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Old 10-03-2011, 07:36 PM   #1
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Default Another "Inconsistent Carbonation" thread

Hello all,
I have a batch of hefeweizen that, after three weeks of bottle conditioning, has some bottles carbed up and some flat. I've done a brief search about inconsistent carbonation and I know that my problem was that my priming sugar was not evenly distributed throughout my batch before bottling.

My question is, is there anything I can do about it now? I'm open to any suggestions. Flat hefe isn't so good...

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:39 PM   #2
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You could open them and add sugar, don't ask me how much - I'm a kegger for life.

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:42 PM   #3
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I believe the "sugar didn't mix properly" idea is a bunch of hooey. I subscribe to the notion that two tiny cups worth of priming solution dissolves itself just fine without the need to stir when placed in the bottling bucket and the 5 gallons of beer is racked on top. When the 5 gallons starts swirling and lifting up the bucket it mixes itself just fine. And that inconsistent carbonation is merely impatience. Some folks feel the need to stir, if it makes them happy fine. But I'm more concerned about oxygentation and possible infection risk....And my experience has been that the sugar solution mixes itself fine on it's own.

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.


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.

Give it a couple weeks and I betcha they will be carbed just fine. Each one is it's own little microcosm, and although generally the should come up at the same time, it's not an automatic switch, and they all pop on.

But they all will pop on when the time is right.

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
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1. 3 weeks at 70F then sample. If this hasn't been tried, then give it all more time.

2. IF it were consistant, I'd say swirl the bottles to rouse the yeast then after another week, open and add a 'pinch' of sugar. Lastly after yet more time, I'd say to open and and a pinch of fresh yeast to each.

But since some are flat, and some aren't I guess you could try that on a bottle by bottle basis, open, pour off a sample, try. If good drink, if not, put a bit of sugar in and close back up and wait 3 weeks. I don't know how much sugar off hand. I think a 12 oz bottle takes 3/4 tsp of cane sugar, but I'm not possitive.

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samc View Post
You could open them and add sugar, don't ask me how much - I'm a kegger for life.
You run the risk of bottle bombs....if the residual sugar hasn't fermented out yet, which is what usually is the case in these situations, NOT that sugar is improperly mixed, then adding more sugar will add more co2 in the bottles then the bottles will be able to hold once the beer ACTUALLY carbs up, and your bottles go boom.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
You run the risk of bottle bombs....if the residual sugar hasn't fermented out yet, which is what usually is the case in these situations, NOT that sugar is improperly mixed, then adding more sugar will add more co2 in the bottles then the bottles will be able to hold once the beer ACTUALLY carbs up, and your bottles go boom.
That's why I said don't ask me how much. I'd think that when he opened the bottles, the built up CO2 pressure, if any would release and then he'd be starting from scratch. The ?? is why some would be fully carbed and others flat, if it wasn't the sugar mix issue.

When I did bottle and the rare bottle or two I do now, I use Carb drops to eliminate these problems.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:04 PM   #7
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The ?? is why some would be fully carbed and others flat, if it wasn't the sugar mix issue.
Each one is it's own little microcosm, it's own little separate fermenter, and although generally the should come up at the same time, it's not an automatic switch, and they all pop on.

A tiny difference in temps between bottles in storage can affect the yeasties, speed them up or slow them down.

Like if you store them in a closet against a warm wall, the beers closest to the heat source may be a tad warmer than those further way, so thy may carb/condition at slightly different rates. Or those closest to an outside wall may take longer.

I usually store a batch in 2 seperate locations in my loft 1 case in my bedroom which is a little warmer, and the other in the closet in the lving room, which being in a larger space is a tad cooler, at least according to the thermostat next to that closet. It can be 5-10 degrees warmer in my bedroom. So I usually start with that case at three weeks. Giving the other half a little more time.

Bottom line, it's not that the sugar's not mixed, it's just that they all haven't come up to full carb yet....Three weeks is not the magic number for finality, it's the minimum time it takes....
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:13 PM   #8
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hi i need urgent help i bottled my first batch of coopers canadian last nite
when i was bottling it i added 10g priming sugar to the batch after spending all day yeatarday bottling this beer today i discover i should of added about 80g of priming sugar

can i just open dem up and add more sugar??
also if i can do this could i add it back to secondary and add some more malt to bring alcohol up slightly as i only hit 3.4% a.b.v. ???

as you can see this isnt a good start to my beer making

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Old 10-03-2011, 08:23 PM   #9
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You don't want to move fermented beer out of bottles and into another vessel, in order to do that your beer would be falling through air, and oxygen + beer = liquid cardboard.

Also the ABV of your cooper's kit for Canadian is 4.5% according to coopers. I don't know where you got your info, I wouldn't worry about that.

The issue is how to measure out and add the correct amount of sugar without over priming. I would get some coopers carbonation drop and add the minimimum amount recommended to each bottle and re-cap.

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Old 10-03-2011, 08:30 PM   #10
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to get the a.b.v. i used the hydrometer maybe im reading it wrong.

thanks for your help ill get them drops a.s.a.p. and add them

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