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Old 01-22-2013, 11:36 AM   #1
jhegende
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Default No head and lots of head

I just finished a batch of my American Light I made. In 2 of the bottles I had a lot of head when I poured it but it tasted great. The rest had no head and tasted very very bad. What could have caused this? I used table sugar. I used no rinse cleaner to clean the bottles too.



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Old 01-22-2013, 11:42 AM   #2
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Either infection or improper carbonation technique. The easiest way to add priming sugar to your beer is to make a simple syrup by melting your sugar in a cup or two of boiling water, then pouring that syrup into your bottling bucket and racking your beer onto it. This will ensure an even distribution of the sugar and you don't have to worry about measuring out sugar into individual bottles (also helps avoid bottle bombs).

Make sure if you're using recycled bottles to thoroughly scrub them out first. I like to clean mine with a soak in generic oxyclean (unscented) and scrub them out with a bottle brush to get all of the gunk out before I sanitize them. Also, be sure to sanitize anything and everything that will come into contact with your finished beer. This includes: bottle caps, cappers, bottling bucket, tubing, bottles, racking equipment, etc.



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Old 01-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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I also used the sugar solution in the bucket method my first two bottling efforts and all mine came out evenly carbonated.. It's what I would recommend. I also used the priming sugar (Corn..?) that came with my kit, not sure if that matters. Definitely made it easier to bottle. I can't imagine the pain and mess it would be putting a spoon of sugar in each bottle before bottling.

Also I am stickler for sanitation.. so no infections in any so far that I have opened up.

What I did with my bottles was this :

1) Soaked all my bottles in hot Oxyclean bath for a half hour and scrub the outside (Oxyclean strips the glue and labels off with little effort). Make sure the bottles are all filled and sink to the bottom.

2) Rinsed them off and then use a bottle washer (with hot water) to rinse out anything inside the bottles.




3) Then I go to the dishwasher and put them in the dishwasher (Without soap) and run the dishwasher on sanitize. So even if you miss something in the previous wash, they will be sanitized.

4) Removed from the dishwasher while still hot and put into their 6 pack containers to dry and cool off. Which will be fast as they will be 140 degrees or so.

5) While they dry I prep for bottling and then bottle. By this time the bottles are cool enough to handle, but still in the 80 degree range.

The heat transferred is to the beer is minimal. My thought is if the bottles are little warm, then the colder beer will warm up (at least around the edges) a bit to kick off the yeast to start making some CO2. Especially for yeast that at the bottom, the warmest part of the bottle.

The filled bottles by the time they were ready for capping were room temp.

My first batch have a nice even carbonation and head 2 weeks after bottling. So it must have worked. I would say with all the mistakes I made in the brewing aspect of my first batch, the bottling wasn't one of them.

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Old 01-22-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
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Now I used new bottles and sanitized everything! I would like to try the sugar solution so how would I make that for 8 liters? Like how much sugar to how much water? The how much in each bottle? I am very new to this so I need as much description as possible! Thanks again

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Old 01-22-2013, 03:42 PM   #5
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Try using this priming calculator; http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html
I boil 2C of water in a small sauce pan covered for a few minutes. Remove from heat & add the measured amount of sugar. Stir to dissolve,cover & allow to cool a bit before adding to bottling bucket. Rack beer into botlling bucket. Then stir gently without splashing to ensure even distribution.
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Old 01-22-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Try using this priming calculator; http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html
I boil 2C of water in a small sauce pan covered for a few minutes. Remove from heat & add the measured amount of sugar. Stir to dissolve,cover & allow to cool a bit before adding to bottling bucket. Rack beer into botlling bucket. Then stir gently without splashing to ensure even distribution.
+1 i usually even give another gently stir about half way through. not sure if it's needed but it works for me.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:27 AM   #7
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Okay this is probably a dumb question but the bottling bucket and racking the beer....what does this mean exactly? Do I just put all the fermented beer into a new container then add the sugar syrup thing then put it into the bottles?

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Old 01-23-2013, 11:57 AM   #8
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Racking I believe is short for moving from one rack to another.. In brewing.. it means moving the beer from one container to another.

In this case its moving it from the fermenter or secondary into the bottling bucket



First take your priming sugar syrup and put into the bottom of the cleaned and sanitized bucket.

Then with a sanitized tube transfer from the fermentor/secondary (Up high on table), and place hose into the bottom of the bucket (Low on floor works) and let the beer flow smoothly into the bucket. I put the tube along the side and point it towards the side of the bucket.. So it will cause a swirling in the bucket to mix the syrup and beer.

When done, connect tube to spout and add sanitized bottling wand to end and fill bottles..

See:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/stone-cold-lead-pipe-lockd-n00b-advice-54362/index16.html

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:37 PM   #9
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Ok so here is what I did to my new batch I made my priming sugar an out it in another mr beer keg and used a clear tube to siphon everything into it the stirred it gently to make sure it was evenly distributed then put it in the bottles hope it works

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Old 01-29-2013, 08:49 PM   #10
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I was interested in doing an Amber ale. I'm at the 1 gallon stage currently, and have a recipe that I think will work.
1.2 lb 2-row malt
.4 lb caramel malt
.3 lb light Munich
.3 lb biscuit
.2 lb Cara-pils
.2 lb flaked rye
Steep for 60 min at 154°
.2 oz Cascade hops at 60 min, 30 min, 5 min, and at at end of boil
SF lager yeast (1/2 packet) to ferment

I heard of adding Irish Moss at some point during the process but was not sure when to do it. Any suggestions or comments on how to improve the recipe? I'm just started brewing and want to get this one correct. Thanks for any help!



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