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Old 10-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Refrigeration and carbonation

My first batch of beer (hefeweizen) has been bottled for a bit over three weeks. I've been trying one weekly to learn how it tastes at different stages. I recently stuck one in the fridge for a few hours and it tasted great. I went ahead and put a number of them in the fridge and opened one after a full day of chilling and it tastes as it did a week or two ago. Does chilling cause a reduction in carbonation? I removed them to continue aging at room temperature. Is that the proper action? Can anyone explain why this happens?

Many thanks!

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:07 AM   #2
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Chilling should not decrease carbonation. It will stop the yeast from producing CO2 if they still are (not likely with 3+ weeks on a normal gravity Hefe). And it will allow the beer to absorb more of the CO2 that's been produced, therefore making the liquid beer more carbonated.

Since you are comparing one bottle to another, it's more likely that you're dealing with bottle to bottle variation. When bottle conditioning, it's not unlikely that some bottles could get more priming sugar than others. I think this can be especially true if you just poured the priming solution in after racking or even just poured in the dry dextrose. There are also other bottle to bottle variations that can cause differences.

A better way prime is put the dissolved dextrose solution on the bottom of the bottling pail, then let the act of siphoning the beer in do the mixing.

If you put the beer in the fridge, it's likely that the yeast have gone dormant. It make take a little extra effort to get them to wake up and eat the rest of the residial priming sugar and complete carbonation. OTOH, it's possible you happened to open the one bottle that didn't get well primed and the rest are OK. Better try a few more

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:41 AM   #3
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I did prime as you described. The dissolved corn sugar solution was poured into the bottom of the bottling bucket and the siphoning did the mixing.

I did try another bottle and it tasted the same.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:51 AM   #4
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Did you stir the beer while bottling? On my first batch, I dissolved the dextrose in 1 cup boiling water, let it cool, and added to my bottling bucket. I then racked the beer onto the solution. However, I did not gently stir while bottling, and the soultion sunk to the bottom. The end result was beer that was subpar carbed in the middle of the bottling process. Some bottles had minimal carbonation, while others had a two finger head. Since then, I have always stirred while bottling and have had consistent results.

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Old 10-16-2012, 01:51 AM   #5
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Must be in the category of "other" bottle-to-bottle variations. Maybe the first bottle you had had more yeast. Sometimes these just go without explanation. But it does happen from time to time.

When you say "tastes" the same, are you just saying that it lacks carbonation? Of course carbonation does have a flavor impact. But I wondered if your talking about other flavors like greenness (acetaldehyde, etc).

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:31 AM   #6
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Odd, I opened a bottle of Sam Adams Octoberfest and it tastes horrible too. Maybe I have a bad taste in my mouth or something.

To be clear, though, if it tastes good refrigerated for a short time, there wouldn't be any reason it should taste worse after a day of refrigeration, right?

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Old 10-16-2012, 02:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dk21 View Post
To be clear, though, if it tastes good refrigerated for a short time, there wouldn't be any reason it should taste worse after a day of refrigeration, right?
I can't think of anything other than the possibility that you don't like the extra carbonic acid taste of greater carbonation. There are some things that would happen to a beer after longer periods of cold storage (it's called lagering) and generally these would make the beer taste smoother, but in your case we're talking only an extra day. I can't imagine single day would make that much difference. General guidance is that bottle conditioned beers be cold conditioned for at least 48 hours and 1 weeks would be better.

Your comment about it possibly being related to a bad taste (maybe from what you had to eat recently?) is very real. I can definitely taste swings from day-to-day in beer that I've had kegged and lagering in for weeks that I believe to be very stable.
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Old 10-16-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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The beer should be well carbonated at three weeks. But conditioning can take,on average,about a week longer from my obsevations. Conditioning always does. And I fridge'em for at least a week,maybe two for thicker head & longer lasting carbonation. Try a longer fridge time.
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, all! Hopefully the next one will taste like these should have!

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