Carbonation Issue

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Steve21, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    Question about carbonation levels when bottle conditioning. I use a priming calculator so my measurements should be on par, then I boil the priming sugar, rack on top and bottle. 2 to 3 weeks later I'll pop one into the fridge for a few hours and I get a perfect beer. Lacing, head.
    Yet when I leave the beer in the fridge for a day plus, the thing comes out flattish, hardly any head, almost no lacing and tastes close to flat. What the heck is going on?
    Clearly my sanitation is good or it would be flat before the longer fridge stay. I primed to spec, so I am annoyed and perplexed as to what's going on.
     
  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    That is some freeky shiat man this is a doosey obviously no leaky caps! Looking forward to some answers on this as wellm sorry no help from me .
     
  3. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Temperature matters. It may be that the carb level is on the low side for style and as it sits in a colder environment for longer, the CO2 reacts to temperature and remains in suspension better. The same amount of CO2 is there but it expresses itself better when the beer is slightly warmer. Depending on style, let the bottles sit and acclimate a little after taking them out of the fridge and see what happens. The difference between 35 degrees and 39 or 40 degrees may make a difference.
    Also check your glasses to see that they're not coincidentally filmed with dishwasher detergent. Soaps can be head-killers.
     
  4. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Temp would definitely matter. Longer time in the fridge causing colder temps would encourage more CO2 to stay in the beer and less to foam up. You'll probably also hear less of the "tss" sound when opening them as more of the CO2 in the headspace would dissolve into the beer at cooler temps too. I would take the temp of one that has been in an hourish and another that has been in for a day or more and see if there's a difference.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    JA's going where I was: Temperature. CO2 is more soluble in cold water. The clue for me is the "flat" taste, meaning the gas isn't coming out of solution and producing the characteristic "prickly" sensation on your tongue. Of course, there's another possiblility: Uneven carbonation due to insufficiently mixed priming sugar.
     
  6. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    I turned my beer fridge up so it warmer just as a test to see so I guess I'll find out. I've pondered priming more but I looked online and this is a spiced ale so I carbbed it up for 2.5 I believe(I'd need to check the notes) just trying not to make myself 45 bottle bombs in the garage.
    Thanks for the responses, maybe it's time to invest in a keg and bottling wand.
     
  7. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    For what it's worth i just noticed something very similar on a Dunkleweizen (primed to near 3 vol) I brewed a month ago that I've just started drinking this week. The first 2 bottles I was very excited to try so I only gave them an hour max to chill and both were practically foaming over and sharply carbonated (was thinking I may have overshot my expected carbonation) but opening one tonight after a few days in the fridge I got more of what I expected - still well carbonated with a good head but not that same crazy carbonation and a glass filled 2/3 of foam :p
     
  8. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    Maybe I did under carbonate then, I've had this issue twice now and didnt really care because the other was a small batch of scraps I had tossed together to see what I'd get.
    Priming calculator said to add x amount of sugar but maybe I'll have to boost it next time by a bit. Glad yours turned out, always exciting to watch the glass fill with the bubble fruits of your labour lol.
     
  9. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Only other thing I can think of is make sure when you're entering the beer temp into the priming calculator this should be the highest temp the beer has been at since active fermentation was over, not the current or cold crashed temp. Cheers!
     
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  10. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    Well that makes me wonder, I'm going to have to check that but that very well could be an issue. Just thinking it was in the garage to do the carbonation which was hotter than the house when I did the calculation.
     
  11. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    Well I think you might have nailed it for me, with the temp difference there is a half oz difference in sugar.
    This is the second beer I've had issues with and the second beer I've done the carbonationing in the garage. Normally I store the bottles in a closet upstairs during the winter. And basement in the summer.
    Lesson learned and thanks White Haus Brews, plus everyone else that pitched in with ideas and thoughts.
    Of all the hobbies I do and forums I'm part of I have to say homebrewers are the most helpful and pleasant people to ask for help.
     
  12. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Awesome I'm glad you may have found the culprit! Cheers Steve :)
     
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  13. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    So I'm going to add a secondary question to this just for the sake of curiosity.
    I've never used brewers friend priming calculator which does seem to give higher sugar amounts then the one I was using(also taking into consideration the answers I got in above posts). I can only assume it's the most accurate considering how many of you use it without blowing up entire batches, I'd think the community would mention the issue to them. Am I safe to assume such a thing?
    Reason I ask is the batch currently waiting to be bottled is as follows. 5 gallon, wanting 2.7volume at 73.4f / 23c temp(what my house sits at). Its suggestion is 5.6 oz of corn sugar(which seems like a lot)
     
  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    The answer, as with so much in brewing, it depends. There are two factors in carbonation, the CO2 left in the beer after fermentation, which is dependent on the highest temperature of the beer after fermentation is over and the amount generated by the yeast after priming. Both are fairly predictable and the calculator does a good job. The warmer the beer got, the more sugar you'll need.
     
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  15. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    It only ever hit 73.4f/23c, currently it is crashing but will be back at the house temp today or tomorrow when the mind numbing task of bottling begins.
    I'm going to check a couple things out but like most things in my life, screw it, let's see what happens lol.
    Thanks man!
     
  16. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    I'm not sure why the priming sugar levels would be different but I can tell you that I've been using the BF calculator and primed up to an estimated 2.8vol in recycled regular brown bottles (and 4 vol in my swing tops) and so far *Knock on wood* have yet to have a bottle bomb.
     
  17. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    I do notice there is some variance between sites too. BF and MoreBeer agree with 5.6oz, Northern Brewer and Brew united say 5.1oz. That difference is fairly small. If you were to go with the other calculators using 5.6oz would carbonate to around 2.85vol instead of 2.7 so likely not a tasteable difference. In the end just stick with the same calculator so you can get consistent results.
     
  18. Steve21

    Steve21 Member

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    It's been a week and I dont hear any popping from the closet.....yet lol. I think I'm going to stick with this calculator. I figure there is enough people using it and brewing regularly that if it was off it would be mentioned. Have to place my trust somewhere right lol.
    Thanks again man!
     
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  19. White Haus Brews

    White Haus Brews Active Member

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    Haha good hope you get the carbonation you're looking for with this batch!
     
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