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Old 09-14-2009, 04:02 AM   #1
jescholler
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Default No Secondary, Quicker Bottle Carbonation

I've done a secondary for all of my beers but 1 so far. All have been bottle carbonated. With the batch that I did not do a secondary on, I noticed that it carbed very quickly (about 1 week). I do need to note that I carbonated that one to 3.9 volumes though.

Some of my beers that I have done a secondary on have taken over 4 weeks to carbonate.

For those of you who have done both with and without a secondary (and you bottle carbonate), have you noticed a similar trend in time to carbonate?

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Old 09-14-2009, 01:37 PM   #2
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I've had this issue. I assume it's because when you leave beer in secondary, most of the yeast drops out of suspension. Helps with a clear beer, but sucks for carbonating.

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Old 09-15-2009, 05:29 PM   #3
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I tend to use high-floccing yeast, so I have to make sure that the beer doesn't sit too long for bottle conditioning. I gauge the amount of time the beer sits in primary/secondary by how long I intend to keep the bottled beer. A beer that has delicate flavors that will oxidize quickly needs to carb quickly, or the beer won't be at its best when I put it in the fridge. Likewise, an RIS will need extended aging, which yeast doesn't take all that well, so I make sure most of the yeast has dropped out before bottle conditioning.

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Old 09-15-2009, 08:13 PM   #4
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I've noticed it with Hefeweizen - straight to bottles after a 2 week primary and they do carb up quicker because there's more yeast. There's also a lot more sediment, which is desirable in a hefe but other styles I'd rather not have. So it's usually worth the extra carb time for me to have less sediment.

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Old 09-15-2009, 08:30 PM   #5
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I bottle my hefe after 8 days and it's carbed within 5.

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Old 09-15-2009, 09:13 PM   #6
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I bottle my hefe after 8 days and it's carbed within 5.
Wheats are a little different. Since they all have yeast in suspension, they tend to carb a bit faster and go bad a little sooner.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
I've done a secondary for all of my beers but 1 so far. All have been bottle carbonated. With the batch that I did not do a secondary on, I noticed that it carbed very quickly (about 1 week). I do need to note that I carbonated that one to 3.9 volumes though.

Some of my beers that I have done a secondary on have taken over 4 weeks to carbonate.

For those of you who have done both with and without a secondary (and you bottle carbonate), have you noticed a similar trend in time to carbonate?

How long did you leave it in the primary for?
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:00 PM   #8
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The hefe was in the primary for 24 days. I wasn't too concerned about keeping the yeast out of the bottle, so I let racking cane sit in the trub for a short period of time.

All else being equal, I'm sure the amount of yeast affects the carbonation time. Since you don't have the additional racking step, there's a tendency to have more yeast in the bottle if you only do a primary (I'm not 100% sure on this though). The batches (3) that have taken a long time for me have all been Wyeast 1056, but I don't have a large sample size.

I know the carbonation is affected by a lot of things, including temperature. I'm usually not consistent with that, but some of the beers that have taken a while to carbonate have been in the high 70s ambient for most of the time.

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Old 09-16-2009, 01:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
The hefe was in the primary for 24 days. I wasn't too concerned about keeping the yeast out of the bottle, so I let racking cane sit in the trub for a short period of time.

All else being equal, I'm sure the amount of yeast affects the carbonation time. Since you don't have the additional racking step, there's a tendency to have more yeast in the bottle if you only do a primary (I'm not 100% sure on this though). The batches (3) that have taken a long time for me have all been Wyeast 1056, but I don't have a large sample size.

I know the carbonation is affected by a lot of things, including temperature. I'm usually not consistent with that, but some of the beers that have taken a while to carbonate have been in the high 70s ambient for most of the time.
I can see that happening. Wyeast 1056 has always been a very fast working yeast for me. It'll get done in under 5-6 days and it clears shortly after that. I love that yeast.
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Old 09-16-2009, 02:18 AM   #10
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Maybe that's why my beers always bottle carb fast. I never do secondary, except for my RIS (had to transfer to open up another fermenter, didn't want to do secondary) which never carbed all the way.

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