Author Topic: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?  (Read 928 times)

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
    • View Profile
Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« on: September 16, 2016, 03:55:32 AM »
I came up with a recipe as a homage to Surly's "Todd the Axeman" ale.  They use all Golden Promise and a combo of Citra and Mosaic in a 2:1 ratio.  I used all Maris Otter and flipped the hops ratio in the opposite direction, using twice as much Mosaic as Citra, since I had all of those ingredients on hand.

Preliminary results are really good, except that it's really slow to carb.  I cold-crashed for a couple days, then racked to a keg on top of 4.5 oz of pellets in a nylon stocking.  I like to keg hop at room temp for one week, and during that week I had the gas hooked up too. 

Now it's been in the kegerator and cold for a week, carbing alongside a saison and Palmer's Elevenses.  The other two beers are carbing nicely, but the IPA is still very minimally-carbed, even though it had an extra week to carb at room temps while dry hopping.

I've heard a hypothesis that IPA's are slow to carb due to hop oils floating on the surface in the keg.  What do you guys think?  Have you seen that your hoppy beers are slower to carb? 

Offline neddles

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2016, 04:07:02 AM »
I have not seen that. Any possibilty that particular keg is leaking? Also the "hop oils floating on the surface" claims seem suspicious to me since they are soluable in the beer. Otherwise that last pint would be one aromatic sucker. My $0.02

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2016, 04:23:21 AM »
Yeah, something is up. Hoppy beers tend to have crazy foam, even if under carbonated.

Offline blatz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3423
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2016, 02:55:26 PM »
I have had the same issue before.  I tend to believe the hypothesis. 

try agitating/rocking the keg a bit.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2016, 03:36:09 PM »
the "hop oils floating on the surface" claims seem suspicious to me since they are soluable in the beer. Otherwise that last pint would be one aromatic sucker.


That was my feeling, too. Never noticed it, even on an IPA with a lb of hops. But I'm not saying it's not possible either, with all the variance in equipment and techniques.
Jon H.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19389
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 03:59:54 PM »
I don't think hops and carbonation have anything to do with each other.  At least I've never observed anything like that.  And I find that hypothesis hard to justify.  The oils might affect foam stand, but should have nothing to do with carbonation.  And even if the oils did affect foam, the polyphenols in the hops tend to create more and longer lasting foam.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline neddles

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 280
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 05:01:25 PM »
I don't think hops and carbonation have anything to do with each other.  At least I've never observed anything like that.  And I find that hypothesis hard to justify.  The oils might affect foam stand, but should have nothing to do with carbonation.  And even if the oils did affect foam, the polyphenols in the hops tend to create more and longer lasting foam.
Yep.Generally speaking more hops=longer lasting, stickier foam in my experience.

Offline blatz

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3423
  • Paul Blatz - Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 05:57:10 PM »
the theory of it makes sense to me, and I've had a couple IPAs over the years that when I tested the head pressure with my regulator, they were seemingly overcarbonated (i.e. over 15) yet actually very lightly carbonated when poured.  there was visible slickness on the top. when that has happened, I just hooked it up to 25-30 and rocked it back and forth a bunch - problem solved.

I guess an easy way to test this would be to try and force carbonate a coke bottle of water with some oil poured on top.  i'll do it if I get around to it, but to be honest my motivation is pretty low since I don't really care.
The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

BJCP National: F0281

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3217
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2016, 06:05:52 PM »
To the OP -

are you sure you seated the lid of your keg really well?

And as for the hop oil hypothesis, I got nuthin, but I have had a couple beers over the years with gelatin in them that refused to carb up until I shook them....Almost like a layer of gelatin coagulated on the surface of the gas/beer interface and wouldn't allow the gas to permeate the beer.

Offline el_capitan

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 489
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2016, 10:37:59 PM »
Well, this beer is very tasty, so I've been pulling a few samples even though I know it's undercarbed.  I think Pinnah said he kind of likes his IPAs undercarbed for some reason. 

Now it's starting to carb up a bit.  I did give it just a bit of rocking yesterday but nothing too hardcore.  Even with an undercarbed beer, I like to crack the tap just a tiny bit and give it a nice head of foam to top off the pint.  Mmmmmm... hops.

Offline brewsumore

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 622
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Are hoppy beers slow to carbonate?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2016, 03:41:30 AM »
In my experience the hypothesis is sometimes correct.  I very recently again experienced a very slow carb time for an IPA, in both kegs carbed at identical pressure and temp.