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I'mRev
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My last batch of OS Cerveza is flat. It seems to have failed carbonation.

It was a standard brew made at 20-23c (a bit warm in the shed that week) using BE1 and finings to clear. Everthing went to schedule and carbonated with 2 drops per bottle. It poured out with little froth and went flat almost immediately. Taste was also more bland than expected but not 'off'.

Any ideas why?  (please dont  tell me I need to brew in a temperature controlled fridge, it's not an option)

Also, does storing the cartons of beer in a hot tin shed (it gets up to 43c) make any difference to quality?

Edited by I'mRev
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14 minutes ago, I'mRev said:

My last batch of OS Cerveza is flat. It seems to have failed carbonation.

It was a standard brew made at 20-23c (a bit warm in the shed that week) using BE1 and finings to clear. Everthing went to schedule and carbonated with 2 drops per bottle. It poured out with little froth and went flat almost immediately. Taste was also more bland than expected but not 'off'.

Any ideas why?  (please dont  tell me I need to brew in a temperature controlled fridge, it's not an option)

Also, does storing the cartons of beer in a hot tin shed (it gets up to 43c) make any difference to quality?

Hi Rev,

My opinion is BE1 is a little flat, it is mostly Dextrose, not your friend for producing good beers. You would need to use at least BE2 or BE3 but I would be inclined to add some Light Dried Malt Extract or better still some Light Liquid Malt Extract & you will notice a difference in the head retention & overall body of the beer.

Also storing it at that temperature is a NO NO - you need to get into an environment around 18c.

Finally I would suggest trying simple white sugar instead of Carb Drops, get a sugar measure designed to fill either 375ml or 750ml, I use a full scoop in 450ml/500ml/750ml which is just right for a good head.

I hope this helps & I am sure more help is on the way.

Cheers.

Edited by Classic Brewing Co
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38 minutes ago, I'mRev said:

Any ideas why? 

Lids not tight enough,

small carb drops

not left long enough

38 minutes ago, I'mRev said:

Also, does storing the cartons of beer in a hot tin shed (it gets up to 43c) make any difference to quality?

Yes, the beer will go "stale" more quickly, not be as fresh or as tasty. It will still be carbed though

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1 hour ago, I'mRev said:

Also, does storing the cartons of beer in a hot tin shed (it gets up to 43c) make any difference to quality?

I would suggest it would. You are moving into a temperature range that may not be within the range that the yeast performs at its best and may consequently affect the the quality of the beer.

However it may be fine for some peoples taste🍻.

Also  if you have a wide variation between the max temp and minimum temperature it may give you problems. It's best to have the beer in a environment in which the temperature is as stable as you can get it given your circumstances.

I wouldn't store beer in a shed where the temperature gets to 43C and would try to get into cooler place.

As far as the flat beer goes you could open them and reprime but beware of gushers when the sugar hits the beer.

With many failures when I used PETs (flat beer) I moved over to glass.

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1 hour ago, Itinerant Peasant said:

But would not store plastic bottles in shed to 43 degC if possible

Glass - maybe - but then even same not really great to have bottled brew up that hot hot... if practicable 😐

@I'mRev 

@disgruntled

Oh I wouldn't keep glass at that temp either unless it is rather thick. In the old days, during my first foray into brewing, I stored all my bottles in the garage and did come home on occasion to find a few exploded bottles in there. Not only that, I also cooked my beer in there. It was top shelf stuff...because the FV was there 🙂 No wonder I gave up on it after a while. Back then, there was no Coopers DIY Beer website to learn from and the cans still told you to use a kilo of dextrose to brew 🙂

Edited by Aussiekraut
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@I'mRev When you say the beer is flat, were the bottles soft also? This might suggest the lids weren't on tight enough. If the bottles were firm it might just mean you need a little more priming sugar when bottling to suit your fizzy preferences but be cautious about doing this. It can lead to failed bottles from over carbonation.

If I can make a slightly egotistic suggestion, perhaps try the "Muzzy method" of priming, which is one carb drop plus one sugar cube per 750ml bottle. Carb drops are 3g each. Sugar cubes are 4.5g each. I've even used 2 x sugar cubes in some bottles to get that extra fizz. If using higher rates of priming sugar it is not wise to be leaving those bottles in storage for long periods. Carbonation continues over time and can create bottle bombs. 

