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DonPolo

Flat Beer

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On 11/21/2018 at 9:48 AM, Worts and all said:

The Tasmanian coastal climate,which I believe is officially called “a temperate maritime climate” ,is generally favourable for brewing. Often it is simply a matter of finding a good spot to sit the fermenter in any particular season. My problem with those brews was,I think,not getting the bottles up to 18 degrees quickly enough. Good to know the yeast remains viable for a long time though. A good shake up,reminding them of their obligations,a bit of warmth,and away they go! Cheers.

I guess the yeast must stay viable even after carbonation. Otherwise the process of 'harvesting' the Coopers commercial yeast from a six pack of their beer wouldn't work.

I don't how this will go but next time I open a PET that's a bit flat, I might return the cap, give it a shake and see what happens. Granted, I may have poured out a tad before I've realised how flat it is but it might be interesting anyway. 

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2 hours ago, DonPolo said:

I guess the yeast must stay viable even after carbonation. Otherwise the process of 'harvesting' the Coopers commercial yeast from a six pack of their beer wouldn't work.

I don't how this will go but next time I open a PET that's a bit flat, I might return the cap, give it a shake and see what happens. Granted, I may have poured out a tad before I've realised how flat it is but it might be interesting anyway. 

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I like the theory but the practical appplication may pose problems, depending on how flat it is,how fussy you are,how much of that bottle and others you have supped,and so on. Too many variables to make any prediction! Let us all know how it goes. Cheers!

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I would say if its flat and has been stored at a decent temperature the yeast has probably eaten all the sugar and the co2 has escaped the bottle somehow. Shaking them up wont help but only bring the yeast back into suspention. I would in this case add another carb drop seal the lid and see what happens.

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Can't believe this thread is still going!  Must be a popular topic! 😄    Speaking of which...

Sometimes inexplicable things happen in brewing.  And curiously I just had a 'preview' sample of an NZPA I bottled a couple of weeks ago.  It's very flat with absolutely minimal carbonation.  That's the first time I've had this issue.  The brew was bulk primed with 150g sucrose / 23 litre batch.    Conditioning temps have been good, apart from a couple of days very recently where we were momentarily thrown back into Winter, but the beer should have been fully carb'd before then. 

I have no explanation.  😐

 

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BlackSands, if you are comfortable with your priming rate and no leaks, then it can only be bottle conditioning "time and temperature"? What else could we be missing? 

Cheers 

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4 minutes ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

Dead yeast. Although that seems highly unlikely. 

So, potential environment or bottle prep fu, because the yeast has already primary fermented?

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What I'm saying is, if there is adequate priming sugar, warm enough temperature, and airtight sealed bottles, the only thing that would prevent carbonation other than not enough time would be if the yeast died. 

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So the list for flat beer is;

  • Priming material and measure 
  • Potential bottle leaks
  • Bottle conditioning time and temperature consistency over 18c
  • Bottle preparation 
  • Storage environment 

Cheers 😁

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8 hours ago, Otto Von Blotto said:

What I'm saying is, if there is adequate priming sugar, warm enough temperature, and airtight sealed bottles, the only thing that would prevent carbonation other than not enough time would be if the yeast died. 

I've just checked the Mexican Cerveza that I bought on the cheap in Woolies... bottled it last Friday night (one week ago tonight) and the bottles are still 'flat' (wobbly, haven't popped up nice and hard). I do realise it takes at least 2 weeks to fully carbonate (preferably 3) but with every other brew I've done, the bottles haven't still been 'wobbly' after a week - they were at least nice and hard.

I did leave this brew in the FV for a looonnggg time (about 2.5 weeks) because I got busy with work and then went away for 5 days... could the yeast be dead? I was under the impression you could leave your brew in the FV for up to a month, normally? 

Cheers,

Savo. 

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Nope. They are not dead. Just not enough time. I have had high alcohol brews take over a month to carb up adequately. Normal brews should take a couple of weeks to carb but best to leave for 3 weeks to make sure

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21 minutes ago, csavage87 said:

I've just checked the Mexican Cerveza that I bought on the cheap in Woolies... bottled it last Friday night (one week ago tonight) and the bottles are still 'flat' (wobbly, haven't popped up nice and hard). I do realise it takes at least 2 weeks to fully carbonate (preferably 3) but with every other brew I've done, the bottles haven't still been 'wobbly' after a week - they were at least nice and hard.

I did leave this brew in the FV for a looonnggg time (about 2.5 weeks) because I got busy with work and then went away for 5 days... could the yeast be dead? I was under the impression you could leave your brew in the FV for up to a month, normally? 

Cheers,

Savo. 

I don't think two and a half weeks is that long in the FV. I quite often leave them that long because of work.
My Cerveza has been in the FV 12 days today & I was going to cold crash it till Wednesday before bottling.
The yeast should still be OK.
I would have thought after a week the bottles would have been hard though.

How much sugar / dextrose did you use per bottle / litre when bottling?
How warm is it where the bottles are stored?

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On 11/23/2018 at 1:25 PM, Worthog said:

BlackSands, if you are comfortable with your priming rate and no leaks, then it can only be bottle conditioning "time and temperature"? What else could we be missing? 

Cheers 

Sampling the WRONG beer!   🤣

I made two Pale Ales a week apart.   I grabbed a bottle from the wrong crate!   That particular brew was only bottled about a week ago!    Mystery solved.   😁

  • Haha 2

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On 11/23/2018 at 8:13 PM, Graculus said:

I don't think two and a half weeks is that long in the FV. I quite often leave them that long because of work.
My Cerveza has been in the FV 12 days today & I was going to cold crash it till Wednesday before bottling.
The yeast should still be OK.
I would have thought after a week the bottles would have been hard though.

How much sugar / dextrose did you use per bottle / litre when bottling?
How warm is it where the bottles are stored?

Thanks for the advice GRACULUS. 

I used 2x Coopers Carbonation drops per PET bottle, as I always do... Usually my bottles are at least a bit hard 1 week later. Usually I try one 2 weeks into bottle conditioning and then let the rest keep going a bit longer. Very weird. 

I've moved one box of Cerveza out to the garage (very hot in the day-time in there in November) so hopefully this stimulates them a bit... It has been above 18 degrees where I normally store them, though (under the stairs). My thermometer in there sits around 22-25 quite consistently. 

Cheers,

Savo. 

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Well after a long hiatus I've tried again. The last beer I tried was pretty damn good with a few variables:

1. it was bottled into one of those Aldi German swing top bottles they sell in six packs

2. It had a winter wheat malt cracked grain steep of 300g

3. I did a galaxy/centennial/cascade hop addition at flameout

4. Minimal LDM, only 100g to assist the hop addition

5. Did a 'toucan' of Coopers Australian Pale Ale (i.e. one can in a craft fermenter to 11L). 

After just over two weeks and a couple of days in the fridge, the head was remarkable. Incredibly light, fluffy and persistent.

I'm not sure exactly what I did right but I suspect the following:

  • Higher alcohol beers take longer to carbonate/develop head retention properties. This one had a OG of 1.050 and a FG of 1.015 so around 4.6% ABV. My others were sometimes 6-7%
  • Maybe glass is better than PET
  • I'm not sure that 100% LDM is the way to go with Kit and Kilo based brews. I've done a few with the Coopers Brew Enhancers and I think perhaps the maltodextrin assists head perhaps better than the carapils that I've tried
  • I understand that the wheat malt steep adds maltodextrin or something like it to the brew so this may explain a few things

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