National Homebrew Day Giveaway - Enter Now - Weekend Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottle vs Keg - Two Issues
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 03-14-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
J2W2
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
J2W2's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 146
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default Bottle vs Keg - Two Issues

Hi,

I just kegged my second beer two weeks ago. My first keg beer is a Copper Ale and the second is a Belgian Trappist Ale. Both are currently on tap, and my kegerator is set at 39 degrees. Both beers taste great, but there are a couple of issues I'd like to discuss.

1 - Clarity. The Copper Ale is pretty cloudy, and I thought maybe I'd rushed it a little (a week in the primary and one in the secondary). The Trappist is cloudy too, although better than the Copper. It spent two weeks in the primary and four weeks in the secondary, plus I used Irish Moss for the first time. It looked very clear in the secondary, but not so much now. I've let a sample warm up to room temperature and it's still cloudy, so it shouldn't be chill haze. The beers that I previously bottled are much clearer than either of these.

2 - Carbonation. Both beers have some foam on top when poured, and both immediately have a collection of bubbles sticking to the side of the glass, roughly half the size of a BB. These bubbles release from the glass, and within five minutes the beer appears flat. I used the set and forget method on both kegs, setting them to 10 psi. I've tried kicking the Trappist up to 12 psi, but it didn't seem to help much. My bottled beers seem to generate a better head, and they generate very fine bubbles for some time - almost like champagne. I've used the same glasses for this test.

Both beers are in used Coke kegs. When I got the kegs, I filled them with a baking soda solution and let them soak overnight, then I repeated the process with OxyClean. I rinsed them very thoroughly with hot water using my carboy spray attachment. I finally used StarSan on them and then kegged the beer. The double tap tower still has its original 5' beer lines on it, but from what I've read this should cause more foaming, if anything.

So, what are your thoughts? Is this just normal for kegged beer vs bottled? Should I keep increasing the psi until I get more carbonation (I thought 10-12 was the "sweet spot")? Any other ideas?

Thanks as always for your help!
J2W2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 11:11 PM   #2
Ryush806
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ryush806's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Shreveport, Louisiana
Posts: 778
Liked 88 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

I don't know why your kegged beer is cloudier than your bottles beer. You didn't change anything else in your process did you? My keg beers are just as clear as when I bottled. Are you cold crashing before racking to the keg? Ever thought of using gelatin?

As far as carbonation goes, if you're doing set and forget, it usually takes at least 3 weeks to get to the equilibrium carbonation level. If you want to get it carbed faster you could set it to 3X serving pressure for 24-48 hours and the relieve the pressure and set it back to serving pressure. That method gets mine carbonated in about a week but you have I be careful to not over carb it. The big bubbles on the side of your glass are probably due to improperly cleaned glasses. You might consider hand washing them with a fragrance/additive free soap.
__________________
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
- Benjamin Franklin (and I don't care if this quote has been largely discredited/misquoted...I like it!)

Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.
- Thomas Jefferson
Ryush806 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 11:48 PM   #3
J2W2
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
J2W2's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 146
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryush806 View Post
I don't know why your kegged beer is cloudier than your bottles beer. You didn't change anything else in your process did you? My keg beers are just as clear as when I bottled. Are you cold crashing before racking to the keg? Ever thought of using gelatin?
Other than racking to a keg rather than the bottling bucket, I haven't changed anything. I've never cold crashed or used gelatin - up to my last batch I hadn't even used Irish Moss because I was always happy with the clarity. I thought perhaps bottle conditioning removed a little more of the solids from the beer in the dregs that form on the bottom of the bottle.

It's good to know about three weeks on the carbonation - the Trappist has been in just under two weeks while the Copper has been in two months now. For the sake of comparison, I just poured a local micro brew into the same glass (the things I do for science), and got basically the same carbonation effect. So I'm guessing that part is probably about right and maybe my bottles over-carbed a little.

I got a couple of sets of beer glasses for Christmas and I just rinsed them off well. I'll try cleaning them per your suggestion and see if I get a better pour.

I'll just have to see on the clarity. I have only poured a couple glasses of the Trappist so far while waiting for it to carb. Can kegs get a little sediment on the bottom for the first few glasses?

Thanks again!
J2W2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-14-2013, 11:55 PM   #4
boortzie
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 35
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

Couple of questions for you?

-You mentioned your process for cleaning the keg, but what about the lines? Unclean lines could contribute to cloudy beer (among other problems). Also, could there be soap residues in the keg? Soap residue will contribute to a lack of head.

-Are you burping the kegs to get all of the O2 out of there before setting the pressure? If not, you may want to try this as this will help ensure the beer is carbed adequately.

-Are your seals leaking (even minute leaks can mean undercarbed beer)?

-In terms of bubbles, what kind of specialty grains are you using? Anything that would help contribute to head retention?
boortzie is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 12:01 AM   #5
Ryush806
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Ryush806's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Shreveport, Louisiana
Posts: 778
Liked 88 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 21

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by J2W2
I'll just have to see on the clarity. I have only poured a couple glasses of the Trappist so far while waiting for it to carb. Can kegs get a little sediment on the bottom for the first few glasses?
Definitely. The first few glasses should clear most of that out though.

I would imagine the longer you keep the kegs at serving temp the clearer they will get. That's always been my experience anyway.
__________________
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
- Benjamin Franklin (and I don't care if this quote has been largely discredited/misquoted...I like it!)

Beer, if drank with moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.
- Thomas Jefferson
Ryush806 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Old 03-15-2013, 12:11 AM   #6
J2W2
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
J2W2's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
Posts: 146
Liked 8 Times on 6 Posts
Likes Given: 7

Default

I ran Oxy, then clean water, then StarSan - let that sit in the lines for a while then cleared the lines with CO2. I thought I really rinsed the kegs well, but I've heard Oxy can be really hard to get out, so I guess it's a possibility.

I'm burping the kegs to clear the oxygen, and I checked all my seals with soapy water so I'm pretty positive I don't have any pressure leaks. Plus my CO2 tank pressure is holding steady, which I assume even a small leak would effect after a few weeks.

The Copper Ale used Munich, Roasted Barley and Caramel. The Trappist used Caramel and Carapils.
J2W2 is offline
 
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bottle Carbonation issues ert9876 Bottling/Kegging 16 03-19-2014 02:49 PM
Keg to bottle (using Beergun) issues TheH2 Bottling/Kegging 7 08-02-2013 06:16 AM
In bottle fermentation issues MiddleEarthBrewing Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 10-21-2011 08:24 PM
Bottle Sanitation Issues ExpeditionBrewing Equipment/Sanitation 8 03-02-2011 12:44 AM
Better Bottle Cleaning Issues 1GR8DA Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 21 06-24-2009 11:23 PM


Forum Jump

Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS