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Old 10-26-2006, 09:14 PM   #1
HeavierFrag
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Default Carbonation Oddity

Hey all,

Chronology of a recent batch -

Fat Tire Clone OG 1.052
1wk primary SG 1.013
3 wk secondary (missed a week with a trip)
Bottled (primed the batch with dextrose 3/4 cup to 5 gal beer)
3 wk conditioning

Ok... so I chilled a few and the beer was flat. (Bad deal with buddies over. ) Thought perhaps I had a run of incompetence in the highly technical bottling process so I grabbed a few others and checked the cap seal - no problem. I had a good sediment on all bottles.

So, I shook the bottles and left them for 4 days and tried one last night. Good carbonation and now it tastes like green beer. What gives? Any expert opinions?

Thanks in advance,
Heavy

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Old 10-27-2006, 12:09 AM   #2
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Im my experiance homebrew always benifits from some age. I know you want to drink it but you will really be suprised what a month of aging will do! I would also invert all of your aging bottles a couple of times to re suspend the yeast.

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Old 10-27-2006, 01:11 AM   #3
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I certainly agree in patience while aging. I still sample every 3 days after 3 weeks conditioning for first time recipes.

Yet, perhaps I didn't articulate what happened with this brew effectively. Three weeks after bottling, the beer had no noticable carbonation. After resuspending the yeast, (shaken like a polaroid....nevermind) the carbonation appears to be normal.

The only abnormalities from the Modus Operandi are 1) I didn't add nutrient to the yeast (though primary fermentation was vigorous and fast) and 2) I left it in the secondary for three weeks.

I wonder what could have caused this and if anyone else has had similar experiences.

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Old 10-27-2006, 01:21 AM   #4
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how did you add the bottling sugar? I like to add it while I'm siphoning to the bottling bucket to make sure it gets mixed in evenly. If you just dump it in at the end, it may not evenly distribute and each bottle can end up with a different amount of sugar.

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Old 10-27-2006, 03:09 AM   #5
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Good point. I add the priming sugar in a slow pour while transfering from the secondary to mix thoroughly. I really can't think of anything other than the two options I mentioned other than lazy yeast that need a little slapping around.

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Old 10-27-2006, 03:25 PM   #6
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When adding priming sugar, I like to boil a cup of water, dissolve the sugar into it, boil for 5-10 minutes, then pour that mixture into the beer. If you are adding dry priming sugar to your beer, that might be the problem because it takes a while for that sugar to dissolve into beer that's already laden with dissolved "stuff."

Even when you add a priming sugar mixture, the beer should still be stirred IMO. Gently stir the beer with a well sanitized spoon. You don't want to splash or aeriate the mixture, but you want to make sure that its well mixed. My carbonation has been very consistant since using this method.

Good luck!

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Old 10-27-2006, 04:05 PM   #7
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What temp was the beer sitting at during the three weeks you conditioned it, initially?

Skol!

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Old 10-27-2006, 09:18 PM   #8
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I boil the sugar and water and cool to room temp while preparing to bottle. I pour the syrup into the stream of the siphon. I allow both flows to impact the wall of the carboy so they mix without aerating.

Ambient temp is 70F.

I guess this is just one of those things I should just say "Oh well" and move on.

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Old 10-27-2006, 09:28 PM   #9
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You suffered stuck priming fermentation. Once you shook the bottles the yeast went back into suspension and started working again and it carbed the beer.

My experience is that the yeast will take off without shaking the bottles but it may take up to 8 weeks if the priming fermentation sticks....it will restart eventually.

I used to(I quit bottling and only keg now) shake my bottles for the first few days to make sure the priming fermentation did not stick.

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Old 10-27-2006, 09:53 PM   #10
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I had this same exact problem with a bitter I did. Bottle fermentation stuck and it took forever to carb. I started shaking each bottle a little every day, and the carbonation took off and completed a week or so later.

I agree with dougjones on this one as to the cause and solution.

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