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I finished a German Wheat beer that I kettle soured and then I made a franken-beer shandy with a couple of gallons of the leftover wort. Neither of these beers seems to have kept their carbonation.

The first beer was force carbed. When filling I did not bleed my keg, I just lowered the pressure and then bottled with 2-3 psi from the keg using a Last Straw bottle filler. Since my filler is a Last Straw, it can purge O2 and then fill easily. It fills by pressing the nozzle to the bottom of the bottle to let the beer flow and fill.

More often than not it foams like crazy so I fill a bottle as best as I can and then move on to maybe 1-2 more than go back and top off the first bottle and cap it.

I don't think that amount of time could affect my carbonation that much could it? I'm not getting any off-flavors from oxidation or anything in my beers.

Note: When force carbing the keg was rolled on its side like usual until the regulator was silent.

The shandy was low and slow and was keg carbonated and is carbonated when served from the keg.

Now opening the bottles at a homebrewer meeting there is initial carbonation but then it dissipates rapidly and then there is barely some residual carbonation in the beer and no head at all (previously had a nice creamy one) or much discernable carb. I also filled a vacuum-sealed growler with my shandy beer and it also had no carb when it was opened.

What gives?

NOTE: There was no contamination or off flavors in my original beer or my franken-shandy.


Recipe Details

OG - 1.030

FG - 1.007

Added 2 oz of fresh lime zest to the last 10 mins of my boil.

enter image description here

Pitched two packets of Safale US-05. Ferment at 65°F (18°C) for 10 days and packaged as described above. 2.6 oz of fresh lime zest was added to the fermenter 8 days into fermentation.

  • Please add details on the OG and FG. Give recipe details and procedures too. Thanks! – Vittal Kamath Mar 14 at 12:52
  • @VittalKamath Updated with recipe info! – Ovaryraptor Mar 14 at 17:36
  • I can't imagine this is a problem related at OG/FG at all. OP states that the beers were force carbonated and then bottled from the keg. I would guess that your filling technique is off, or your caps don't seal very well. Probably the former. What's your process for filling bottles from kegs? – Frazbro Mar 14 at 22:18
  • @Frazbro Updated my post with more info. As stated above I use a last straw bottle filler. – Ovaryraptor Mar 14 at 22:24
  • So, the "foams like crazy" bit is the giveaway. When your beer foams, that's CO2 coming out of solution. Unfortunately, loss of carbonation while filling from a keg is an unavoidable fact. It can be mitigated though, and allowed for. Continued in next comment – Frazbro Mar 14 at 22:56
2

The oils in the lime zest would likely kill the head.

I am personally not very familiar with counter-pressure filling bottles. Personally I only carbonate naturally in the bottle. It might be something to consider on a future batch. It's well suited to hefeweizens where you want a tad of yeast haze in there anyway.

  • That's an interesting observation to take into account, I didn't think of that. I guess that's something new to research! – Ovaryraptor Sep 9 at 14:40
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I usually carbonate in the keg/postmix, 2.4 vols of CO2 for an IPA let's say... You have to make the correct CO2 pressure calculations related to CO2 volumes and carbonation temperature. It's so much easier to carbonate when cold, so I usually set the pressure in the CO2 cylinder valve and put both in the freezer at something like 3C/37F for 2 to 3 days. When it's ready I fill the bottles with a counter-pressure filler, common fillers WILL have some foam unless you fill very slowly, also you need to keep your keg on CO2 pressurized when filling, otherwise the beer will lose carbonation and generate more foam.

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My guess, is just the Carbonation Temperature...

So I have used a counter-pressure bottler once, and didn't have super good results, my filter kept plugging and I didn't get good flow etc... so I am not speaking from great personal experience, but from theory...

The most important thing to remember about CO2 is that it is a gas, and in water, gasses have a solubility curve with a negative slope... (higher on the left going down to the right) image stolen from: https://chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/47519/non-linear-solubility-trend

so the colder you go in liquid phase the more CO2 it holds... and the less you lose when bottling and handling freshly opened beer.

so if you are bottling at 50f and consuming at 35f there is less CO2 to come out of solution to produce bubbles.

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It seems like the OG was not that high. Try aiming for an OG of at least 1.040. This will reduce the likeliness of this problem if the OG is more than 1.040. You can also try adding maltodextrin to your beer as this will add the retention and mouthfeel to your beer! Try steeping with some speciality grains that add to the head and retention. You can find the list on the internet! Also, just look up if your kegging technique is right...

  • Doesn't seem to relate to op's question – Frazbro Mar 17 at 9:26

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