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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Secondary time and carbonation?
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Old 01-14-2007, 04:54 PM   #1
EALynx
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Default Secondary time and carbonation?

Last year I produced 13 five gallon batches of beer. Out of those batches I had two batches that did not carbonate completely. I have always used secondary fermenters and I have always had good clear beer. Recently I began having my beer sampled by the local Brewmaster at our local microwbrewery. He said that he believes that my time in the secondary fermentor might be allowing the yeast to settle out in quantities too low to allow for proper carbonation in the bottles. I must add that I recently realized that not all beers require the equal 3/4 cup of primming sugar. With this in mind, I am wondering if it is possible that when I begin to use the proper amounts of sugar based on the style will I see more consistant carbonation results? Or do I indeed need to cut back on my secondary fermentor time? I usually allow my beers to sit in the secondary for about 1 month before bottling. Any help will be appreciated.

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Old 01-14-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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Consider putting a gram of a highly flocculate dried yeast in the bottling bucket and adjusting the priming sugar. Many commercial bottle conditioned beers filter out the fermentation yeast and add a conditioning yeast.

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Old 01-14-2007, 05:47 PM   #3
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I had a simular issue but after leaving it longer due to the cooler weather it built up just fine.

In fall when i bottled the beer was fizzy in about 2 weeks, when I made 2 batches in late Nov it took 2 times as long to get fizzy but its fine. My house temp was only a few degrees cool then it was months ago.

Bottling is ok, I love my kegs much better and its faster. hehe

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Old 01-14-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
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I have had a similar problem on occassion. The first thing to try is a trick from John Palmer's book: shake up your bottles to resuspend the yeast. This often leads to another burst of fermentation/conditioning in the bottles.

This trick has also saved a couple batches of 'ruined' beers for me when I had let primary fermentation get too warm (> 24 degrees C), and off flavours developed. I let the bottles condition for a month, then shook them up to resuspend the yeast, and presto - a month later they tasted completely improved.

It doesn't always work, but it is a technique I swear by.

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Old 01-14-2007, 06:16 PM   #5
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Light swirrling the beer a few times, my friend said to not shake it up, just a light agitation will work.

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Old 01-14-2007, 06:41 PM   #6
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Thanks guys, I will give the swirl thing a try.

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Old 01-14-2007, 07:04 PM   #7
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Yes, gentle shaking or swirling. Sorry -- should have said that.

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