Author Topic: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?  (Read 1059 times)

Offline Grummore

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No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« on: June 01, 2017, 06:53:21 AM »
Hello everyone.

Since last year, I brewed 4 types of beers (extract + steeping).

However, even if I use Beersmith, the carbonation results are always wrong. For the first 2 beers I made, instead of the 30 days for consumption, one of the two took 60 days and the other 75 to 90 days to reach an acceptable minimum of carbonation.

As for the last two (March 6 and March 26), they still don't have the expected carbonation even though Beersmith informs me that they should be ready.

What is not working?

I make all the recipe in a tank large enough for the 23L, 1st fermentation in a plastic tub, 2nd fermentation in a glass jar and bottling with the sugar dissolved in water and mixed directly with the beer for a better uniformity before bottling.

Offline S-Tuna

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2017, 08:40:39 AM »
If your ABV is higher perhaps your yeast is exhausted? I had a situation where my double IPA ended up at 10.5% and I had to add yeast for more carbonation after finding I had nothing after two weeks in the bottle.

Offline Oginme

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2017, 09:44:32 AM »
Personally, I have never had any problem with bottle conditioning and achieving good carbonation levels using BeerSmith.

So, the questions which follow might help:

How long are you fermenting in total?
Are you cold crashing and for how long?
Are you filtering the beer before adding your priming sugar?
Are you heating your finished beer to temperatures over 35C before bottling?
What temperature are you holding the bottles at to allow to them carbonate?
What carbonation rates (in volumes of CO2) are you looking to achieve?

Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline Grummore

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2017, 10:47:18 AM »
How long are you fermenting in total?
---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 06 Mar 2017 - 10.00 Days at 18.3 C
Secondary Start: 16 Mar 2017 - 14.00 Days at 15.6 C
Style Carb Range: 2.40-2.70 Vols
Bottling Date: 30 Mar 2017 with 2.4 Volumes CO2:

Quote
Are you cold crashing and for how long?
No cold crashing.

Quote
Are you filtering the beer before adding your priming sugar?
No filtration, but decantation. I put my priming sugar (dissolved in water) in the tub and then I take the beer out of the glass bottle with a tube until it reaches the sediment.

Quote
Are you heating your finished beer to temperatures over 35C before bottling?
No, should I? I usually bottle at room temperature (around 20 to 22 C).

Quote
What temperature are you holding the bottles at to allow to them carbonate?
Roughtly 14 to 17 C.

Quote
What carbonation rates (in volumes of CO2) are you looking to achieve?
Something I'm not yet of that level of knowledge! :-)


Recipe: La PĂ©cheresse [Scotch Ale]   TYPE: Extract
Style: Wee Heavy
---RECIPE SPECIFICATIONS-----------------------------------------------
SRM: 41.8 EBC      SRM RANGE: 27.6-49.2 EBC
IBU: 33.0 IBUs Tinseth   IBU RANGE: 17.0-35.0 IBUs
OG: 1.072 SG      OG RANGE: 1.070-1.130 SG
FG: 1.021 SG      FG RANGE: 1.018-1.040 SG
BU:GU: 0.457      Calories: 713.4 kcal/l   Est ABV: 6.8 %      
EE%: 72.00 %   Batch: 18.93 l      Boil: 21.77 l   BT: 65 Mins

---WATER CHEMISTRY ADDITIONS----------------
Total Grain Weight: 4.95 kg   Total Hops: 45.00 g oz.
---MASH/STEEP PROCESS------MASH PH:5.40 ------
>>>>>>>>>>-ADD WATER CHEMICALS BEFORE GRAINS!!<<<<<<<

Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
0.11 kg               Caramel/Crystal Malt -120L (236.4 EBC)   Grain         1        2.3 %         
0.11 kg               English Crystal 17L (33.5 EBC)           Grain         2        2.3 %         
0.11 kg               Roasted Barley (591.0 EBC)               Grain         3        2.3 %         
0.09 kg               Special B Malt (354.6 EBC)               Grain         4        1.7 %         
0.03 kg               Peat Smoked Malt (5.9 EBC)               Grain         5        0.5 %         


---SPARGE PROCESS---
>>>>>>>>>>-RECYCLE FIRST RUNNINGS & VERIFY GRAIN/MLT TEMPS: 22.2 C/22.2 C
>>>>>>>>>>-ADD BOIL CHEMICALS BEFORE FWH
If steeping, remove grains, and prepare to boil wort

