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Old 05-09-2008, 05:48 PM   #1
Tankard
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Default So far, disappointed with second batch... (carbonation, clarity)

I bottled my red ale 12 days ago. I cracked one open last night, poured it into my frosty beer mug, and I was shocked when there was no head. I took a sip, and although it tastes ok (no off flavors or anything like that), it was under-carbonated. It is also quite cloudy. I thought it was just chill haze but when I poured a room temperature bottle, it was still cloudy.

My last beer was good to go at 2 weeks... clear, carbonated, delicious. I'm almost 2 weeks with this beer and I hope that waiting an additional week will help things out. I think it's ironic that I ended up with a cloudy beer too, considering that I did secondary fermentation this time and I didn't last time. I also seem to have MORE sediment this time as well in the bottles, including some bottles with floating junk at the top.

Should I just wait and hope for the best?



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Old 05-09-2008, 05:58 PM   #2
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All beers are different. Some of mine are good quickly, others take weeks.

How long ago did you brew?

Is this an extract batch, or did you do AG or some steeping grains?

How did you carbonate?

Generally, the haze is probably yeast, and you might have to warm the beer up to get it to carbonate. Perhaps also you didn't get the sugar mixed in properly (?)



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Old 05-09-2008, 06:07 PM   #3
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21 days at 70 degrees.

That's what you need for complete carbonation. I bet it's much better in another couple of weeks.

As for head retention, that depends somewhat on carbonation, and lots on ingredients and methods.

As for the haze, once you've got good carbonation, put a few bottles in the fridge for a week. The cold helps the remainder of the yeast and haze to settle out.

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Old 05-09-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Even if they are good at 2 weeks they are always better at 4. I always taste at 2 weeks with the expectation that it won't be very good.

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Old 05-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jds View Post
21 days at 70 degrees.

That's what you need for complete carbonation. I bet it's much better in another couple of weeks.

As for head retention, that depends somewhat on carbonation, and lots on ingredients and methods.

As for the haze, once you've got good carbonation, put a few bottles in the fridge for a week. The cold helps the remainder of the yeast and haze to settle out.
+1 on the 21 days @ 70F. I've only done 4 batches so far, but the difference between 14 and 21 days in the bottle is tremendous. More head, more clarity, more balanced flavors....this all takes time apparently. Also, I've noticed that if you leave the beers chilled in the fridge for at least 2-3 days before drinking, you'll have much better carbonation. I know some people recommend a week, but 2-3 days seems to work well for me.
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Old 05-09-2008, 08:59 PM   #6
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On my first batch of beer I opened a bottle at 12 days. It was uneventful and disappointing. Barely any carbonation and quite flat. But at day 14 the second bottle I opened as fantastic. And the ones I opened up after 3 full weeks were just as good as the second if not better. I wont be opening up any more bottles after less than 2 weeks again (shooting for 3+).

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Old 05-09-2008, 09:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew Dude View Post

Should I just wait and hope for the best?

YES
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:29 PM   #8
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1. you didn't wait long enough - 3 weeks bare minimum
2. a cold frosty mug is actually not a great idea for real beer. for budweiser, sure, but for beer with flavor and aroma, you want a clean room temp or very very lightly chilled glass. too cold and it will make the beer hide aromas and flavors.
3. can't comment on the clarity without seeing the full recipe. that said, clarity usually has no impact on flavor or aroma...its just visually less 'appealing' in most styles.

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Old 05-19-2008, 12:27 AM   #9
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Just an update, the additional aging worked wonders. The beer is now fully carbonated, much clearer (still a little cloudy, not a big deal though) and it tastes delicious. This will be my last extract brew, so it's nice to go out on a high note.

On to AG.

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Old 05-19-2008, 12:41 AM   #10
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...On to AG.
C'mon over. We've been waiting.


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