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Old 10-30-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
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Come to think of it, the beers I've made that had really low FGs (1.002-1.006) had coarser bubbles than the beers I've made that had higher FGs (1.010-1.024).
That makes sense, the lower FG beers are less dense. The density of the beer will have a lot to do with the bubbles formed, and denser beer may be exerting more pressure on the attempting-to-expand bubble.

Protein concentration can definitely have a lot to do with it. Think of it like head creation/retention. The beers with more proteins have thicker, creamier heads because there are more protein molecules to trap and surround the off-gassing CO2. This results in many tiny bubbles, and thanks to the extra proteins, those bubbles hang around longer on top of your beer. Lighter, less proteinaceous (sp?...word?) beers can't trap the CO2 the same and the bubbles are bigger because there are less proetins to form around the bubble. This also creates poor head retention because once the bubble reaches the surface, the much more spaced out proteins can't hold together as well and the expanding CO2 is able to break free and become an addition to the greenhouse gases.

Long story short, brewing lighter and thus lower protein beers contributes to global warming. So if you think about it, AB/InBev is likely the worlds leading contributer to global warming!
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:53 PM   #12
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That makes sense, the lower FG beers are less dense. The density of the beer will have a lot to do with the bubbles formed, and denser beer may be exerting more pressure on the attempting-to-expand bubble.
Sounds good, except champagne FG is <1.0 and it's got the smallest bubbles.
I'm leaning toward the yeast. Big fart / small fart theory - I don't even know if that makes any sense. Carbon dioxide is a fixed size, so the bigger bubbles are clusters of CO2. So, bigger bubbles are bigger farts, because once they are in the beer, the bubbles act like spheres and will bump into each other and bounce away from each other and not combine.

This is almost entirely made up; not impossible - but has no foundation in science whatsoever.

-OCD
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:37 PM   #13
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Sounds good, except champagne FG is <1.0 and it's got the smallest bubbles.
Good point, that is likely due to the level of carbonation, and champagne is highly carbonated. It's going to try to escape as quickly as possible to reach equilibrium and thus the bubbles rush to the surface much faster and end up being small as they take less time to form. I've never actually compared champagne bubbles to beer bubbles, but from memory I'd still say a porter generally has smaller bubbles than champagne.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:53 PM   #14
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that is likely due to the level of carbonation, and champagne is highly carbonated. It's going to try to escape as quickly as possible to reach equilibrium and thus the bubbles rush to the surface much faster and end up being small as they take less time to form. I've never actually compared champagne bubbles to beer bubbles, but from memory I'd still say a porter generally has smaller bubbles than champagne.
I like the reasoning in the beginning, but porter isn't normally HIGHLY carbonated - is it? Someone needs to split 2 different gravity batches of wort and ferment using 2 different yeasts. This would test high/low gravity and then different yeasts. So the next thing would be to decide on a tiny bubble yeast vs a big bubble yeast.

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Old 10-30-2009, 11:08 PM   #15
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I like the reasoning in the beginning, but porter isn't normally HIGHLY carbonated - is it? Someone needs to split 2 different gravity batches of wort and ferment using 2 different yeasts. This would test high/low gravity and then different yeasts. So the next thing would be to decide on a tiny bubble yeast vs a big bubble yeast.

-OCD
I wasn't saying the porter is highly carbonated. The bubbles are small in a porter for my previously stated reasons (proteins and whatnot). I was only relating the carbonation level to the champagne.

As for the yeast, there is absolutely going to be no difference unless the yeast is also excreting something into the beer that will change it's density/consistency.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:46 PM   #16
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Anyone else compared cheap sparkling wines that do "method champagnois" (i.e. bottle condition) versus those that are forced carbonated? I've always found the method champagnois to taste better and not give a hangover compared to the force carbed ones, where even a little can make you feel icky. Obviously an apple to orange comparison b/c you aren't drinking the same wine carbed two different ways, but it seems like there is something to the natural carbing, at least in sparkling wine. Thoughts on how this might relate to beer?

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Old 10-31-2009, 12:45 AM   #17
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OK, head hurts. Can't find an answer by googling. Most answers are related to head retention - smaller bubbles = longer lasting head. Some promising abstracts would only show the full article upon subcribing to the service. I'll just sit by and hope for a better googler to come along.

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Old 10-31-2009, 01:25 PM   #18
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Does use of irish moss, gelatin, or other finings effect the bubble profile? I've not used any, so I can't offer an observation.

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Old 10-31-2009, 06:10 PM   #19
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And what about the effect of temperature on the finished product? Does a warmer beer allow co2 to come out of solution to reach equilibrium faster/easier than a really cold beer?

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Old 10-31-2009, 06:48 PM   #20
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Maybe if this got moved to the science forum we could get someone to answer....

-OCD

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