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Old 09-12-2009, 05:10 PM   #1
C4PNJ4ZZ
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Default Very low carbonation at 6.5 weeks

I did a modified partial mash version of BM's SWMBO Slayer Blonde. It has been in bottles since July 30 (6.5 weeks). The bottles I have opened over the last month are very lightly carbed. There is a slight hiss when I open them, some bubbles and a small head if i really agitate it when I pour.

For the most part it hasn't changed very much in the past few weeks.
I have roused the yeast a few times in the bottles. Rolled them, flipped them over, everything short of shaking them. The beer is really clear so it's easy to see the yeast go back into suspension.

The beer is really nice tasting so I doubt this is the case but it is worth noting. The previous batch that I harvested the yeast from is very bad (a Wit). It tastes like an inhaler. Lots of hot alcohols and some plastic taste. When I first tasted it I thought it was due to hot fermentation (no temp control got up to ~80F). The beers are still sitting untouched in bottles. One person who tasted one of the wits thought there might be some wild yeast contamination. I cooled the beer (wit) in ~50F sea water (brewed at my folks house, so i just carried the pot outside and dunked it into the harbor). So it is possible it picked something up from that. The fermentation of the wit was very sluggish and took upwards of 3.5 weeks. While the blonde was relatively normal and took about a week. So long story short, can wild yeast affect carbonation? And if it is wild yeast, the likelyhood that I found a strain that ferments as nicely as this is slim. So im skeptical.

Sorry for the novel, but i figure the more info you guys have the better. Hopefully I'm not giving you too many red herrings.

The recipe:

1lb Belgian Pale
1.5lb Wheat
.5 Crystal 10
.5 Wheat Flake
.25 caravienne

5lb wheat lme
1oz Williamette


Mashed in around 168 dropped to 158 when grain was added got it down to 155 stayed ~154 brought back to 152 after dropped to 150
total 45 min
Sparge water 170 for ~13 min
Late malt addition at 15
.25 oz hops at 10

Cooled in tub with ICE ~20min
Cooled to 74 after top off to 5 gal.
Pitched washed White Labs Wit Ale yeast

OG 1.048
FG 1.009 at 70

Brewed on July 10
Fermenter in rubbermaid bucket, filled with water kept at 67-70 for entire fermentation
Conditioned to 74

Bottled 7/30/09

Primed with just a shade over 3/4 cup of corn sugar, boiled in 2 cups water, slowly stirred with autosiphon hose.

Tasted on 8/21 : Very good, light clove taste, some esters/fruit , possibly undercarbed

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Old 09-12-2009, 09:46 PM   #2
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Sounds kinda like your yeast are not happy. If you didn't create an appropriate starter that could be the problem. Otherwise I'm not totally sure. Slow fermentation and poor carbing would point to the yeasties tho. I'd probably pitch a vial or two of fresh yeast next time and see if that helps.

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:05 PM   #3
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The original batch that the yeast was harvested from was the slow fermentation, this one was about 5 days.

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Old 09-12-2009, 10:23 PM   #4
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Oh yeah, and the previous batch, the bad batch, carbed nicely. Except it tastes like hell.

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Old 09-14-2009, 03:25 AM   #5
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I had a Mild Brown a few months ago that was the same way,it just wouldn't carb up. A friend suggested rousing the yeast and putting them in the garage where the temp. was in the 80,s low 90,s. for a week or so. Worked like a charm.

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Old 09-14-2009, 10:12 AM   #6
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All my bottle carbonation problems have been solved by increased temperature. I used to get very under-carbed beers (old, cold house). I upgraded to a water bath with an aquarium heater and small water pump for bottle conditioning. Now, my bottles condition at around 75F and I always get good carbonation.

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Old 09-15-2009, 02:59 AM   #7
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Thanks guys.

I'll throw them in the furnace room tonight. Although, I've had them stored in a non air conditioned room (75-80) for most of the past month.

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Old 09-30-2009, 11:24 PM   #8
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Update:

The carbonation has definitely improved. With a pour down the middle I get a nice head. They've been in the furnace room (doubles as a great clothes dryer) for 2.5 weeks. I think I'm also expecting a much spritzier beer due to the style (Belgian Blonde). Next time I will have to use a bit more priming sugar. Thanks dudes

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