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Old 08-04-2010, 02:45 PM   #1
atlphenom
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Default Good head/flat beer?

This seems kind of strange to me, but I have some concerns about the carbonation of my beer. I'm fairly new so this might just be something with homebrews that I'm not used to but here's the situation:

Whenever I pour my beers, I get really good head formation and good head retention, to the point where I can pretty much finish a beer and still have a little bit of head left on top. The problem is that while a nice big head forms, the beer itself tastes flat. I can't figure out why the beer would form a head like that and not taste carbonated, unless all the carbonation just releases too quickly when I pour it and forms the head. Anyone else have this problem or know what could cause it?

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Old 08-04-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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How long and at what temp are you carbing/bottle conditioning at? Sounds like it's not been long enough to actually lock in the carbonation yet.

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

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, and needed another 6 months to condition.

Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."

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Old 08-04-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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I keep it in a temperature controlled basement at about 68F and it's been down there for close to 8 or 9 weeks now, and that's what I'm getting. It's an IPA, with about 5.5% ABV. The beer seems to be ready, and I have no problems with it other than the carbonation seems to be off.
On another note, how long does it take for the 22oz bottles as compared to the 12oz bottles? I have my beer in a mix of the two, and have been finishing the 12oz first because I heard they would condition faster. I want to give some bigger ones to some friends to critique but I'm not sure when they'll be in their prime.

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Old 08-04-2010, 10:08 PM   #4
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How long are you cooling these before opening to consume? 48 hours to cool, stabilize and absorb the CO2 in the headspace.

And how do you pour? a rough pour will knock the CO2 out...a gentle pour won't.

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Old 08-05-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
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From doing some reading, I'm thinking it must be the 48 hours that's doing it. I didn't realize that cooling your beer was so vital to the carbonation, so I was just getting it cold enough to consume and going from there. I've moved all the bottles I plan on consuming soon (so basically all of them) into a fridge, and I'll see how that changes things. Thanks for the help

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Old 08-05-2010, 08:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atlphenom View Post
From doing some reading, I'm thinking it must be the 48 hours that's doing it. I didn't realize that cooling your beer was so vital to the carbonation, so I was just getting it cold enough to consume and going from there. I've moved all the bottles I plan on consuming soon (so basically all of them) into a fridge, and I'll see how that changes things. Thanks for the help
I think you will see a resolution to your problem by chilling longer. But please post back what your results are so that others stumbling into to this thread might get some help from it as well.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:08 PM   #7
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Chilling it helped a lot. The carbonation was great, now I just need to work out how to get the beer to taste better. But I guess that's what the years of brewing ahead of me are for haha

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:37 PM   #8
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Leave a few at room temp for a few weeks more and see if they don't taste better with time. If you've read my article on carbing and conditioning then you know that beer is a lot like spagetti sauce and needs time for the flavors to mesh.

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