Carbonation - what temperature to use?

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matt76

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I'm planning to bottle my Munich Helles today, batch priming as always, but I'm unsure how much sugar to use.

The issue is temperature - it was fermented around 10degC before raising to about 17degC for a couple of days, then 20degC a couple more days before cold crashing down to about 4degC for the last 5 days or so.

Any suggestions which temperature to punch in to the BF calculator?

The original recipe/article suggests to err towards over-carbonating if you're unsure so I'm inclined to punch in a slightly lower temperature. It suggests 2.25vols CO2 whereas style guidelines say 2.3 to 2.7, so I guess I have enough margin for error.

Any suggestions based on experience where you've used a range of temperatures like this?
 

terrym

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The two days at 20*C will have been enough for CO2 to slowly leave the beer in order to establish a new equilibrium i.e. less dissolved CO2 than 17*C and 10*C.. So I would be using 20*C, and ignore the small amount of CO2 that may have sneaked back in during the cold crash.
Any temperature variations on the beer prior to priming means the calculator is probably not an exact science anyway and the whether its 2.3 or 2.4 or 2.5 vols or whatever is likely to makes little difference to the end product unless you are really pernickety.
 

fury_tea

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I'm planning to bottle my Munich Helles today, batch priming as always, but I'm unsure how much sugar to use.

The issue is temperature - it was fermented around 10degC before raising to about 17degC for a couple of days, then 20degC a couple more days before cold crashing down to about 4degC for the last 5 days or so.

Any suggestions which temperature to punch in to the BF calculator?

The original recipe/article suggests to err towards over-carbonating if you're unsure so I'm inclined to punch in a slightly lower temperature. It suggests 2.25vols CO2 whereas style guidelines say 2.3 to 2.7, so I guess I have enough margin for error.

Any suggestions based on experience where you've used a range of temperatures like this?
I did a pilsner a few months ago where I forgot to correct for temperature, I was aiming for 2.4 and ended up with 2.8 after I corrected it (which was too late anyway). It actually came out really well and although it was technically a little overcarbed it worked out good in the end. Just bottled a Märzen and aimed towards the high end with that one again.

I'd put 4c in, if I was you and aim for 2.4 or 2.5. Helles is good with a good amount of carbonation I reckon.
 

matt76

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Thanks, this is really helpful. Your reasoning makes sense - this is where the notes on the BF calculator are quite openly vague and non committal!

I've been doing it long enough now that the actual how-to of bottling is by the by, but it's this kind of detail where a bit of experience is needed.

Cheers,

Matt athumb..
 

fury_tea

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Thanks, this is really helpful. Your reasoning makes sense - this is where the notes on the BF calculator are quite openly vague and non committal!

I've been doing it long enough now that the actual how-to of bottling is by the by, but it's this kind of detail where a bit of experience is needed.

Cheers,

Matt athumb..
Out of interest, are you adding more yeast during bottling? And what temp are you carbing it at? With the pilsner (which was my first lager) I added a few grams of a yeast packet that I had left over from a kit and it carbed up no probs, this time I've just left it to see if it is actually necessary. I understand it should have enough yeast but may take a little longer. I'm also carbing at room temperature, rather than fermentation temp.
 

matt76

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Out of interest, are you adding more yeast during bottling? And what temp are you carbing it at? With the pilsner (which was my first lager) I added a few grams of a yeast packet that I had left over from a kit and it carbed up no probs, this time I've just left it to see if it is actually necessary. I understand it should have enough yeast but may take a little longer. I'm also carbing at room temperature, rather than fermentation temp.
No - this was something I discussed on the forum a few weeks ago when I bottled my Vienna Lager. I haven't tried it yet, but there is enough sediment in the bottles (just a thin layer) to convince me there is enough yeast in there to carbonate.
 

matt76

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Don't know why I didn't think of this before.....

I just quickly chilled and then cracked open one of my Vienna Lagers which was brewed in pretty much the same way with similar temperature variations (I even reused the yeast cake for the Helles) and also carbonated to the same theoretical 2.25 vols CO2.....

It tastes superb and I'm thrilled, but if I'm honest with myself it's a bit under-carbonated.....

Now it's only been in the bottle 3 weeks so you could say it's just not had enough time to carbonate... Or maybe it has and that's as fizzy as it's gonna get.....

So I'm gonna roll the dice and go a bit larger with the priming sugar for the Helles - fingers crossed!

Thanks for the advice athumb..
 

Drunkula

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Now it's only been in the bottle 3 weeks so you could say it's just not had enough time to carbonate... Or maybe it has and that's as fizzy as it's gonna get.....
I've done wheat beers that after six days bottled could make the crown cap bring down an Apache attack helicopter, so I think maybe it's the latter. Then again there might have more yeast in suspension. Then again it was a krystalweizen so pretty clear. Then again I did carbonate to 3.3 volumes. Then again... (and so on).
 

matt76

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I've done wheat beers that after six days bottled could make the crown cap bring down an Apache attack helicopter, so I think maybe it's the latter. Then again there might have more yeast in suspension. Then again it was a krystalweizen so pretty clear. Then again I did carbonate to 3.3 volumes. Then again... (and so on).
Ha ha, such a way with words :laugh8:

If I have to pick a side, then I think I agree with you, I suspect the VL is as fizzy as it's gonna get - bit if a shame but it's more than drinkable (I could drink it all day!), just room for improvement next time.

But there are so many ins & outs, so many uncertainties, you could spend your life trying to second guess everything aheadbutt Ultimately sometimes you gotta just roll the dice and what will be will be - and even if I do get this right it could well just be more by luck than judgement! :laugh8:

Anyway, it's all done now - 30 x 330ml bottles of the Munich Helles with enough sugar (65g) for 2.5vols CO2 based on a temp of 20degC.

Cheers,

Matt athumb..
 
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