National Homebrew Club Ireland

Brewing Discussions => Kit Brewing => Topic started by: oinkely on April 14, 2015, 04:11:38 PM

Title: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: oinkely on April 14, 2015, 04:11:38 PM
Hi Folks,

Just looking for a bit of advice on the best way to go about this.  What I have done with my first three batches is batch prime with the recommended amount of sugar (used table sugar for the first one and then dextrose for the second two).  I then left them in the attic which sits pretty steady at around 18-20 degrees.  Time in the attic varied from one to four weeks.

I have found very inconsistent levels of carbonation, with some bottles being nicely fizzy and some flat as a pancake.  I then moved all of the bottles to the sitting room, where our stove is and would sit around 20 degree plus most of the time.  This didn't make much difference to the overall result, with maybe one or two out 5 being well carbed.

I have since moved as many of the remaining bottles as I could fit into the hotpress to see if I can get a more consistent result due to the warmer environment.

So, I guess I am wondering what do you do?  Hotpress?  Warm room?  Time?

Any hints gratefully received.

Cheers
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: irish_goat on April 14, 2015, 04:18:14 PM
What's your process for batch priming? If you're getting inconsistent results you might not be giving the sugar enough time to spread evenly.

I batch prime and leave them 2 weeks inside the house (18-20c) and then they go in the fridge or cellar after. Nearly always get consistent results.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: TheSumOfAllBeers on April 14, 2015, 04:56:17 PM
You also need to consider the peak temperature of your fermenter, after fermentation halted. Priming calculator should handle that.

Also is the carbonation poor, or is it just bad head retention?
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: RichC on April 14, 2015, 07:46:37 PM
If the problem is inconsistency it must be down to the sugar nit being mixed  in properly. I melt the sugar in enough water so that its a runny, rather than syrupy mix. I start siphoning the beer ibto my bottling bucket with the siphon outlet against the bottom side of the bucket so as to create a swirling motion with minimal aeration. I then pour the priming sugar in just where the beer is leaving the siphon hose to ensure it mixes thoroughly. I start  bottling immediately when its full. Ive never had inconsistent results with this method. Ive had overcarbed and undercarbed beers, but never inconsistent. I try to leave in bottles at fermenting temperature for 4 to 6 weeks than chill
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: oinkely on April 14, 2015, 08:58:28 PM
Thanks for the replies folks. 

My batch priming technique has been to boil the sugar in about 250 mls of water, pour it into the bottling bucket when it has cooled and then rack the beer in on top of it.  I try and make sure it swirls around like RichC says. Then carry the bottling bucket down to the kitchen from the attic and bottle straight away.

I guess the peak temperature of the fermentation was around 23 degrees for the last two batches but the priming temp would have been closer to about 19/20.

Maybe I'm being a bit impatient.  Though it is a bit annoying when the bottles I have given away with instructions to keep them somewhere warm for a week seem to have carbed up really well and I'm left with the flat ones.

It's definitely poor carbonation as there is no head to begin with and very little bubbles in the beer.  The one or two that have carbed up well have kept a nice enough head to the bottom of the glass.

I guess I can't expect perfection after two kits but I can sure aim for it!

Thanks again for all the help folksand any suggestions keep them coming.

Ps, these are both craft range kits (IPA and blonde) primed with their recommended volume of sugar.





Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Will_D on April 14, 2015, 11:13:55 PM
One tip is to fill a "same size" Lucozade bottle (usually 500 mL). That way you can see and feel whats going on in the bottles.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Damofto on April 15, 2015, 11:05:55 AM
I use the hotpress and shake my bottles every 4 or 5 days as I think of it, gets any yeast that has dropped to the bottom back in suspension again.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: belfastjacko on April 15, 2015, 12:20:36 PM
What sort of bottles are you using? I get incredibly consistent carbonation with "grolsch" style bottles
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: oinkely on April 15, 2015, 12:55:19 PM
Quote from: belfastjacko on April 15, 2015, 12:20:36 PM
What sort of bottles are you using? I get incredibly consistent carbonation with "grolsch" style bottles

I have 20 of the flip top bottles, the rest are capped.  I did notice with my first batch that there appeared to be some escape of gas with the flip tops that I used, but for the subsequent batches I took more care seating the seal and it seemed to do a better job.

The capped ones seem to all be fine though, as in well sealed.

I think I might need more patience.............
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: RedWino on September 02, 2020, 08:44:52 AM
I find flip-tops unreliable. I've tried a few different ones (e.g. Kilner), but even when changing the seal there are always a few duds.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Partridge9 on September 05, 2020, 04:45:21 PM
I use flip tops and capped..
I dip the flipped lids in starsan before i fill and close the bottle, so the rubber is wet when closing. No leaky bottles for me.
FYI - I use 2g per bottle for pale ales and 3g per bottle for Weiss/Dunkel

Always find a week (or 2) at the end in the fridge improves the beer dramatically - however - i appreciate looking at cold bottles of beer for two weeks is nigh impossible !
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Basil on December 08, 2020, 10:04:04 PM
Hijack lol! I just brewed an 'old' Caxton lager kit I bought a few years back but never started it, chucked the Yeats and used Munson Gold and Spraymalt instead of sugar.  Sg was 1040, finished after 2 weeks at 1010 (steady for 2 days).
Temp was 22-24 throughout.

