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Flat Beer

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Here's what the Krausen looks like.

 

1522720257_46_56.jpg

 

After I bashed the FV it looked like this but it just went back to looking like the first picture.

 

1522720420_33_517.jpg

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You can allow it to rise and still dry hop, it won't affect it. Probably best to dry hop a few days before bottling; it depends on the hop being used though, I've had them in there over a week without issue although most of that time the beer has been at 0 degrees. But you're not cold crashing so just give them a few days.

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You can allow it to rise and still dry hop' date=' it won't affect it. Probably best to dry hop a few days before bottling; it depends on the hop being used though, I've had them in there over a week without issue although most of that time the beer has been at 0 degrees. But you're not cold crashing so just give them a few days.[/quote']

 

Well I'm thinking of dry hopping with 10g Cascade and 10g Centennial in the 11L batch.

 

Also got a tea bag of Galaxy which I could throw in or would that be overdoing it?

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No such thing as too many dry hops biggrin. It's up to you if you add the Galaxy as well but I don't think it would be overdoing it.

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No such thing as too many dry hops biggrin. It's up to you if you add the Galaxy as well but I don't think it would be overdoing it.
.

 

Well it will be interesting. Krausen still thick and healthy and now at day 10.

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I've had the persistent Krausen thing happen to me a few times, unfortunately my note keeping system is crap so I can't remember which brew or what yeast I used. I think US-05 most likely.

 

I just follow my normal steps, leave it in primary for 2 weeks, sometimes I cold crash for a few days, and then bottle. I haven't had any major issues. There was only one that possibly hadn't completely fermented but I don't know for sure because I used 3 carb drops per PET on that one and I think that was too much.

 

I would just go ahead and dry hop, wait a few days and bottle, I'd be surprised if there's any issues.

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Another thing to note is unless you've changed up the brew majorly (haven't read all the thread but assuming you're using a kit) it's fine to follow the Coopers instructions.

 

They've done extensive product testing on all these kits and if you follow their instructions for basic brews you can't go wrong. The only thing I do differently is drop the suggested temp back a couple degrees which I can do because I have a brew fridge.

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Another thing to note is unless you've changed up the brew majorly (haven't read all the thread but assuming you're using a kit) it's fine to follow the Coopers instructions.

 

They've done extensive product testing on all these kits and if you follow their instructions for basic brews you can't go wrong. The only thing I do differently is drop the suggested temp back a couple degrees which I can do because I have a brew fridge.

 

Thanks Beervis,

 

this one was a kit plus bits brew:

 

Mexican Cerveza kit brewed to 11L (effectively a Toucan).

200g Carapils steeped for 30 minutues

200g Brew Enhancer 3

15min Cascade hop tea

US05 yeast 10g dry (didn't rehydrate).

 

Kept in a tub with water with 2 x 1.5 litre frozen water bottles, changed each morning and night.

 

Average temp around 18C

 

Will probably dry hop with galaxy, cascade and centennial tomorrow evening for a few days.

 

Haven't checked the SG yet. Probably should.

 

My only fear when bottling is to ensure that I don't bump the FV too much. As advised I have bashed the FV a few times to try to disperse the Krausen. This causes what looks like pieces of stuff to fall down towards the bottom. While they seem to eventually rise to the top again, I wouldn't want that to be happening when I'm bottling.

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Bump

 

It's possible that this thread is getting off topic "Flat Beer". Someone searching "flat beer" may not resolve from this thread.

 

That's fine and please continue. But I want to say that 'Flat beer' and 'head retention' go hand in hand unless a few obvious flat beer problems are overcome; eg not enough carbonation, poor sealing bottles, and then of course time in bottle/keg. A quick and easy resolution.

 

Head retention is a slightly different problem with recipe and process connotations.

 

Cheers,

(oink)

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Bump

 

It's possible that this thread is getting off topic "Flat Beer". Someone searching "flat beer" may not resolve from this thread.

 

That's fine and please continue. But I want to say that 'Flat beer' and 'head retention' go hand in hand unless a few obvious flat beer problems are overcome; eg not enough carbonation' date=' poor sealing bottles, and then of course time in bottle/keg. A quick and easy resolution.

 

Head retention is a slightly different problem with recipe and process connotations.

 

Cheers,

(oink) [/quote']

 

Thanks for the post. Nah I still think it is relevant. The post started because I couldn't fathom why my beers were all were pretty flat.

 

After lots of toing and froing, including higher alcohol levels, glass cleanliness, plastic bottles, time in the fridge etc. we eventually got to the point in your other post yesterday wherein a grain steep is recommended. I like your post by the way - straight forward.

 

Where we are at now is the first brew following a kits and bits with Carapils steep and US05 rather than the kit yeast in order to affect head retention.

