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jcubz

Carbonation/head

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So I'm just tasting my first batch. Western Pale Ale. It tastes good. much like Alexander Keiths. but...

I used Screwy Brewer to calculate the carbonation and Im not sure if I did it wrong or what but... in a 500ml bottle I put approx 8/10 of a teaspoon of dextrose. carbonated at 70 degreees F.

There is carbonation but there is very little head when I pour it and it dissipates within about 30-60 seconds and the carbonation isnt anywhere near what store bought bear is... in fact if I let the beer sit for about 5 minutes it would be almost flat..

I had it in the LBK for 2 weeks, bottled and carbonate for 2 weeks and then cold room condition for 1 week, 2 days in fridge.

any thoughts other than more priming? my aim was 2.5 CO2 levels.

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The standard refills aren't usually going to have a lot of head or head retention. You can go with an all malt brew and/or add some steeping grains to aid in that area.

I'd also give the beers a couple more weeks at room temperature. Additional time in the refrigerator may help as well. Giving the beer more time at room temperature gives the yeast more time to do "clean up" work. More time in the fridge gets more CO2 into the beer (not just in the bottle) and also helps settle things out of suspension and meld various flavors.

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So then my next batch is Englishman's Nut-Brown Ale w/Mellow Amber. I added 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup of honey. I am going to leave it in the LBK for 4 weeks. bottle and leave for 4 weeks, cold room condition for 2 weeks. Should I am higher with the priming sugar? should I add 1 and 1/4 tsp in each 500ml?

thoughts??

Im doing the dubliner after that... this may sound bad but I usually enjoy beer with more head than not.

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You made a good decision going with the mellow amber instead of Booster, but then you added a cup each of honey and brown sugar. Those will thin the beer out and they can lead to cidery tastes. The good news is that the cidery tastes will fade over time. The bad news is that the beer will stay thin. I'm not sure how it will do in terms of head and head retention.

Overcarbonating is not going to solve the problem. You've got enough carbonation. If anything, the Mr Beer recommendations are on the high side. You need to give it more time in the bottle, both at room temperature and in the fridge. And you need to use more malt and less adjuncts.

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Ok. Well this is only batch number two. I guess Ill buy more bottles and another LBK and then I can let everything sit longer. Thanks for the advice.

I thought I'd try both honey and brown sugar but maybe I should just try extra malt instead next time.

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Steeping Carapils/Carafoam will aid in head retention and mouthfeel.

Adding carbonation won't fix the problem. As bpgreen said, Mr Beer's recommendations are actually over carbonated as it is. They recommend about 3/4 tsp for a 12oz bottle, where as (depending on the style beer you want) most of the time you only want about a 1/2 tsp.

I've also found that while a beer is drinkable in 2 weeks, it's still green, that includes head retention. I think the head of the beer maxes out after about a month after bottling.

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I must be the odd ball around here. My first batch was the WCPA like ever body else but I had really nice head. Had to wait after pouring to drink it. Can't explain it, just luck I guess.

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gophers6 wrote:

I must be the odd ball around here. My first batch was the WCPA like ever body else but I had really nice head. Had to wait after pouring to drink it. Can't explain it, just luck I guess.

How long did you carb/condition it, then how long in the fridge? I had the same problem as the OP. Carbed for two weeks, conditioned for 2 weeks, in fridge for 48 hours. I also used Screwy's calc to batch prime and mine had a small amount of head and almost no lacing.

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Guest System Admin

So many people have said steeping Carapils in the water before dissolving your malt and/or booster will give more body and head to the beer that I went out this weekend and got some.

Just put together a new batch with the carapils in it last night. It will be 7 weeks before I can say how it worked out, unfortunately.

I think it's a great way to go. Will surely share the results in time.

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Hops can help too, but you'll be limited if you don't want to have too much. I think the MB standard recipe is designed for speed as well as a decent beer. They might guide higher than most for carbonating sugar in order for it to be ready quickly.

I would also think that more ingredients (2 cans instead of one, DME, etc. would help.

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So here's a little more info on the carbonation in my WCPA. Mine fermented for 3 weeks, it was bottled on 1/21/12. This past Friday, I put two bottles in the fridge. I drank one this past Sunday, so it was in the fridge for about 2 days. That's the one that didn't have a whole lot of head/carbonation. I drank the second one last night, so it was in the fridge for about 4 days. This one had a little more head, and the overall carbonation through the entire beer was much better than the first. It tasted awesome too.

Just like so many have said already...more time conditioning and more than 2 days in the fridge will definitely improve the beer.

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gophers6 wrote:

I must be the odd ball around here. My first batch was the WCPA like ever body else but I had really nice head. Had to wait after pouring to drink it. Can't explain it, just luck I guess.

Part of it is how you pour it in the glass too. You can kind of fake a nice head by just quickly pouring into the center of the glass. It will foam up (just like a coke or pepsi will do) but will dissipate rather quickly as it has no retention (one reason why people use Carapils/Carafoam, for head retention).

I believe, everyone has their own opinion, the preferred method is to pour down the side of the glass at a relatively shallow angle. This is great for bottle conditioned beers (like ours) because it doesn't disturb the trub in the bottom of the bottle, making for a cleaner tasting beer.

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temperature too. Beer should not be ice cold. I prefer to drink beer closer to 50 degrees than 40. Ice cold beer will not give a good head.

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I would like to say that with my first batch, WCPA, I fermented for three weeks, bottled/ carbonated it for two, and refrigerated the first three for only about three/ four days. The first couple of bottles bottles very little and quickly dissipating head, but after about three weeks conditioning and a week in the fridge, the last couple turned out to be really good.

This is a very informative thread, I enjoyed reading the OP and all the comments. I think i might want to try Carapils someday soon, how does it actually work?

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Buy the Carapils. I buy mine online from Austin Home Brew (unmilled). On brew day, I throw about a 1/4-1/2 lb into a zip lock baggy. I use the beer bottle of the homebrew I just poured into a glass (we somehow don't have a rolling pin here and ofcourse you have to drink while you brew) and I try my best to crack all of the grains, but you don't want to turn them to powder, just crack them all. I pour the ziplock baggy into a muslin sack (the standard sacks from Mr Beer will work). I then fill my 5qt pot of water with about 4 qts of water. I heat it to 150*F. Once at 150 (I actually go about 160 cause putting the grains in will lower the temp a little), I throw the muslin sack of Carapils in for 30 minutes. I monitor the temps and try to keep it at 150*F. At the end of 30 minutes, I take out the muslin sack and pour some water that I microwaved for 3 minutes through it over my pot (my lazyman's version of Sparging. It's just to get the last little bits of sugar out).

After that, I add my DME/LME and bring it to a boil, after the hot break, I start my hop boils, etc.

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Cool another trick to brewing just learned Thanks!
Would this work in Hard Cider too?

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