Bottle conditioning- First pour vs. second pour

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Meloe Beers, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. Meloe Beers

    Meloe Beers New Member

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    Hello all,

    I did some searches but didn't quite get my questions answered in what I came across.

    I currently bottle condition my batches. I've always noticed a slight difference between first and second pours from the bottles. I'm using 22oz bottles and bottling with a priming sugar solution mixed into the bottling bucket.

    On my lighter beers there is a clarity difference between the first pour (clean and clear) and second pour (cloudy). I assume this is the solids settling while being stored upright and just being more concentrated on the second pour. I do pour slowly to avoid getting the small amount of gunk at the bottle of the bottle into the glass. So, my first question is: can this be avoided or improved? Or is this just a side affect of all bottle conditioned brews?

    My second question is about the flavor change between the first and second pour. My latest beer was a Hazy IPA, so the clarity was not of concern to me. However, the first pour was exactly what I was expecting the flavor of the beer to be. The second pour had a significantly more bitter back note. I liked both pours for what they were but I was hoping for more consistency in the flavor. I experimented by storing a bottle on its side so that the beer solution mixed into itself once up-righted to pour out. The bitter notes did seem to distribute evenly through the pours at this point, but I much preferred the cleaner flavors of the upright stored bottle's first pour. I've read in a couple of places that some people judge their beer based on that first pour more so than the second. Is there any way I can get a more consistent flavor from a bottle conditioned beer when stored upright? I'd like to possibly enter some competitions in the near future but worry that if a judge receives a pour from the bottom half of the bottle that the rating would be different from if they received a top half pour...

    Will I be able to correct this type of issue when bottle conditioning?

    I hope I stated my issue clearly enough. Any insight would be much appreciated!
     
  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Best options I can think of is pour all at once or move to smaller bottles. There will be a flavor difference if the contents of the bottle are mixed with the remaining beer. Slow and steady pours. When I bottled, I wasn't much of a fan of 22oz bottles.
     
  3. Meloe Beers

    Meloe Beers New Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I think I use 22oz bottles really to save time and work load more than anything else. I'll try putting a few in 12oz bottles and doing a comparison that way, also.
     
  4. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I haven't bottled in a long time so others that do may have better advice.
     
  5. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with thunderwgn. Some yeasts will settle out solid and almost unmovable and others will mix back into the beer with the least bit of disturbance. You're seeing and tasting results from the latter. I know it's more work to bottle in 12 ouncers, but it's a choice between what you describe and clean pours.
     
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  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    You could always get a 22oz glass or mug so won't have to stand up bottle between pours.
     
  7. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Yep. A 20 oz. Canadian pint glass would work for a single pour and leave the sediment behind.
     
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  8. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Bigger glasses or smaller bottles. The residue from the mini fermentation is mixing into the beer after your first pour. The ultimate way to overcome this issue is to move to kegging!
    Cheers
     
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  9. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that yeast can have a bitter component to its flavor. That would explain the two pours from the IPA being different.

    When I pour a bottle conditioned beer, I try to pour it all in one pour for the very reasons you mentioned.
     
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  10. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    The yeasty sediment at the bottom is a divisive thing. You've got some people that swear that it needs to be mixed back into the beer prior to opening (rolling it gently on a bench), those that think it's the worst evil in the world and others like me that leave it for the second pour because I can chuck it if it's too much, but sometimes it's wonderful.

    Just work out your preference for your beer and do what you like.

    And that NEIPA sediment will have the yeast burn and a hop burn. So double the burn in the sediment.
     
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  11. Meloe Beers

    Meloe Beers New Member

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    Slowly working toward going that route. I agree that this is probably the easiest solution!
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    A few things are happening here. First, when you open the beer, you release carbon dioxide from the head space. If the first pour is adequately carbonated, the second pour will likely be flat. Second, you're stirring up the sediment, as mentioned above, and the sediment has some harsh flavors in it, yeast and the hop resins stuck to them after fermentation. And third, you're introducing oxygen. Cap it and let it stand (or warm) and you can get some oxidation.

    I bottle condition exclusively. A five gallon batch makes approximately 24 12 ounce bottles and 12 22 ouncers. I use the 12-ounce bottles for my own consumption and the 22 ounce bottles for sharing. It works out nicely and I generally don't have the problems you mention but if I do open a 22 ounce bottle and don't pour it all at once, I get exactly the same problems.
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Eww.. why would you want all the sediment in a beer?
     
  14. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Yep, bigger glass kills 22 birds with one stone...….. or ounces in this case. And hey, leave an ounce in the bottom to swill up a Vitamin B Shooter.
     
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  15. Finn B

    Finn B Member

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    #15 Finn B, Aug 7, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
    Don't bottle too early. Give the yeast time to settle. It will still be plenty in suspension to take care of the priming sugar and suply you with CO2. You shouldn't get more than a fine layer on the bottom of the bottle - though I'll admit that some yeasts settle very slowly and make that hard to achieve.

    Our old standard bottles were 0,33 liters, just a little more than 11 ounces. They're discontinued now, as all the big breweries have converted to cans, but I've stacked up on them. They're just the perfect size for me, but I also use some 0,5 and 0,75 liter bottles.

    The glass I'm holding to the left here, with some of my own nice NEIPA in it:) (yes, you can bottle a NEIPA!), takes half a liter with some room to spare. I just might squeeze 22 ounces into it. That's my favorite beer glass.

    edit: Here's a better picture, btw., showing those nice old bottles, which we fondly have nicknamed "bear cubs". The beer is an APA, hence the American flag on the label.

    Lys amerikansk øl i sola.jpg
     
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  16. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Nice looking brew there Finn B
     
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  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    They look similar to stubbies, I love bottling in those as there is no neck to foam in. But I bottle off of keg so I don't lose any space to sediment.
     

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