006, 01:39 AM   #1
SkaBoneBenny
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 220
Default *CRISP* carbonation

My friend and I were sitting around enjoying a couple Sam Waterston's and ignoring our responsibilities the other day when he pointed out that though my beers are tasty, they lack that "crisp" taste of a store bought six pack. He seemed to think this was an element that could only be added through artifical "industrial" carbonation.

On further thought I realized that though my beers are extremely flavorful and aromatic, they do lack that crisp bite of say Sam Adams, Smuttynose, or Harpoon. Or most commerical craft beers for that matter.Yet when I talk to other homebrewers, and sample their creations, their beers are more or less akin to commerical brands in this respect. Is there something more I can do with my brews to take them to the next level.

I'm very satisfied with my falvor and aroma, its just that texture that really needs work. Could using slightly more than the 5oz pack of bottling sugar perhaps help to add that kick? Or would that just lead to over-carbonation. Maybe I should switch to a different sugar? Maybe... it's something I'm doing wrong in another part of the brewing process. Any suggestions? I'm looking to really bring my bottles to the next level. When my friends come over I watch them to choose Sam Waterston always over the Sam Adams. Well... maybe someday. Thanks!
-Ben

__________________
Samuel Waterston Beer Co.
Allston, MA


Thinking About: Strawberries and Cream Ale

Primary Fermenter: Nuthin...

Secondary Fermenter:"C-4 IPA!", American Wheat


Conditioning: 4 C's IPA

Drinkin': 4 C's American Pale Ale
SkaBoneBenny is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:49 AM   #2
Jack
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 343
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

By crisp do you mean something like an extremely clean flavor? If so, then I'd say chilling your wort as fast as possible, reducing your lag time with a starter, cold conditioning ales, and lagering at the absolute coldest temperatures you can. I think you can get cleaner flavors in a lager by force carbonating if you want to go that route.

__________________
Jack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 03:10 AM   #3
SkaBoneBenny
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 220
Default

Well, so far I've only produced Ales, no lagers. What effect does quickly chilling the wort have on the beer? Also, really, what is the benefit of a yeast starter. Why does it help to produces a cleaner, crisper flavor?
-Ben

__________________
Samuel Waterston Beer Co.
Allston, MA


Thinking About: Strawberries and Cream Ale

Primary Fermenter: Nuthin...

Secondary Fermenter:"C-4 IPA!", American Wheat


Conditioning: 4 C's IPA

Drinkin': 4 C's American Pale Ale
SkaBoneBenny is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 05:54 AM   #4
Jack
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Posts: 343
Liked 4 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I don't know if I have enough experience to say much about the effect of cold conditioning except that it seems to make beer taste better. It probably has something to do with crashing proteins and particulate matter out of your beer.

A starter helps because it reduces your lag time. From the moment you turn the heat off, there are microorganisms getting in your beer. And they will stay there and influence the flavor of your finished beer the more of them there are. When you pitch your yeast, the goal is to completely overwhelm any competing microbes that are in there. A starter contains more yeast cells than a vial, so it has a better chance of overwhelming the competition.

The White Labs webpage also says something about starters reducing fruity ester flavors in your beer because the yeast has already gone through the phase where it produces them in a starter. I don't understand the reason for saying that, but they're probably correct.

__________________
Jack is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:00 PM   #5
jeffg
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
jeffg's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 282
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Others will debate this, but try switching to priming your bottles with DME rather than bottling sugar--I think it produces tighter bubbles and a "crisper" beer.

__________________
Primary: nada
Secondary: nada
On Tap: Uncle Willie's Pale Ale; Kolsch
Bottled: Salvator Dopplebock
Up Next: Octoberfest
jeffg is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:14 PM   #6
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 69 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkaBoneBenny
Well, so far I've only produced Ales, no lagers. What effect does quickly chilling the wort have on the beer? Also, really, what is the benefit of a yeast starter. Why does it help to produces a cleaner, crisper flavor?
-Ben
Chilling the wort quickly cuts down on the risk of contamination. I'm not sure if that'll really help the "crispness" of the beer, though. Same with lag time. The benefits of yeast starters are many, and include a more vigorous and thorough fermentation. The main idea, though, is to cut down on the lag time---the amount of time between pitching the yeast into the wort and when fermentation begins. This might help with your crispness issue, but probably not all that much.

