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Old 01-27-2012, 01:08 AM   #1
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Default How to determine carbonation levels

I am wondering how to tell if my beer is carbonated enough. I understand a beer can be flat when well under carbonated, but are there levels between flat and bottle bombs. I used cane sugar in priming for the first time and I read that it can take longer to carb. I am hoping to have my beer ready for the Super Bowl, but don't want to throw them in the fridge before they are in their prime.

My beer is a wheat beer that has been in the bottle a week. I know wheat beers are meant to drink young, but I want the happy medium of properly carbed and young beer. Thanks

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:15 AM   #2
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Refrigerate and try one.keeping it around low 70's will help until the superbowl. i dont think table sugar takes anylonger to carb, dry malt extract on the other had is said to take longer or maybe honey or molassis or maple syrup. Cane and corn sugar should be quick but it depends on the yeast to determine that. I get carbonation generally within a week,but i preferr them usually @4 weeks as far as carbonation.
How much did you use and what volume of beer did you have?

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Old 01-27-2012, 01:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMeister View Post
My beer is a wheat beer that has been in the bottle a week. I know wheat beers are meant to drink young,
A lot of brewers don't quite grasp or seem to understand that statement, and it seems to cause confusion. When someone says that a beer is to be consumed young, it doesn't mean you drink green uncarbed beer it means once it's carbed and coniditoned properly, it won't benefit from extended aging, and it will peak in only a few weeks and some of the qualities will begin to fade.

But it doesn't mean you don't let the beer complete any carbonation and conditioning it needs.

You still have no control over how long it takes for that beer to carb up and the flavors to come together....The carbonation and conditioning process still takes time, and is out of your hands.....the only thing you can control, is how long you want to take to consume the batch after it's ready....that's what is meant by consuming young.

You still need to wait however long the beer needs to be perfect....otherwise you are wasting beer.

You still should wait three weeks minimum (if the beer is average grav and stored above 70 degrees) then chill a couple for a day or two and see how they are.....If it's to your liking in terms of taste and perfectly carbed, then enjoy, if not you still have to wait.

Watch poindexter's video from my bottling blog, and you'll see how carbonation develops over time....that still doesn't factor in if a beer is green or not, where it still may need more time for flavors to develop.


But a beer meant to be consumed young, just really means don't plan on cellaring them for a long time and expect them to still be the same beer you expect, it doesn't mean you drink it flat and green. You still need to wait for the beer to come into it's full fruition.
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Old 01-28-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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Very informative video thanks Revvy. You were right in assuming I didn't totally grasp the concept of beer meant to be drunk young.

As far as my ratio of cane sugar for priming I used 2/3rds cup in a 5 gallon batch of honeyweizen. Not sure if the honey was all played out during fermentation or if there is enough left to effect carbonation.

I am planning on throwing one in the fridge in a day or so and seeing where I'm at.

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Old 01-28-2012, 12:25 PM   #5
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Cool video. I have brewed a grand total of one hefeweizen but it was ready to drink after 2 weeks in the bottle, in my opinion. It was nice & spritzy and I really didn't notice any significant improvements over the next few weeks.

I did a saison this summer that I was quite happy with after 2 weeks as well. Now that one has improved/changed over time and is really tasty right now but in my opinion, it was ready then.

But those have been the exception rather than the rule. Most of my beers aren't ready until a month in the bottle.

Oh and I'm pretty sure that I used regular table sugar for both of those. I have found that since I started using cane sugar that I have much more consistent carbonation from bottle to bottle, denser head w/ better retention and more lacing on the glass. I doubt I'll ever go back to corn sugar.

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Old 01-28-2012, 03:18 PM   #6
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I find that I get good results with dextrose or demerara given the right amount of time & a good process besides. 4-5 weeks is typical bottle time for me. Then 2 weeks in the fridge at 47F. I also use a scale & weigh the priming sugar amount given for the style by; http://http://www.tastybrew.com/calc...s/priming.html
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Old 01-28-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JediMeister View Post
I used cane sugar in priming for the first time and I read that it can take longer to carb.
Just out of curiosity, did you boil the cane sugar in a water solution before adding to your bottling bucket? The boil causes the di-saccharides (complex sugars) to have their bonds broken (by driving off the water molecule) and become two monosaccharides (simple sugars) that the yeast can readily consume and convert to alcohol and CO2.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:01 PM   #8
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Complex,long chain sugars can't be digested by the yeast. It's the simple sugars that they feed on. I for one don't boil the sugar. But,rather boil the water,take it off the heat,& dissolve the sugar into it. Cover & allow to cool. Works fine so far.
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Old 01-28-2012, 04:29 PM   #9
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What unionrdr said. I bring my water to boil then mix in the sugar and allow to cool. I didn't cover though and I'm sure its unlikely I got a contamination I will cover next time for prevention sake. Have a beer in the fridge now to taste tomorrow and see how its developing.

I understand keeping a beer in the fridge for 48 hrs or so will allow sediment and yeast to settle out, but what is the point of keeping it in the fridge for a week or more before drinking? I want to make sure i'm giving my beer every advantage I can before drinking.

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
Complex,long chain sugars can't be digested by the yeast. It's the simple sugars that they feed on. I for one don't boil the sugar. But,rather boil the water,take it off the heat,& dissolve the sugar into it. Cover & allow to cool. Works fine so far.
Sorry about that, I had that backwards. Cane sugar is a disaccharide (sucrose) that is made up of two monosaccharides (glucose and fructose). Boiling drives off the water moleucule and breaks the bond between the two, creating the monosaccharides that the yeast yeast can metabolize. I've corrected my previous post.
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