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Old 05-25-2005, 01:03 AM   #1
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Default Secondary and Bottling

Wondering if any body out there has had any problems with carbonation after using a secondary. I have done two beers in my secondary, and it turns out that i have two really flat beers coming out of it. I did the same thing as I normaly do add 3/4 cup of corn sugar to the bottling bucket before racking into it. And both beers sat for three weeks at the same temp they were fermented at and both came out close to flat a little hiss when opened but no bubbles when pour, no head, and tasted bad. Wondering if you need to add more sugar to the bucket before bottling because you got rid of more sugar in the secondary? Any one else have this problem?

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Old 05-25-2005, 01:38 AM   #2
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It sounds to me that you may have something wrong with your bottling process. By all rights, once you add the dextrose to the wort and seal it tight with the right amount of headspace it should carbonate fine. If it tasted bad that might point to either not getting a good seal with your caps or possibly dirty bottles/caps. Did you boil your caps and sanitize/rinse really well/dry completely your bottles? If you have any film left in the bottles it can change the taste and affect carbonation and it's ability to maintain a good head. Then again, it could be your bottles are not capping correctly. What bottles are you using?

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Old 05-25-2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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Are you using any clarifying agents in your secondary? I used polyclar in a batch once and got really flat beer. I have since learned that you should add a small amount of yeast when you bottle if you use this clarifying agent.

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Old 05-25-2005, 01:09 PM   #4
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how long before you opened the bottles?

let them condition in the bottle as long as you fermented in the secondary.

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Old 05-25-2005, 01:57 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by AlaskaAl(e)
Did you boil your caps and sanitize/rinse really well/dry completely your bottles?
Everything I have read says NOT to boil the caps because it can ruin the plastic seal in them. I have put mine in a sanitizing solution, but never boiled them.
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Old 05-25-2005, 02:13 PM   #6
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I usually just boil water, remove from heat, add 10-12 caps to the water, let sit for a minute then place the caps on the bottles. I also give the cap a little spin (like turning a dial knob) to make sure the cap gets seated properly THEN cap.

Repeat the process.

Allowing the caps to sit in boiling water actually lets the glue seperate from the cap due to the heat.

By doing just a few at a time works for me.

Of course I could always do the sanitizer thing and not worry about the heat.

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Old 05-25-2005, 03:40 PM   #7
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I do as homebrewer_99 suggests, except I have always boiled my caps for 5 minutes, let them cool and have never had a problem. And I always use a secondary. AlaskaAl(e) brings up a good question about what types of bottles you use.

If all else fails, let them sit another couple of weeks, then see how they react.

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Old 05-26-2005, 02:30 AM   #8
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I used the same bottles as my first batch and that carbonated just fine, I did not use any fining agents, and I waited three weeks. I only put it in my secondary for two. I take the caps and place them in my satitizing solutions. Should I use more sugar to give the yeast a little boost? It's perplexing, only happened after i went to a secondary. Three beers perfect went to secondary and two beers bad. Wierd.

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Old 05-26-2005, 09:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sause
I used the same bottles as my first batch and that carbonated just fine, I did not use any fining agents, and I waited three weeks. I only put it in my secondary for two. I take the caps and place them in my satitizing solutions. Should I use more sugar to give the yeast a little boost? It's perplexing, only happened after i went to a secondary. Three beers perfect went to secondary and two beers bad. Wierd.

when i bottled, i washed my caps when i washed my bottles, then sanitized them when i sanitized my bottles. easy enough.

when you add the priming syrup to your secondary, try not to do it all at once. start racking your beer into the priming bucket, and add a little syrup as the bucket fills, until it's gone, and racking is almost complete. gently stir in eachh time after you add some syrup, to help it disolve evenly in the beer. DON'T SPLASH OR WHIRLPOOL TO INTRODUCE OXYGEN. just a gentle stir w/ a long handled SANITIZED stianless spoon. i never had a problem w/ flat beers after 2 weeks or so.

it could be that the bottles and caps don't go good together? i have heard several people say Bass Ale, Red Stripe, and other bottles don't recap well.
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Old 05-27-2005, 12:52 PM   #10
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It sounds like the sugar isn't dissolving or being evenly distributed in your bottling bucket. When bottling, take about a quart or maybe a little less of beer from the secondary and put it in a pan on the stove, heat it up to a gentle boil and add the corn sugar. Stir to dissolve. This process has two benefits, first, you make absolutely sure that your corn sugar solution is sterilized via boiling, second, you make sure that the corn sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat. Now siphon the rest of your beer to your bottling bucket while the pan cools off a little. When all of the beer is in the bottling bucket, slowly pour in the priming solution (avoiding splashing if possible) and stir the entire bottling bucket with a sanitized spoon. Make sure it is well mixed, then bottle as usual. Don't worry about the hot sugar solution, it will only raise the temperature of the whole batch a few degrees.

One other practice I used to do when I was bottling was make sure that I siphoned up some of the yeast from the bottom of the secondary into the bottling bucket. When everything got stirred, I could be sure that there was some yeast present in every bottle.

As others have suggested, make sure your bottles are capping correctly. One thing you can do to check this is to take one or two bottles from the batch and age them upside down. If any leaks are present, beer will leak out around the cap. If there are no leaks and the beer is still flat, either your yeast was dead or there was little or no yeast present at all.

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