Carbonation volumes for lower abv beers

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foles

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Hi, I've brewed a few lager beers that have unintentionally ended up being about 3.5-4% ABV due to high mash temps and poor efficiency, as I dial in a new system. I have found the beers tasted really good initially, but lost their flavour as they got up to my desired carbonation level (¬2.4 volumes, 37F at 10PSI). I think the beer is overcarbonated, not because there is much foam, but because hop and malt character is gone.

I suspect the lower ABV means that the CO2 overwhelms the beer at lower volumes than it normally would. However tables and formulae don't seem to consider this. I guess most styles are normal to high ABV and have higher recommended volumes of CO2. Perhaps I should be targeting 1.5-2 volumes for a low abv beer such as this. thoughts?
 

Miraculix

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This is my observation as well. I tend to lower the carbonation together with the abv. Think of them as English bitters and their carbonation level is usually quite low still recognizable and still head forming, but fairly low compared to typical lagers in the 5% abv region.

I don't have exact numbers, I can just say that I'm doing well with about 2g to 2.5g table sugar per half a liter, or even less.

But be careful, it is a bit of a rabbit hole. Once you found your perfect carbonation level, you start thinking that a lot of higher abv beers are also overcarbonated and actually taste better with lower levels. At least this is where this got me. Now I try to carbonate always at the lower end and I love it.
 
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foles

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But be careful, it is a bit of a rabbit hole. Once you found your perfect carbonation level, you start thinking that a lot of higher abv beers are also overcarbonated and actually taste better with lower levels. At least this is where this got me. Now I try to carbonate always at the lower end and I love it.
I agree - super fresh beer on the lower end of the acceptable carbonation scale is something special
 

Miraculix

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I agree - super fresh beer on the lower end of the acceptable carbonation scale is something special
I 100% agree.

At the beginning I was totally into getting as much bubbles into my pas and ipas as I could. Nowadays I dropped the amount of sugar quite a bit but still find every other batch of mine over carbonated. Also tricky can be hop creep. It turned one of my 3% lagers from nice and smooth to "wow, that's bubbly, careful pour or glass full of foam" carbonated.
 
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