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New member from Clonsilla, Dublin 15 with a query

Started by John the Gardener, December 01, 2020, 10:29:59 PM

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John the Gardener

Hi, my name is John from Dublin 15.  New to this site.  I brewed Coopers Irish Stout recently and followed the instructions very carefully.  Bottled it on 24 October and left in in the room for 2 weeks then moved it to my garden shed.  Last Friday 27 November I brought a few bottles indoors and when i opened them the stout poured flat.  I have tried opening the swing tops briefly and popping a Coopers Carbonation Drop into each bottle hoping that might work.  It tastes OK except it has no creamy head.  I am planning to brew a different Coopers Kit ( devil's Half Ruby Porter ) when my 40 bottles are freed up.  I was hoping I might get some idea as to why the Irish Stout does not have a head when poured.

Sorcerers Apprentice

Hi John and welcome, I suspect that the bottles weren't warm enough constantly to carbonate properly , although a lot of guides just say leave at room temperature for two weeks, winter nighttime temperatures will be a lot lower than whats required to carbonate properly , generally you need a constant temperature of around 18deg C for two weeks. I'd say bring them back in from the shed somewhere warm for a couple of weeks , you could try a bottle eack week to see how they're progressing before moving them to somewhere cold to store, when you're happy that they've carbonated. Some lads fill a pet (plastic ) bottle as a tester bottle while bottling, as a means of checking the carbonation progress, when the carbonation increases the bottle gets stiffer

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There's no such thing as bad beer - some just taste better than others

Sorcerers Apprentice

PS In the event that you can't maintain a constant 18 Deg C , the carbonation process will pause when the temperature drops , and will pick up again when it's warm enough, so it will take longer than two weeks if there's fluctuations

Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk

There's no such thing as bad beer - some just taste better than others

John the Gardener

Hi, thanks for your replies.   Just to clarify, I had the bottles in the bedroom ( where stout was brewed) for 13 days before bringing them out to the shed.  The instructions stated to leave them in the same environment for about 2 weeks then move them to a cooler place ( they actually specified a garden shed ) to condition.  Anyway I have them back in the original bedroom now since Monday and will be checking daily.  In fairness it tastes ok, and I am using a 5ml syringe to boost it in the glass as I am drinking it. Hopefully it will improve as time goes by.  I actually popped open each swing top very briefly last night and added a carbonation drop ( I know I let out pressure ) so it will be interesting to see if that makes a difference.  I am using 500ml glass bottles and the Coopers Carbonation drops.  I am using ONE drop per bottle but to do the maths properly a 500ml bottle should be getting 1.5 drops at bottling time.  So I thought that may have been the problem. For my next batch I will cut drops in half and add 1.5 drops to each bottle when filling.

DEMPSEY

Watch out for bottle bombs as the extra sugar added will eventually ferment  ???
Dei miscendarum discipulus
Forgive us our Hangovers as we forgive those who hangover against us

johnrm

Hi John and welcome!

When you tasted the stout, did you perceive a sweetness?
If you did, this is an indication that the sugar used for carbonation has not fermented fully.


John the Gardener

Yes, a sweetness like a mild chocolate taste but that was what was promoted in the sales pitch as being one of the positives.  Not a sickly sugary sweetness

John the Gardener

Regarding the bottle bombs, I have heard of them all right.  I think mine will be ok as I am sure that plenty of pressure escaped as I briefly opened the tops to drop in the extra Carbonation Drop.  So considering I should have used 1.5 per bottle at the start, I am guessing that the release of pressure as I added the second carbonation drop yesterday will balance out a bit and not cause any bomb issues.  Fingers crossed as I type this though lol

John the Gardener

So far , after just a few days, I can see the benefits of joining this group.  I now know I have so many experienced brewers willing to share their expertise and advice with a novice like myself.  Thanks so much

Mudder

Hi John, what did you do originally to prime the bottles?

John the Gardener

Hi, when I bottled on 24 October I added one Coopers carbonated drop per 500ml. glass bottle.  The instructions call for one drop for a 350 ml. bottle and 2 drops for a 750 ml. bottle so ideally i should have used 1.5 drops for each 500 mil bottle.  I looked online and a good few contributors suggested to just use 1 drop rather than go to the bother of splitting them in half to get 1.5 drops.

John the Gardener

Following the various comments here i checked the room temperature.  I just presumed that as I had heating on each evening for about 6 hours that the bedrooms would be 20 or more.  I checked tonight and it was less than 20 even though it felt quite warm in the room.  It depends on where I was positioned.  So I found a heat tray that was once used for 2 demijohns and I have 10 bottles sitting on this heated pad overnight.  Maybe it was the drop in temperature after midnight that slowed the carbonation / conditioning process.

Sorcerers Apprentice

Be careful with those heat trays John, they have no heat control and could get the bottles too hot and kill off the yeast in the bottles

Sent from my VOG-L09 using Tapatalk

There's no such thing as bad beer - some just taste better than others

John the Gardener

Regarding the heat tray, I have a timer fitted to the supply and it comes on for 1 hour, off for 1 hour and continues like that so every second hour it is either on or off.

DEMPSEY

For future reference you could get an stc1000, they are cheap as chips. Wire it up to the power supply of you heat tray and put the probe into a matching sized bottle filled with water. That way the stc will toggle on and off the heat tray to regulate the temperature.
Dei miscendarum discipulus
Forgive us our Hangovers as we forgive those who hangover against us