Author Topic: Missing bottle sediment?  (Read 1025 times)

Offline brewmonk

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Missing bottle sediment?
« on: August 09, 2010, 10:21:11 PM »
I made my first batch a couple of months ago.  It was a stout from an extract kit.  I followed the directions and ended up with an OG of 1040 and a FG of 1008.  The fermentation was pretty strong for about three days.  After a week and a half I bottled it with brewers sugar (3/4 cup for a little over 5.5 gallons of beer).  I used iodophor to sterilize everything, using a 1 tbsp iodophor/5 gallons of water solution.  I just dunked the clean bottles in making sure the inside was coated with solution, and then let them drain upside-down for at least 10 minutes if not more.  I stored the bottles in an area that was about 70 F.

Two weeks after bottling, I popped some open to try it.  It was pretty good, although still had a bit of a "young" taste to it.  It had decent carbonation.  But I was rather surprised that there was absolutely no sediment at the bottom of any of the bottles I finished.  Recently, after another two weeks, I have opened a few more, and although it seemed a bit drier to me, I still had no sediment.

I know there was yeast in the beer before I bottled since I had a good fermentation, and a nice layer of trub, but I was wondering if I killed my yeast while bottling, and the carbonation is just what is left from the initial fermentation.  Or is it that there sometimes just isn't sediment with bottle conditioning (which I would find that rather unusual)?
Br. Francis
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2010, 10:42:21 PM »
You can end up with no obvious sediment in a bottle conditioned bottle.  It doesn't really take that much yeast to carbonate a bottle, so it's possible it wouldn't be easy to see.  It's also possible that the yeast is not that flocculent, so there wouldn't be a sediment - the yeast in solution at the end of fermentation is naturally the least flocculent cells.

If you want to test it, open two bottles and add a tsp of sugar to one of them.  Then rather than cap them, put a balloon over the neck of each bottle.  The inflation of the balloon on the bottle with no sugar added will be caused by CO2 coming out of solution.  The difference between that balloon and the balloon on the bottle with sugar added is the CO2 formed from renewed fermentation.

It's not a perfect test since the sugar will make some CO2 break out right away, but it will give you some idea.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2010, 10:48:12 PM »
Celebrate! Sounds great!

Was it the same yeast as before? I was thinking low flocculation being the prime culprit.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2010, 06:51:49 AM »
Celebrate! Sounds great!

Was it the same yeast as before? I was thinking low flocculation being the prime culprit.

Same yeast, no new yeast added at bottling.  It was a standard Coopers Irish stout beer kit with a little package of dried yeast.  I did re-activate it before I pitched it on brew day, but I would assume that that yeast wouldn't be that fancy.  The flocculation argument makes sense.

You can end up with no obvious sediment in a bottle conditioned bottle.  It doesn't really take that much yeast to carbonate a bottle, so it's possible it wouldn't be easy to see.  It's also possible that the yeast is not that flocculent, so there wouldn't be a sediment - the yeast in solution at the end of fermentation is naturally the least flocculent cells.

If you want to test it, open two bottles and add a tsp of sugar to one of them.  Then rather than cap them, put a balloon over the neck of each bottle.  The inflation of the balloon on the bottle with no sugar added will be caused by CO2 coming out of solution.  The difference between that balloon and the balloon on the bottle with sugar added is the CO2 formed from renewed fermentation.

It's not a perfect test since the sugar will make some CO2 break out right away, but it will give you some idea.

Don't know if I could open two bottles and then leave them without drinking them immediately.  ;)

I guess expecting a hearty sediment like a Belgian Trappist bottle conditioned beer from a little extract kit might have been a bit ambitious.  ;D
Br. Francis
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2010, 08:44:07 AM »
Don't know if I could open two bottles and then leave them without drinking them immediately.  ;)
Maybe open 3 bottles then - 2 for testing, one for drinking!
Tom Schmidlin

Offline saintpierre

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2010, 08:58:42 AM »
Celebrate! Sounds great!


+1 Sounds like you did a great job siphoning during your bottling process. 
Did you mention how is the carbonation level is?
Mike St. Pierre
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Offline brewmonk

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2010, 09:03:26 AM »
Celebrate! Sounds great!
+1 Sounds like you did a great job siphoning during your bottling process. 
Did you mention how is the carbonation level is?
The carbonation seems fine.  The pour has a good but not annoying head.  Only one bottle has overflowed upon opening (which may have been due to jostling).  It isn't carbonated like a Guinness (creamy finely bubbled head), but I am not expecting that with a simple extract kit and bottle conditioning.  It might be slightly under-carbonated, but that may be due to the fact that I was a bit worried about over-carbonating and was conservative with the priming sugar.

Thanks for the encouragement.
Br. Francis
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Missing bottle sediment?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2010, 10:58:31 AM »
The carbonation seems fine.  The pour has a good but not annoying head.  Only one bottle has overflowed upon opening (which may have been due to jostling).  It isn't carbonated like a Guinness (creamy finely bubbled head), but I am not expecting that with a simple extract kit and bottle conditioning.  It might be slightly under-carbonated, but that may be due to the fact that I was a bit worried about over-carbonating and was conservative with the priming sugar.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Don't compare your head to Guinness unless you are using nitro in your beer, that is going to give you tighter, longer lasting bubbles every time.  It's the nature of N2, so you're just selling yourself short.  Compare it to some other bottled beer that doesn't have a widget and where you like the head.
Tom Schmidlin