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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Bottles: Perpetually low carbonation
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Old 10-10-2011, 03:54 PM   #11
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How long in fermentation and at what kind of temps? Are you filtering before you bottle?...Could you be doing something to kill or seriously reduce the volume of yeast in the bottle at the time of conditioning????

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:02 PM   #12
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That's what I was wondering bh. Also,I think leaving the whole neck empty is too much head space imo. I use the bottling wand to fill to the top,so when it's withdrawn,the volume displacement will leave the right head space for that bottle. Works great every time.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banesong View Post

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?
The shoulder? That's way too much I think. Traditionally 1.25" from lip of bottle is what most fillers leave.

From an article in BYO from 1997-

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Headspace. Another factor that will affect the level of carbonation in your bottle-conditioned beer is the amount of headspace you allow in the neck of the bottle above the beer. The CO2 from the bottle fermentation fills the headspace as well as going into the beer, so the more headspace you leave, the more CO2 ends up there. For a given amount of priming sugar, the greater the headspace, the lower the carbonation.

The ideal fill height is a matter of preference. High fills help to eliminate air from the headspace, helping you avoid oxidation. Lower fill levels give some protection against gushing and allow some leeway in carbonating. Sometimes over-carbonating can be corrected by cooling the beer as much as possible, gently prying the cap to release the pressure in the headspace, and then resealing the cap. This won’t work if there is no headspace.
From another BYO article from 2002-

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Over time, CO2 from the beer will diffuse out of solution and pressurize the headspace. This is why some homebrewers feel that it is best to minimize the amount of headspace in the bottles. The smaller the headspace, the less carbonation is lost from the beer to pressurize the headspace.
I'd start with that, bottle a batch with the headspace at the traditional 1.25" and see.
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Old 10-10-2011, 04:43 PM   #14
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I will need to review, but I fill pretty much to the lip of the bottle with the wand in; that leaves the level just about a third of the way up the neck, not the shoulder, sorry.

I don't filter or cold crash, so I should have plenty of yeast.

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Old 10-10-2011, 06:08 PM   #15
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Again how long in fermentation and at what temp? Too long or too cold can kill enough yeast that your C02 level is low. Sounds like head space isn't the problem, particularly if you have tried a APA or an IPA and still see low carbination after 6 to 8 weeks.

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Old 10-10-2011, 06:10 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by badhabit View Post
Again how long in fermentation and at what temp? Too long or too cold can kill enough yeast that your C02 level is low. Sounds like head space isn't the problem, particularly if you have tried a APA or an IPA and still see low carbination after 6 to 8 weeks.
Sorry, missed that. 6-8 weeks in primary, at between 68-74 degrees (I don't have good temp control at the moment; ferm chiller project coming over the winter).
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:35 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by badhabit View Post
Too long or too cold can kill enough yeast that your C02 level is low.
What do you consider too long? I've had beer that were 6 months in primary that carbed up just fine.

Yeast rarely dies....it goes dormant, but unless it's in a high alcohol situation, it doesn't die.

Same with the cold. Below 50 for an ale it usually goes dormant, but unless you freeze the beer and possible burst the cells, the yeast isn't dead.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by banesong View Post
Sorry, missed that. 6-8 weeks in primary, at between 68-74 degrees (I don't have good temp control at the moment; ferm chiller project coming over the winter).
So 8 weeks will not totaly kill all yeast at those temps for an ale yeast BUT it may not leave a lot for carbing or at least not as much as your taste would prefer. Try 4 weeks on a lighter brew and see what you think.
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Old 10-10-2011, 09:06 PM   #19
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I am having similar results with my last few batches, and I am starting to suspect my bench capper. I got a used bench capper off craigslist, and my carbonation woes started about the same time I started using it. I think the bell is coming down to the bottle at a small angle, leaving a crappy seal.
Last batch I hit each bottle twice, spinning it 1/2 turn in between.
It's only 1 1/2 weeks in the bottle, so I don't know if it worked yet.

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Old 10-11-2011, 01:30 AM   #20
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How are you cleaning the bottles?

If you use bleach, how well are you rinsing? -A tiny drop could kill the yeast.
& not clean enough may have it's own issues.

I use the dishwasher.

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