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Old 08-11-2008, 01:53 AM   #1
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Default Is flat beer bad?

I have noticed that the carbonation level varies in some of my bottles. I occasionally get a bottle that is very flat, and I have noticed they seem to occur with my Grolsch bottle (I will change the washer).

I opened a bottle tonight and it was very flat. There were no floaters (i.e. mold) in the beer, so I of course drank it. I'm now wondering if drinking it was a smart idea. My thought is if the carbonation can get out, then air can get in. Has anyone experienced anything like this? Am I in for a rough night?

Thanks

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Old 08-11-2008, 02:03 AM   #2
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How long did you let them bottle condition before opening them? Did you batch prime (i.e. sugar water in bottling bucket) or did you add sugar to each bottle?

If it's been under 3 weeks, stored at 70 degrees, then inconsistant carbing from bottle to bottle is common.. depending on style, and bottle size, maybe even longer...If it's been let's say 6 weeks or so, then perhaps you have some bad seals on your bottles. It may be worth replacing the seals...

One trick to see if your seals are good is to put balloons over the stoppered bottles (it may be hard with grolsh, so maybe condoms would work better.

With the already opened them, mix up some vinegar baking soda solution (only fill the bottles a couple/three inches.) then put the baloon over them and let the sit for awhile, if they inflate slightly then you have bad seals..you can get replacement gaskets and any lhbs or online.

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Old 08-11-2008, 02:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
One trick to see if your seals are good is to put balloons over the stoppered bottles (it may be hard with grolsh, so maybe condoms would work better.
I am always amazed by the genius of homebrewers. That is a great idea. Thanks.

The one I drank tonight has been conditioning for 5 - 6 weeks. I also added the priming sugar mixture to the bottling bucket as opposed to each bottle. Tonight, I had one that I capped and one in the Grolsch bottle and there was a remarkable difference in the carbonation level between the two. The capped one had a nice head and clear carbonation. The Grolsch one tasted fine, and there was a slight carbonation bite but there was zero head and no bubbles.

This may be a dumb question, but I usually add the priming sugar to the bottling bucket then fill it with the wort. Should I stir it before botlling?

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Old 08-11-2008, 02:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljefe View Post
Should I stir it before botlling?
My vote is no stirring is the cause of your inconsistent carbonation.
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:04 AM   #5
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You want to stir gently without splashing.

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Old 08-11-2008, 03:07 AM   #6
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What I do is pour half the priming solution in the bottom of the bucket, I also curve my hose partially around the bottom of the bucket (I wedge it in where my dip tube bends downward) that way asl the beer flows it starts swirling as it rises, when I get half way up the bucket I pour in the rest of the solution....It seems to work for me.

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Old 08-11-2008, 03:11 AM   #7
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Also, add that priming sugar to a small (1 or 2 cups) water and boil before adding it to the bucket. It will sterilize the sugar solution, and give you a better shot at an even mixture once you rack the wort onto it.

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