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Brews flat and tasteless after 3 weeks in the bottle


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Hi,

I'm fairly new to the beerdroid but have brewed plenty of old style homebrews back in the day with no real problems.

My first few were ok then i started experiencing alot of issues with flat and tasteless brews even after 3 weeks in the bottle.

My sanitising regime is pretty thorough including the recommended pill in the droid plus brewsan spray bottle for lid and seal, tap and plug. The bottles which are grolsh style get a good clean and sanitize and rinse also.

Trying to think what i'm missing, any help much appreciated. Money down the drain at this stage.

Rob...

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3 minutes ago, Rob Evans said:

Hi,

I'm fairly new to the beerdroid but have brewed plenty of old style homebrews back in the day with no real problems.

My first few were ok then i started experiencing alot of issues with flat and tasteless brews even after 3 weeks in the bottle.

My sanitising regime is pretty thorough including the recommended pill in the droid plus brewsan spray bottle for lid and seal, tap and plug. The bottles which are grolsh style get a good clean and sanitize and rinse also.

Trying to think what i'm missing, any help much appreciated. Money down the drain at this stage.

Rob...

Hi Rob and welcome to the forum.

A few brewers here use the Grolsch style bottles and have achieved better results by replacing the seals.

@Rob Courtneyand @Eltham Brewing Houseany comments?

Cheers!

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Good to see another Rob on board to be honest. @Rob Evans

Bit of a strange one as I never have had major issues with Grolsch bottles but more the "Grolsch style" swingtop bottles from the bottleshop. I mean I have replaced all grolsch seals over the journey but it wasn't a situation like you are describing.

It shouldn't have anything to do with the sanitising, so maybe post exactly what your process is with brewing, maybe there is something that you are not doing that would make us go "ahhhh".

Edited by Rob Courtney
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1 hour ago, Dustin Frothman said:

Hi Rob and welcome to the forum.

A few brewers here use the Grolsch style bottles and have achieved better results by replacing the seals.

@Rob Courtneyand @Eltham Brewing Houseany comments?

Cheers!

The bottles are brand new, I was having the same issue withe the PET bottles, thats when I decided to switch thinking it was a sealing issue

 

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Just now, Rob Evans said:

The bottles are brand new, I was having the same issue withe the PET bottles, thats when I decided to switch thinking it was a sealing issue

 

Yeah that is odd.

Since you're an experienced brewer there's probably no point revisiting the basics as it's safe to assume that you're covering them.

Do you have records of which brews were successful and which weren't? I wonder if there's a common factor there?

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34 minutes ago, Rob Courtney said:

Good to see another Rob on board to be honest. @Rob Evans

Bit of a strange one as I never have had major issues with Grolsch bottles but more the "Grolsch style" swingtop bottles from the bottleshop. I mean I have replaced all grolsch seals over the journey but it wasn't a situation like you are describing.

It shouldn't have anything to do with the sanitising, so maybe post exactly what your process is with brewing, maybe there is something that you are not doing that would make us go "ahhhh".

Hi Rob... great to be here.

Ok so,

Sanitise beeerdroid including lids, seal and tap, thouroghly rinse

Add my 10 litres of water then the yeast, let sit for a minute.

Add all ingredients one by one very slowly, clean up top of droid and seal lid.

start program.

Usually ready in 7-8 days.

Sanitize already cleaned bottles, bottling gear, add 2 drops and seal.

Clean droid and sanitize, repeat....

Leave for minimum 2 weeks in cupboard average temp 25-35*

 

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6 minutes ago, Rob Evans said:

Leave for minimum 2 weeks in cupboard average temp 25-35*

Temperature stability is more important that absolute temperature, however 35C is quite warm. 20 - 25C would be better.

Do you have anywhere cooler that you could condition your bottles?

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16 minutes ago, Dustin Frothman said:

Temperature stability is more important that absolute temperature, however 35C is quite warm. 20 - 25C would be better.

Do you have anywhere cooler that you could condition your bottles?

Weather is cooling off now so maybe some improvement soon

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4 minutes ago, Rob Courtney said:

Well, I guess it can explain it then

My process is exactly as yours however I try to secondary in the mid to low 20 deg C.  45 different brews in swing top Grolsch 450ml bottles as well as 750ml swing tops from brew suppliers and no carbonation problems. That just leaves the secondary storage temp. I think that 25 to 35 deg C is causing the problem

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Just now, Eltham Brewing House said:

My process is exactly as yours however I try to secondary in the mid to low 20 deg C.  45 different brews in swing top Grolsch 450ml bottles as well as 750ml swing tops from brew suppliers and no carbonation problems. That just leaves the secondary storage temp. I think that 25 to 35 deg C is causing the problem

Even I struggle at 35 deg C

 

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5 minutes ago, Eltham Brewing House said:

My process is exactly as yours however I try to secondary in the mid to low 20 deg C.  45 different brews in swing top Grolsch 450ml bottles as well as 750ml swing tops from brew suppliers and no carbonation problems. That just leaves the secondary storage temp. I think that 25 to 35 deg C is causing the problem

You maybe onto it, I'll try find a cooler spot for them and see how it goes

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1 hour ago, Rob Evans said:

The bottles are brand new, I was having the same issue withe the PET bottles, thats when I decided to switch thinking it was a sealing issue

 

Hi Rob and welcome. So far is it ever bottle that’s flat? Both PET and the swing tops? (A cooler spot would be good for your beers however 35C shouldn’t kill it.)

