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Old 12-06-2012, 04:14 PM   #1
Krid
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Default Repriming bottled beer...?

Fishing for some options here for some woefully under-carbonated beer.

Quick overview:

I did a partigyle brew to make 3 2.5 gallon batches, all English varieties. The web priming calculator I normally use recommended .3 oz to carbonate a 2.5 gallon batch to about 1 atmosphere (cask style Mild and an ESB). It seemed a bit low, even for 2.5 gallons, but I did it and it is too weakly carbonated.

So as for my options, I saw that you can get those carbonation tablets and just drop one in a bottle and then cap it up. Has anyone used these, and would it be crazy/would it work to open up all those beers, drop a sugar pellet in and then cap them all back up?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

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Old 12-06-2012, 04:26 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krid View Post
would it be crazy/would it work to open up all those beers, drop a sugar pellet in and then cap them all back up?
yes, it would be crazy
place all your beer bottles so they are resting on the cap (so the neck is facing down) and then let them sit that way for 3 days. After 3 days rotate them, so they are sitting back up right. Wait another 3 days, then open them up! It’s actually really simple. It seems to work also, what it’s doing is that if the yeast was weak or got lagged out, it is, “Waking it up again”.
from Jay's Brewing Blog.

I just did this to my under-carbed Belgian Ale and it worked great.
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Old 12-06-2012, 05:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip. I'll try it out and report back.

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Old 12-06-2012, 05:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrogNerd View Post
yes, it would be crazy
place all your beer bottles so they are resting on the cap (so the neck is facing down) and then let them sit that way for 3 days. After 3 days rotate them, so they are sitting back up right. Wait another 3 days, then open them up! It’s actually really simple. It seems to work also, what it’s doing is that if the yeast was weak or got lagged out, it is, “Waking it up again”.
This might work IF there is any unfermented sugar still in the beer.
If there isn't I don't see how stirring up the yeast will add to the carbonation ??

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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YMMV, but Derek does add some prerequisites:

  1. You added carbonation tabs or sugar to the beer before you bottled it.
  2. The beer sat for at least 2 weeks. If it hasn’t sat for 2 weeks let it sit another and see what happens.
  3. The beer was sitting at room temp for the whole time. By room temp I mean it needs to be sitting in the low 70s. If not, it will have to sit for a bit longer.
  4. You open the beer and there is barely anything or almost no head.

I was doubtful that it would work on mine, but it did.

& really, what's the worst that could happen? your beer stays under-carbed?
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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I don't see anything wrong with that other than the increased risk of contamination. I say grab a few and do it, see what happens.

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I don't see anything wrong with that other than the increased risk of contamination. I say grab a few and do it, see what happens.
i would say do a side-by-side: open up a few and re-prime plus turn a few upside-down for 3 days

all things being equal, why would you risk contamination? granted, it's a very very small risk, but why take it at all, if you don't have to?

plus the effort of uncapping, priming and recapping, not to mention the cost of the tablets + wasted caps.

try turning upside down for 3 days, less effort and costs nothing
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drinking: Maibock, DB8Point IPA Clone, Belgian Wit, Rain Delay IPA, Wojtkowiak Piwo, CLB's Barleywine, 8Hearted Pale Ale, O'Rob's Dry Irish Stout, DB8PT Session Ale, Wojtkowiak Grodziskie - bottle conditioning: Otto M. Gourd Pumpkin Barleywine, Jewel Thieves Apple Wine, CLB's Barleywine 1.2

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Old 12-06-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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Contamination may be a small risk, but oxidation won't be.

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Old 12-06-2012, 08:36 PM   #9
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The problem isn't the yeast are slow/inactive, the problem is the low amount of priming sugar. 1 volume of CO2 is pretty close to flat, as you now know.

Rousing the yeast won't help you in this case, I wouldn't waste time trying that. Open up, drop in a carb tab, re-cap. The carb tabs can take a while to dissolve, so make sure you give it a while before you get worried after that.

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Old 12-07-2012, 03:20 PM   #10
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All fair points. I'll try the bottle flip thing, and if that doesn't yield at least some improvement, I'll try the tablet route.

Thanks for all the feedback. If nothing else, I've learned I better consult multiple priming calculators in the future... and listen to my gut.

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