My few pieces of advice are:

1) Keep your fermentation temps down below 70f for most ales. Since the weather has gotten colder, I've been fermenting at 62-64, and I love how things are turning out---much better than during the summer when my fermentations hung around 75.

2) Keep your beers in secondary longer, so that more junk is able to fall out. And keep the temps down, in the lower 60's if possible, during this period.

3) Add a small amount of rehydrated dry yeast at bottling. This will ensure thorough carbonation.

4) After your certain that the bottles have carbonated (test one!), cold-condition the bottles as best you can.

5) Buy a $30 aeration kit to properly aerate your wort before pitching. This ensures healthy metabolism in your yeast, resulting in a better, more thorough fermentation. I believe that some of this lack of "crispness" you're experiencing has at least something to do with higher final gravities than you're lookign for. All it takes is a little bit of extra unfermenteds in your final brew to make the beer seem "fat" or "flabby". And it's difficult to make a flabby beer with "crispness".

Aside from that, you could keg...but I do think that industrial carbonation practices do produce something that we can't emulate perfectly. Oh well. I have plenty of "crisp" beers myself...just see if you can get your FG down a little bit, stay away from unfermentable adjuncts, and do all you can to have a low-temp, healthy fermentation.

Lastly, when you said you were drinking "Sam Waterstons", I thought, hey, the guy from Law & Order is making beer now? Cool!
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:16 PM   #7
Fiery Sword
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Fiery Sword's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Revere, MA, Massachusetts
Posts: 908
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Have you brewed these beers using mainly extract brewing? If so, I'd recommend moving towards a mini-mash type process, "mashing" a small amount of base malts w/ specialty grains and then fortifying this with a smaller amount of liquid or dry extracts to make sure you've got your sugars covered. By mashing, you have much more control over which direction your beers flavor and "feel" will go in. Mash it closer to 150f and you will be inviting a more "malty" flavor and a bigger "body" to your beers. Mash it up closer to 160f and you are going to lessen that maltiness and invite higher alcohol production and a higher ABV %. If you get a good mini-mash process down you can get some satisfactory yields and usually beat the SG that certain recipes will call for.

Another thing that occurred to me is that most of the beers you mentioned are dry-hopped beers. Try to separate the "crispiness" of the beer's body from the "crispiness" that can be achieved by dry hopping. Maybe you are thinking of a more defined hop bite than a beer body issue. Just a possibility, and something to think of. Whenever you are comparing your homebrews to commercial beers there are a lot a variables at play. Choosing what adjustments to make is just as important as executing them well. I'd also recommend not making too many process-changes at once. Change only a few variables, and take good notes.

Editor’s note: I’m no pro, so any more informed brewer out there feel free to correct me!

BTW good to see another Bostonian - whereabouts are you 'round here? college? live? Keep on 'brewin.......

__________________
Fiery Sword is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:19 PM   #8
Fiery Sword
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Fiery Sword's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Revere, MA, Massachusetts
Posts: 908
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!
5) Buy a $30 aeration kit to properly aerate your wort before pitching. This ensures healthy metabolism in your yeast, resulting in a better, more thorough fermentation. I believe that some of this lack of "crispness" you're experiencing has at least something to do with higher final gravities than you're lookign for. All it takes is a little bit of extra unfermenteds in your final brew to make the beer seem "fat" or "flabby". And it's difficult to make a flabby beer with "crispness".
I couldn't agree with this more. Not a big investment money-wise but you will notice much faster and effective fermentation. Lots o' bang for the buck, so to say. Good tip.
__________________
Fiery Sword is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:23 PM   #9
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 69 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default



Samual Waterstons! Mmmm, MMMMM, Bitch!

__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-17-2006, 01:24 PM   #10
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 69 Times on 61 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Fiery: Yeah, one of the best investments I've made. Ever since I got that thing, my attenuation has skyrocketed. Coincidence? I think not.

__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Briess, Muntons, or Crisp? Beerthoven Recipes/Ingredients 9 01-14-2010 03:22 AM
British crisp lehr Recipes/Ingredients 3 06-25-2009 03:03 PM
That Crisp/ahhh(sigh of contentment) feeling BrewinJack Cider Forum 10 12-23-2008 05:28 PM
Crisp Brown Malt ISUBrew79 Recipes/Ingredients 3 10-14-2008 10:26 PM
A nice crisp Hoppy Red pbowler Recipes/Ingredients 11 09-29-2006 02:03 PM