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Thanks everyone. I'm going to try re-carboning my last carton. Wow, they really gush when they're warm so I'll chill them first.

I weighed the carb drops and they average 8-9g/lt which is below the recommended 10g/lt so I'll change to bulk priming or the Muzzy method..

I can't do anything about my storage conditions so I'm going to put the bottles in big foam eskies. Hopefully that will keep them more stable in the garden shed.

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On 1/19/2022 at 12:14 PM, I'mRev said:

Thanks everyone. I'm going to try re-carboning my last carton. Wow, they really gush when they're warm so I'll chill them first.

I weighed the carb drops and they average 8-9g/lt which is below the recommended 10g/lt so I'll change to bulk priming or the Muzzy method..

I can't do anything about my storage conditions so I'm going to put the bottles in big foam eskies. Hopefully that will keep them more stable in the garden shed.

Hey Rev, just wondering as you used finings before bottling whether that has reduced the amount of yeast in the bottle to a point where carbonation might take longer. 
I’ve noticed since I’ve started cold crashing to clear beers, that carbonation now takes about 4 weeks or so. I guess it’s similar to an under pitch of yeast…

At least that’s what I’ve found in my process anyway…other people have had different experiences to me though…

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I've made two lagers fo far, one I used 2 drops per 500ml PET and it's got hardly any gas after 3 weeks and what little head there is disappears almost immediately.  Next brew was using sugar and a scoop - I used the one marked "500ml" for the 500ml bottles and it's only slightly better than the first.

On the next one I was either going one drop + a 330ml scoop of sugar per 500ml PET, or two "330ml" scoops per 500ml PET.

I'm getting sick of flat lager though.  Might stick to Yorkshire Bitter - that seems to carbonate and keep a head easily enough.

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14 minutes ago, Space said:

I've made two lagers fo far, one I used 2 drops per 500ml PET and it's got hardly any gas after 3 weeks and what little head there is disappears almost immediately.  Next brew was using sugar and a scoop - I used the one marked "500ml" for the 500ml bottles and it's only slightly better than the first.

On the next one I was either going one drop + a 330ml scoop of sugar per 500ml PET, or two "330ml" scoops per 500ml PET.

I'm getting sick of flat lager though.  Might stick to Yorkshire Bitter - that seems to carbonate and keep a head easily enough.

What are you using in the way of Brew Enhancers - B1,B2,B3 ( Coopers )

Light Dried Malt Extract or Liquid Malt Extract come in different styles to suit different beer types, all of these will give your brew more body, improved mouth feel & head retention.

I haven't used Carb Drops for ages, just plain white sugar for priming, it has improved my beers & I always get good heads that stay & the glass has a nice lacing right to the finish.

There shouldn't be much difference between PET or glass bottles but great care needs to be taken that they are cleaned squeaky cleaned, sanitised & drained before filling.

I use a combination of PET/Coopers Longnecks & 45oml Grolsch bottles & use a full scoop for all, although sometimes it is a little too much for the Grolsch.

Here's one for you to drool over. 🤣

But seriously try experimenting with different malts, yeasts etc.

There is a wealth of information available on this great forum so perhaps post your recipe & you may find ways to tweak it to get a decent beer.

Cheers

Phil

112848963_CoopersBootmakerPaleAle13012022.thumb.jpg.a0ebfdfb06a03e5522549e110d8f44bf.jpg

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5 minutes ago, Classic Brewing Co said:

What are you using in the way of Brew Enhancers - B1,B2,B3 ( Coopers )

Light Dried Malt Extract or Liquid Malt Extract come in different styles to suit different beer types, all of these will give your brew more , improved mouth feel & head .

I haven't used Carb Drops for ages, just plain white sugar for priming, it has improved & I get good heads that stay & has a nice lacing right to the finish.

There shouldn't be much difference between PET or glass bottles but great care needs to be taken that they are cleaned squeaky cleaned, sanitised & drained before filling.

I use of PET/Coopers Longnecks & 45oml Grolsch bottles & use a full scoop for all, although it is a little too much for the Grolsch.

Here's one for you to drool over. 🤣

But try experimenting with different malts, yeasts etc.

There is a of available on this great forum so post your & you may find ways to tweak it to get a decent beer.

