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Old 07-02-2008, 01:00 PM   #1
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Default Bottle conditioning question

I bottled an amber ale 3 1/2 weeks ago, I didn't pop any of them since. They have been stored in my closet at around 75 degrees since. I primed with the AHS priming sugar packet plus a tsp extra (boiled with 2 cups water). I hadn't popped any of them since I bottled, I just let them sit, checking on them occassionally. Over the weekend I put a twelve rack and a sixer in the fridge hoping to have them ready for the 4th of July weekend. I ended up having one last night, it was carbed, but not exactly where I'd like it to be. It was carbed more like an english ale and also didn't have great head retention (I maybe got 1/2" initially that dropped quickly). Two questions...

1. Can I pull the beers from the fridge (been there for 4 days) and store them at room temp in a dark spot without any ill effects? Any beer that was cold that I let get warm and then back cold again always seemed to skunk on me. I'd like to roll them around a bit and try to get more carbination out of them, but I don't want to skunk them either.

2. What factors come into play with head retention? I don't believe it had anything to do with cleaning of the bottles (rinse in oxyclean with bottle brush scrub, followed by a freshwater rinse, then submerged in starsan). This basic amber included steeping of crystal malt and then just amber LME. Is it moreso the ingredients that give you the protein for the head? Does carbination have anything to do with it?

Thanks...the beer was decent, but I was expecting a bit more, especially since I held back from having any of them and this (my first brew) was brewed over 2 months ago.

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Primaries 1 & 2: Apfelwein
Primary 3: EdWort's Haus Pale Ale
Bottle Conditioning: AHS Oktoberfest, Biermuncher's Centennial Blonde

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Old 07-02-2008, 01:11 PM   #2
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I have chilled beers, put them back in the pantry, and then chilled them again with no problems.

I would recommend doing what you thought - take them out of the fridge, let them come to room temp, and gently rock them a bit twice a day. That should help them carb up a bit faster.

As for the head retention, I believe the next time you brew, if you throw in a half pound of carapils (dextrine) that will help with the head.
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Old 07-02-2008, 01:48 PM   #3
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1) Skunking only comes from light acting on the hops, so no worries there as long as you keep them in the dark. I would warm them up into the 70's, you'll be fine. However you probably won't get there by the 4th .

2)Yes protein is one of the major contributing factors to head retention iirc. If you poke around there are loads of threads on the subject. If your glass is soapy you'll lose the head too. Never use JetDry in the washer, it is reputed to wipe out head retention. Yes, carbonation does come into play, a low carbonated beer will rarely have any head unless you force-foam it with a tap or something to that effect (kind of like whipping it). But carbonation alone will not produce a head, you need the stuff in your beer to begin with for the carbonation to affect and give you said head.
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