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Old 02-27-2011, 01:42 AM   #1
Donnie1980
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Default Flat beer in bottles

I've made a few home batches of beer and have noticed that the beer in the recyclable 12 oz bottles that I fill are usually not completely flat but not completely fizzy per the norm. I also have a small collection of Fischer beer swing top bottles that I fill and they always come out completely carbonated. I use 3/4 to 1 cup of priming sugar for a 5 gal batch. I have even gone as far as measuring out the priming sugar per bottle (on the smaller test batches, not the full batches) and have the same issues with this.
I have assumed that the capping process is quite simple but this has completely stumped me. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I have 4 full batches of home brewed beer in the fridge that is questionable and would like to fix the issue before my next one. Unfortunately, kegging isn't an option right now for me.

Thanks everyone.

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Old 02-27-2011, 01:46 AM   #2
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What you haven't told me is the time and temp of your carbing...those are the two most important factors,followed by gravity.

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."

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Old 02-27-2011, 01:52 AM   #3
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How long after bottling do you wait to open your first bottle? 3/4 c of priming sugar should work fine for a five gallon batch.

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Old 02-27-2011, 01:59 AM   #4
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Should have included that sorry. Typically I wait 3 weeks and keep the beer in my wine cellar which stays around 68-72 degrees. Seems like I have been rushing these, I'll hold off putting the two batches I have in this room for a few weeks and check again. Thanks for the help.

DMc

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Old 02-27-2011, 02:02 AM   #5
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.

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.
Ah, not really. The minimum would be about a week after which time you could crack open a bottle and check carbonation. It will keep on conditionning afterwards but carbonation should be evident after 7 days no problem.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:19 AM   #6
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Ah, not really. The minimum would be about a week after which time you could crack open a bottle and check carbonation. It will keep on conditionning afterwards but carbonation should be evident after 7 days no problem.
You maybe, but quite a lot of us on here, especially those of us who answer this question 20-30 (or more) times a day, AND track the results with follow up posts beg to differ with you. 99.5% of the folks posting asking this very question are coming in here openning their beers between one and three weeks, and then start an "My Beer's Not Carbed" thread...and then USUALLY when there beer's been at or over the three week mark (at 70 degrees) they come back and say thank you revvy....

Same as my experience. YMMV....But you would be in the MINORITY based on experience around here.

To me "checking carbonation" to find your beer is not carbed or is green,early, is a waste of a beer that would have been drinkable...

If it works for you, fine....it's your beer. But a guy USUALLY coming in with a carbonation issue on here, is under three weeks, a higher grav beer, OR was under 70 degree for most if not all of the times.

If you want I can do a quick search of this topic and show you the post three week followup by the original posters.

*shrug*
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:23 AM   #7
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Should have included that sorry. Typically I wait 3 weeks and keep the beer in my wine cellar which stays around 68-72 degrees. Seems like I have been rushing these, I'll hold off putting the two batches I have in this room for a few weeks and check again. Thanks for the help.

DMc
It won't hurt to agitate them to kick up the yeast and make sure the temp in the cellar is as CONSISTANTLY above 70 as you believe. I've found that even a few degrees lower can affect the carb time on beers. It may be a couple of degrees to you and me, BUT it's probably a big enough appearing swing to the little yeasty buggers.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:32 AM   #8
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To me "checking carbonation" to find your beer is not carbed or is green,early, is a waste of a beer that would have been drinkable...
I agree to an extent, but I also think its a worthwhile exercise to on one or two batches sample it as it is carbing to get an understanding of how time helps the greeness go away.
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:49 AM   #9
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I agree to an extent, but I also think its a worthwhile exercise to on one or two batches sample it as it is carbing to get an understanding of how time helps the greeness go away.
It's people's beers if that floats your boat, have fun. I just never had gleaned anything substantive from that. Despite the rationalization that many new brewer say is for 'educational purposes' I find there's very little to be gleaned tasting a beer at 1 week, and again at 2....that to me just means there 2 less beers that are actually tasting good and are ready at the end. I don't buy budweiser because I don't like to taste "bad" beer. So why would I drink my own beer when it was "bad" especially since I know it's going to be delicious a few weeks later.

It's a great rationalization, and I hear it every time I make my assertion. But the thing to remember is that since every beer is different that 5 day old Ipa you may have decided to crack open is not going to taste anything like that 5 day old brown ale you opened early in your next batch. They're two different animals. There are so many tiny variations in things like ambient temp at fermentation and carbonation, pitch count phases of the moon, that even if you brewed your same batch again and cracked a bottle at the exact same early time on the previous batch, the beer, if you could remember how it tasted, more than likely wouldn't taste the same at that phase....Heck even in the same batch if you had grabbed a different bottle it may seem carbed or tasting differently at that point.

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. 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. 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. They are all going to come to tempo when their time is right...not a minute before, and then at some point they all will be done.


So you're not, to me learning anything special from it. But It's your beer, but there's not gonna be anything right or wrong at that point, except that you're out a beer that 2-3 weeks later you're gonna post something like"Sigh, they always say that last beer of the batch is the best, now if only I hadn't "sampled for educational purposes" all those weeks back I could be having another on of these delicious beers."
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:56 AM   #10
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I keg almost exclusively and found that tasting carbed 'green' beer vs. beer that is good to go on two batches was enough to make it worth while waiting (and why I don't use the 30 PSI to force carb quickly method).

I guess my viewpoint is unless someone tastes what green beer tastes like vs what beer that is in it's prime tastes like a few times, it's enough real world evidence to make them wait it out. Without having personal experience of green vs good beer, its touch to rationalize waiting on drinking it.

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