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Old 11-03-2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default Lack of Carbonation

A friend of mine recently made a pale ale extract/steeping kit (his first). The primary and secondary fermentation went well, so did the bottling. The beer had bottle conditioned for 3 weeks, but when I opened one up, there was NO carbonation. I tried to determine what the cause is, and the only thing I can think of is that when he bottled, he put the beer right into the fridge.

Can anyone confirm or deny if that is the case, and if it is, will it ever carbonate? Should he take the beer out of the fridge and let it bottle condition for a couple of weeks? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

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Old 11-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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If there is NO carbonation, I can think of two causes. One is like you said- the beer went into the fridge too soon. If that's the cause, take them out, give them a gentle shake to resuspend the yeast and keep them at 70 degrees for at least three weeks. There should be some sediment on the bottoms of the bottles, where the yeast went dormant and fell to the bottom.

The second cause might be if he accidently forgot to add priming sugar when he bottled. If that's the cause, it'll never carb up until some priming tablets are added.

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Old 11-03-2009, 12:38 PM   #3
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What temp was it stored at for those three weeks?

Gravity and storage temp are the biggest factors in carbonation/conditioning times...Less than seventy severely slows down the yeast...2 degrees may seem like nothing to us, but to micro-organisms that could be like 10.

ALL beers will reach their level of carbonation eventually. In fact, it's possible (and proven by running the numbers in beersmith) to NOT add priming sugar and get minimal carbonation/style of a few volumes in time, for lower grav beers. (In old brewing british brewing books they didn't add sugar to some ordinary bitters, and milds and relied on time and temp to do the work naturally.)

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.


Everything you need to know about carbing and conditioning, can be found here Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."

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Old 11-03-2009, 01:02 PM   #4
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Yoop and Rev,

Thanks for the great advice. I will forward on to him. I'm sure either method will work.

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Primary: Nothing

Secondary:
- Strawberry
- Pineapple
- Blackberry

Bottled:
- IPA
- Hop Head Double IPA
- Honey Nut Brown Ale
- Cream Stout
- Black Dog Ale
- Irish Red

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:36 PM   #5
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Hey guys,

Just an update. Taking the beers out of the fridge did the trick. He brought a beer over to my house last night and it was fully carbed. Thanks again.

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Primary: Nothing

Secondary:
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- Pineapple
- Blackberry

Bottled:
- IPA
- Hop Head Double IPA
- Honey Nut Brown Ale
- Cream Stout
- Black Dog Ale
- Irish Red

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:39 PM   #6
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**SCORE!!!!!**

Glad it worked out (though it usually does)

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Old 11-12-2009, 02:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
**SCORE!!!!!**

Glad it worked out (though it usually does)

You're right. It ususally does work out. I just didn't want to give him some bad advice. He was so excited, he ran a warm bottle over to my house, just so he could open it in front of me to show me.
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Primary: Nothing

Secondary:
- Strawberry
- Pineapple
- Blackberry

Bottled:
- IPA
- Hop Head Double IPA
- Honey Nut Brown Ale
- Cream Stout
- Black Dog Ale
- Irish Red

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