Author Topic: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter  (Read 926 times)

Offline In The Sand

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Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« on: February 14, 2014, 06:32:32 PM »
I brewed a bourbon porter which I added 7 oz of Maker's Mark per 5 gallons to the keg on 1/17/14.  I set the CO2 to 20 psi.  Here we are several weeks later and it's still very flat.  I know the keg is holding pressure because I have to pull the PRV when I take a sample and it's very full.  Plenty of headspace for CO2.  Any ideas what could be causing this issue?  Is the Maker's Mark not allowing it to carb or making it take longer?  I can't figure it out... :o :o :o
Trey W.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 07:25:58 PM »
Did you seat the lid with 30+ psi and use keg lube? If not, you may have a slight leak.

Offline In The Sand

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 07:52:41 PM »

Did you seat the lid with 30+ psi and use keg lube? If not, you may have a slight leak.

I didn't do that. But I checked everything with star San spray bottle and no leaks. Also my buddy has the other 5 gal at his house on his system and it's the same result.
Trey W.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 08:51:28 PM »
Does it taste/feel flat? Maybe the makers is killing the head, though I have not experienced that before. Try pouring straight into a glass to see if there is any foam.

Offline wyobrew

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 06:49:10 AM »
I have the same problem. The beer has been in the keg for one and a half months. It has no head at all even with a hard pour and looks very still. I can feel the carbonation in my mouth when drinking so I know it's there but you sure can't tell by looking at it. This is the first time I've added bourbon to a beer so have attributed it to that.

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 07:01:02 AM »
Interesting! My buddy just dumped a batch that had the same problem. He has made it a few times and it has been fine. In the past all of his has be low to no head but still had the "fiz" to them. The only thing he did different with the one that wouldnt carb was use 1056 instead of wlp028. 1056 batch was seriously lacking body and carb of course.

It is strange. I do know that whiskey can be carbonated so i question the whiskey being the prob. I am taking a brewing science course and will ask to see why this could be.

Could you by chance give us your recipe with all the details? Also if you know your water concentrations/ppm? off the top of my head i believe there is a chemical reaction or enzyme that catalyzes carbonic acid which could cause disassociation or not dissolving but i am probably wrong. it just doesnt make since.  Ill do a little research.     

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 07:02:35 AM »
O forgot do you know the PH buy chance. Before keg and after?

Offline In The Sand

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2014, 07:28:59 AM »

Interesting! My buddy just dumped a batch that had the same problem. He has made it a few times and it has been fine. In the past all of his has be low to no head but still had the "fiz" to them. The only thing he did different with the one that wouldnt carb was use 1056 instead of wlp028. 1056 batch was seriously lacking body and carb of course.

It is strange. I do know that whiskey can be carbonated so i question the whiskey being the prob. I am taking a brewing science course and will ask to see why this could be.

Could you by chance give us your recipe with all the details? Also if you know your water concentrations/ppm? off the top of my head i believe there is a chemical reaction or enzyme that catalyzes carbonic acid which could cause disassociation or not dissolving but i am probably wrong. it just doesnt make since.  Ill do a little research.     

26 lbs 2-row
1 lb C80
0.75 lb black malt
0.25 lb chocolate malt
0.25 lb roasted barley

I used wlp002 from a 2 L starter.

Not sure about the water or ph. Although I don't have to adjust my water because it tastes good and I've never seen the need.
Trey W.

Offline In The Sand

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 11:13:40 AM »
Bumping this thread. Any ideas anyone?
Trey W.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2014, 04:37:46 PM »
All of my bourboned beer carbonate just fine.  I'd jack the pressure to 30 or so and shake it.  See where that gets you.

There is no reason bourbon would be causing no carbonation. 

Perhaps you have beer gas and not CO2?  That would cause issues as the nitrogen will not add carbonation.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline quattlebaum

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2014, 04:30:13 PM »
Ya this doesnt make since.  only thing i can think of is to make sure the keg is cold, lay it on its side with whatever PSI and shake it to see if the Co2 dissolves into solution. C02 is actually more soluble in ethanol than water so the whiskey shouldnt have made a difference.  let us know this seems to be common in this beer your not the only one.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2014, 04:42:22 PM »
I agree - doesn't make sense. I've made a lot of high OG beers that force carbonated just fine. Since your buddy's portion won't carb either , I have to assume it's inherent to the beer. You say that you feel carbonation in your mouth, but no head. I saw the grist - what were your gravity readings? Just trying to get a feel for your abv. I have brewed several oaked bourbon stouts as well as Denny's BVIP and had no head issues. Let us know.
Jon H.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2014, 05:03:07 PM »
What sort of cleaner so you use on your equipment?

Offline In The Sand

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2014, 05:25:35 PM »

What sort of cleaner so you use on your equipment?

I use oxyclean to soak kegs and carboys but am very particular about rinsing. I use star San to sanitize. I think I may put the carb stone in and see how that works. I'll respond to the other questions shortly.
Trey W.

Offline In The Sand

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Re: Slow Carbing Bourbon Porter
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2014, 08:50:54 AM »
Update: I put my carb stone setup in and set to serving pressure and it was nicely carved in 24 hrs. Puzzling...
Trey W.