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porterguy 03-04-2012 05:56 PM

low carbonation
Did a search, but I have a specific question. I've had a number of batches come out low in carbonation. Just recently figured out that now that it's winter, where I store my freshly bottled beer on the floor in the basement may only be 58-60 degrees. Does this sound like the likely cause of my problems?

sweetcell 03-04-2012 11:06 PM

possibly. after adding priming sugar and bottling, you want to keep the bottles at about 70*F for a few weeks while they carbonate. 58-60 = yeast are sluggish, it would take them longer to carb up. occasionally turning the bottles upside down to stir the settled yeasts also helps.

Revvy 03-04-2012 11:12 PM

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up.

And just because a beer is carbed doesn't mean it still doesn't taste like a$$ and need more time for the off flavors to condition out. You have green beer.

Temp and gravity are the two factors that contribute to the time it takes to carb beer. But if a beer's not ready yet, or seems low carbed, and you added the right amount of sugar to it, then it's not stalled, it's just not time yet.

Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience." ;)

If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them more time. If you added your sugar, then the beer will carb up eventually, it's really a foolroof process. All beers will carb up eventually. A lot of new brewers think they have to "troubleshoot" a bottling issue, when there really is none, the beer knows how to carb itself. In fact if you run beersmiths carbing calculator, some lower grav beers don't even require additional sugar to reach their minimum level of carbonation. Just time.

I've carbed hundreds of gallons of beer, and never had a beer that wasn't carbed, or under carbed or anything of the sort (Except for a batch where I accidently mixed up lactose or Maltodextrine for priming sugar). Some took awhile, (as I said up to six months) but they ALL eventually carbed.

If your beer is cooler it would take longer for the beer to get to the correct level of carbonation, because sluggish yeast do things slower than more awake ones, and the cooler a beer is stored, the sluggish the yeast is.

porterguy 03-05-2012 03:15 AM

Thanks. That's pretty much what I thought. Fortunately, I have a variety of beers that ARE ready to drink to hold me.

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