I am now nine bottles in to my Yorkshire square brown ale, and I've noticed some definite variation in the carbonation level and head retention from bottle to bottle.
Note that I allowed three weeks in a closet at 65-68 degrees, with the last two days in my fridge, before I cracked bottles #1 and #2. This was after primatery of 15 days followed by secondary of 15 days.
Bottle #1 - poured pretty cold - gave me almost two fingers of foam, which stayed pretty well until the dregs. I did notice some flavor change (not really for the better) as the beer warmed up.
Last night, I had bottle #9 - it had spent 4+ weeks in the bottles prior to spending 2+ weeks in the fridge. I let this on sit on the counter long enough to warm up a good bit.
It had ENORMOUS foam - I couldn't pour the last third of the bottle until the foam dissipated a bit. However, the foam evaporated quickly, leaving me with ony a few bubbles. Taste was good, however, and the beer didn't seem flat.
I have seen everything in between. Usually, I get head retention only on colder bottles that give me less foam; if I get up to three fingers worth of foam, I can count on only having a very thin layer that lasts throughout the process.
The beer has a slightly odd sweet hint at the finish; not sure if this is due to it being an extract + speciality grain brew, the yeast strain (White Labs Yorkshire Square), or perhaps an off flavor caused by me letting it ferment too warm to begin with.
I will note that these days, the flavor seems pretty constant throughout a given glass; I'm guessing this is due to the beer mellowing and coming into its own.
Honestly, I am very happy with this beer; I'd just like to figure out carbonation a bit more. I'm guessin that my warmer beer is letting the saturated CO2 escape quicker... but that seems odd, too.
Is the batch perhaps simply not fully carbed even yet?
Any and all advice is appreciated.
- blogging about making my own beer and raising a lot of kids.
Check out the priming sugar calculator
and the beer calorie calculator
Fermenting: Oatmeal toffee stout
Bottled: Enchantress (big Irish red ale), Thundersmoke brown ale (Yorkshire brown), Belgian golden strong ale, imperial nut brown ale