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First batch- not good

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Hello, 

Hope someone can help. My first batch in my brown keg never really carbonated :(, I used the carbo tablets that came with the kit and followed the direction to a tee. I left it carbonate for about for weeks  Also the beer has a bit of a wheat taste to it, not that enjoyable. This is the American lager lite that can with the LBK. Any suggestion are welcomed. 

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What size bottles did you use? How many carbs drops did you use per bottle? What temperature did you carbonate at?

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I used the 740 ML bottles with two drops per bottle, I kept the bottles  at about 70 degrees.

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Sometimes it just takes longer to carbonate depending on various factors such as temperature fluctuation, how much yeast transferred over to the bottle, etc. Also, be sure your caps are on very tight. Leave the bottles out for a week or 2 longer and see if they improve.

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My first batch also didn't carbonate all that well. On my subsequent batches I have gone back and re-tightened the cap on every bottle after I am done bottling the batch. Made a big difference! I crank mine down as tight as I can with a rag.

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Check the caps - tighten and then again later. I use a dish towel for better grip. Also - I have had a batch or two that took more than four weeks to really carbonate well. Temperature, is a big factor, but some brews just need longer. As for the taste, well,  you describe a wheat-like taste, could it be yeast, bread-like taste?

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I've seen a couple of posts like this recently.  Could the issue be that for low OG beers like CAL, that the yeast finish up quickly and by leaving the beer in the LBK for 3 weeks, a lot of the yeast die off because there's no food left?  That could cause the lack of carbonation, right?

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youre talking about  BILLIONS of  cells involved in fermentation.  if you had that much die off in just 3 weeks your beer would likely be ruined anyway due to autolysis.  yeast are very hardy. not only do they eat up all available sugars from the wort, they clean up many of the byproducts of fermentation that would contribute to off flavors.  even after a month you would still have plenty of live yeast. if they get hungry enough they even eat their own dead.  the most likely culprits in lack of carbonation are: improperly tightened caps that leak co2, and forgetting to add priming sugar or not adding enough.  if yeast died off in low OG beers every session beer  would likely taste like crap and not be carbonated.

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I've seen a couple of posts like this recently.  Could the issue be that for low OG beers like CAL, that the yeast finish up quickly and by leaving the beer in the LBK for 3 weeks, a lot of the yeast die off because there's no food left?  That could cause the lack of carbonation, right?

No. All of the base refills are the same ABV as CAL. Most people have no issues, most issues seem to be with carb drops.

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gotta be a cap leak issue. ive never had carb drops not work. I have had loosely screwed down caps bleed co2.  I tighten them so hard I need channel locks to open them most of the time.  . . and replace them after about 5 uses.  since I use repurposed carbonated water bottles ive got plenty of stock.

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Speaking of caps leaks. Can one put standard metal crimped caps on glass twist offs?

I'm in a 7 story apartment building with recycling on each floor.  So Ive been pilfering the bins but most of the bottles are twist offs.

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I had carbonation issues with the PET bottles that came with my kit.  I switched to glass bottles about a year and a half ago and things have been much better.  The capper was one of the best investments I've made in this hobby.

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Speaking of caps leaks. Can one put standard metal crimped caps on glass twist offs?

I'm in a 7 story apartment building with recycling on each floor.  So Ive been pilfering the bins but most of the bottles are twist offs.

 

Discussed many times on the forum.  

 

Yes, but no.

 

They may or may not seal.  The necks of such bottles do not contain a lip for a wing capper to adequately grab, and the necks may be weaker, resulting in them breaking.  If you use a bench capper, then that problem goes away - but twist offs are not ideal for reuse and should be avoided.  

 

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Check the caps - tighten and then again later. I use a dish towel for better grip. Also - I have had a batch or two that took more than four weeks to really carbonate well. Temperature, is a big factor, but some brews just need longer. As for the taste, well,  you describe a wheat-like taste, could it be yeast, bread-like taste?

Yes that describes it best a bread like taste.

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Is it best to use sugar instead of carbo.. drops?

Because the drops tend to "rub" in the bag and can lose some of their volume, measuring out sugar is more accurate.  However, you're talking about less than 1g of sugar and really shouldn't have that much impact.

 

Also, after the first week, you should give your bottles a swirl to make sure that you don't have sugar just sitting on the bottom.

 

Finally, make sure you adequately chilling your beer prior to drinking.  This helps your beer absorb the CO2.

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And make sure you're NOT drinking it out of the bottle.  Pour SLOWLY into a glass, leaving the last quarter inch of trub in the bottle.

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My last bottle of the first batch went down today. I bottled with 1.75 tsp sugar and 2 carb drops splitting the batch. 0.750 ml pet

 

The table sugar carbed up faster and tasted better in my opinion.

 

Started in today on a rich formula Aztec mixture after 4 weeks that could probably carb for 8 weeks but it tasted great. I hopped it and carbed it with corn sugar. My new hero for carbing.

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The table sugar carbed up faster and tasted better in my opinion.

Taste should be the same but I have no doubt it would be faster acting since there is more surface area exposed for the yeasties to feast on.

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Trying my next batch since my first never really carbonated. Brewing the Northwest Pale Ale ferments for 2 weeks is it better to go longer?

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Trying my next batch since my first never really carbonated. Brewing the Northwest Pale Ale ferments for 2 weeks is it better to go longer?

Yes. 3 weeks is ideal for a cleaner tasting beer. At 2 weeks, the beer is basically completely fermented, but during that 3rd week, the yeast will "clean" the beer of byproducts such as acetaldehyde (causes the green apple flavor in young beers).

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I'd suggest that before you brew you have read things on this forum.  You had a problem with the first batch, we pointed out things like not drinking it out of the bottle (but you didn't respond), keeping proper temps, etc.  Make sure you have the process down.

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I wanted to add my experience quick.  Northwest Pale Craft is my second brew, the classic was the first and thanks to the community it was rescued by leaving it in the bottle in storage before chilling it again.  The Northwest was left fermenting at 3 weeks and in storage for 4 as recommended.  Put in the fridge and opened it today, carbonation seemed ok, pour produced no head at all. Color looks as described on Mr Beer site, and I can see bubbles.  However it tastes a little green still. or as I never had this before, perhaps it is because I don't know what it should be like. Temps stayed between 69-72 during its time fermenting.  Ideas?  Do I leave it in storage for longer.

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Yes, go 6 weeks and it should be better.  It should be bitter, with a woodsy hop aroma and a bite.

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I had a bottle of the NWPA today, I had dry hopped it (Cascade/Amarillo mix - what I had on hand)  so I got a bit more aroma. I found with the basic kit I did not get much aroma. Maybe my nose is just lazy.

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Speaking of caps leaks. Can one put standard metal crimped caps on glass twist offs?

I'm in a 7 story apartment building with recycling on each floor.  So Ive been pilfering the bins but most of the bottles are twist offs.

so that was u!!!! uh huh so u were only pilfering the bins?

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I just finished off my last N.W. pale, and I only wished I had the patience to leave it for another month. I gave my neighbors sum, may have to ask them back! LOL!

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