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Carbonation problem

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I’ve brewed several batches in the lbk’s I have and one problem I’ve encountered with light beer and the Mexican beer is inconsistent carbonation. Would this be caused by the conditioning temperature being lower than it should be or not enough priming sugars? When I’ve brewed stouts the problem isn’t as bad. Thoughts?

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There is no correlation between whether a beer is dark or light and how it carbonates.


You need to have the bottles in a 70 degree or higher temp to properly carbonate.  If you have them in a 65 degree environment, figure it will take perhaps 50% longer, so instead of 4 weeks, it will take 6 weeks.


If your environment is very cold, say in the 50s, then they may never carb, because you put the yeast to sleep.


One thing that is true between different beer styles is the amount of carbonation that is proper for them.  Some beers are supposed to be highly carbonated, for example a German Weizenbock, Dunkelweizen, or Berliner Weisse.  On the opposite end of the scale, i.e. a low carbonated beer, would be an English Bitter or Scottish Ale.  Many American styles fall in between.  The way to create different levels of carbonation is to use different amounts of sugar to carbonate.  Unfortunately, Mr. Beer recipes rely on Mr. Beer Carbonation Drops, which would provide the same level of carbonation in all styles.


Carbonation levels will impact the taste of the beer, because carbonation allows aroma to be distributed to your nose, and carbonation affects the mouthfeel on your tongue as well as making a beer sharper and more bitter.  


One neat thing to try is using plain table sugar to carbonate, and use different amounts (marking bottles), and then compare them.  For example, instead of the 2 carb drops / 2 tsp sugar that Mr. Beer recommends in their 740ml bottles, use 1 1/2 in some, 1 in others, and 2 in the rest.  Mark the bottles, then when you go to test them have someone else do the pours, and not tell you which is which, and see if you notice.


A great tool is Screwy Brewer's carbonation tool - http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc




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