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Old 03-01-2009, 12:11 AM   #1
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Default Carb help

Hey Guys, long time no talk. Anyway, I've got about 12 AG under my belt now. They have been increasingly better. My buddies say "man we like your beer because its not very carbonated.... and we can chug it" My wife says " your beer is ok but its not carbonated enough...." Well I agree with SWMBO. I am using a bottling bucket, starting a nice whirlpool, using the proper amount of corn sugar, and waiting 3 weeks at 70f; still the beers do not seem to really carb up as much as I would like them to.

This is what I am thinking of doing: 1.) Adding more priming sugar. 2.) Pitching a little yeast into the bottling bucket (of course I have no idea how much to pitch). 3.) Going to CO2 (although I really don't want to)

Please help!!!!!!

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:20 AM   #2
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How much priming sugar do you currently use, and what temperature is the beer at when you bottle? (not the temperature you store it at after bottling, but the temperature of the fermented beer when you bottle it).

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:34 AM   #3
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How much priming sugar do you currently use, and what temperature is the beer at when you bottle? (not the temperature you store it at after bottling, but the temperature of the fermented beer when you bottle it).
I typically use 2/3 cup for 5 gallon batch. The beer is at room temp when I bottle. Are you thinking I should cold crash for bottling?
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:38 AM   #4
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No, that's not what I was thinking- I was thinking that warmer beer has less co2 in suspension, but it isn't really that much of a factor.

I don't know how many ounces 2/3 cup is- I always weigh my sugar and use 4 ounces of corn sugar. I think most people who don't weigh it use more like 3/4 cup, though- which is about 9% more than what you're using.

Do you have a little scale, like for hops? I use a kitchen scale, and it works great. I'd say to use 4 or even 5 ounces of corn sugar in a batch.

Weighing it is more accurate- you can "pack" a cup of sugar so that my 3/4 cup is much more or much less than yours. But weighing it will give you greater accuracy.

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Old 03-01-2009, 12:44 AM   #5
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No, that's not what I was thinking- I was thinking that warmer beer has less co2 in suspension, but it isn't really that much of a factor.

I don't know how many ounces 2/3 cup is- I always weigh my sugar and use 4 ounces of corn sugar. I think most people who don't weigh it use more like 3/4 cup, though- which is about 9% more than what you're using.

Do you have a little scale, like for hops? I use a kitchen scale, and it works great. I'd say to use 4 or even 5 ounces of corn sugar in a batch.

Weighing it is more accurate- you can "pack" a cup of sugar so that my 3/4 cup is much more or much less than yours. But weighing it will give you greater accuracy.
Good point! I should invest in a scale. Do you think its that simple that a little bit more primer could do the trick? I was thinking that too much of the yeast is settling out during the 2 week secondary, but then again it probably stays suspended much longer as my oldest beers (> 3 mos) are the clearest! Wow, this is such a great hobby!
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:47 AM   #6
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Good point! I should invest in a scale. Do you think its that simple that a little bit more primer could do the trick? I was thinking that too much of the yeast is settling out during the 2 week secondary, but then again it probably stays suspended much longer as my oldest beers (> 3 mos) are the clearest! Wow, this is such a great hobby!
I'm certain the problem isn't the yeast- I've lagered beer for 6 weeks at 34 degrees, and still had the yeast carbonate the beer.

I think the priming sugar is the key here. But adding a bit more is tricky- you don't want it overcarbed with gushers and bottle bombs either! How do you weigh your hops? That scale would work for priming sugar, probably.

I'd start with 5 ounces for 5 gallons for most American or Belgian beers, then reduce if it's too much.
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:52 AM   #7
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I'm certain the problem isn't the yeast- I've lagered beer for 6 weeks at 34 degrees, and still had the yeast carbonate the beer.

I think the priming sugar is the key here. But adding a bit more is tricky- you don't want it overcarbed with gushers and bottle bombs either! How do you weigh your hops? That scale would work for priming sugar, probably.

I'd start with 5 ounces for 5 gallons for most American or Belgian beers, then reduce if it's too much.
I buy my hops in 1oz pkgs, then i divide them as needed. best system I have as of right now. Sounds like I need a scale! Good plan, I will start with 5oz and work backwards. I can't believe that largers can carb up that way, I thought they all had to be forced?
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:55 AM   #8
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I buy my hops in 1oz pkgs, then i divide them as needed. best system I have as of right now. Sounds like I need a scale! Good plan, I will start with 5oz and work backwards. I can't believe that largers can carb up that way, I thought they all had to be forced?
Oh, no, you can natually carb just about any beer. An exception might be a "big" beer that is at the top of the yeast's alcohol tolerance and just might not have enough left in it to carb up the beer, but that's never happened to me. I do keg most of my beers now, but I used to bottle each and every one!
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:23 AM   #9
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Oh, no, you can natually carb just about any beer. An exception might be a "big" beer that is at the top of the yeast's alcohol tolerance and just might not have enough left in it to carb up the beer, but that's never happened to me. I do keg most of my beers now, but I used to bottle each and every one!
Do you carb naturally in the kegs, or do you force now? and if you force, do you notice a difference?
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Old 03-01-2009, 01:36 AM   #10
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I force carb now, usually. I don't notice much of a difference, except that very early there is a bit of a co2 "bite". It fades in a day or so, but it was noticeable to me, especially if it's a "quick carb" beer. Now, I just set the beer at serving pressure for a week or so, and it's fine when I sample it.

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