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-   -   The Most Frustrating Problem Ever...I want to shoot myself. (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f36/most-frustrating-problem-ever-i-want-shoot-myself-363171/)

yooji 10-24-2012 05:12 AM

The Most Frustrating Problem Ever...I want to shoot myself.
 
Carbonation.

This is third batch in and I am getting NO carbonation.

Yep, I know, pretty stupid. You'd think I'd learn after the first time, but let me explain.

Full grain brewing with a Gatorade cooler mash-tun, 23 L batches with a plastic carboy and glass secondary. I do all the standard procedures, mash-in, lauter, mash-out, boil wort etc...and at the end of it all I have a nice sweet product and add my pitched wyeast at room temperature. Wait for a full two weeks after bottling annnnnnddd ....No carbonation.

Round 2
So I thought, perhaps a sanitation issue ( I had reasons to suspect)...so I diversol'd the **** out of my equipment for 24 hours. Tried again, annoyingly, no success.

Round 3
I thought, perhaps a bottling issue. I use glass bottles with press on caps. I put some baking soda and vinegar into a bottle and put it under water for a minute or two to test the seal. No leak. I tried different bottles, swing tops. Also flat.

Here's the kicker though, the beer was quite alcoholic. Yet no carbonation.
I primary fermented in a plastic bucket for about 6 days, secondary for about a week or two...Also during bottling used more than an adequate amount of dextrose dissolved in boiled water.

Maybe all the fermentation somehow went though during the primary? A stubborn infection maybe? Autolysis? I don't know...but if this next batch doesn't come through I might quit my hobby of many years....I've done tons of batches and never have had a problem before with carbonation. My beer has all of a sudden just been failing hard and I don't know what to do!

Help! Please!

:(

EternalStudent 10-24-2012 05:22 AM

You need to make sure you are getting yeast into the bottling bucket as well as stirring the sugar solution into the beer before you bottle it. Depending on your secondary methods you have the potential to be making really bright beer. Really bright beer has very little to no yeast in suspension, which will not lead to a carbonated product. To produce CO2 in the bottle you need yeast and either residual sugar left over, or additional sugar added for them to convert to CO2. If you are making an insanely high alcohol beer and trying to have a very low concentration of yeast re-start fermentation in such a hostile environment you are asking for a lot!

There is no need for a secondary (i know, I know hold your opinions :) ), not on a homebrew level, especially if you are going to bottle condition without adding fresh yeast (top cropping time :) ) from a high krausen.

IMO, don't give up... if all else fails... buy a kegerator and force carb the **** out of it!

AndrewD 10-24-2012 05:26 AM

Maybe add an appropriate quantity of champagne yeast at bottling if the beer is high ABV as you say. Or by a kegging system.

EternalStudent 10-24-2012 05:31 AM

+1 on champagne.

I've used distillers yeast too

zachattack 10-24-2012 12:01 PM

How long since you bottled? What temperature are you keeping the bottles at?

kombat 10-24-2012 12:30 PM

I had the same problem - none of my bulk-primed & bottled beers carbonated hardly at all. I gave up and just bought a kegging system. Now my beers are turning out fantastic.

bigdaddybrew 10-24-2012 12:40 PM

For really bright beers after cold crashing I rehydrate one teaspoon of Muntons Gold yeast and add to my bottling bucket with my corn sugar. Carbs up fast and flocculates to a jelly like crust that stays put when you pour.

matt2778 10-24-2012 12:44 PM

I'm going to guess that since we're almost to November your conditioning temps have dropped quite a bit. I find that my beers in usually carb in a week or two in July but now that my basement is in the low 60's it takes more like two or three weeks. Also if you've been cold crashing your beers lately that can cause a slower carbonation.

Jaybird 10-24-2012 12:46 PM

What is the ABV of the bottled beer?

broadbill 10-24-2012 01:20 PM

So you successfully carbonated in the past, but now you can't. What has changed? Are you sure you are using dextrose and not another white powder to carbonate? Try using table sugar instead, at least you know that is the right stuff and you aren't dealing with someone at the HBS putting the wrong label on what you think is dextrose.

Frankly, I don't buy any of the previous suggestions that there isn't enough yeast in suspension because of secondary, that you need to add extra yeast, etc. etc. However, I do find it takes longer to bottle condition; in fact, I've never had a batch carbonated any sooner than 4 weeks in the bottle. Just FYI.


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