Author Topic: Temperature at bottling  (Read 2025 times)

Offline nateo

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Temperature at bottling
« on: August 27, 2011, 12:07:08 PM »
Hey folks,
Sorry if this has been covered before. I searched and couldn't find an answer. Does it matter if I rack and bottle a beer at cold-crashing temperature, or should I warm up the beer first to rack and bottle.

I ask because it seemed like it was losing a fair amount of CO2 transferring and bottling while cold. Also, as the beer warmed up as I was bottling it, I'm guessing it would've off-gassed a little bit too.

Does this matter? Would I lose enough residual CO2 to worry about? Or am I thinking too hard about this?
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Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2011, 01:22:27 PM »
I guess I'm not quite understanding you, sorry!  Are you racking previously carbed beer?  Or is it uncarbed beer that you're racking to the bottle, to bottle condition?  If that's the case, I don't think temperature matters.  The only reason one might worry, I guess, is that if you've cold crashed for an extended time, most of the yeast will drop out.  However, if it's a low gravity beer, most people on here would tell you, you still have enough yeast to carbonate, and I would agree.  But, obviously you need to warm it back up to fermenting temps, after it's bottled, so it can carbonate.
Justin
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Offline nateo

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2011, 02:35:12 PM »
It's not carbonated. Let's say I'm targeting 2.5 vol for 20L of beer. If the beer is at 40 *F there should 1.5 volumes of residual CO2 left in suspension from fermentation. So I need to add enough sugar to generate 1 vol of carbonation, which would be 83.6g of dextrose.

If that same beer were 80* F, there would be 0.7 volumes of residual carbonation, so I'd need to add enough sugar for 1.8 volumes of carbonation, which would be 142g of dextrose. So at 40 *F there is twice as much residual CO2 as there would be if the beer were 80 *F at bottling, and it requires half as much priming sugar, according to the calculator.

When I transfer from the carboy into the bottling bucket, I must lose "some" amount of CO2, and I must lose "some" amount of CO2 when it foams up in the bottles, and I must lose "some" amount of CO2 as the cold beer in the bottling bucket warms up and off-gasses. I don't know how much the "some" that I'm losing is, or if it's enough to significantly change the amount of priming sugar I need to add to get my desired carbonation level.

If I lost half of the residual CO2 during racking/bottling, at 80 *F that would be 0.35 vol and at 40 *F that would mean 0.7 vol. If I'm targeting 2.5 volumes, that could seriously throw off the carb level. If I only lose a quarter, that wouldn't be as bad, but it would still fall pretty short of my target. But maybe I only lose 1/20th of the carb level and it's not an issue at all. That's what I'm trying to figure out.
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Offline narcout

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2011, 06:24:38 PM »
While it does take less pressure to reach a given volume of dissolved CO2 for a beer that is at a cooler temperature (http://www.kegerators.com/carbonation-table.php), I doubt a beer that was fermented at 68 and then crashed to 32 for a couple of days to drop yeast (and is not under pressure) has a significantly increased amount of dissolved CO2 in it than that same beer would it if was not cold crashed before bottling.

I wouldn't adjust the amount of priming sugar you are planning on using based on the temperature of the beer at bottling time.

Try underpriming one or two bottles on your next batch according to whatever calculator you are using and see if they don't turn out to be undercarbed (I've tried it myself using the calculator in Beersmith). 

Offline tygo

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2011, 06:24:59 PM »
I've always decided on the amount of priming sugar to add based on the warmest temperature the beer has been.  So if it fermented at 68F that was the temp I used, whether I then cold crashed it or not.  I've never taken into consideration the amount of carbonation lost in the transfer process and it hasn't seemed to matter much.
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Offline euge

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2011, 07:12:20 PM »
I always calculate the amount of sugar based on the temp the beer will prime at. Usually about 70*. You'll need lots more sugar to prime at cold temps and that risks skewing the flavor/gravity of the beer. While racking it doesn't off-gas that much to make a difference in my opinion.
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Offline Malticulous

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2011, 06:45:00 AM »
I too have always used the highest temp the beer has rested at after fermentation. The CO2 levels seem very close.

Offline liquidbrewing

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2011, 07:14:12 AM »
So, you guys are saying that even when the beer has fermented out completely and I leave it in the primary for close to a month there are still 1.5 vols of co2 in suspension???  I must have missed something because every hyrdo sample I have ever taken is flat.  Sorry this is over my head.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2011, 08:40:47 AM »
So, you guys are saying that even when the beer has fermented out completely and I leave it in the primary for close to a month there are still 1.5 vols of co2 in suspension???  I must have missed something because every hyrdo sample I have ever taken is flat.  Sorry this is over my head.

Flat does not equal zero volumes of co2.  At a particular temp, the beer can naturally hold a particular volume.  The co2 is there but since it's what that temp supports, it's not going to try and come out of solution.  The beer's just gonna sit there flat.  It's only when you have more volumes than the temp will support that the beer will fizz. 
Joe

Offline nateo

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2011, 09:42:26 AM »
Thanks for all the responses. I didn't think about the max temp the beer was at. I have a batch of Koelsch that carb'd a little low. I fermented at 58 *F then cold crashed to 40 *F, and used 40 *F as the temp at bottling for priming sugar addition.

I think if I had used 58 instead of 40 it would've carb'd up to where I wanted it.

It foamed up more than usual when I was racking and bottling, so I thought they may have been the issue. I usually rack and bottle with the beer at ambient temp ~70-75 or so. This was the first time I bottled a beer cold.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2011, 09:47:14 AM by nateo »
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Offline hubie

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Re: Temperature at bottling
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2011, 07:11:50 AM »
So, you guys are saying that even when the beer has fermented out completely and I leave it in the primary for close to a month there are still 1.5 vols of co2 in suspension???  I must have missed something because every hyrdo sample I have ever taken is flat.  Sorry this is over my head.

If you ever make wine or mead, there is the de-gas stage where you stir it up to get some of the excess CO2 out to help out the yeast.  Before you stir, things look very flat, but as you stir you can really kick up a head and foam over if you're not careful.