Inconsistency from bottle to bottle...

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ThickHead

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So I got home and cracked open my IPA. For background...5 gal extract batch, fermented in the primary for 14 days, 8 days in a secondary for dry-hopping, final gravity 1.014, bottled after adding dextrose as directed (3/4 cup). Conditioned for 4 weeks at room temperature (70F).

The first two (1 pint flip top) I cracked gave a proper "hiss" when opening, the poor produced a substantial head that dissapaited over time (i never expected quality head retention). They tasted great! I must admit these two were not really chilled. Only 5 minutes in the fridge (what can I say?).

The next four, after sitting in the fridge a bit were cracked with no "hiss" at all and when poured produced no head to speak of at all. These still taste carbonated but perhaps slightly less than the first two. These also taste great though I cannot tell if they are really less carbonated or just taste that way due to the fact that I know they didnt "hiss."

Any thoughts as to why I am seeing a change after refridgerating? Should this, in fact, have anything to do with the difference between the first two and all (so far three) subsequent bottles I opened? What are some causes of this kind of inconsistency?
 

sinoth

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I've had inconsistencies like this before and I believe its due to the priming sugar not being evenly distributed before bottling. Now when I siphon to the bottling bucket, I put my priming sugar solution in the bottom and stir the whole time it fills.
 
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ThickHead

ThickHead

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I've had inconsistencies like this before and I believe its due to the priming sugar not being evenly distributed before bottling. Now when I siphon to the bottling bucket, I put my priming sugar solution in the bottom and stir the whole time it fills.
This was indeed my first thought. But it seems strange that it would not mix evenly as I siphon my beer onto it in my bottling bucket. I hate to think it is that hit or miss. I am afraid to get too much oxygen into the beer to stir the priming sugar into it.
 

Parker36

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So here is my theory: You did everything right when you bottled with priming sugar and everything carbed up ok. The only difference that I can see are the warm vs. cold bottles. Gases expand at warmer temps, causing it to be released faster and giving off a hiss in your warm beer. When you chilled, however, the CO2 gas in the head space of the bottle was more compacted and was not under the same pressure, and so it did not hiss.

Just my guess, but it sounds about right. Maybe experiment with another warm vs. cold?
 
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Try another warm one....maybe that's the deal...Warm beer will seem considerably more carbonated.....I also have had some issues with inconsistent bottles...I've just taken to stirring the crap out of it...being very careful not to brake the surface of the beer. I can stir pretty good without introducing o2.
 

Yooper

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I'm thinking it has to do more with the time of refrigeration than anything else. When the beer is warm and carbonated, much of the co2 is in the headspace. When the beer is chilled, the co2 dissolves much more readily into the cold beer.

The best test would be to keep them still at room temperature, but take two and put them in the fridge for at least 48 hours. Check it then- after 48 hours in the fridge, you should have a true test of the level of carbonation. Maybe the 4 weeks spent so far in the bottle just isn't long enough.

As far as head retention, is it possible that your beer glasses went through the dishwasher, or have some soap residue on them? Jet dry (from the dishwasher) is a big head killer.
 
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ThickHead

ThickHead

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As far as head retention, is it possible that your beer glasses went through the dishwasher, or have some soap residue on them? Jet dry (from the dishwasher) is a big head killer.
I dont use my dishwasher to wash anything that I value in terms of glass, and I broke out my best for the IPA. eheh...

I will wait longer with the brew in the fridge. It is definately possible that the chill pushed the carbonization into the beer rather than it resting in the headspace. It really doesnt seem to taste less carbonated.
 
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ThickHead

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Just for reference, this is a Warm vs. Cold photo shoot....

Warm


Cold
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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One think I could add is possible leaks in the rubber gaskets. I like to use food safe silicon to protect and seal my kegs was well as the gaskets on flip tops. They last a lot longer that way. Don't over do it, just a little goes a long way.
 

eddie

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The colder the beer get's, the more CO2 it will retain. The warmer beer has a larger head because it was warmer than the other one. If you were to take a bottle out of the fridge and leave it on the counter for about fifteen minutes, the head will reappear.
 
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ThickHead

ThickHead

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One think I could add is possible leaks in the rubber gaskets. I like to use food safe silicon to protect and seal my kegs was well as the gaskets on flip tops. They last a lot longer that way. Don't over do it, just a little goes a long way.
The seals are good...the beer is quite carbonated.
 

ifishsum

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I believe you will be pleasantly surprised once they've been in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, it really does make a difference.
 
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ThickHead

ThickHead

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I believe you will be pleasantly surprised once they've been in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, it really does make a difference.
They still taste great...just no head. to be honest, I am not too pressed. :mug:
 
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