my chief complaint - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > my chief complaint

Thread Tools
Old 06-29-2009, 03:47 PM   #1
Jan 2009
Posts: 41

So everyone that tries my beers has the same general comment. "tastes great but its a little flat".

i have been using The Beer Recipator - Carbonation

i am about to bottle a porter today and wanted to double check the number i get from running that calc.

It says to add 5oz of corn sugar. i desperately do not want another lightly carbonated beer, But on the other hand i do not want exploding bottles.

So given my less than stellar results with this carbonation calc, should i add 6-7oz?

Thanks for the help! And if anyone would like to refer me to a better way of determining priming sugar or techniques (i just dump the sugar in and lightly mix), then please share with me!

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 03:50 PM   #2
johnnyc's Avatar
Jan 2009
North Atlanta, GA
Posts: 669
Liked 9 Times on 7 Posts

I've used 5oz by weight on all of my 5 gallon batches and haven't had any carbonation issues. How long have they been bottled? I give mine at least 3 weeks in the bottle before opening.
Kegged: Hoppy Amber, ESB, Weizenbock, Breakfast Stout, IPA

Fermenting: Yooper's Oktoberfest

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
Jan 2009
Posts: 41

i normally allow them to bottle condition for ~2 weeks, then there are ones that will sit for a month or so before i get to refrigerate/drinking (i have really noticed a difference in flavor maturity so i try my very best not to drink them right away)

but i think im leaning toward at least 6oz of priming sugar this time... i dont want another of my friends referring to my beer as "flat" or "English style". 70 min till they are sanitized in the dishwasher - wish me luck, will post exploded bottle photos if it comes to that

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 04:12 PM   #4
Joe Camel
Mar 2008
Charlottetown, PE, Canada
Posts: 284
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts

Are you capping or using grolsch style bottles? If capping, are you using twist off bottles? Over time, grolsch seals and twist offs can leak. So that may be an issue you're dealing with.

Also, most calculators factor in "residual CO2" or what is still dissolved in solution after fermentation is done. If your beer has warmed up a lot after fermentation is done or you've not been gentle in your siphoning, you may have driven off a good portion of the residual CO2. So you might want to kick up the sugar a bit if you think this is happening.

Finally, it's possible that you and your friends are used to higher carbonation in your beers than the styles you're making. Some beers are meant to be "flat" in comparison to others. Excessive carbonation adds to the bitterness and bite of a beer and maltier beers will not be balanced if too carbonated.

Turn up the good, turn down the suck!

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 04:12 PM   #5
homebeerbrewer's Avatar
Jun 2008
Home, where the beer is, NH
Posts: 2,062
Liked 107 Times on 92 Posts

Just curious, but what style of beer are your friends saying is too flat? Also, what kind of beer are they comparing yours to? BMC is carbed quite a bit, and if that's what their used to, or expect all beers to be like, they'll think that a properly carbed beer of a different style is flat, even though it isn't.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 04:19 PM   #6
olllllo's Avatar
Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,330
Liked 140 Times on 114 Posts

Get a few of your bottles up to 80F for a few days and see if that makes a difference. It's possible that your yeast isn't finishing.
Rabbit And Coyote Schwag
Rob - Phoenix Ambassador to Milwaukee
Where did your avatar go?
Ginger Beer for Moscow Mules Bacon Vodka

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 04:26 PM   #7
Jan 2009
Posts: 41

i use bottles and a Red Baron Bottle Capper. I dont think the styles that i normally drink are excessively carbonated. I like IPA's, pale ales, brown ales, ESB's and the occasional lager. Ive brewed a pale ale, IPA, bohemian lager and now the porter is ready for bottles. i hope to knock this one out of the park (its my first AG).

my temp remains constant (room temp ~70F) from conditioning to bottling/storage until i refrigerate and drink.

Would head space in the bottle have a large effect? i generally eye it and try to do it like the commercial beers i drink. Its probably about a inch of head space...

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 05:24 PM   #8
Mar 2009
Posts: 64

Originally Posted by Devantf View Post
And if anyone would like to refer me to a better way of determining priming sugar or techniques (i just dump the sugar in and lightly mix), then please share with me!
5 oz should be plenty (5 gal batch, right?) If you're not boiling that sugar in a couple cups of water prior to adding it to your bottling bucket I'd think your carbonation might be uneven bottle to bottle. If you do add more sugar I'd go easy. A couple tablespoon could make a pretty big difference.
The piano has been drinking
my necktie is asleep
The combo's gone back to New York and
the jukebox has to take a leak
Tom Waits

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 05:37 PM   #9
May 2009
Seymour, CT
Posts: 1,078
Liked 105 Times on 87 Posts

sounds like your friends are all used to the hugely carbonated bmc's that they probably have had forever... Your doing it right i'm sure.

Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2009, 05:51 PM   #10
Jun 2007
Arlington, VA
Posts: 265
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts

best thing for me about kegging is getting the carbonation exactly how I want it. I had the most difficult time trying to bottle condition beers. I had a Wit that didn't carbonate in 2 months so I kept it over the winter and it is very carbonated now, maybe a bit too much. I tried raising the temperatures, swirling the bottles, etc., but nothing seemed to speed up the process for me.

Not a solution, but you're not alone. Getting the carbonation right is tricky. The best solution is brew a lot so waiting for the beer to be near the desired carbonation isn't much of an issue.

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Avery Ale to the Chief Champurrado Commercial Brew Discussion 9 03-13-2009 11:39 PM
Better Bottle Complaint popeiam Equipment/Sanitation 23 11-22-2008 07:20 PM
My first better bottle complaint Bigsnake Equipment/Sanitation 12 11-05-2008 03:45 PM
Hey, Pumbaa... what's with the new chief? McCall St. Brewer General Chit Chat 8 04-21-2007 09:27 PM

Forum Jump