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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Inconsistent Carbonation From Bottle To Bottle
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:59 PM   #1
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Default Inconsistent Carbonation From Bottle To Bottle

I had a beer last night that had nearly zero carbonation. Others from the same batch had quite a big head.

I've done quite a bit of searching and reading here about stirring and mixing the priming sugar/water mixture.

We siphoned to the bottom of the bucket with the sugar water creating a very gently swirl and maybe even stirred very gently (can't remember) but apparently this wasn't enough.

My question is: how much stirring is too much and what happens if the beer is oxygenated at that point? Thanks.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:03 PM   #2
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How long has it been bottled? Not all bottles carb at the same rate.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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This happens to me too, although the difference in carbonation is not obvious between most of the bottles.

The last couple of beers I bottle tend to be super carbed.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:15 PM   #4
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How long has it been bottled? Not all bottles carb at the same rate.
YUP!!!

If a few bottles are carbed and some aren't, really isn't about improperly mixed solution...it really mixes itself pretty well on it's own just by racking the beer on top of the solution in the bottling bucket...

it usually really means the beers not ready yet...each bottle is it's own little microcosm, some even right next to others may merely be a tad warmer, and THAT could affect why one beer is done carbing and the other isn't. Waiting another week, and you will more than likely have them ALL carbed...

I have had beers take 8 weeks to carb and condition...It's a natural process...so it has it's own agenda based on the OG of the beer AND the temp of the bottles...

It is ACTUALLY theoretically possible to not add any priming sugar and with time to have the beer carb up (for lower grav beers like milds) In fact old english brewing books have recipes that DON'T add sugar...I ran some of the recipes though beersmith, and that corroborated that fact.

You just need more time, that's all I never worry unless it's 8 weeks for a normal grav beer..heck my 1.090 OG Belgian strong took 3 MONTHS to carb....

Read this;
Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:32 PM   #5
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Jeffo and I brew together, and I'm sure he's asking about a Porter we bottled April 17th.

I had one last night too, and it had almost zero head. But the odd thing is that it wasn't all that flat, which made me wonder if carbonation is directly related to the amount of head on a beer.

The other thing I'm asking myself is which is heavier and/or thicker, the priming sugar solution or the beer? If the sugar solution is heavier, then it might make more sense to add that into the bottling bucket and stir it in at the end. Without adding oxygen, of course.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:37 PM   #6
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What I usually do is pour half the solution in the bottom of my bucket, then rack on top of it (I hook the hose of my auto siphon under the bend of my dip tube so that the beer will flow around the bottom of the bucket on the way up, which will help swirl the beer and solution together.)

When I get 2.5 gallons of the beer racked I pour the rest of the solution into the bucket, and continue racking....

You will see the beer swirling as it is rising...

What temps are you storing the beer at? Is it above 70 degrees....

You might want to getnly roll the bottles back and forth on a table top to re-suspend the yeast and leave them for a couple more weeks....

Are they flip top bottles, or crown caps? Sometimes the gaskets go bad on flippies.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:42 PM   #7
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The bottling solution is much denser, but it is in such a small volume and is very soluble that it mixes readily with little effort. Since it has been two months since bottling, the issue may not be lack of carbonation, but lack of head. That's different. If you get soap or oil or anything that can form a layer on top of the beer, that can kill the head.

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Old 06-30-2009, 05:49 PM   #8
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I had one last night too, and it had almost zero head. But the odd thing is that it wasn't all that flat, which made me wonder if carbonation is directly related to the amount of head on a beer.
beerkrump is right. Carbonation and head are two different animals.....many beers have little or no head (but may have lacing) look at most commercial lagers, they have a wisp of head that may dissipate rapidly, but have plenty of bubbles in solution.

Hold your beer up to the light and see if you see them.

Head has more to do with any soap on glass, but more importantly, on the grains in your grain bill...many grains are known for "giving you head"

Wheat is a good example, as is Carapils/dextrin.

In fact I always make sure to include 1/2 to a whole pound of carapils in my recipes. That pretty much insures that my beers have head.
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Old 06-30-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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This is all great info!

I do enjoy a nice head on my beer, but don't care all that much as long as it's not flat. Jeffo will have to chime in on the grains we used. We've been doing partial mashes lately, but I can't remember what our recipe was.

For the most part of the Porter's bottle conditioning, my basement has been in the mid-60's. And we use crowns.

Rolling the bottles to re-suspend the yeast is a good tip.

I learned about lacing and a beer's head in a bar management class a couple years ago, so I'm real fanatical about rinsing my beer glasses well.

Thanks for the great replies.

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Old 06-30-2009, 06:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peter4jc View Post
This is all great info!

I do enjoy a nice head on my beer, but don't care all that much as long as it's not flat. Jeffo will have to chime in on the grains we used. We've been doing partial mashes lately, but I can't remember what our recipe was.

my basement has been in the mid-60's.


Well you gave me a partial clue...Mid sixties is NOT the same as 70 degrees or higher.....those couple degrees may not mean anything to you or me, but to a micro-organism that is a LOT...they work best in carbing and conditioning in the 70+ range.....

Bring them upstairs...and see if that desn't change things.
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