English Special Bitter

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Albioninoz

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Hi,
I have bought the beer kit for an English Special Bitter (similar to the Fullers drop) from Australian Home Brewers here in Melbourne. The first one was great but the second, although the taste was good, the bottles would continue to spew the head after opening. When poured into a glass the head would keep expanding and would take a long (and I do mean long) time to settle down and be drinkable. I am using 500ml bottles and putting 4g dextrose into each bottle before filling.
Can anyone enlighten me on the possible causes of this problem. I have a Classic English Bitter ready to go and don't want the same thing happening.
Thanks, Ray
PS. It will come as no surprise I'm an ex-pat Pom who loves his bitter!
 
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Assuming yiour fermentation finished at 19 degrees or above (a lower ale temp would leave very slightly more residual CO2 dissolved in the beer), 3 g/500ml would be more than enough. So you overprimed, but what you describe probably means a small amount of unfermented sugars were still in your beer.

FYI: bottled English pale ales are generally more carbonated than roughly equivalent cask bitters.

duncbrewer's suggested calculator is good.

Do you measure dextrose into each bottle? Loose or in tablets. It's an old topic here, but you might look into bulk priming.
 

JDW81

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Could be over carbonation from excess dextrose, or an infection.

There are a few bugs (can't remember which off the top of my head - there'll be someone who will know), which will slowly chip away at the residual sugars (and occasionally the unfermentables) in the final packaged product and give you gushers. They may not leave an "off" taste in the beer, but can result in a thin beer with limited body and mouth feel.

JD
 

An Ankoù

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I've got one doing the same, it's a five-point bitter. The FG finished quite high at 1012 and remained there for a week so I bottled it up with 3g table sugar in a half-litre bottle. They started out nicely for the first few weeks and now all boil over when I open them, some quite violently. I suspect I've got a contamination of yeast with the diastaticus variant from an earlier brew or airborne infection. The sooner I open the rest of the bottles, the better I think.
 

duncbrewer

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I'd say that 1012 is about the right finishing gravity for the 5 points ( my brew of it the week before last finished at 1012 as well), the english ale yeasts do seem to chug along slowly, that's not really a problem if it's going in a cask and having a short but glorious life. I do find if the beer is finished fermenting and then I keg it and leave it in my cellar area about 12 degrees slowly over time the beer carbonation rises and gravity drops a bit more. I've learnt to periodically spund the kegs now otherwise they overcarb.
 

philrob

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I've had this issue myself over many batches of English Bitters fermented with UK style yeasts, such as WY1968. The comment above about the yeasts being suited for cask beers is spot on. They will slowly continue to ferment.
My answer is to carbonate at the low end, and consume the beer within about a month or so.
 

duncbrewer

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A recent bitter using wyeast 1099 which is meant to be not as dry as 1098 actually was 1.003 by the time I had finished it. But it didn't taste bone dry.
Whitbread ale 1099
Profile: A mildly malty and slightly fruity fermentation profile. It is less tart and dry than Wyeast 1098 British Ale. With good flocculation characteristics, this yeast clears well without filtration. Low fermentation temperatures will produce a clean finish with a very low ester profile.

Metric Temperature Range: 18-24 °C
 

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