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Old 12-12-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
h4mmy86
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Default ...another flat beer thread

Hey guys, I brewed Northern Brewer's Dawson's Multigrain Red Ale AGK on 10/17, left it in the primary on the yeast cake until 11/8 when I bottled.

OG: 1.044
FG: 1.010

...this is right before I later found my hydrometer to be a little out of whack so these numbers may vary slightly. Subtract .002 at the most

Now to get this out of the way; Yes, I am sure I primed.

I used about 3.3 oz table sugar to carbonate at about 2.3 vols (according to Beersmith).

I gave the beer about 2 weeks before I popped the first top, this being a rather light session beer, I expected it to be ready.

I pop the top, hear a very weak little *pfft* and pour a glass of dead flat brew.

A week or so later, try again, same thing. At best I've had a couple bottles that form a thin wimpy head on top of still very flat beer when poured straight down the middle of the glass.

So I take my bottles, shake them around a bit to get the yeast back in suspension, set them upside down for about 30 minutes, and slosh some more before finally setting them back upright in a warmer spot. (Prolly 72*ish)

Now, they have been setting in the warmer spot for a week or so and are still the same.

What should I do??

Now, there is one thing I did differently with this brew than normal. I used nearly 100% RO water. Do you think that the yeast are so starved for nutrient that they were exhausted fermenting this little session beer??

I did use a 2 quart yeast starter, no yeast nutrient added.

I really don't wanna waste this beer, it has so much potential to be a great brew!!

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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How did you add the table sugar? I've had some bottles with almost no carbonation and others with super high carbonation because when I poured my sugar solution I didnt gently stir. Maybe try opening some other bottles and see how they are.

If you're dedicated you could open them and use priming tabs and re-cap them.

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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According to my calculations you should have used about 3.7-3.8 oz of table sugar to get to 2.3 volumes of CO2 so it appears you were a little light even though this was a session beer and assuming this was a full 5 gallons of finished beer.

That being said, 2 weeks is definitely not long enough and it appears as though you had the bottles originally in a location colder than 70F. Unfortunately you need to consider those initial weeks as lost time and start counting over again from the time you moved them to at least 70F.

3 weeks at 70 is the recommended MINIMUM amount of time to fully carbonate and condition a bottle of beer and since it appears you were a little light on the sugar it may take longer. Leave the bottles alone for another couple weeks and then check one, they WILL carbonate for you.......eventually

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:29 PM   #4
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I added the solution to the bottling bucket, and siphoned my beer onto it with my hose laying on the bottom in such a way that it creates a sort of whirlpool effect.

I never stir in my priming solution, this has always worked just fine before.

The first few bottles I opened, I know for fact to be the last ones filled so I don't think a bad mix is the problem.

...priming tabs are pretty much just sugar, right?

I've heard of people adding single flakes of dry yeast to each bottle with success (if the yeast had settled out too much, but again, I don't think so)

How much sugar is equivalent to a priming tab, give or take?

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h4mmy86 View Post
I added the solution to the bottling bucket, and siphoned my beer onto it with my hose laying on the bottom in such a way that it creates a sort of whirlpool effect.

I never stir in my priming solution, this has always worked just fine before.

The first few bottles I opened, I know for fact to be the last ones filled so I don't think a bad mix is the problem.

...priming tabs are pretty much just sugar, right?

I've heard of people adding single flakes of dry yeast to each bottle with success (if the yeast had settled out too much, but again, I don't think so)

How much sugar is equivalent to a priming tab, give or take?
IMVHO you need to be patient. If you start uncapping and re-priming an already primed beer you will then suffer the consequences of having OVER carbonated beer and possible gushers. Just be patient as I already mentioned in my last post.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:41 PM   #6
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Yeah, they sat for the first few weeks in a slightly cooler than ideal environment, but the part that really confuses me is that they sat in a stack of cases with another batch, bottled a few days later that carbonated just fine.

...so I just noticed that beersmith doesn't change the amount of sugar needed when I change my final bottling volume. ...strange

Might just be miscalculation to blame!

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:56 PM   #7
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I've never had bottles take more than 2 weeks at room temp (62-68 in my house) to at least have some sort of carb. I still think you should take a bottle from somewhere random in the cases and see how carbed they are. The sugar must have gone somewhere.

I used to do the same thing trying to whirlpool with the hose on bottom and I got unbalanced carb. I always take my racking cane and gently stir so I dont oxidize it but still get the sugar into solution the best i can.

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:03 PM   #8
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So I now realize that Beersmith goes by it's estimated bottling volume, not your measured volume, and I actually carbonated closer to 2.1 vols

I guess I"m gonna wait this out a couple weeks and report back unless anyone has any further advice.

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:59 PM   #9
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Maybe upcap a solitary bottle, add a pinch of dry yeast and recap. Check on it in a week or two?

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