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Mjc

carbonation question

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Fairly new brewer, but learning.  Started beginning of the year.  The first few batches of beer I bottle conditioned following MB table sugar guidelines for 12, 16 and 750ml bottles.  First few batches seemed fine (although I read some forums about how many think MB recommends too much sugar).  Made an Oktoberfest that actually seemed under carbonated and was confused.  Than spring/summer rolled and and the temperature that I bottle conditioned in went from about 70 to maybe 77-78.  My last few batches are crazy carbonated.

 

So my question, assuming sugar amounts stay constant, do different types of HME kits carbonate differently depending upon their ingredients or does a rise in room temperature during conditioning cause additional carbonation or is there another variable I am missing? 

 

All batches are fermented 3-weeks, in coolers between 64-68 degrees.

 

Thanks for any info.

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warmer temps usually mean more active yeasts.  when carbing if you try keeping bottles in 60f for instance... they will eventually carb (ale yeast assumed)  but it might be weeks before the bottles start to get firm.  my house is usually cold so sometimes it can take 2 weeks for firmness.

 

if you carb in a 70f -  75f environment you might see trub start to form in the bottle in a couple days.

 

I stuck a bottle in the garage 90+ f  and overnight it was rock hard.  it was an experiment.

 

so heat does impact carb levels.  now to make things even more crazy...  you can have all the bottles with the same sugar, same environment.... and some will firm up in no time while others in the same batch might take a week or two.  yeast are living things. they do what they want...when they want.

 

another factor:  since you cant count cells going into bottles some bottles might have more yeast than others.   some bottles might get a little trub in them which has both living and dead yeast cells, and might have more yeast than usual.  (no you don't want to put trub in your bottles when bottling. trust me. ick    )

 

it really wouldn't matter what hme you used since its already fermented when you bottle. it has to do with a) cells present,   B) temperature,   and c) amount of new food for yeast to eat ie sugar.

 

just my thoughts.... only been brewing for about 3 years.

 

 

 

oh and if you ever run into undercarbed bottles and you are sure you put sugar in them... simply move them back into a warmer environment for a week or two. you might just have lazy yeast in the bottle.

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What temp you carb at shouldn't impact carb levels IF you wait 4 weeks or longer and IF you refrigerate 3 days or longer and the temp is 70 or higher.

3 days or longer allows the beer to absorb more CO2.

Don't confuse head with carbonation.

Do the experiment at 4 weeks, 5 weeks, 6 weeks - all with 3 days in the frig - and see what you get.

Make sure you know that each bottle is getting the SAME amount of sugar, either by measuring accurately or batch priming.

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Good point Rick, I did mean "head" vs "carbonation".  The actual carbonation was not bad, the head was huge and long lasting no matter how gently I poured.  I do use 4 oz of Carapils as recommended by some on the site, maybe that plays in and I should use a bit less.  All bottles were in the fridge a minimum of 3 days, some for much longer.  All have aged at least 6-8 weeks at this point at room temperature.  All sugar measured by the MB scoop.  I did drink an Oktoberfest last night, and much less head and carbonation than my other recent brews (its been conditioning 3 months now and had Carapils added).  The largest head is off  IPA and the Patriot Lager batches I made about 2 months ago

 

Bottling this weekend, bought some Sugar Dots and gonna try using a bit less than MB says as an experiment and see how this batch does.  That's half the fun, experimenting, keeping track of what works and what doesn't.

 

Thanks all for replies.

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Good point Rick, I did mean "head" vs "carbonation".  The actual carbonation was not bad, the head was huge and long lasting no matter how gently I poured.  I do use 4 oz of Carapils as recommended by some on the site, maybe that plays in and I should use a bit less.  All bottles were in the fridge a minimum of 3 days, some for much longer.  All have aged at least 6-8 weeks at this point at room temperature.  All sugar measured by the MB scoop.  I did drink an Oktoberfest last night, and much less head and carbonation than my other recent brews (its been conditioning 3 months now and had Carapils added).  The largest head is off  IPA and the Patriot Lager batches I made about 2 months ago

 

Bottling this weekend, bought some Sugar Dots and gonna try using a bit less than MB says as an experiment and see how this batch does.  That's half the fun, experimenting, keeping track of what works and what doesn't.

 

Thanks all for replies.

 

One thing Rickbeer pointed out was batch priming.  I started batch priming on about the 3rd or 4th beer and have been really happy with the amount of carbonation & the consistency from bottle to bottle.  Carbonation can be affected by the type of beer you are brewing.  Once again, Rickbeer pointed me toward the Screwy Brewer to help calculate carbonation based on the type of beer your brewing. 

 

http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc

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One thing Rickbeer pointed out was batch priming.  I started batch priming on about the 3rd or 4th beer and have been really happy with the amount of carbonation & the consistency from bottle to bottle.  Carbonation can be affected by the type of beer you are brewing.  Once again, Rickbeer pointed me toward the Screwy Brewer to help calculate carbonation based on the type of beer your brewing. 

 

http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc

 

Whata guy that Rickbeer is.  Charming, debonair, and so helpful...   :rolleyes:

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Whata guy that Rickbeer is.  Charming, debonair, and so helpful...   :rolleyes:

He couldn't have said it better himself.... Oh wait!!!!

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