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Old 12-24-2013, 05:54 PM   #1
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Default Bottle Conditioning Issues

Bottled a Christmas ale on Nov 30. I opened one after a week (flat) to taste, another at week 2 (after chilling for just a few hours) and it was well carbonated and tasted pretty much exactly how I wanted it to. So I put about 15 bottles in the fridge, because I believe they benefit from extended fridge time, and thinking they were done carbonating. About a week later I put 10 more bottles in another, colder fridge. Now over the past week or so, I've opened 4 or 5 bottles from various sources (room temp to freezer for half an hour, regular fridge, and extra cold fridge) and each time I'm getting different carbonation levels, from flat to normal. Some of them even seemed slightly oxidized. The obvious answer I have for myself is that I need to give them at least 3 weeks before expecting anything. But my question is, since the bottle I opened at 2 weeks seemed fully carbonated, why were some others so far behind? I don't stir in the priming sugar since I siphon onto the dissolved sugar and assume it mixes in well enough. Also, would it be likely that some bottles would get exposed to so much more oxygen than others? Lastly, after removing all bottles from refrigeration, would I need to turn the bottles over to get the yeast moving again or just let them come back up to room temp? Thanks everyone.



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Old 12-24-2013, 06:31 PM   #2
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It seems some bottles around the outer parimeter of the storage box get more temp change than the inner ones. Not to mention where they're stored,& which side of the box might face a cold outer wall. Besides how evenly the priming sugar was mixed. Leaving them at 70F or more for 3-4 weeks helps a lot too. 2 weeks insn't enough.



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Old 12-24-2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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It takes more than a week when i force Carb in a Keg to get a decent result...When I bottle I let them sit 3 weeks before I put one in a fridge for 2 days..

As for the mix results... as stated above... Not long enough, not mixed well enough (though I do the same, priming sugar in the bottling bucket and rack beer on top.. no mixing after that...and I've enjoyed even carbing bottle to bottle)

Perhaps some bottles had more or less suspended yeast,,, all of them might have likely carbed to the same level if left to condition long enough,, and you just happend to try a bottle that has a little more sugar and a little more suspended yeast.

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Old 12-24-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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I hadn't thought of the temperature distribution as a factor. On a somewhat related note, I just opened another because the cap was bulging, and it came gushing out. My first infected bottle! It tastes milky and awful so I'm guessing it's a "lacto" infection? My experience with this batch just keeps getting better and better.

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Old 12-25-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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Lactobacillus produces lactic acid not milk. A lacto infection is sour not milky.

How much sugar did you add? How much beer did you actually end up with in your bucket?

Bottle conditioning isn't as even as people think. Some bottles just take longer than others. Think of each bottle as a completely separate and self contained ecosystem. Temperature, yeast and sugar distribution, phases of the moon, the whims of Ninkasi can affect carbonation. Some more than others obviously :-)

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Old 12-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #6
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Hello, you are changing the amount of time the bottles are chilling in the fridge, this will greatly change the amount of co2 that can get into solution.

if you really want even carbed beers, 3 weeks @ 70 deg is a MINIMUM amount of time,

>>>>>And chilling 3 DAYS in the fridge <<<<< is the amount of time it takes to make sure that all of the co2 has had time to get into solution.

Let your beer carb up properly with the right amount of time or you will never get good results…

swirl yeast in bottles or don't, when the yeast warm up they will do what they do ether way.

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Old 12-26-2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post

Bottle conditioning isn't as even as people think. Some bottles just take longer than others. Think of each bottle as a completely separate and self contained ecosystem. Temperature, yeast and sugar distribution, phases of the moon, the whims of Ninkasi can affect carbonation. Some more than others obviously :-)
Well said TipsyDragon !

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Old 12-26-2013, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hlm123 View Post
I don't stir in the priming sugar since I siphon onto the dissolved sugar and assume it mixes in well enough.
I focused in on this. I found the same thing occurring on my batches at first. I now stir the beer in the bottling bucket slowly to evenly distribute the priming sugar before I do my bottling. I have found this fixed the issue to a large degree.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:11 PM   #9
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I've found that my beers get better carbonation at 5-7 days fridge time-minimum. Flavor is better too.

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Old 12-27-2013, 06:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unionrdr View Post
I've found that my beers get better carbonation at 5-7 days fridge time-minimum. Flavor is better too.
I should have added minimum, to the in the fridge comment.

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