 Bottled it 5 days ago in 500ml oxbar'S, with 2 carbonation drops per bottle. Not a single bottle has started carbonation, despite being in a room at 18-20C. I even opened one tonight after a couple of hours in the fridge, I have sugary beer flavoured water.
Bottles are squidgy (tops are tight, all new and everything sterilised). The beer was pretty clear after finishing, some sediment in the bottom of the bottles (inverted once a day).

Suggestions please! Or do I take it on the chin and brew the craft lager kit waiting in the wings to occupy the bottles!
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: dickvaughan on December 08, 2020, 10:26:42 PM
I don't know what the right answer is but I'd try putting a drop of fresh yeast in each bottle e.g. by rehydrating dry yeast.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Basil on December 08, 2020, 11:34:22 PM
Quote from: dickvaughan on December 08, 2020, 10:26:42 PMI don't know what the right answer is but I'd try putting a drop of fresh yeast in each bottle e.g. by rehydrating dry yeast.
sounds plausible, I'll see if I have any.  Otherwise I'll have to order yeast somewhere!
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Partridge9 on December 09, 2020, 08:32:54 AM
its only 5 days... normally takes 2 weeks..
I know its a little late -

but if you fill just one plastic lukazade bottle when you are bottling - you can monitor carbonation daily by squeezing the plastic bottle

Another one of Wills Tricks
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: pob on December 09, 2020, 09:44:46 AM
Quote from: Basil on December 08, 2020, 10:04:04 PMBottled it 5 days ago

Being in a room at 18-20C.

Bottles are squidgy (tops are tight, all new and everything sterilised).

The beer was pretty clear after finishing, some sediment in the bottom of the bottles (inverted once a day).

As Partridge said, leave it for another 10 days, the bottles will firm out as they carbonate; the room may actually be quite a bit cooler at night time, so may take a bit longer to carb up properly.

Don't invert, leave the yeast do it's thing (you don't want to oxidise it); likewise don't open at this stage, there will be enough yeast left to carbonate it.

Just give it time - even though it'll be carbonated after the 2 weeks, give it another week or two to fully condition before drinking.

Don't rush beers, they are happier when they're left alone for a bit.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Basil on December 09, 2020, 10:19:37 AM
All good thanks - My memory isn't great stretching back 40 years to the last time I bottled anything - I seemed to remember days rather than weeks, must stop panicking  ???  ;D !  It's Coopers ox-bar bottles I'm using now so I can see and feel when they are carbed. 
Also a good point about the temp. in the room, SWMO said it's quite cool in that room in the mornings so the temp. is probably below 18 for 12-15 hours a day.  I'll give it a couple of weeks :)
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: pob on December 09, 2020, 03:16:46 PM
Better stick another brew on now, it'll be ready by the time you get to the end of this batch.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Basil on December 09, 2020, 08:40:26 PM
Quote from: pob on December 09, 2020, 03:16:46 PMBetter stick another brew on now, it'll be ready by the time you get to the end of this batch.
already started last night, the craft IPA kit.  To be followed by craft lager or Woodfordes Nelsons Revenge....yes I went mad with the online order!
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Basil on December 13, 2020, 08:34:51 PM
Update: I squeeze one every day and it's getting harder :o
Friday is my d-day to move it to a cooler place, should be well carbonated by then. Also coincides with the estimated date for barrelling my IPA :) I have another fermentation bucket, now tempted to prep and start another lager (or the Nelsons revenge) ready for New Year as I estimate the bitter will run dry just after Christmas (I'm trying to conserve it until the son-in-law comes over to help consume it but not succeeding very well)
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: LE on December 14, 2020, 02:28:29 PM
Conservation is for the weak.
I think you need additional quality deepdiving and robust stress testing.
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Basil on December 14, 2020, 04:24:12 PM
Quote from: LordEoin on December 14, 2020, 02:28:29 PMConservation is for the weak.
I think you need additional quality deepdiving and robust stress testing.
I like your strategy.  As an ex-submariner, I acknowledge the value of pressure testing before a first dive, but you need to go deeper and immerse totally until supplies are exhausted 🤪
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: Partridge9 on December 20, 2020, 03:47:02 PM
How did this beer turn out ?
Title: Re: Bottle Conditioning - how do you do it?
Post by: pob on March 31, 2021, 11:50:20 AM
Have you another brew on atm?
Store it the same place you brew in.

Only needs ~18°C to carb.

Keep it in the 20°C room, throw a spare blanket, duvet over them or use a cooler box, box with foam insulation.