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Carbonation just doesn't seem right. Bubbles too big, head isn't great

so not really a kegging question, but i didn’t see where else it’d fit.

I’ve brewed 4 kits now, 3 came with sugar drops and my most recent came with corn sugar.

The problem i’ve had with EVERY brew is that the carbonation just doesn’t seem right.
It carbs completely, but it just… not feels wrong.

The head of the beer dissipates faster than any other beer i’ve consumed. The bubbles in the head are not tight, they seem big…

any of this make sense?

i’m assuming my problem is due to using sugar to carbonate instead of CO2
Am i correct? anything that can be done before bottling?


The head on a glass of beer doesn’t directly relate to how it is carbonated. The head is more a result of the ingredients, bottle conditioning time, and length of time the bottle was chilled before opening. Large bubbles in the head can be due to short of conditioning time. Quickly dissipating head is quite often the result of soap residue in the glass.

so the bottles sat undisturbed for two full weeks before they were moved to the fridge. They sat in the bathtub, so they were room temp. As far as length chilled before opening… they’ve been in the fridge for a few weeks now.

the quick dissipating, as much as i promise i do believe you that soap is a problem, i feel like i could go pour a homebrew and a store bought into identical glasses washed together, and they’d react different.

My wife took a Red Hare beer last night and (God bless her heart) poured it like a soda into her glass… she had about 8" of foam on top of maybe an inch of beer in the bottom. but her head retention was thru the roof!

Two weeks of bottle conditioning to me is a very short time even though most instructions give that length of time. I’ll sample a beer at two weeks because I’m impatient. Three to four weeks at 70°F to 75°F is pretty good for a average beer. Five weeks and longer for higher gravity beers. Three days of chilling seems to be sufficient for the beer to absorb the CO2 in the head space.

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Wow Flars you get impatient at 2 weeks? I start looking for a dusting in the bottle at 3 days lol. Now THAT’S impatient

so say I had left it longer, which i didn’t b/c i thought i was doing good leaving it for 2 weeks…

you think the overall mouthfeel would be changed?

also, you say 3 days of chilling… does that mean you take the beer back out after 3 days?
i ask b/c i have half my fridge filled right now and i’m sure my wife would prefer i box it and put it somewhere.

I keep the beer in cases at room temperature and only chill the number of bottles I may drink in the next few days. Just add a few more bottles as the supply diminishes. I do have my own refrigerator though. Wife bought me one for the brew room when my harvested yeast took a full shelf in the kitchen refrigerator.

Longer conditioning time can change the mouth feel for some beer styles. Fully conditioned beer will hold the carbonation longer in solution. Less like a very fizzy soda.


You washing your glasses in a dishwasher? Those final rinse agents destroy head retention.

Maybe, it’s not a CO2 issue or a glass issue. You might want to read This article from BYO.

And the type of glass you do use inportant. Me got some dedicated glasses for a specific beer. Seems to work

It’s not the glass it’s over attenuated. Change your yeast

Safale S-04 Ale Dry Yeast is what came in the kit.
what should I have used?

And, why are they setting us new guys up to fail?

Their not 04 is a great yeast. Did you do extract or all grain?

extract. sat in primary for 2 weeks, moved to secondary 2 weeks. one week into the secondary i added cocao nibs and the bourbon they were soaked in.

bottled and sat for 2 more weeks before hitting the fridge.

I had my yeast mutate after multiple repitching but that doesn’t sound like your situation. You may have picked up something when transferring to secondary or adding the nibs. Also transferring to bottle bucket or even the bottles. How’s your sanitation routine?

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Thanks for the tip to get my own fridge. I like that idea if I reharvest my yeast I will save lots of money on slap packs and I get my own fridge out of the deal. Thanks brother I owe you a :beer:For that one

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Better yet you can brew on a whim if you have the other ingredients. You can also the freezer to store those vacuum packed hops.

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