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Old 01-24-2013, 02:23 AM   #1
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Default Carbonation?

OK - so I'm a nube, and done my first kit, a Brewer's Best IPA. I think everything went well, and we (wife and I) got great starting and final gravity readings.

Did the primary and then a secondary in a plastic carboy, then at the proper timing, bottled it all up - things all went according to plan.

Now I'm a month past bottling, and we open one or two, and they've got great "fizzy-ness" with a nice foam (even if I pour uber slowly). However, when we taste our beer, it seems a bit flat. So the carbonation seems to come out of solution VERY easily and isn't really there in the fluid to be enjoyed. And the beer tastes awesome - just not carbonated enough.

Will time solve this - or is there a trick to help - or do I just write this off to a nube first batch?


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Old 01-24-2013, 02:27 AM   #2
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How long has it been in the fridge? Two or three days may help.


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Old 01-24-2013, 02:32 AM   #3
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Carbonation from yeast is a little different from CO2 injection systems, like you're probably used to. That said, it's still CO2 in solution and you can make a beer more or less carbonated by how much sugar you use at the time of bottling. After 2-3 weeks, time won't really do much for carbonation...what sugar was in there should be converted to CO2 at that point. Also, temps play into carbonation...you want the beer to be around 65-75 degrees while carbonating and conditioning.

There are numerous recommendation for beer styles, but the low end of the spectrum would be to use around 3oz (by weight) of corn sugar for a 5 gallon batch and the upper end would be around 5oz (again, by weight). Table sugar would require slightly less to achieve the same results. You might try the upper end of the spectrum if you're looking to achieve a better carbonation profile. Or, you could dive into kegging and achieve the same results you get off a draft system.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bigcorona View Post
How long has it been in the fridge? Two or three days may help.
I carbonated in a room with a fairly constant 75 degrees, but only refrigerated it for enough hours to enjoy.

I'll try keeping some in for a while.

Jim
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:39 AM   #5
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Carbonation from yeast is a little different from CO2 injection systems, like you're probably used to. That said, it's still CO2 in solution and you can make a beer more or less carbonated by how much sugar you use at the time of bottling. After 2-3 weeks, time won't really do much for carbonation...what sugar was in there should be converted to CO2 at that point. Also, temps play into carbonation...you want the beer to be around 65-75 degrees while carbonating and conditioning.

There are numerous recommendation for beer styles, but the low end of the spectrum would be to use around 3oz (by weight) of corn sugar for a 5 gallon batch and the upper end would be around 5oz (again, by weight). Table sugar would require slightly less to achieve the same results. You might try the upper end of the spectrum if you're looking to achieve a better carbonation profile. Or, you could dive into kegging and achieve the same results you get off a draft system.
Awesome to know - all good facts and seem consistent with what I'm learning. As noted above, I did a fairly constant 75 degrees (as per the directions). I assume the higher end of 65 to 75 helps the yeast consume the sugers - correct? I also consider adding a bit more suger to the mix on the next kit (knowing the risk of bottle bombs...) I do plan one more kit, then all grain - perhaps kegging and injection comes later! Thanks!

Jim
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by scubajimatl View Post
I carbonated in a room with a fairly constant 75 degrees, but only refrigerated it for enough hours to enjoy.

I'll try keeping some in for a while.

Jim
More fridge time gets the co2 into the beer better. Some say 3-4 days others a week. I have a Witbier that has been in the fridge for over a month and the carbonation is awesome compared to a day or 2 that had good head but no bubbles in the beer to be seen.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:26 PM   #7
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Exactly so. The beer needs more than a couple hours fridge time to get co2 into solution. I prefer at least a week for decent head & carbonation. 2 weeks gives thicker head,& longer lasting,fine bubbled carbonation. Getting co2 into solution isn't a very quick thing. It takes time. Otherwise,your warm carb/condition temp & time was fine. They just need more fridge time to be great!
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:09 PM   #8
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More fridge time gets the co2 into the beer better. Some say 3-4 days others a week. I have a Witbier that has been in the fridge for over a month and the carbonation is awesome compared to a day or 2 that had good head but no bubbles in the beer to be seen.
Thanks! Two more tester beers going in tonight - and the second round of beer starting on Saturday! Enjoying the process, the beer, and the great advice on here!

Really excited to hear that from you - always great to learn from someone who's done it!

Gomer Pyle said "A wise man learns from other's mistakes; a man learns from his own mistakes; and, a fool never learns!" So thanks for the knowledge! Jim
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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Exactly so. The beer needs more than a couple hours fridge time to get co2 into solution. I prefer at least a week for decent head & carbonation. 2 weeks gives thicker head,& longer lasting,fine bubbled carbonation. Getting co2 into solution isn't a very quick thing. It takes time. Otherwise,your warm carb/condition temp & time was fine. They just need more fridge time to be great!
Awesome advice - thanks!

JP
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:14 PM   #10
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You're welcome.


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