I have a kegged batch of beer (Munich lager) that was quite sweet prior to fully carbonating. After carbonating there's a significant bitterness - not a hop bitterness (there is little in this batch), but a plain lacklustre bitter/salty - middle-back of the tongue.

I've noticed similar things in previous batches which makes me wonder if this is the CO2 and carbonic acid at work. When I decant the beer several times to reduce the carbonation, the bitterness is greatly reduced and the malt/sweetness returns.

To be sure, I should probably do an experiment and measure temperature after decanting since that also affects taste, but is it normal to adjust a recipe to account for carbonation?

  • I should mention the beer was overcarbonated (deliberately) to about 2.8-3.0 volumes.
    – mdma
    Aug 9, 2013 at 17:04
  • I wonder if the carbonic acid is formng a salt? A carbonate or bicarbonate would account for the salty flavor, but not the added bitterness. Aug 10, 2013 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


In my experience, no, it isn't a normal practice to adjust a beer recipe to solely account for carbonation. OTOH, I build recipes that will taste the way I want them to taste when I drink the beer, so in that case I guess you could say I do adjust. I think the bottom line is that it's up to you. If you feel that the carbonic acid adds a bite you don't like, adjust for it. whether it's "normal" or not, if that's what you like, thagt's what you should do.

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