Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
talltwits

Best Bottle Carbonation Techniques!

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,

 

So I was wondering what handy tips, hints and tricks you have for getting the best results for carbonation.

 

My current method is as follows -

 

- for 500ml glass bottle with crown caps I use 1 level tea spoon of dextrose brewing sugar

- store for three weeks in dark 18 degrees c room

- prior to opening the bottle for consumption ill put in the fridge for 24 hours

 

Very basic methods, although I do feel that the head on my beer hasn't been great on my last brews. So it's something I'm looking to improve on. So as I said before does anyone have any tips, hints or tricks to improve this or is this as much as I can do.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's not much else you can do carbonation wise. Head retention etc. is mostly to do with the make up of the grain bill used in the beer. A bit of malted wheat or Carapils if you want to stick to all barley should help it along. Other crystal malts will aid it as well. Loads of late hops in the recipe can help it too.

 

Interestingly, I have no trouble with head retention in my pilsners which contain no crystal malts at all, and are force carbonated in kegs. They do contain a large amount of Saaz though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Talltwits. Nice to hear from you again. smile

 

Head and carbonation are two different things. Which are you trying to improve?

 

Measuring a teaspoon for each bottle is, quite frankly, a PITA. Bulk priming is much easier, more accurate, and you can easily tailor the carbonation level to the style you have at hand. It does require a second fermenter/carboy. Software or an online recipe calculator can tell you how much dextrose you need for the style you are brewing. Basically you dissolve the sugar in a small amount of water, boil it for a couple of minutes, dump it into your second FV/carboy, rack on top of it, give it a gentle stir, then bottle from there. Some FV have taps, which makes it easy, but mine doesn't so I use an auto-siphon and a bottling wand. Apparently some forum members bulk prime in their primary, and bottle directly from there, but I not sure how that works. Sounds to me like you'd pick up a lot of yeast. There is probably a thread on the topic on the forum.

 

The rest of your process sounds fine.

 

If you are actually interested in improving the head of your beer, maybe post a new topic?

 

Edit: I see Kelsey already talked about head, so no need for a new topic.

 

Cheers!

 

Christina.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys,

 

Well I suppose I'm looking for better head retention. I've never had a flat beer yet so carbonation seems to be going well. I'll defo look into bulk priming Christina. It does sound a little more simple. Although I only have the one FV at the moment and I am doing smaller batches (11 litres) so measuring the tea spoon of priming sugar isn't the worst.

 

Kelsey, I didn't realise that head retention came from the grain bill. I'm not at the stage of making my own recipes yet so if I don't get good head retention I won't take it personally ;) Good to know and I'll keep it in mind if I decide to make some minor adjustments to recipes.

 

Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really no need to make your own recipe as such.

 

You can still make your brew exactly as you do with just steep some carapils

and add that to the brew. I quite often add 200-250 grams carapils to my brews.

 

I put this one down a couple of weeks ago with one of the last two Coopers IPA that I have.

http://store.coopers.com.au/recipes/index/view/id/10/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Graculus said will work too. As well as using either a very small amount or no 'simple' sugar like dextrose or cane sugar in the fermentables. All malt with a bit of Carapils should give better head retention.

 

Another trick you can use is to leave the bottles longer than 3 weeks before drinking them. Time conditioning seems to improve the head retention a bit too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple sugar is bad for head? Are you sure? That is what I thought too but my mother-in-law adds nothing to her kits but a kilo of dextrose and the kit yeast. She usually makes the Coopers Blonde kit. Anyway, she has awesome head on her beer. It almost always tastes like crap, full of acetaldehyde, but I am often impressed and jealous of the head on her beer. I can't understand it. I think she tends to brew warm/at ambient.

 

Cheers!

