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coulter

Another newbie question

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I have about three batches under my belt now but on all three batches they have had very little to no head to it. What could I be doing wrong? I brew in the PET bottles and twice have used their recommended 2.5 TSP of sugar and on the third batch I used honey. Any suggestions? Thanks!!

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How long are you letting the bottles carbonate for? What is the temperature you let your bottles carbonate at? Give us your brewing methods and we can probably help determine what the issue is. Using the Mr. Beer carbonation method usually gives highly carbonated beers, so something in your process might be the issue.

How much honey did you use in your third batch? When you use different types of sugars to prime with you need to use different amounts. There are priming calculators out there to help you out.

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Well I try to do everything exactly to the T according to the Mr. Beer directions. It stays in the keg for 2 weeks then I've been letting it carbonate for another 4 weeks. As far as the temperature goes it may be a little cool now that you mentioned it. It's probably about 72 degrees or so. Do you have a desired temperature setting? The sugar I used is just regular granulated sugar. I read a post that said they used the exact amount of honey that they recommend for sugar. So I used 2.5 TSP of local Okla. honey. I'm going to take a look at those priming calculators!! Thanks!

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I had trouble with head retention with my first few batches, too. Then I started adding steeping grains to each recipe, and that's helped a lot. Just a half-pound of Carapils steeped for 30 minutes makes a world of difference. It's easy to do, too. Look into it.

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Also, what recipes did you brew? I found that the first that I did with booster and one can of HME had little to no head. The brews I did with HME + UME had better head, and the ones where I've added DME and/or grains had even better head.

I also switched to glass after batch #1, but for short term carbonation, etc. PET shouldn't be a problem. I still use those for making root beer, cream soda and ginger brew with excellent carbonation.

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Dudley wrote:

Hi too all,

This is a great forum. Im new as of fathers day and im now brewing my west coast pale ale from my premium kit. :)

Welcome aboard! There's no turning back now!!!! :laugh:

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What do you use to wash the glass you pour into. Some dishwasher soaps adversely affect head retention. I just rinse my glasses out very well with cold water. When I'm cleaning out a keg, I'll use a rag and put it in the keg and soak up some oxyclean solution and wash my glasses with that.

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Guest System Admin

Not long ago I wrote a page devoted to Fermenting And Carbonating that you may want to read before you toss out all your PET bottles and begin steeping grains trying to improve your beers fizz.

All of my recipes have been bottled in 1 litre PET bottles, some for over 120 days and they all had a great head with long lasting retention.

I am curently fermenting the Novacaine recipe and plan on drinking it from 1 litre PET bottles in February next year.

The Screwy Brewer

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I've been reading up on steeping grains and your right, it does seem easy enough. I'm going to try that on my next batch! I'll let you know how it turns out. Where do you get your grains, online or local supply? I'm going to try cleaning with Oxyclean and batch priming as well. So this is definitely going to be an experiment! I will probably switch to glass bottles as soon as I get an extra fridge to store the extra bottles in. I don't have the room as of yet. How do you check for carbonation if you use glass bottles?

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coulter wrote:

How do you check for carbonation if you use glass bottles?

If they blow up, you overcarbed it. :ohmy:

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I already have a huge food gut I dont think I can handle mouh of a beer gut. If I get a larger gut Ill blame it on my family for getting me this mr. beer

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Guest System Admin

Stay thirsty my friend.

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I don't have a LHBS near enough to make it worth my while, so I do all my shopping online. Olorin provided a link to rebel brewer. Good outfit. I usually use Northern Brewer. They have a flat rate shipping charge of $7.99, and the stuff arrives within five business days. Works for me. There are other online brewing sites, so check 'em out and decide which one works best for you. If you weren't hooked by now, you will be after surfing these sites.

As far as checking for carbonation with glass bottles, you just have to trust the yeast to do their thing. Search these forums for advice on how much sugar to use, and then tailor it to fit your preferences and brewing style.

Since you said you're going to try batch priming, here's my technique:

Do the sanitizing thing.

Transfer one gallon from keg to priming bucket. Dissolve 4 ounces (by weight, not volume) of honey in one cup water, heating to around 165 degrees for better mixing. Cool in an ice bath to room temperature and pour into priming bucket. Stir gently with slotted spoon to mix. Try to aerate the mixture as little as possible. Transfer the remaining beer into priming bucket. Bottle your beer.

I've got it down to where I can multitask throughout the process and save a little time, so bottling day isn't a huge chore.

You'll probably come up with methods that work best for you. Good luck.

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