Author Topic: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!  (Read 886 times)

Offline mdhrdlicka

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Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« on: September 28, 2014, 06:28:40 PM »
Just began brewing in January, started with kits but have switched to all grain for the last 6 batches.  The first 4 AG beers came out acceptable (with obvious room for improvement) but no red flags.  However, the last 2 batches turn flat after I refrigerate them, even a month after bottling.  If they're poured at room temperature without any chilling prior there is no problem; 1/2-1" head and good carbonation. It's like a chill haze but with carbonation. Any suggestions?  This has been really frustrating, any help or insight would be really appreciated, thanks!

Offline Stevie

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2014, 06:36:19 PM »
Let them condition longer.

Did you mix the priming sugar in well when bottling? I, and many others, like to add the priming sugar to the bucket before racking. The idea is the motion of the beer coming in mixes the sugar in without the need to stir.

Offline mdhrdlicka

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2014, 06:41:36 PM »
Yes, I boil the priming sugar and put in the bucket first so I can rack on top of it, and I also try to get a decent stir with the racking cane before putting them into bottles.  I've had them in my pseudo-cellar which is in the low 60's F; would aging them 10 degrees higher make a significant difference?

Offline Stevie

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2014, 06:45:49 PM »
Yeah, warm it up. Low to mid 70's. You can leave it where it is, it will just take a while.

Also, how much sugar did you add per gallon? Normal is .8-1 oz depending on the beer.

What's happening is the co2 is more stable in solution when cold compared to warm. That is why you have fizz and foam at room temp, but not cool.

Offline mdhrdlicka

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2014, 06:50:28 PM »
I used 4/5 oz for a 5-gallon batch.  Do you think it would be a good idea to add a little extra sugar for future batches (I've been going by the priming sugar calculator on the Northern Brewer website)?  I was going to bring the bottles up to a warmer part of the house (mid-70's) and give them a gentle roll to re-distribute the yeast left.  Is there a better/more efficient way you know of?

Offline mdhrdlicka

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2014, 06:51:07 PM »
sorry, that should read 4.5 oz.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2014, 06:53:58 PM »
No, don't add extra. That's is a good amount for most beers.

I think you have the basic fix figured out. Let them ride another 2-3 weeks and try another.

Offline mdhrdlicka

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2014, 06:54:51 PM »
Will do.  Thanks for the help!

Offline majorvices

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 10:22:05 PM »
The carbonation will be the same cold or warm, but the difference is that co2 will come out of solution much easier when warm so it probably gives you the appearance of being more carbbed when warm. Definitely let the bottles sit warm for a couple weeks, that should do the trick.

Offline tonyp

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 04:33:36 AM »
Also, just as a reminder, its a good idea to measure the sugar by weight and not volume.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2014, 03:16:21 PM »
and what temp are you entering in the carbonation calculator? it should be the highest temp achieved after the bulk of fermentation has occurred. so if you bump your temp to 70 at the end to finish out enter 70.
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Offline mugwort

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Re: Beer goes flat when chilled-help!
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2014, 06:24:15 PM »
and what temp are you entering in the carbonation calculator? it should be the highest temp achieved after the bulk of fermentation has occurred. so if you bump your temp to 70 at the end to finish out enter 70.

A very good point.  Makes me a bit sad to think of the carboys containing marathon brews in my closet that will require a 90 in that field when bottling time comes around.  Lousy heat wave.
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