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Old 03-24-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default Bottle Carbonation Question

I have a few batches under my belt now and I am very curious about a few bottle carbonation details. I have done some forum/ internet reading and I have learned a lot but I am not quite satisfied.

I know that CO2 dissolves better into colder solutions. Will I get better results if I carbonate at 60- 65F rather than 70F before I refrigerate or will it just take longer?

Is there any possibility of creating additional off-flavors if I carb at a higher temp? I am under the impression that most off-flavors have already developed (and not been dissimulated?) at this point- as far as yeast esters and whatnot are concerned?

I have used several sugars and find that I like honey the best second to DME; it seems that the honey carb'd the fastest and was the most dissolved (effervescence vs head) any thoughts?

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:11 PM   #2
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I don't think carbing at 65F as opposed to 70F will do you much good. It will just take a little longer for the yeast to convert the priming sugar into CO2 (and EtOH). You are better off just carbing at 70F and then putting in the fridge (or whatever temp you want to serve the beer at) for a few days and then drinking.

I have not experimented with priming with different sugars so I can't comment on that.

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:11 PM   #3
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It's such a tiny fermentation going on, that the temp doesn't seem to affect the flavor of beer, in regards to carbonation. The yeast seem to prefer temps around 70 or above...because the further you get from the yeast's dormancy temps the faster it works.

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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Yeah, you're not going to get off flavors from priming temps; there's just not much sugar to ferment.

Do note that the colder you go, the slower the bottles will be to carb. If you drop much below 60, you run the risk of the bottles taking forever (or never carbing up), as the yeast may just go dormant on you.

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
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Awesome; anything that puts the beer in my belly that much faster sounds good (great) to me.

On a follow up note: If already carbonated beer is stored at room temperature (above serving temp) then the CO2 will 'gas off' and the beer would be less effervescent with more head?

For instance, if I buy beer that isn't in the cooler I should refrigerate for 24-48hrs to dissolve CO2 back into it if it is foamy without the bubbly?

Hypothetically, if I had a beer I felt had too much effervescence I could let it warm up for 24-48hrs and then chill to serving temp to reduce the bubbly? Not that I've ever had a beer I felt was too bubbly; I have been curious about consuming certain stouts at slightly less bubbly levels.

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #6
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The co2 won't gas off. You get a lot of co2 pressure in the head space at room temp. Higher room temps won't effect the yeast at all ime. It's different than ferment temps at this point. I fridge mine for at least 1 week to get co2 into solution better,& give any chill haze a chance to settle. 2 weeks fridge time gives thicker head & longer lasting,fine bubbled carbonation.

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:46 PM   #7
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I'm just a noob, so far it from me to impart words of brewing wisdom, but scientifically speaking that sounds about right. I do believe this has to do with gas laws, primarily Henry's constant, and equilibrium. At warmer temps the gas (CO2) will sit on top of the beer in the head space of the glass due to gas levels in beer being at equilibrium with gas out of beer (head space in sealed bottle). At cooler temps the gas dissolves back into the liquid to maintain equilibrium. I do not know hard facts here, just trying to recall my college chem and thermo. Warm beer and soda suck due to, among other things, lack of CO2. As soon as you open it, CO2 escapes. Same happens at cooler temps, you just have a longer window of time before the equilibrium is reached. CO2 levels in the beer trying to match CO2 levels in atmosphere. How this affects taste and feel as you're alluding to, I'm just as curious. It shouldn't be as bubbly, if that's what you're after.

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #8
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Co2 helps bring out flavors & aromas in the beer. As the beer goes flat,so goes the aromas & flavors.

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Old 03-26-2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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OP, your first question has two parts, and so does the answer. Conditioning cooler will not help your carbonation. You first need to CREATE CO2, them you need to DISSOLVE it (some of which happens concurrently). So carb them at 70, then cool them to dissolve it into solution.

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Old 03-27-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
The co2 won't gas off. You get a lot of co2 pressure in the head space at room temp.
Right. That's what I meant I just could not think of how to phrase it; thank you.

And as uscseslie put it: it will all escape as soon as you open the bottle. That is something so obvious I wouldn't ever think of it.

@unionrdr I agree that CO2 aids in perceiving many beer flavors the way that we do; sometimes though I prefer the texture of a beer with less carbonation. Texture from a pub style nitrogenated beer is my favorite. Typically the only flat beer I drink is what I can't fit in bottle.
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