Cheers

Phil

112848963_CoopersBootmakerPaleAle13012022.thumb.jpg.a0ebfdfb06a03e5522549e110d8f44bf.jpg

 

The one in the FV now is a Coopers Mexican Cerveza made with half Coopers B1 and 500g of hopped light spray malt.  From the sip of the hydrometer trial jar it tastes better than previous batches.   I'll probably go to B2 from now on as I've been told the B1 is pants.  

Edited by Space
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1 hour ago, Space said:

 

The one in the FV now is a Coopers Mexican Cerveza made with half Coopers B1 and 500g of hopped light spray malt.  From the sip of the hydrometer trial jar it tastes better than previous batches.   I'll probably go to B2 from now on as I've been told the B1 is pants.  

Mate try some LIQUID malt rather than the dry stuff... or the best way forward I reckon is ALL THREE of the below items:

1.  One Coopers Kit of your Choice (I recommend Coopers Real Ale as a good base for a nice Ale especially to begin with)

+

2. 1 tin of Coopers Liquid Malt - suggest here either Coopers Light Liquid Malt or Coopers Amber Liquid Malt

+

3. I box of BE2

image.thumb.png.c46d15bd99a97505cde825b5384a21df.png

 

Yes it will have more oomph i.e. ABV --> but you should notice improved head, head retention and creamy mouthfeel.

I never had any problems with Carbing up of Bottles when I was bottling...  just make sure that the bottles are kept warm like 18 deg C through to 22 deg C or so... for like 3 weeks.

I mostly used the Coopers Lollies in latter years but in earlier years just white sugar like @Classic Brewing Co Classic the Master Bottler does... 

Just one more possibility in one world of all possible worlds...       ; )

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On 1/18/2022 at 1:08 PM, I'mRev said:

My last batch of OS Cerveza is flat. It seems to have failed carbonation.

It was a standard brew made at 20-23c (a bit warm in the shed that week) using BE1 and finings to clear. Everthing went to schedule and carbonated with 2 drops per bottle. It poured out with little froth and went flat almost immediately. Taste was also more bland than expected but not 'off'.

Any ideas why?  (please dont  tell me I need to brew in a temperature controlled fridge, it's not an option)

Also, does storing the cartons of beer in a hot tin shed (it gets up to 43c) make any difference to quality?

What sanitizer are you using?
I was battling consistently low carbonation in 740ml PET bottles (primed with 2 carb drops) for the best part of 6 months. 

I won't badmouth which no-rinse I was using, but after switching to Starsan all my carbonation problems seem to have gone away.

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19 minutes ago, Brewtiful said:

What sanitizer are you using?
I was battling consistently low carbonation in 740ml PET bottles (primed with 2 carb drops) for the best part of 6 months. 

I won't badmouth which no-rinse I was using, but after switching to Starsan all my carbonation problems seem to have gone away.

You have a very good point @Brewtiful , re the other so called no rinse sanitiser.  First hand experience from many years ago.  Just one more thing to think about when bottling.

I still reckon 3 x carb drops for 740 ml pets for most early drinking style beers is a must, either that or the Muzzy Method version 1.0 or 2.0.

 

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On 1/19/2022 at 12:14 PM, I'mRev said:

Thanks everyone. I'm going to try re-carboning my last carton. Wow, they really gush when they're warm so I'll chill them first.

Yes if re-sugaring under-carbed bottles always chill them down for a couple of days first as it limits foaming, re-sugar and re-cap quickly then double check cap tightness.

Make sure you mark the ones you have done or re-label them so you don't accidentally re-sugar ones already re-sugared (you get my drift).  Then of course you have to re-start the carb days/weeks clock over again and leave them at 18 - 22 for another 2-3 weeks.  They will turn out much better when you get to drink them.  - Good luck with it.

Edited by iBooz2
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9 hours ago, Space said:

 

The one in the FV now is a Coopers Mexican Cerveza made with half Coopers B1 and 500g of hopped light spray malt.  From the sip of the hydrometer trial jar it tastes better than previous batches.   I'll probably go to B2 from now on as I've been told the B1 is pants.  

have a look into doing some toucans too.. so named because you use two cans. i'm going to make the SMOTY ale in the next couple of weeks which is pretty much just the pale can and the dark can (with a little bit of hopping). fun times, good beer.

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Keeping anything warm in England in January is probably part of the problem.  The last brew I bottled up I packed the bottles in my fermentaiton fridge fridge so at least they'd be the same 18c as the next brew.  Hopefully they'll be better.

