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jagdeuce 07-12-2009 03:38 PM

carbonation issues
 
I am fairly new to homebrewing but have had some good luck with most of my beers so far. The first 3 batches were well carbonated with great head retention.

My problem is that the last 3 are lacking in both the carbonation and retention.

In looking through my log and brainstorming, the only thing I changed is I started using whirlfloc tablets. Could this have anything to do with my carbonation problems.

If yes would Irish Moss have the same affect?

Also I have two more batches in carboys...is there anything I should do when I bottle those???

Thanks!!

Revvy 07-12-2009 03:51 PM

How long and at what temp are you storing them to carb? If it's under three weeks minimum and below 70 degrees (for NORMAL grav beers), when you are testing them, then there is nothing wrong but impatience...Storage temp, and gravity are the two most important important factors in carbing and conditioning...

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up.

ALL beers will reach their level of carbonation eventually. In fact, it's possible (and proven by running the numbers in beersmith) to NOT add priming sugar and get minimal carbonation of a few volumes in time (in old brewing british brewing books they didn't add sugar to some ordinary bitters, and milds and relied on time and temp to do the work naturally.)

More info can be found here....Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. There's even a video.

jagdeuce 07-12-2009 03:59 PM

Sorry I didn't give all of the info....

The batches range in age from 3 weeks to 10 weeks and have been in my basement which ranges in temp from 66 to 72 degrees.

There is some carbonation but it is very minimal and with the older 2 batches has not changed as they have gotten older.

hoppheadIPA 07-12-2009 05:07 PM

Patience young grasshopper. They WILL carb up!!!

McGarnigle 07-12-2009 05:44 PM

I dunno. If these are regular sized beers, yo shouldn't have to wait 10 weeks.

How much priming sugar do you add? What are your expectations regarding fizz? Bud, Miller, et. al. tend to be on the high side, so your homebrew may never reach those levels. Whirlfloc and Irish Moss aren't going to effect the level of carbonation. You'd have to actually filter your beer (or leave it in secondary for a looooong time) to have problems due to insufficient yeast.

Head retention brings in other factors, such as style of the beer, etc.

kevmoron 07-12-2009 06:13 PM

I disagree with the notion that all beers will eventually carb. If too much time elapses between brewing and bottling, particularly if you are making a very high alcohol beer, the yeast could possibly be dead by the time you bottle. If your yeast is dead, your yeast is dead, and it will not carb even after 6 months. I had left a Belgian Dark Strong Ale in primary for three weeks, and secondary for another five, and in a 10% alcohol environment, the yeast were dead by the time I bottled. Nine months later, it still had not carbed. In that situation, you would need to open each bottle and aliquot a small amount of fresh yeast to get it done.

jagdeuce 07-13-2009 01:42 AM

Ok the beers were primed with 4 oz. of corn sugar into what ended up being 4.5 gallons of beer come time of bottling.

I am just looking for decent carbonation like that I get from the microbrews I am used to drinking.

Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying my beers, just looking to improve.

The 3 beers in question were an altbeir, nut brown ale, and an English Pale Ale....I have an IPA in the bottle but have not checked those yet...just shy of 2 weeks on those, will be trying one tomorrow.

Yooper 07-13-2009 01:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jagdeuce (Post 1429337)
Ok the beers were primed with 4 oz. of corn sugar into what ended up being 4.5 gallons of beer come time of bottling.

I am just looking for decent carbonation like that I get from the microbrews I am used to drinking.

Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying my beers, just looking to improve.

The 3 beers in question were an altbeir, nut brown ale, and an English Pale Ale....I have an IPA in the bottle but have not checked those yet...just shy of 2 weeks on those, will be trying one tomorrow.

4 ounces of corn sugar is more than adequate for 4.5 gallons of beer. Do you have them warm enough?


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