I have been brewing for about 18 months now and have always bottle conditioned my beer to achieve carbonation. This is about my 20th brew and so far nothing has gone wrong. This is the first time I've had issues.
I prepped my bottles as per usual. I keep them cleaned and dry in storage...so I begin prep with a spritz from the bottle washer at the sink and then several sprays of sanitizer from a converted spray bottle in a tray of Star San. I then turn the bottles upside down and let dry...while I prepare the rest.
Then I fill from my bottle bucket to which I have added my beer and the necessary priming agent. In this case, table sugar. The table sugar was added to approx. 2 cups of boiling water (achieved using a microwave). I stirred this solution into the beer and then let settle during bottle prep.
Ok, here is the the issue...about half to one third of the bottles carbonated properly there other half to two thirds did nothing. I've left them in my kitchen ...average temp this time of year 73-74 degrees F. They sat for 4 weeks.
What is causing my partial carbonation? Some of the crowns feel looser than normal. I think these tend to be the under carbonated bottles...I am inclined to replace the capper I have...which I inherited. Could it be the crowns themselves?
Please help!!! I have 5 gallons of Amber ale that I am ready to bottle...I don't want to experience the problem again. Any ideas???
Secondary: Cross Stream Amber
Bottle (Conditioning): American Wheat w/ Fresh Orange Peel
Ready: Dry English Cider (7%), Scottish Export, Altbier, Experiment #1 (Maris/Challenger SMaSH)