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Old 10-30-2010, 06:34 PM   #1
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Hello,

So I bottled my second batch, Simcoe Select IPA kit from Midwest Supplies into 22 oz bottles. I racked from my glass carboy to my bottling bucket and then added in the corn sugar/water mixture (per the instructions that came with the kit). I have tried about 5 bottles so far and only one had good carbonation, one had okay carbonation and the rest have been kind of flat. I know you aren't supposed to introduce oxygen at any point after fermentation, but how can I get even carbonation in all my bottles without stirring the corn sugar/water mixture in the bottling bucket. I usually either put the sugar water mix in first and then siphon in the beer, or vice versa.



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Old 10-30-2010, 06:42 PM   #2
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I keg, not bottle, but I'm pretty sure you do need to gently mix in the sugar water in the bottling bucket, using your racking cane gently so as not to splash.

I assume you waited 2+ weeks to open bottles, and used 3/4 cup sugar mixed into boiling water then cooled....



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Old 10-30-2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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3 weeks at 70 degrees is the minimum for you to expect carbonation.

The best way to get the priming solution and the beer mixed is to put the solution in the bottling bucket first, then as you rack the beer in, the swirling motion will mix them together.

If you just poured in your solution after racking the beer over, you may have some pretty uneven carbonation.

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Old 10-30-2010, 07:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
3 weeks at 70 degrees is the minimum for you to expect carbonation.

The best way to get the priming solution and the beer mixed is to put the solution in the bottling bucket first, then as you rack the beer in, the swirling motion will mix them together.

If you just poured in your solution after racking the beer over, you may have some pretty uneven carbonation.
+1 Gently stir your solution into your beer in your bottling bucket. I still have an occasional flat brew but not very often with this method.
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #5
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Yeah, I used 3/4 cup priming sugar, boiled and cooled. I waited 3 weeks before opening a bottle. Thanks for info. I think next batch I will gently stir them together in my bottling bucket. I was just afraid of introducing oxygen. Sounds like as long as I stir gently and don't create bubbles etc. it should be fine.

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Old 10-30-2010, 08:42 PM   #6
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You're not doing anything wrong...they simply aren't ready yet.

Uneven carbonation is simply a matter of not enough time. The sugar solution integrates itself pretty well when you rack (despite what many new brewers may believe)
BUT, just a tiny difference in temps between bottles in storage can affect the yeasties, speed them up or slow them down. Like if you store them in a closet against a warm wall, the beers closest to the heat source may be a tad warmer than those further way, so thy may carb/condition at slightly different rates. I usually store a batch in 2 seperate locations in my loft 1 case in my bedroom which is a little warmer, and the other in the closet in the lving room, which being in a larger space is a tad cooler, at least according to the thermostat next to that closet. It can be 5-10 degrees warmer in my bedroom. So I usually start with that case at three weeks. Giving the other half a little more time.

Each little bottle is a seperate microcosm, so they will react slightly different to each other. But usually they all will balance out given enough time.

But really with time all the bottles in a batch will carb up...

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up.

I explain this and more, in my blog, here Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

Uneven carbonation is simply a matter of not enough time. The sugar solution integrates itself pretty well when you rack (despite what many new brewers may believe)

If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them ore time. If you added your sugar, then the beer will carb up eventually, it's really a foolroof process. All beers will carb up eventually. A lot of new brewers think they have to "troubleshoot" a bottling issue, when there really is none, the beer knows how to carb itself. In fact if you run beersmiths carbing calculator, some lower grav beers don't even require additional sugar to reach their minimum level of carbonation. Just time.

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Old 10-30-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
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Also, you used 22oz bottles to carb in. I've noticed that bigger bottles take longer to carb. I assume that the larger volume needs more time to pressurize, but I don't know for sure.

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Old 10-30-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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Also, you used 22oz bottles to carb in. I've noticed that bigger bottles take longer to carb. I assume that the larger volume needs more time to pressurize, but I don't know for sure.
Missed that part....You're right.

A larger volume sized bottle needs more time. I have some pints, 22 oz bombers and other sizes that I often use, but since I enter contests I usually also do a sixer or two of standard 12 ouncers for entering. And inevitably the 12 ouncers are done at least a week faster than the larger bottles....some times two weeks ahead of time...

Also the rule of thumb is 3 weeks at 70 degrees for a normal grav 12 ounce bottle....to carb and condition....It takes longer for the yeasties to convert the larger volume in the bigger bottles to enough co2 in the headspace to be reabsorbed back into the solution...A ration I don't know how much...

Big Kahuna gives a good explanation here...
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Simple. It's the ration of contact area just like in a keg. The c02 will need to pressurize the head space (Which takes LESS TIME) in a bigger bottle (More Yeast and sugar, roughly the same head space) but then it has to force that c02 into solution through the same contact area...thus it takes longer.
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Old 10-30-2010, 10:04 PM   #9
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You're not doing anything wrong...they simply aren't ready yet.
With due respect, I have to differ on one point. He racked to his bottling bucket, then poured his priming solution on top with nothing to mix it in. There's going to be come uneven carbonation from that.
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Old 10-31-2010, 03:19 AM   #10
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Thanks Revvy, that is some great information. Makes sense. I get anxious to taste it. I suppose patience is a true virtue.

ChshreCat, yeah I almost forgot to put the sugar in...that would have sucked. So I just poured it in on top. My first batch I put in the sugar/water mixture first, then racked into my bottling bucket and seemed to get somewhat more even carbonation. I need to remember to do it in that order and possibly stir it ever so gently to mix it a little better.



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