 

The variation is that after these interventions for head retention and now on day 11, I still have a healthy Krausen which is persisting (see pictures). So those that go down the route of doing the grain steep may need to be prepared for this.

 

Normally I'm bottling on day 7 or 8 even with dry hopping.

 

When this batch is in the bottle and after two or three weeks, we'll see if I still have flat beer or not hence the title of the post.biggrin

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It's not the grain steep that is influencing the krausen activity, it's the yeast strain. US-05 has a habit of doing that for some reason.

 

Also just because a beer holds no head doesn't make it flat. Flat is no carbonation, not necessarily no head. Grain steeps will not affect carbonation either. While there needs to be some carbonation in order to form a head in the first place, it doesn't really affect whether or not the head stays there. Example, I poured a 4 year old stout into a glass a week or two ago which was basically flat, it had lost most of its carbonation for some reason despite being in a glass crown seal bottle. It produced a few mm head if that, but then I did the syringe trick on it and the head grew to around 15mm or so, and hung around as a 3-4mm thick layer until just about the last sip. I've had other beers of higher carbonation levels where the head disappears quite quickly.

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It's not the grain steep that is influencing the krausen activity' date=' it's the yeast strain. US-05 has a habit of doing that for some reason.

 

Also just because a beer holds no head doesn't make it flat. Flat is no carbonation, not necessarily no head. Grain steeps will not affect carbonation either. While there needs to be some carbonation in order to form a head in the first place, it doesn't really affect whether or not the head stays there. Example, I poured a 4 year old stout into a glass a week or two ago which was basically flat, it had lost most of its carbonation for some reason despite being in a glass crown seal bottle. It produced a few mm head if that, but then I did the syringe trick on it and the head grew to around 15mm or so, and hung around as a 3-4mm thick layer until just about the last sip. I've had other beers of higher carbonation levels where the head disappears quite quickly. [/quote']

 

OK well my problem is probably OK carbonation but poor head retention. That's not to say some of the beers have not gone a bit flat in the glass. I.e. lose carbonation pretty fast.

 

PS - syringe trick?

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You get a syringe, put the needle into the beer, draw some beer into the syringe then pump it back out while keeping the needle submerged. It basically mimics that creamy nitro poured head you get on a draught Guinness. I don't often use this trick because it does reduce the carbonation level a bit, but it is useful on lowly carbed beers to improve the head and I have used it to de-carbonate beers a bit that have been overcarbonated.

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You get a syringe' date=' put the needle into the beer, draw some beer into the syringe then pump it back out while keeping the needle submerged. It basically mimics that creamy nitro poured head you get on a draught Guinness. I don't often use this trick because it does reduce the carbonation level a bit, but it is useful on lowly carbed beers to improve the head and I have used it to de-carbonate beers a bit that have been overcarbonated. [/quote']

 

Another unique tip from the master. Ta!

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So continuing this post which really is about carbonation levels I guess and includes flat beer.

 

Last night opened another 'Draft' brewed pretty much to kit instructions on 14/1/2018.

 

It was really 'fizzy' in a soft drink sort of way. It also almost had a metallic taste owing to this fizzy carbonation. Quite large bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

 

Ironically the next two glasses I poured straight into the glass rather like the Germans pour their beer in Germany and it wasn't too bad. I was attempting to get some of the carbonation out of the beer.

 

By 'flattening' the beer, it took away the harsh taste/mouthfeel.

 

Also, the late hops that I put in didn't seem to be overly aparent so maybe they their effect diminishes over time.

 

Is there something I might be doing that it producing this effect of 'fizziness' rather than 'foam'?

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Late hops do diminish over time, that's a well known effect. That's why we're always saying to drink hoppy beers fresh rather than let them age for any significant amount of time. tongue

 

I don't know why it would be pouring with too much carbonation though, unless it was primed too much or wasn't completely finished fermenting when it was bottled, or the bottles have somehow gotten a minor infection in them.

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I don't know why it would be pouring with too much carbonation though' date=' unless it was primed too much or wasn't completely finished fermenting when it was bottled, or the bottles have somehow gotten a minor infection in them. [/quote']

 

I used two carbonation drops per bottle as I had with other brews. Also the SG readings seemed to be the same over a period of 3 days so I should have thought it was finished carbonating.

 

None of the bottles have opened with anything more than a very mild 'phutt', no gushers.

 

It is not so much the amount of carbonation but rather the type of carbonation i.e. soft drink.

 

I suppose a minor infection is always possible.

 

Having said that, I rinse each bottle out with a sanitizer before bottling and they had been soaked for 24 hours in sodium percarbonate solution. Very strange.

 

OK to drink if I 'decarbonate' by pouring straight into the glass, getting half a glass of head and waiting for it to settle down. So I suppose that's the main thing.

