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Old 10-06-2011, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default Bottles: Perpetually low carbonation

Okay, this is probably the 1,000,001 thread on this topic, but I can't seem to hit adequate carbonation in my bottles. I have bottled many different styles (american amber, cream ale, heffeweisen, bock, etc), and all of them seem to be seriously low in the carbonation department.

Some caveats:
- I don't use head as an indication of carb level
- I have attempted 4-6oz of dextrose for 4.5-4.75 gallons of beer, dissolved in
2 cups of water
- fermentation temps have been in the 68-74 range
- bottles have stayed @ 70-75 degrees for a minimum of 4 weeks
- very light carbonation result has been judged by no more than two steady streams of bubbles in columns from the bottom and a general flat mouthfeel
- this lack of carbonation is fairly even across the entire batch, with only minor variation, so I don't think it is my mixing technique
- I whirlpool the wort on top of the dextrose mixture in the bottling bucket


I bottle currently, and would like to nip this problem in the bud. Any help would be appreciated.

T

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Old 10-06-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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How long are you chilling before drinking?

I would let the bottles chill after conditioning for a couple days so all that pressure built up in the head space has a chance to go into solution.

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Old 10-06-2011, 01:48 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdWort View Post
How long are you chilling before drinking?

I would let the bottles chill after conditioning for a couple days so all that pressure built up in the head space has a chance to go into solution.
I typically leave the bottles in for at least 6 days. It does not seem to make a difference in the final product.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:49 PM   #4
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What do you mean that you "whirl the wort on top of the dextrose"?? How long are you stirring it? If it is for a long time, you might be degassing the beer of the CO2 already dissolved in solution, which would result in lower carbonation.

What is the source of your bottle caps? I have bought caps from a major HBS that leaked pressure, resulting in several undercarbonated beers. It's possible you were sold some ****ty caps with bad seals.

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Old 10-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ReverseApacheMaster View Post
What do you mean that you "whirl the wort on top of the dextrose"?? How long are you stirring it? If it is for a long time, you might be degassing the beer of the CO2 already dissolved in solution, which would result in lower carbonation.

What is the source of your bottle caps? I have bought caps from a major HBS that leaked pressure, resulting in several undercarbonated beers. It's possible you were sold some ****ty caps with bad seals.
I position the siphon hose around the interior perimeter of the bottling bucket; the wort swirls at the bottom, mixing with the priming sugar. As to stirring, I usually give it a once about or two at most.

The caps have come from multiple vendors, so I don't think that is it; additionally, I have validated the crimp multiple times (not that I think that is it).

T
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Old 10-06-2011, 02:01 PM   #6
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Different styles of beer or all one style? Darker and or higher FG take a little more carb as a general rule. From experiance...harder water makes carbing a little more challanging. You can condition your H20 or add a little more priming sugar.

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Old 10-06-2011, 02:12 PM   #7
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how much head space do you leave in your bottles? You don't need a lot, but you need some! (IMO an inch and a half is good...)

I remember a thread where the fellow was filling to the brim and capping on the beer...

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Old 10-07-2011, 01:05 PM   #8
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badhabit: Varities have varied; the amount of bottling sugar has not (much). I have left the heftier types (a heavy red, for example), longer (6+ weeks) with no luck. I use filtered water for everything (not quite RO, but close), but we don't have exceptionally hard water to start with. The Wit and Wheat that I have in bottles have been sitting for 2 months, and still haven't carbed much.

Hang Glider: I fill to the bottom of the lip, so that when the tube comes out, the top of the beer is at the shoulder of the bottle. AFAIK, this is the accepted level, no?

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Old 10-07-2011, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banesong View Post
I fill to the bottom of the lip, so that when the tube comes out, the top of the beer is at the shoulder of the bottle. AFAIK, this is the accepted level, no?

Shoulder of bottle should be fine. Mine are usually a third the way up the neck. The problem specific to fill height comes into play if you allow NO headspace...
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #10
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How do you weigh the 5 ounces of corn sugar?

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