Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Retaining your head

 I am still (can you believe it?) not done with my brew from last Winter.  You can see the post of that recipe here:
http://kitchenbrewery.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-winters-tale-i-have-read-that-more.html

I've noticed over time that the bottles have very low carbonation and the head fizzes out very quickly.  The other day I was thinking it may be due to my method of sanitizing bottles.  I used to use a funnel and fill each bottle with sanatizer for 15 minutes.  I would do about 10 bottles at a time so it was a long process.  To speed things up I have been putting the bottles in my dishwasher and letting the hot water sanitize the bottles. Then I was thinking, maybe there is some small trace of the soap or the rinse agent that is causing issues. 

 I posed a question on the forums at Norther brewer.  you can check it out here if you want:
http://forum.northernbrewer.com/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=120632&p=1054398#p1054398
I can't be 100% sure, but I do know this never happened to me before I started sanitizing bottles in the dish washer so I'm done with that going forward.  

 The other thing I've learned that I was wondering about is the stronger ABV and the long time I aged the beer in the secondary.  I wanted to make sure I got as much ABV as I could and I let the yeast go until it was completely done.  I remember thinking, ' I hope there is enough left in the yeast to bottle condition ' and I think that may also have played a part in this.  The strain I used was not quite alcohol tolerant enough to ferment all the sugars in this beer and I think it reached its limit before I bottled.  For beers like this I'm planning on adding more yeast to the batch when I add the priming sugar from now on.  

Using a strain that is more tolerant of higher alcohol
 levels sounds like a good idea too.  I'm thinking maybe one of White Labs California strains:

  http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp090-san-diego-super-yeast

http://www.whitelabs.com/yeast/wlp001-california-ale-yeast?s=homebrew