LAB Open Competition - (results are in)

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I specifically bottle conditioned 4 bottles of the beer I entered with the rest of the beer going into a pressure barrel. Seemed to work quite well for this competition although I would probably say the beer out of the barrel is slightly nicer than out of the bottle as the carbonation is softer.
 

JockyBrewer

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Both mine lost points for poor carbonation, I had transferred to PET bottles from a keg using disconnects and a carb cap on the bottle. I'm never too sure how to 'recarbonate' after transfer, I do sometimes just connect the CO2 back to the carb cap and give it a blast but then it just fizzes up when I take off the carb cap to replace with the normal bottle top.

Fill quite high - to bottom of screw threads. Ideally after filling leave the carb cap on for a few minutes before replacing with a normal screw cap.
 

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I judged your Magarita Gose, and thought it was lovely, just a bit too salty - the description for the style says it should be noticeable, but not overly salty, and just a bit less (so you can barely taste it) would do it the world of good. There was a lot of fighting to decide the placings on that table and it was in the running.
Thank you so much for the feedback, I thought upping the salt would be risky and was at a 50:50 on whether to go the extra or not. But that's what I love about this game, it definitely made the mouth water...!
 

foxy

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I specifically bottle conditioned 4 bottles of the beer I entered with the rest of the beer going into a pressure barrel. Seemed to work quite well for this competition although I would probably say the beer out of the barrel is slightly nicer than out of the bottle as the carbonation is softer.
I would second that, bottling a few bottles for comps rather than filling from the keg eliminates the high/low carbonation risk.
 

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I would second that, bottling a few bottles for comps rather than filling from the keg eliminates the high/low carbonation risk.

The opposite side of that is that bottle conditioning has its own risks in competitions with yeast sediment being disturbed.
 
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The opposite side of that is that bottle conditioning has its own risks in competitions with yeast sediment being disturbed.
This was one of the faults on my Saison. I bottle condition, the yeast was very soft. Wyeast french saison 3711. 24hrs in a cold store may not of been enough time.
 

JockyBrewer

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That’s the problem I have too. I use a counter pressure filler. I actually had to turn the pressure down in my kegs last week (this was after I’d filled and sent the bottles) because I felt like they were over carbonated, but in both my entries I was told the beer would benefit from more carbonation.

Keep trying and you’ll get there with it. For a while I declared my CP filler a waste of money, but now I couldn't be without it.

The ability to get the beer bottled from a keg with very very low levels of added oxygen means that malt and hop aromas and flavours are preserved. I could never get the same when bottle carbonating, but I also realise now my bottling process wasn't ideal.

The best procedure I've found with the CP filler is:
1. Purge the bottle with CO2 for a few seconds before starting filling
2. Fill slow.
3. Fill until you've got liquid coming out of the pressure relief valve, when you withdraw the filler it'll leave a gap at the top of the bottle anyway. This also stops the beer spurting when you remove it from the filler as you've not got any pressurised gas in the headspace.
4. Leave the bottle attached for a few seconds to bleed off head pressure before removing.
5. Give the bottle a light tap so the empty headspace fills with foam (helps purge out any air) and then cap on that.
 

MickDundee

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Keep trying and you’ll get there with it. For a while I declared my CP filler a waste of money, but now I couldn't be without it.

The ability to get the beer bottled from a keg with very very low levels of added oxygen means that malt and hop aromas and flavours are preserved. I could never get the same when bottle carbonating, but I also realise now my bottling process wasn't ideal.

The best procedure I've found with the CP filler is:
1. Purge the bottle with CO2 for a few seconds before starting filling
2. Fill slow.
3. Fill until you've got liquid coming out of the pressure relief valve, when you withdraw the filler it'll leave a gap at the top of the bottle anyway. This also stops the beer spurting when you remove it from the filler as you've not got any pressurised gas in the headspace.
4. Leave the bottle attached for a few seconds to bleed off head pressure before removing.
5. Give the bottle a light tap so the empty headspace fills with foam (helps purge out any air) and then cap on that.
Yeah I love my CP filler, mine is the new Kegland Nukatap one (the Tapcooler imitation type) and it’s really easy to use!

I’m not losing masses of carbonation, just a little. I’ll happily take a point or so deduction at comps if it means I don’t need to bottle condition 😂

The only thing I don’t do from your list is tap the bottle before capping, although I usually end up with foam to the top when I’ve depressurised and disconnected the bottle anyway.
 
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foxy

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The opposite side of that is that bottle conditioning has its own risks in competitions with yeast sediment being disturbed.
I think I would counter that with bottle conditioning debate-ably, produces a superior beer. The length of time it is stored in the fridge would/should settle the yeast.
 

JockyBrewer

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I think I would counter that with bottle conditioning debate-ably, produces a superior beer.

As I said a couple of posts above, I couldn't get the same results bottle conditioning, but I realise my bottling technique wasn't ideal. Ultimately for me it didn't produce superior beer, but for others it might.

I'd advise anyone in search of way to improve their beer to look in every part of their process from grain to glass and experiment. Not everything works for everyone.
 
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Had another go of my Nukatap bottle filler today and much more confident using it and was definitely capping on foam.

Also bought some PET bottles for the next competition. Do they hold carbonation well if I was to bottle maybe a week before sending?
 

JockyBrewer

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They hold carbonation well. You can't use the Nukatap with them though, the neck is too wide, I use a carbonation cap instead.

Just make sure you fill them fairly high.
 

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