---BOIL PROCESS-----------------------------
Est Pre_Boil Gravity: 1.063 SG   Est OG: 1.072 SG
Amt                   Name                                     Type          #        %/IBU         
2.50 kg               Munich Liquid Extract (21.7 EBC)         Extract       6        50.5 %       
2.00 kg               Pale Liquid Extract (15.8 EBC)           Extract       7        40.4 %       
25.00 g               Northern Brewer [8.30 %] - Boil 60.0 min Hop           8        24.7 IBUs     
20.00 g               Williamette [4.50 %] - Boil 30.0 min     Hop           9        8.2 IBUs     


---FERM PROCESS-----------------------------
Primary Start: 06 Mar 2017 - 10.00 Days at 18.3 C
Secondary Start: 16 Mar 2017 - 14.00 Days at 15.6 C
Style Carb Range: 2.40-2.70 Vols
Bottling Date: 30 Mar 2017 with 2.4 Volumes CO2:
---NOTES------------------------------------

Offline Oginme

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2017, 11:50:34 AM »
The only thing that stands out is your carbonation temperature.  I would recommend aiming for 18C to 20C for carbonating, much depends upon the strain of yeast used which I don't see listed in your recipe.  Most ale strains slow down greatly below around 15C to 16C.  Even then, 10 weeks is a long time to develop a good carbonation.

The strain I use for my strong Scotch ale is WY1728 and I will start it off around 17C but allow it to rise to around 18C to 19C for the bulk of the fermentation.  At least in my experience, this seems to control development of fusel alcohols with this strain.

After bottling, I try to let them sit at 20C or so for about 3 weeks with high gravity beers and I usually aim a bit lower in carbonation level for my Scotch Ale (~2.0 to 2.2 vols) but that is a personal preference and should not affect your aim or results. 

One last thing to check.  After sitting for a couple of weeks, I stick a test bottle in my refrigerator for 3 to 5 days before opening and testing.  While there may be a good pressure of CO2 in the head space of the bottles, the solubility of CO2 is lower at higher temperatures.  Keeping the bottle at refrigerator conditions for a short period of time allows the CO2 in the head space dissolve somewhat into the beer.

Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline Grummore

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2017, 01:42:39 PM »
It sounds to be the trouble.

I used the WY1728 too.

Is it too late to raise the temperature and see change or the yeast are now ineffective?

Offline Oginme

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2017, 05:00:50 PM »
Raise the temperature!  There will still be some yeast in suspension, or you will activate yeast which have gone dormant due to lack of food or temperature to finish the carbonation.
Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline Grummore

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2017, 06:27:59 AM »
Thank you for your insights!

Btw, should I turn (move) each bottle to put the yeast in suspension? Would it help?

Offline Oginme

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2017, 07:06:46 AM »
honestly not sure.  You can try but I wouldn't shake it too much.

Recycle your grains, feed them to a goat!

Offline durrettd

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Re: No bubbles! ish! Beersmith or me?
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2017, 10:41:12 AM »
Early in fermentation the yeast cells are bumping into sugar molecules frequently because sugar molecules are relatively plentiful. As the yeast converts the sugar to CO2, the CO2 rises to the surface and creates currents that agitate and mix the beer, improving the likelihood of additional yeast-sugar collisions.

Inverting bottles (or swirling a fermenter) to encourage additional fermentation is based on the fact that yeast cells do not run around looking for sugar molecules. They sit in place or drift with whatever liquid happens to be moving within the bottle. When a yeast cell bumps into a sugar molecule, it transports it through the cell wall and metabolizes the molecule.

When you invert the bottle, you are creating currents within the bottle. The currents move the yeast cells and sugar around and they bump into one another more frequently than they would have if the yeast were laying on the bottom of the bottle. If you don't get the yeast moving, the natural (Brownian) motion of the molecules in the liquid will (theoretically and eventually) move the sugar molecules and the yeast cells together, but it may not happen until after the yeast is dead.

After reading that last sentence, it sounds like you need to swirl your fermenter or invert bottles regularly! That is NOT the case. Most of the time, with a reasonable yeast pitch, fermentation provides enough internal currents for the beer to ferment almost all the sugar. Most of the exceptions are caused by very high-gravity wort that allows the yeast to generate so much alcohol that it reaches a level that is toxic to the yeast; or an insufficient number of yeast cells that get stressed by their environment: insufficient oxygen to support reproduction, an undesirable pH, etc.