E38 Small Batch: Clone Beer Recipes & Bottle Carbonation

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PODCAST: 2019 A.H.A. Craft Beer Clone Recipes List and Tips for Better Bottle Carbonation for Home Brewers

Looking for some good clone beer recipes? Greetings and welcome to another "small batch" podcast episode where we talk about some the 2019 AHA Craft Beer Clone Recipes (each year the American Homebrews Association picks one craft beer from each state for their list) that includes a Brut IPA, New England IPA, Grisette, Histotical Beer, Sour Farmhouse and pretty much everything you could possibly brew. We also run down . short list of upcoming AHA contest events throughout the US in February.

The home brew topic topic this show is Better Bottle Carbonation, as Mike reads through some of the important steps home brewers should take to achieve the ultimate carbonation in a number of different (see full details pasted below).

Of course we imbibe in some beer tastings from the likes of Generations Wintergreen IPA (brewed with spruce tips), Founders Blushing Monk and Southern Tier Cinnamon Roll. All representing a nice winter variety of beer for the many moods we experience living through a polar vortex! Kent also previews music from a veteran singer songwriter from Connecticut named Brian Dolzani, so get your Neil Young on and ride that horse to the promised land!

All very tasty treats for you listeners! Share this podcast with your friends (below) and send us your feedback for what you’d like us to talk about on the Home Brew Rock Stars Facebook page. You can now buy our Home Brew Rock Stars stuff on Threadless. Plus…tune in next episodes for a preview of 2 new breweries in the stateline area and more small batch quick hits in February and March! #drinkitup

Tips To Avoid Inconsistent Bottle Carbonation

That bottle you opened a couple of nights ago was perfectly carbonated, the one you just opened was flat, and the next one may gush all over the floor like Ol’ Faithful. Sound familiar? Then it’s time to take a closer look at your priming technique.

Bottle carbonation occurs when yeast consumes the added sugar and releases carbon dioxide, which, since the bottle is sealed, dissolves into the beer. The following factors and how you control them contribute to that perfectly carbonated beer.

Amount of beer to be carbonated - Priming Sugar - Carbonation temp - CO2 volume

Amount of beer - It is important to have an accurate amount of finished beer. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 gallon or 10 gallons, just have an accurate amount.

It is vital to make sure your beer has completed fermentation (finished beer), using a hydrometer will insure fermentation is complete.

Types of Priming Sugar

Corn Sugar (Dextrose) & Table Sugar (Sucrose) – most common

Also used is - Maple Syrup, Honey or Molasses

If you prefer not to use sugar?

Dry Malt Extract (DME) or A bit more complex method Krausening – the use of fresh wort to carbonate the beer.

Whichever type of sugar you use it is important to thoroughly mix the priming sugar into the finished beer. BE GENTLE as excessive stirring can introduce unwanted oxygen to your beer.

Also available is Carbonation Tablets –Typically sized for 12 oz bottles. Although very easy to use, it is difficult to customize carbonation level.

Carbonation temperature - The temperature of the bottles during carbonation period is vital. Too cold it will be under carbonated too warm it will be over carbonated.

CO2 volume - The style of beer will determine how carbonated your beer should be. The combination of priming sugar to beer ratio and temperature create different levels of carbonation.

The most accurate way to calculate for proper carbonation volume is to use a carbonation calculator.

Ok so now you have a perfect carbonated beer, how do you keep it that way?

Firstly, be sure you do not have too much head space in your bottles. The more head space the better chance of oxidation as the beer ages.

Keep it dark. Light will diminish beer quality quickly, even in a dark brown bottle.

Consistent temperature during storage. The warmer the beer is stored the faster chemical reactions occur. A beer store at cellar temps (approx. 54°F) will stay fresher 2 times longer than at room temp. If the beer is stored at refrigeration level (approx. 36-38°F) it will stay fresh for 4 – 5 months.

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