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Old 02-20-2013, 06:05 AM   #1
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Default Help - under carbed my bottles

I recently bottled 20 L of Ed Worts Haus Pale Ale and mistakenly under carbed the batch with the sugar before bottling.

I followed the Brewers Friend Carbing calculator and mistakenly allowed for the beer to be at !0 C (which it was at time of bottling) instead of the ± 24 C it will be bottle conditioning at.

It's been a week in the bottle now and I have not as yet tested it but .....

Will it carb up with probably less than half the carbing sugar it would have needed.

Or can I uncap each bottle and put in a small pinch of sugar then recap ?

Any help from the wise ones will be appreciated.

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Old 02-20-2013, 06:23 AM   #2
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Every carbing calculator I have seen wants to know what the temp of your beer is when you bottle it. Temperature determines how much CO2 the liquid is holding onto. The higher the temp, the less CO2 it can hold.

I also haven't found a calculator that I trust completely as they always seem to suggest too little sugar. I usually add in just a little more.

You CAN uncap, sugar and recap but you are playing with fire. If it isn't done perfectly, you can be in a lot worse position than you started. I would let one go 3 weeks, refrigerate for a week, and give it a try before you mess with anything.

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:51 PM   #3
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Thanks Bleme

But herein lines the rub. I made those brews for my wedding which is in a weeks time !!!

May just have to buy beer now.

But are you saying that i was correct to only add sugar required for 10 C (50 F) because that was the temp it was bottled at. Now it's at about 23 C (74 F) and has been sitting at that for about 9 days.

I'm a bit confused. I'll try a bottle tonight and see what state it's in.

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Old 02-20-2013, 01:57 PM   #4
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Correct. 10C was the correct number to enter in the calculator.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:02 PM   #5
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The way to figure priming sugar on a calculator is to enter the highest temp that the beer has achieved post fermentation. This is because the calculator needs to account for how much CO2 is already in solution.

As temp rises, CO2 comes out of solution and leaves via your airlock. If you cold crash, no more CO2 goes into solution, since no new CO2 is being produced.

OP, if you entered 10C as your temp, but your beer had been sitting at 24C, then yes... you undercarbed it but not by a drastic amount. By my calculations, you put in approximately 78% of the sugar that you should have to reach a given carb level. So, if you wre shooting for 2.5 volumes, you'll end up with aabout 1.96. Undercarbed, yes, but not the end of the world (not like you ended up with a cask ale level of .7 volumes or similar).

This may be slightly compounded by the fact that you aren't allowing a full three weeks for it to carb up, but your slightly higher temp sould help that some.

Regardless, there's really nothing to do now, especially with your timeframe (no time to uncap, add sugar, etc). Just let it ride.

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleme View Post
Correct. 10C was the correct number to enter in the calculator.
Actually, no. See my explanation. Don't enter bottling temp, enter the highest temp achieved post fermentation.

This is one of the most commonly misunderstood pieces of data in homebrewing.

Bleme, this is the very reason why every calculator seems to ask for too little sugar - it's not the math, it's user error.
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Check out the priming sugar calculator and the beer calorie calculator.

Fermenting: nothing
Lagering: Swarthy Satyr (traditional bock)
Bottled: Royal Goblin (Hoppy Hobgoblin rendition), Treasure Type "T" (oatmeal toffee stout), Enchantress (big Irish red ale), Frostfire (Oktoberfest), Thundersmoke brown ale

Last edited by homebrewdad; 02-20-2013 at 02:07 PM. Reason: misread bleme's issues, though my point is still valid
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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If you figure out how much sugar you would need to add to the total batch and then divide that number by the total amount of OZ you have in your batch and the multiply by 12 (assuming you are using 12 oz bottles). That is how much you will need to weigh out for each bottle.

You could uncap and add that to each bottle. If you are consuming it in a week I wouldn't be worried too much about infections or oxidation as it's not enough time for anything to get going.

I would try it tonight but a week in the bottle probably isn't really enough time for it to be an accurate measurement of how it will be.

How many volumes of CO2 are you potentially under carbed?

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:08 PM   #8
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I never use those priming calculators! I hate them for the reason mentioned- "temperature", plus it has you carb "to style". According to some calculators, stout would be at 1.3 volumes- in other words, flat.

A nice standard 1 ounce by weight per gallon of corn sugar is perfect in nearly all cases, but ..75 ounce per gallon could be used for a lower carb level if desired.

How much sugar did you actually use? And how many gallons?

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Old 02-20-2013, 02:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopper5000 View Post
If you figure out how much sugar you would need to add to the total batch and then divide that number by the total amount of OZ you have in your batch and the multiply by 12 (assuming you are using 12 oz bottles). That is how much you will need to weigh out for each bottle.

You could uncap and add that to each bottle. If you are consuming it in a week I wouldn't be worried too much about infections or oxidation as it's not enough time for anything to get going.

I would try it tonight but a week in the bottle probably isn't really enough time for it to be an accurate measurement of how it will be.

How many volumes of CO2 are you potentially under carbed?
Except, how do you figure out how much CO2 is lst when you uncap, and how much remains in suspension? Sounds like we are in WAG territory now, with only a week to go for carbing. No way those bottles aren't flat for the wedding if you try to open and add sugar.
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Check out the priming sugar calculator and the beer calorie calculator.

Fermenting: nothing
Lagering: Swarthy Satyr (traditional bock)
Bottled: Royal Goblin (Hoppy Hobgoblin rendition), Treasure Type "T" (oatmeal toffee stout), Enchantress (big Irish red ale), Frostfire (Oktoberfest), Thundersmoke brown ale
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:25 PM   #10
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I don't disagree with you homebrewdad. I've done this one time and it worked but it was a belgian that I accidentially under sugared by 1 whole volume of C02 so I wasn't concerned much about would escape by uncapping. It work out well in my situation.

I also agree that he's probably at about 2 volumes of C02 instead of 2.5 which is still a perfectly fine level of carbonation and most people probably wouldn't notice a difference.

I think this is a RDWHAHB situation... however he could always buy more beer just in case ....it's a wedding after all.

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