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Old 11-19-2010, 01:36 AM   #1
tele_powder
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Default HELP! Force carbonated then bottled but still to low

Ok here is my drama... I made an oatmeal stout a few weeks back, 2 weeks in primary then straight to keg. Let it sit in keg for a week at 45 degrees and then hooked up to the CO2 tank and force carbonated (or so I thought) at 13 psi and shook it for a couple minutes. A couple days later I set up the Blichmann beer gun and bottled it up. Problem is I did not hit my 1.8 carbonation level, its pretty much flat from the couple bottles I opened. Do I add some DME, if so how much, or add some dry yeast to each bottle to save this great tasting but poorly carbonated beer? Thanks in advance.

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Old 11-19-2010, 03:32 AM   #2
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how many bottles did you fill? when force carbing, you normally set it at like 30 psi, shake a few minutes, maybe leave it at 30 overnight, then set it to serving pressure and in a day or so, it's usually good to go (all depends on how much you shake it at first, which is hard to quantify). you might consider using some of those carb tabs or just a sugar solution, i'm not really sure how much you would need per bottle though... also hard to say about how much yeast to add and if you even need it. if it was only in primary for 2 weeks and only at 45 for the week in the fridge, you might have enough in suspension to carb it more with the addition of sugar. is it a little cloudy still? what yeast strain did you use?

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Old 11-19-2010, 04:35 AM   #3
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You could add some DME to each bottle, you would have to do some math depending on how many bottles you have. The risk of contamination and work uncapping and recapping all the bottles without making a big mess would not be worth it in my opinion. Stout is about the best beer you can drink with a low carbonation level. I force carbonate all my beers and generally carb at 30 psi for two days with the beer cold (35-40degrees). If you want to speed up the process you can shake and or put a little higher pressure on up to about 50psi(corny's are rated at 60PSI). Before you bottle take a sample at serving temp like 30-40 degrees to ensure it has the carbonation level you are looking for. The higher the temperature the more carbonated a beer may seem, but when you cool it down the CO2 does not release as fast. At colder temp it may seem less carbonate. I hope this helps and please don't throw out the beer if it tastes good, stouts are still drinkable with low carbonation.

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Old 11-19-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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Everyone messes up every now and then, you carbonated at too low a pressure for too short a time frame with too high a temp or too little time allowed given the pressure and temp. Additionally shaking the brew does speed up the carbonation process slightly but shaking a brew that has only been in a primary and a secondary puts the trub and dead yeast back into suspension.

You could always gently pour the bottles back into the corny and recarbonate.

My advise would be to chalk it up to experience and move on.

I won't rehash the advise already given but here's a couple of other tips.

Chill the bottles to the same temp as the beer before filling. I generally lose some of the carbonation when filling bottles so I try to: have the beer with a higher carbonation level than I want the finished product to have, and I fill the bottles as full as I can get them to prevent as much loss of carbonation as possible in the head space left in the bottle

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Old 11-19-2010, 03:26 PM   #5
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Sadly, I bottled the whole 5 gallons. I guess I did not shake well enough, or my regulator is reading the wrong pressure. Plus the bottles were warm from the dishwasher still when i bottled so maybe this is some of my problem. I am going with option 1 though and my lack of shaking. Normally I force carbonate at about 60 degrees and 25 psi for my PA and IPA. BYO said to force carbonate when cold so I thought I would try it. Why would you want to force carbonate cold versus at room temp anyone know? I am going to try 1/2 of the recommended dose of the carb tablets in a 6 pack and wait two weeks. If that works i will try some more...

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Old 11-19-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tele_powder View Post
Why would you want to force carbonate cold versus at room temp anyone know?
The colder the beer the faster it carbonates. Next time pour yourself a glass and taste it before bottling.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
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yeah, a colder liquid allows more gas to be dissolved into it.

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Old 11-19-2010, 06:07 PM   #8
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Sorry if this is a bit "hijack-ish", but I've never heard people bottling from a carbonated keg. Do people do this often?

I've been looking for a way to bottle a 6 pack of my brew (to travel with), but I didn't want to mess with the whole bottling system when I can keg so easily. I never thought to bottle a few from the carbonated keg.

Thanks for the thread. I'm curious to hear any other issues that come up from bottling from a force carb keg.

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Old 11-19-2010, 06:13 PM   #9
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It works perfectly but the big benefit of bottling off the keg is that you can put extremely clear, accurately carbonated beer into the bottle. This rush method defeats both of those purposes. Shaking a keg at 13psi for a few minutes is worth probably 1.1 volumes at best. It would probably work if you were able to put it into a giant paint shaker and left it running for 8 hours.

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Old 11-19-2010, 06:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyLoon View Post
Sorry if this is a bit "hijack-ish", but I've never heard people bottling from a carbonated keg. Do people do this often?

I've been looking for a way to bottle a 6 pack of my brew (to travel with), but I didn't want to mess with the whole bottling system when I can keg so easily. I never thought to bottle a few from the carbonated keg.

Thanks for the thread. I'm curious to hear any other issues that come up from bottling from a force carb keg.
This is how most commercial breweries do it. force carbed in a huge tank, then the bottles are filled and capped.

at home, just get the keg carbed, dial down the psi, pre-chill the bottles, then jam a bottling wand into a picnic tap, and fill the bottles real slow.

they'll be a little less carb'd than the keg usually, which you could always slightly overcarb the keg if you needed to.

lots cheaper than a beer gun.
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