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8 minutes ago, Captain 3 Droids said:

Hi Rob and welcome. So far is it ever bottle that’s flat? Both PET and the swing tops? (A cooler spot would be good for your beers however 35C shouldn’t kill it.)

Yes its the whole batch thats gone bad

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Just now, Rob Evans said:

Yes its the whole batch thats gone bad

Mmm I doubt it’s the seals or caps leakage as I wouldn’t think it would be every one. It suggests a problem with yeast and sugar interaction to produce Co2. May be a silly question but your sure you added 2 sugar based tablets to each bottle? The yeast shouldn’t be the problem as you achieved end of fermentation results. Is there much sediment in each bottle?

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1 hour ago, Rob Evans said:

Hi Rob... great to be here.

Ok so,

Sanitise beeerdroid including lids, seal and tap, thouroghly rinse

Add my 10 litres of water then the yeast, let sit for a minute.

Add all ingredients one by one very slowly, clean up top of droid and seal lid.

start program.

Usually ready in 7-8 days.

Sanitize already cleaned bottles, bottling gear, add 2 drops and seal.

Clean droid and sanitize, repeat....

Leave for minimum 2 weeks in cupboard average temp 25-35*

 

You should not have to rinse following sanitizing. Try using a non rinse sanitizer like Star San or Miltons.

 

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1 minute ago, Captain 3 Droids said:

Mmm I doubt it’s the seals or caps leakage as I wouldn’t think it would be every one. It suggests a problem with yeast and sugar interaction to produce Co2. May be a silly question but your sure you added 2 sugar based tablets to each bottle? The yeast shouldn’t be the problem as you achieved end of fermentation results. Is there much sediment in each bottle?

Very little sediment, 2 drops per 750ml bottle

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Just now, Rob Evans said:

Very little sediment, 2 drops per 750ml bottle

If that’s the case I’d say 2 to 3 weeks is not long enough as it will take some time for the (limited) yeast to wake up and start eating the sugar thus Co2. Try at 6 weeks. Also get a bottle and shake, see if and head forms up at the neck.

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3 hours ago, Rob Evans said:

Hi,

I'm fairly new to the beerdroid but have brewed plenty of old style homebrews back in the day with no real problems.

My first few were ok then i started experiencing alot of issues with flat and tasteless brews even after 3 weeks in the bottle.

My sanitising regime is pretty thorough including the recommended pill in the droid plus brewsan spray bottle for lid and seal, tap and plug. The bottles which are grolsh style get a good clean and sanitize and rinse also.

Trying to think what i'm missing, any help much appreciated. Money down the drain at this stage.

Rob...

From a brew chat forum:

 Carbonation is a mini fermentation, so ideally you would want it to complete around the same temperature as you brewed your beer.

Higher temperatures for carbonation can produce or accelerate the production of of flavours in multiple ways, the first that comes to mind is higher temperatures can stress the yeasts, so for an ale yeast anything over 22C and it will produce 'off-flavours', but some of these esters or higher alcohols may be a desired flavour of the style. Secondly, storing warmer will accelerate the formation of aldehydes by the strecker reaction, ie paper flavours, so once you have allowed enough time for carbonation to complete, move the bottle to a nice cool location for longer term storage.

  • Too high temperatures can damage the yeasts and prejudice the carbonation?

This would have to be above 38C to harm an ale yeast enough to affect carbonation, at these temps the yeast would be very unhappy and start to die. If it were a lager yeast then anything about 30 could be harmful, and start killing off the yeast.

Ideally for your ale carb up at 15-25C, for 10 days; then store somewhere nice and cool.

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On 11/4/22 at 9:51 PM, Rob Evans said:

Very little sediment, 2 drops per 750ml bottle

You may have missed this, did you shake a bottle?

“If that’s the case I’d say 2 to 3 weeks is not long enough as it will take some time for the (limited) yeast to wake up and start eating the sugar thus Co2. Try at 6 weeks. Also get a bottle and shake, see if and head forms up at the neck.”

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I gave up on swing-top bottles about a year ago.  I used the one-pint (480 ml) bottles with Grolsch seals.  I had about 25% of them coming out flat.  I then tried rubbing the gaskets with silicone food-grade lubricant but with little improvement.  I finally purchased a counter-top COinfuser to deal with the occasional flat brew results.  Imagine offering a brew to a guest and then having to "gas it up" for consumption.  I am convinced that the problem was the gaskets rather than the process, since most of the bottles held pressure quite well.

Then I discovered that these bottles could be sealed with crown caps just like a 12-oz. longneck.  Since then, I have been using crown caps on my formerly swing-top bottles.  No more flat beers.

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