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Old 05-16-2011, 09:31 PM   #1
isaacandreas
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Default Brew won't carbonate! not enough priming sugar?

Okay so I've been dealing with this english bitter for quite a while now, and would love to be drinking one right now.
Backstory...
I made a five gallon batch of Coopers english bitter ale, and added an extra gallon of water for the heck of it. It called for the can of stuff plus 2.2 lbs of dextrose, so due to the extra gallon of water I put an extra .4 lbs of dextrose. Everything seemed fine, fermentation went well, two weeks in the primary and then went a week in the secondary. My carboy was only five gallons so I made a 8 pack with the extra, and guessed about three teaspoons of sugar for the leftover bit for just those 8. I did not put any sugar into my secondary (not sure if I was supposed to) I just siphoned it into the carboy and capped it off with an airlock. I let that sit for another week before i bottled. my wife somehow misplaced my bag of premeasured priming sugar I purchased from my brewsite, and I searched high and low to no avail. I ended up doing research online and ended up with 2/3 cup of cane table sugar (I didn't have a scale) for the five gallon batch, so I put that in the bottum of my bottling bucket and siphoned from secondary into there. Than I bottled!

So its been 16 days now, and my beer is as flat as can be. I opened a few periodically and they are just not carbonated in the slightest.
After giving it some thought I realized that the bag of priming sugar that came in that bag was like eight times the 2/3 cup I put in, and in no way does that seem right to me, but this is only my second batch so I cannot be sure.
I do not want to purchase carbonation tablets because I purchased a scale yesterday. So What I am interested in finding out is where do I go from here?

I was going to open them all, calculate how much cane sugar per 12oz bottle, (about 12 22oz as well) and just drop in the amount of sugar and re-cap and wait another two weeks. Although, should I covor each bottle with foil and let it sit for a few days to make sure any remaining sugar is finished? Was I supposed to put sugar in my secondary to keep the yeast feeding and alive? is there a chance that all the yeast that would carbonate was washed down the drain with the muck at the bottum of the primary and secondary???
Please give me suggestions

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:35 PM   #2
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Also forgot to mention that I drank that sneak peak 8 pack that I made as the rest went into the secondary the day before I bottled the rest, and after 6-7 days of fermenting it was a little overcarbonated but overall absolutely delicious and got me very drunk. So I can assume that my problem lies AFTER I put it into the secondary. I'm mainly just worried that there is no yeast left and adding more sugar won't do anything because no yeast to do its job.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:36 PM   #3
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Prior to bottling did you make sure the sugar was blended with the beer evenly?

Give each bottle a gentle swirl to get the yeast off the bottom and then make sure they're in a warm room for a few days. If you have an area that is usually in the mid-70's put them there for a week or so. Then test another bottle.

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Old 05-16-2011, 09:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaacandreas View Post
I'm mainly just worried that there is no yeast left and adding more sugar won't do anything because no yeast to do its job.
It sounds like you had a total of three weeks in a fermenter. You had plenty of yeast available in suspension as long as you didn't do a cold-crash.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryalan View Post
Prior to bottling did you make sure the sugar was blended with the beer evenly?
+1...

Your description makes it sound like you dumped your 2/3 cup sugar into the bottom of your bottling bucket and then racked beer on top? And you didn't [gently] stir it up to make sure the sugar dissolved? If so, then what you likely have is the first ~80% of your bottles with no priming sugar, so they are flat. The rest will have way too much sugar and may turn into bottle bombs, so be careful!

If you have a way to determine which were bottled later in the process, open one of those and if it gushes that might confirm my theory here.
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:03 PM   #6
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Yes three weeks in fermentation. There is no sediment in the bottom of the bottles its crystal clear. I used my plastic brew spoon to stir up the entire batch before bottling. They have been sitting in a 70f room temp for just over two weeks now. And the brew has been at least above 65f through the entire process. Does 2/3 cup cane sugar sound right for a 5 gallon batch for carbonating?

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Old 05-16-2011, 10:07 PM   #7
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Did you boil some water to dissolve the sugar before you put it in the bottling bucket? If not then that was your problem. Refer to post above.

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Old 05-16-2011, 10:09 PM   #8
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Yes I put the cane sugar into four cups of boiling water before putting it in the bottum of the bottling bucket.

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Old 05-16-2011, 10:16 PM   #9
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I know I filled the 22oz'ers first, so I just opened them all and they are all flat.
No sediment on the bottum of the bottles.

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Old 05-16-2011, 10:21 PM   #10
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Strange. I usually have sediment within 2 days of bottling. Either no sugar or no yeast?

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