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Just found this article that sums a lot of stuff up: https://www.homebrewsupply.com/learn/why-is-my-beer-over-carbed.html

 

The image of the beer in the glass below included in the post is almost identical to mine. So the issue, as you said may be over carbonation rather that 'flat' beer. It has the appearance of flat beer because the bubble disperse very quickly, leaving the beer flat.

 

My suspicion is that I'm bottling before fermentation has well and truly finished. I can honestly say that in my enthusiasm to get the bottling underway perhaps I've been a bit generous with my reading of my hydrometer thinking that near enough is close enough.

 

I don't know if the fact that I pitched a saved yeast cake for the first time for that brew would have anything to do with it.

 

Early bottling is the most likely cause apart from some mystery minor infection.

 

Anyway all good for learning about new things and creeping up on the holy grail!

 

1523230380_43_345.jpeg

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The glass in that picture is dirty, as evidenced by the bubbles clinging to the side all the way around it and top to bottom, which doesn't do any favors for head retention either. But generally speaking, big bubbles like that are a result of overcarbonation. I have had the odd bottle like that in the past, and my first ever batch was like that too (it was a kit and kilo of brewing sugar) but never had the issue with kegged beers despite carbonating them to what is probably a higher level than others are doing. So it's probably also related to the recipe makeup.

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But generally speaking' date=' big bubbles like that are a result of overcarbonation. I have had the odd bottle like that in the past, and my first ever batch was like that too (it was a kit and kilo of brewing sugar). So it's probably also related to the recipe makeup. [/quote']

 

Undoubtedly something to do with the recipe and perhaps I'm aiming too high with the kits.

 

Until this last one, where I have steeped some Carapils, all my others have been kit and kilo. And the kilos have all been LDM except for one which was brew enhancer 3 which I understand has the most malt of all the brew enhancers.

 

Since Coopers have been doing this for a long time I can only assume that the fault lies with me not their basic recipe. Otherwise I would have thought that others would have made a fuss about these fizzy over-carbonated beers.

 

I'm going to be very cautious in bottling this last brew. It has been two full weeks in the FV largely owing to the persistent Krausen. This morning the Krausen had all but dissipated, I suspect largely because of the addition of the late hops last Friday.

 

Ian's spreadsheet estimated that the FG would be 1.014. It was 1.015 by my hydrometer last Friday (had to add .005 because it reads .995 in tap water). If it is the same tonight I might bottle. Or hold off if anything changes.

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1 or 2 points off predicted FG is probably close enough to be able to consider it finished and able to be bottled. It's pretty well impossible to predict FG exactly every time because there are a few factors that influence it. It's when you start getting them stopping 3 or 4 points or more higher that you start wondering whether it is actually finished or if it's stalled or something.

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1 or 2 points off predicted FG is probably close enough to be able to consider it finished and able to be bottled. It's pretty well impossible to predict FG exactly every time because there are a few factors that influence it. It's when you start getting them stopping 3 or 4 points or more higher that you start wondering whether it is actually finished or if it's stalled or something.

 

Ah OK. Well this evening’s test was 1013 so dropped a few pints. Would it have had something to do with the fact that I let the temperature get up to 21/22 for a couple of days? Brought it back down to 16 this morning.

 

Didn’t get to bottle this evening, will try tomorrow evening. Still dry hopping.

 

The hydrometer taste test was good. Passion fruit from the galaxy coming through with the cascade and centennial underneath

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You should have left it up there ideally. It's probably well and truly finished anyway but temperature drop at and towards the end of fermentation isn't wanted. The difference in the SG could just be a result of the different temperature - the hydrometer will read differently depending on the temp, although usually it goes the other way in that the cooler the sample the higher the thing reads. If it is still fermenting then bump the temp back up.

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You should have left it up there ideally. It's probably well and truly finished anyway but temperature drop at and towards the end of fermentation isn't wanted. The difference in the SG could just be a result of the different temperature - the hydrometer will read differently depending on the temp' date=' although usually it goes the other way in that the cooler the sample the higher the thing reads. If it is still fermenting then bump the temp back up.[/quote']

 

Whoops, thought I was doing the right thing dropping the temperature down. I know people cold crash after a short rise in temp. I understand cold crashing is to better clarify the beer. And while I didn't expect any cold crashing at 16 degrees (more like 0ish degrees?) I just thought it might settle things down again.

 

In that case, I'll just not put the frozen bottles in the sink and maybe empty the tub until bottling.

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It is a good idea but the timing of it is key. You want to make sure the brew has completely finished fermenting, then give it another few days at the elevated temp for the yeast to clean up a bit, and then drop the temp down. If you start dropping the temp down before it finishes fermenting then it will just make the yeast sluggish and they will either stall or not clean up as effectively. cool

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