I'm beginning to think that maybe I should brew bitters in the winter and leave the lager for summer when "warm" isn't an issue.

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19 hours ago, iBooz2 said:

You have a very good point @Brewtiful , re the other so called no rinse sanitiser.  First hand experience from many years ago.  Just one more thing to think about when bottling.

Good stuff @iBooz2 Boozer and @Brewtiful was gunna mention sanitizers but I had blithered on long enough and realise also that plastic bottles don't work so well  with my method -- but my point about never had any probs re carbing up bottles... was predicated on never using any chemical whether no rinse or not - always washed me bottles out three times after drinking w hot water preferably and upended and dried - then capped dry just with push-on clean old used dry caps - and then when in use - utilising sanitised rubber dishwashing gloves - give a quick hit of boiling water prior to filling - no chem.... and worked well... but note this is with good quality heavy thick glass bottles like Coopers that cope w a boiling water rinse or just-off-boiling rinse. 

And then as per the discussion... yeah really need to keep the bottles fairly warm to allow secondary ferment. 

18 hours ago, Space said:

leave the lager for summer when "warm" isn't an issue.

 

By rights brewing Lagers in the cooler months should be the ticket @Space Spacer - as long as you have got Lager Yeast like W34/70 which can ferment happily at 10 deg - and then well when you put it in the bottles for secondary - it should be right at 10 deg as well... guess I spose depends on HOW COLD your ambient storage temperatures get.  NB as @Shamus O'Sean Shamus has noted in recent postings - the Coopers Lager Yeast is an ALE yeast and will therefore not work so well down at 10 deg... but our friend MBD (Majestic Beautiful Dubbya aka W34/70) should be good - but does require extra purchase of the yeast.  HTH.

Edited by Itinerant Peasant
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From now on I'll make sure I rinse well after using my no-rinse sanitiser (not Starsan).   Also made a sugar scoop that should give me a consistent 10g/Lt in PET bottles.  Waiting for some cooler weather so I can try out all your suggestions.

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4 hours ago, I'mRev said:

From now on I'll make sure I rinse well after using my no-rinse sanitiser (not Starsan).   Also made a sugar scoop that should give me a consistent 10g/Lt in PET bottles.  Waiting for some cooler weather so I can try out all your suggestions.

From earlier posts I am sure you said you were in SA, maybe I am wrong but if you are I am curious as to what area as you mention the hot conditions.

I got lucky with this new place as it has very large rooms, double brick & high ceilings & I am next to the sea so brewing at ambient temperatures is no issue.

I have Starsan but I have had a lot of luck with these, they are only &2.50 per pack or you can get a bottle 250ml for about $8.00.

I use a packet for each brew in 5 litres of water in the FV & sanitise it along with all of the equipment. When I have finished I empty the contents in a large tu with a sealed lid & use it to sanitise a batch of bottles, a very affordable exercise.

See the source image

80445.jpg?20210309032310

 

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Cover your eyes, I'm about to write something that might offend some home brew pedants:
I DON'T USE SANITISER ON MY BOTTLES! IT'S NOT NECESSARY.
I put my trust in science and @martyG . A while ago Marty informed me that bacteria will form if there are substrates (crap on the inside of the bottle) for them to stick to.
If the bottles are cleaned there should be no substrates and thus no bacteria. Marty knows science stuff and his advice has proven invaluable to me.
This knowledge has made my bottling process much easier and to this stage has had no negative affect on my beers.
My bottling cleaning process is as follows:
1. ASAP after consumption (usually next morning for me) I rinse the muck out of the bottles.
2. I shake out as much water as possible from the bottles and store them upside down until I need them.
3. A couple of days before bottling day I soak the bottles and lids in a tub of hot water (not boiling because I use PETs) and sodium perc based laundry soaker.
4. The next day I give the bottles a vigorous shaking as I empty them and a rinse of cold water to get rid of any sod perc traces. If I notice any gunk in any of the bottles I'll give them a brushing with a silicon bottle brush I got from Kmart for $2. This is rare though.
5. I then place them inverted on my drying basket (my bottle tree substitute) in the sun if it's out. The sun is a good sanitiser.
6. Once dry they are ready for use.
If you choose to add a chemical sanitiser to your bottle cleaning process that's your choice but I would gladly suggest you are probably just wasting your time and sanitiser.


 

Edited by MUZZY
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