 

Christina.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i only brew extract with hop and occasional grain additions...

but ive noticed that alot of the brew enhancers that are on the market contain maltodextrine, which evidently is non fermentable and adds to the head retention of a beer. Its pretty cheap by the kilo from brew shops.

ive used some in the past but found that some beers that ive created already had enough malt to create a good head on the beer, and by adding maltodextrine the extra head retention caused 1/2 head 1/2 beer in the headmaster glasses, so i scrapped using it in my brews now and they all seem fine. mind you im not fussed about head retention now and are more about how it tastes.

 

+1 for the bulk prime carbonation...

 

i have a mate who swears by sprinkling some cane sugar on the top of his beer once poured into the glass to force a head on the beer, i dont do it myself but i find it amusing to watch... mind you he brews os draught cans in his shed at about 30deg with a kilo of cane sugar, and loves how it turns out... its safe to say tht im not a real fan of his beer... haha...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Talltwits , it doesn't need to be a fermentor for bulk priming .

Mines just a food grade water container with a tap , coopers bottling wand fits perfectly and only cost me $11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oopps ....don't let the beer splash during transfer to bottling bucket , I have a food grade hose for this purpose .

 

Splashing adds oxygen and ruins the beer , also vents the CO2 already dissolved

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Simple sugar is bad for head? Are you sure? That is what I thought too but my mother-in-law adds nothing to her kits but a kilo of dextrose and the kit yeast. She usually makes the Coopers Blonde kit. Anyway' date=' she has awesome head on her beer. It almost always tastes like crap, full of acetaldehyde, but I am often impressed and jealous of the head on her beer. I can't understand it. I think she tends to brew warm/at ambient.

 

Cheers!

 

Christina.[/quote']

 

Well, it contains nothing that aids in head retention, namely proteins that are found in malt. My recently kegged/bottled megaswill knock off had very poor head retention when I tried a bottle a bit over a week ago, even in a nucleated glass, and it contained 500g raw sugar in the grist. I expected it though given the recipe. It may improve with more ageing, but I'm not expecting much. From Beersmith: http://beersmith.com/blog/2008/06/25/enhancing-beer-head-retention-for-home-brewers/

 

Head stability depends on the presence of substances with low surface tension in the beer which can form stable elastic bubbles. The two primary contributors to head retention are certain high molecular weight proteins and isohumulones (alpha acids from hops). Therefore beers with more proteins that are highly hopped will have higher head retention.

 

I dunno what's happening with your mother's-in-law beers though. It's unusual for a beer brewed with that much dextrose to have any head retention at all. My first batch certainly didn't lol

 

I don't go out of my way to get good head retention, it just sort of happens as a by-product of the recipes I brew, but I do think it's important to the overall enjoyment of the beer. I do use nucleated glasses mostly, and if I get one that isn't, then I use a diamond file to make it nucleated.

As much as some try to argue against it, we do taste with our eyes as well and to me a beer with no head just doesn't look right, and then when I take a sip the mouthfeel is all wrong. It's like drinking a soft drink. The aroma compounds are also released through the head, and I have noticed that beer lacking a head does seem to smell different to one with a nice layer of foam on it, which then affects the taste as well.

 

Besides, an all malt beer always tastes better than one brewed with a shitton of sugarbiggrin

 

Cheers

 

Kelsey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll agree with this from my limited experience. Very few of my beers contain dextrose, but I did a stone n wood pacific ale clone recently and stuck to the recipe. Contained 300g dextrose and the head retention is terrible! And this is with a can of coopers wheat which is supposed to aid it!

 

Next time I will omit the dextrose and just brew to 19 or 20L to get the same alcohol content

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe acetaldehyde (at least that is what I think it is) is good for head? lol

 

Besides brewing warm, she does tend to age them quite a while. unsure But I don't exactly drink mine green.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea lol perhaps it's more to do with the ageing of them prior to drinking.

 

Interesting note on the mash schedule in that article too not recommending rests in the 50-60C range if good head retention is desired. I've never done a mash like this and almost always have decent head retention. My pilsners contain a mash rest at 71C after the first step at 63C and always have decent head retention while still finishing at an SG around 1.008.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×