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Old 04-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
1KD1
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Default Screwed up priming

3 weeks ago I bottled an Irish red extract kit. It was my first 5gal batch. I don't remember which calculator I used but I checked my notes and it appears I only added 2.2oz of corn sugar. (brewer's best priming sugar).

I tasted one this past weekend and it was nearly flat. I am assuming that there was an operator error when finding that calculation and I am new enough to have not noticed that was a small amount for a 5 gal batch.

Anyway, do I have to drink nearly flat beer or can I just open the bottles and add a small amount of cane sugar? Then recondition a few more weeks? Or just let them sit until I get kegging supplies and dump them in a keg to force carb? (hope to be kegging by midsummer)

Now, that I proof read this, I realize that I know my options, just not sure which would be my best attempt to fix this beer.

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Old 04-03-2012, 03:08 PM   #2
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I would just let them sit and wait until the midsummer option. Truthfully they might get carbonated before then anyways so it could be problem solved. Also being an Irish Red, it won't go bad within that amount of time.

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Old 04-03-2012, 03:43 PM   #3
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Try putting it in the warmest part of your house for a couple of weeks and try another one.

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Old 04-03-2012, 05:29 PM   #4
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From what I can tell you're only getting about 1.7 volumes of CO2 in that beer, which is going to seem pretty flat. They aren't going to carb up any/much more than they have already assuming they are at a good carbing temp already.

I had a similar issue a while back with a belgian dubbel. I targeted 1.7 volumes of CO2 only to find out that I really don't like that little carb in my beers so I experimented quite a bit with recarbing options.

What you do NOT want to do is open them and simply pour some sugar in - they will foam up immediately and you'll lose 90% of the beer in the bottle. Trust me

After trying a few options, what I was able to do was take some sugar - you'll have to somewhat guess at the right amount - and boil it in as little water as possible. Then cool it just like you would for normal batch priming. Then, open each bottle one by one and use something like an eye-dropper to add the solution to the bottle and re-cap. Simply mixing the sugar in water doesn't work - it needs to be boiled (but just for a minute).

Or - you can wait and keg as you mentioned.
Good luck.

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Old 04-03-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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That's interesting. Thanks for sharing the tip. I'm actually low on bottle caps right now but I might try that method with a few of them.

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Old 04-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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You might be able to just open them up, drop a Cooper's carbonation drop in each one, and re-cap.
http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/b...ion-drops.html

Of course, if you're partially carbonated already, then the additional drop might be too much. I'm guessing one drop in each bottle is roughly equivalent to about 4 oz of corn sugar in a 5 gallon batch. So you'd be ending up on the slightly overcarbed side, probably around 3 volumes of CO2. That's not enough to make bottle bombs, but it might be a bit too fizzy for the style.

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Old 04-04-2012, 01:45 PM   #7
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I would rather be over carbed in regards to style. I'll have to make a run to the LHBS and see if they carry that stuff. How long should I let the drops work before tasting?

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:12 PM   #8
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I always try to wait at least 2 weeks at 70° F. Longer if it's in a colder area.

Now that I think about it, you could also just weigh out the appropriate amount of dextrose that you think was "missing" (perhaps 2 oz.), then make a solution with say 1 mL of water for each bottle in the batch. Do the boil and cool routine, then use a sanitized syringe, pipette, etc. to dispense 1 mL of the solution in each bottle.

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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Thanks for the ideas. Sounds like it is still salvageable (unless I screw up) :-)

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Old 04-04-2012, 03:53 PM   #10
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Along the same lines (not trying to hijack) I have a mega gravity belgian that doesnt want to carb up after a month in the bottle. Would the carb drops work in that situation where it might not be a priming sugar deficiency?

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