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Diablo 1 Down and I have questions!

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Well I decided to try a bottle (after 3 weeks conditioning) of my Diablo and there was next to zero head and nearly NO carbonation.  The flavor was just straight bitterness.  I guess at this point, I have the following questions:

 

1.  Is this basically what I should expect from the Diablo?  Both in taste and carbonation?

2.  If I wait another week before trying another bottle, should the carbonation be better?

3.  I moved the remaining bottles to a warmer area of the house (upstairs in my bedroom closet), will this help push the carbonation at this point?

4.  Did it turn out this way because I did something wrong along the way?  Either when I brewed or bottled?  

 

I have not started my second brew because I wanted to see how this turned out first.  Since I am not super pleased with what I drank, I need to understand if I went wrong somewhere or if this is just how the Diablo is?  Don't get me wrong, I am actually ok with the bitter taste, Stone Ruination is one of my favorite beers and that has well over 100 IBU's, this is only about 70, I just cannot help but wonder where the carbonation went?  I used the carbo drops (1 per bottle as recommended) and used Mr. Beer half liter bottles for reference.  

 

 

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You should have had carbonation - must be some issue with the process - see other posts. Bottle top leaks, temperature, etc. 

 

I found the same lack of aroma,  but good bitterness and nice complex dark fruit flavors.  The aroma issue is fixed easily by adding hops for aroma. I put in 1 oz Cascade pellets in sterilized hop bag  into fermentation in LBK for the last 7 days before bottling and it was very nice.  You may prefer other hops but Cascade works for me.

 

If moving to warmer area does not carbonate, you could try adding a little fresh yeast to the bottles. I have not done this but I imagine a small pinch would do. Others here may be able to advise on this better. 

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What temp were the bottles stored at?  If below 60, that's an issue.  If low to mid 60s, it would take longer.  

 

How long was the bottle in the frig before trying it?

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What temp were the bottles stored at?  If below 60, that's an issue.  If low to mid 60s, it would take longer.  

 

How long was the bottle in the frig before trying it?

Well I left them in the basement where I brewed the beer.  Prior to bottling I asked here where I should leave them because now that we are in the summer, during the day my house gets close to 80 degrees everywhere except the basement which remains in the mid-high 60's.  The bottle I tried was in the fridge for about 30 hours.  If I left it longer, would that have done the trick?  

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high 60s is fine, although it could take a little longer.

 

Ideally, 3 days, allows for more CO2 to be absorbed back in the beer. 

 

Was it FLAT - or just very lightly carbonated?

 

One thing I have seen is people complaining off and on about carbonation - and they seem to all use the carb drops as I recall.  I use simple table sugar.  

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high 60s is fine, although it could take a little longer.

 

Ideally, 3 days, allows for more CO2 to be absorbed back in the beer. 

 

Was it FLAT - or just very lightly carbonated?

 

One thing I have seen is people complaining off and on about carbonation - and they seem to all use the carb drops as I recall.  I use simple table sugar.  

It was not completely flat but damn close when I poured it.  By the time I finished it like 40 minutes later, it was by all definitions flat.  There was zero lacing in the glass.  I have 2 brews that I can make next and I did not purchase any additional carbo drops so I will be using table sugar for them.  Hopefully I will have some better results.  I will wait at least a week before I put anymore beer in the fridge and then will let it sit for at least 3 days before trying.  Hopefully my second bottle is a much better experience.  

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You're not going to get much lacing, or head, with Mr. Beer unless you steep grains.

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You're not going to get much lacing, or head, with Mr. Beer unless you steep grains.

I will take that under advisement, but having next to nothing was my main concern.  I felt as though I was missing something.  Anyway, I will just give the remaining bottles some more time to mature before I try again.  Until then I will just have to get by with the case of 3 Floyds Zombie Dust I scored last week.  

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I use flip top bottles, come to find out the new bottles come with cheap seals, so I got sum good high quality seals and my carbonation issues had been resolved. I dnt use the pet bottles unless I use them as trub bottles, but never had any issues with carbonation with them, even when I used the drops supplied in the kits.

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I would also like to add that you should steer clear of any soaps or scented detergents for cleaning your bottles. And don't use more of the No-Rinse than is recommended. Any strong solutions of No-Rinse or the use of soaps can prevent carbonation and head by leaving residues in the bottles. A 1/2 packet of No-Rinse diluted in 1 gallon of water is strong enough to be used as a sanitizer. Higher concentrations may leave a head-killing residue.

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I added some additional hops to a Diablo IPA in the form of a "hop tea" using Cascade hops. Compared to the straight Diablo, it had a lot more head retention thanks to the additional oils from the hops. Obviously more flavor and aroma as well.

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I have never used drops before in the 3-4 years of brewing. I have brewed Mr Beer from the beginning and have always used table sugar and I put sugar in each bottle by hand using a heaping teaspoon per half-litre bottle, 2.5 teaspoons per litre bottle, 3/4 teaspoon per 12 ounce bottle. I have never had a problem with any type of carbonation only to the extent of slightly over-carbed on a batch here or there due to type of beer and I don't have it down to exact science of my measurements. Some here swear by batch priming and that's cool but for 2.5 gallon lbk batches, it takes less time to prime each bottle in my mind. I would let it condition for another couple of weeks, put one in the fridge for 2-3 days then drink it...make notes, let us know how it goes and we can go from there. Remember this is your first batch, don't get discouraged, keep working at improving all facets of the brewing techniques. Find what works, doesn't work, adjust and adapt. You will only get better with a struggle here or there once in a while.

 

Salud my friends

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Well I tried a second bottle on Sunday and compared to the first it was hands down better.  The only real noticeable change was actual head.  I poured very vigorously to just try and encourage some head to form and unlike the first bottle (where I had basically nothing), I had nearly a half inch of head with a small amount of lacing forming as I drank the beer.  I think the extra time was a big helper, plus I left this in the fridge for about 4.5 days before drinking it.  The taste was still straight bitterness which was never the problem for me as I like em bitter.  It actually is pretty close to Bass Ale so far.  

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So clearly another week of conditioning and longer time in the frig changed things.  Good stuff!

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By the time I finished it like 40 minutes later, it was by all definitions flat.  

 

It took you 40 minutes to finish a beer?  ;)

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It took you 40 minutes to finish a beer?  ;)

Hey now, I can chug with the best of em (actually took second in a pint chugging contest a couple years ago), but if I am not trying to show someone up, I let them sit and warm up a bit as a lot of beers are much better then. 

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blackduck modified diablo was my second.  my first was a dogsnharleys modified northwest pale ale with orange peel.  both were outstanding!  I didn't want to try the kits straight up. when I read their recipes it looked a) delicious and B) doable  so I dove right in.

 

funny I can still remember many of my first beers with mr beer. 

 

3- pumpkin weis...  4- Frankenstein version of dogs nw pale that tipped the abv at just over 8% abv... not long afterward I was doing steeping grains and 5 gallon kits.

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