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Old 12-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
jmuman703
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Default Low carbonation from bottles.

Hey all!

Just brewed my first homebrew (a Bavarian hefe) and I am having low carbonation in the bottle. It is mildly carbonated but it has no head and not the carbonation you would expect from a wheat beer. It has sat now in the bottles for 2 and a half weeks. When I drink it I usually take a few bottles and throw them in the freezer to chill me down and once they are ice cold I drink them. Does anyone have any guidance for future beers? Or is there a way to get a little more carbonation from the ones I already have?

I heard a rumor that you need to let them sit in the fridge for a week to ensure the co2 gets into the liquid. Any truth to this?

Please help!

Thanks!

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Old 12-19-2012, 06:23 PM   #2
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Regarding sitting in the fridge, it definitely seems to be the case that it will help carbonation. It is not disputed that colder liquids can hold more CO2, and it makes sense that it takes time for the CO2 to be absorbed into a liquid even when the capacity has been increased. I find 3-4 days is enough, but longer times definitely don't hurt and some say it improves the taste.

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Old 12-19-2012, 06:30 PM   #3
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Ok well I will do a double test. I will put some of the beer Ina. Warmer place for 5 days or so to see if that ups the carb and I will put a few in the fridge for 5 days and see if that ups the carb. I'm hoping I can get it up to snuff by christmas which would be a total of 3 and a half weeks in the bottle.

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Old 12-19-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmuman703
Hey all!

Just brewed my first homebrew (a Bavarian hefe) and I am having low carbonation in the bottle. It is mildly carbonated but it has no head and not the carbonation you would expect from a wheat beer. It has sat now in the bottles for 2 and a half weeks. When I drink it I usually take a few bottles and throw them in the freezer to chill me down and once they are ice cold I drink them. Does anyone have any guidance for future beers? Or is there a way to get a little more carbonation from the ones I already have?

I heard a rumor that you need to let them sit in the fridge for a week to ensure the co2 gets into the liquid. Any truth to this?

Please help!

Thanks!
Yes, its true that liquids absorb CO2 more easily when they are cold. However, you never stated how much priming sugar (if any) you added before bottling. Also, you never stated what temperature your beer was sitting at for the 2 1/2 weeks it was carbonating for. It takes about 2 weeks for the average beer to carbonate at 70*F (depending on if you put the proper amount of priming sugar). Additionally, how long was your beer sitting before you bottled it? Hefeweizens should be bottled fairly young so they stay cloudy. But if you had let it sit for a really long while (like months), a lot of yeast can drop out and it takes more time than normal for the yeast to propagate and carbonate the beer when you bottle. Also, the type of priming sugar matters, as some sugars are more fermentable than others. The standard priming sugar is dextrose (i.e., corn sugar), but you can also use honey, brown sugar, etc. too, although these sugars leave residual flavors behind (sometimes that is the point, though). The amount of priming sugar you want to use depends on the amount of CO2 volumes you would like in your beer. Bavarian Hefeweizens are usually a bit more carbonated than your average ales, hitting between 3.6 and 4.5 CO2 volumes. If you wanted to shoot for the middle of the two (4 CO2 vols), you would need about 8.5 oz of corn sugar. If you wanted it to be slightly less carbonated, more like an ale (3.6 vols), you would need about 7.5 oz of corn sugar. I hope this info helps!
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:14 PM   #5
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The standard is 3 weeks at 70F,not 2. Although wheat beers are supposed to be ready sooner. I don't think that's true 100% of the time. And ales are normally 1.6-2.5 volumes of co2,depending on style.
But I'd leave all the bottles @ 70F to finish carbonating & conditioning. then at least 5 days fridge time.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by unionrdr
The standard is 3 weeks at 70F,not 2. Although wheat beers are supposed to be ready sooner. I don't think that's true 100% of the time. And ales are normally 1.6-2.5 volumes of co2,depending on style.
But I'd leave all the bottles @ 70F to finish carbonating & conditioning. then at least 5 days fridge time.
He is not brewing an ale. He is brewing a bavarian hefeweizen; if you look up the average CO2 vols for a bavarian hefe, you will notice they are SUBSTANTIALLY higher than ales.
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Old 12-19-2012, 07:26 PM   #7
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He was referring to more like the carb of an ale,hence my comment. Read the details. I know wheat beers are higher carb,but going up to 3.5 volumes plus in the average glass bottle we use is pushing it. And 2 weeks was never long enough for good carb & conditioning.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr
He was referring to more like the carb of an ale,hence my comment. Read the details. I know wheat beers are higher carb,but going up to 3.5 volumes plus in the average glass bottle we use is pushing it. And 2 weeks was never long enough for good carb & conditioning.
From what I see, he said no such thing. And I am just trying to help a new brewer learn proper CO2 volume levels. 3.5 volumes is not pushing it, and I have carbonated that high before. I am sorry if you disagree, and you are free to, but if you do your research, you will find that 3.5 volumes is just about right for the average bavarian hefe. But to each his own, I suppose.
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Old 12-20-2012, 04:11 PM   #9
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Ok,that was you that mentioned ales,wheats being a bit more carbed,etc. Mis-remembered. I've never had co2 pressure problems nyself,but some going 3.5 volumes in the average bottles have,so a good thing to keep in mind,since that is around the upper limits of psi the bottles can handle. And I'm aware of average vco2 levels from commercial breweries. I just don't think it's safe at upper limits 100% of the time.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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Hey guys so three weeks will be tomorrow. The main issue is that it doesn't have that bright carb of a hefe. It has more of a creamy mouthfeel like an English ale. I want it to be very effervescent like it should be and I am getting a little discouraged. I used 1 and 1/4 cup of DME for carbing.

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