Author Topic: Carbonating bottles  (Read 5705 times)

Offline Phil

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Carbonating bottles
« on: November 15, 2008, 02:21:48 AM »
 ::) G'day all
I have been using BeerSmith for about 6 months and I brew All- Grain any way every beer I have brewed using recipes in beersmith have resulted in low carbonated beer .
I bulk prime , the recipes say 130gms of dextrose but if i used carbonation drops it would be 180gms per 30 x 750ml bottles so it should be okay to increase my dextrose to 180gms for 23ltr brew to develope some head and carbonation my beer better ? ::)
Life is like a beer ,not long enough
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goose on fire

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 04:06:07 PM »
Just to be sure we're on the same page, high carbonation doesn't necessarily equate to a good head... I've brewed some champagne-sparkly beers with piss-all for a head, probably due to poor mashing technique, the wrong mashing schedule, or bad choice of ingredients, or most probably a combination of all that.

That said, as long as you're sure fermentation is complete (take gravity readings over several days) increasing the priming a bit probably won't result in time bombs.  Do it incrementally in sanely-sized steps over several batches and stop when you're happy with the bubbliness ("just brew it...")

I don't actually have a gram scale, so I go with the "3/4 cup dextrose for 5 gallons" rule, and eyeball up to a quarter cup more or less depending on what I'm shooting for.  It makes me feel like a fancy artiste although it's less repeatable (don't really care about repeatability, personally).  I've never created bottle bombs doing it that way, either.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2008, 06:22:45 PM »
Head formation and retention are different from carbonation, per Goose, but since using the info in BSmith on volumes of CO2 and how much sugar to use, my carbonation has improved a lot.  I have a digital postal scale and I measure the corn sugar fairly closely.  It is also important to know how much beer you have in the bottling bucket, as that drives the amount of sugar needed. 
If your batch size is 6.5 gallons on brew day, but only 5 gallons make it to the bottling bucket after two or three transfers, you may want to change the batch size to 5 gallons just for the sugar calculation. 

Offline Phil

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2008, 02:45:25 PM »
I now realize carbonation & head retention are to different things ,it's been suggested I use 200gms of wheat in my next mash to help with head retention ,has  any one used wheat for this ?
Life is like a beer ,not long enough
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Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2008, 03:26:37 PM »
Yep, just did 6% pale wheat malt in an APA.  I can tell a difference between wheat and carapils for head formation and retention. 

Offline Phil

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2008, 04:30:00 AM »
 ::)Cheers Phil
Life is like a beer ,not long enough
         Cheers

Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 07:58:39 PM »
My Robust Porter is not very well carbed.  I did the 3/4 cup Priming sugar to 5 gallons method and have never had issues.

Could it just be too early still?

I feremented a combined 5 weeks and aged almost 3. 

My tester - the 3/4ths full bottle you always wind up with was nicely primed.  I have also tried bottles from different boxes thinking the first or last ones maybe different.  not so.

Everything else about the beer is as I designed.  tastes and smells good.  no off flavor or sign of infection.

The layman in me says to leave them for another 1-2 weeks.  -It maybe for the best anyway so I force myself to stretch out the HBs...

Good Recipe, Good Ingredients, Good Procedure, Good Sanitation = Good Brew.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Carbonating bottles
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2008, 07:42:40 AM »
Possible causes for delayed priming could be a very flocculent yeast, given a total of seven weeks after the primiry ferm was over, to drop out.  That plus a very clean transfer could mean less yeast in the bottling bucket.  Depending on the robust's gravity, it is also possible you approached the alcohol tolerance threshold for some yeast strains, and a few more cells died than usual. 

I suspect it's fine, but may just take longer than you're used to.  Gives it more time for flavors to meld together......yummm. 

 

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