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Old 07-01-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
Noz03
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Default Low carbonation :(

I've bottle 3 batches so far, and in all 3 I have had extremely low carbonation I've tried using up to double the amount of sugar, Ive tried using a secondary to mix the sugar in, I just dont get it....

The things that might be unique in my brewing are that I only use soda bottles (I dont have a capper and cant get one). Also the temps are pretty high around here so the bottles are being left in temps around 30*C but from what i know neither of these should affect it. Any suggestions?

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Old 07-01-2013, 12:48 PM   #2
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OK. I'll start with a few questions. What size was your batch? How much sugar did you prime with? Are you using new caps or trying to recycle old ones? That's it for now, but there will probably be more.

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Old 07-01-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Indianhead_Brewer View Post
OK. I'll start with a few questions. What size was your batch? How much sugar did you prime with? Are you using new caps or trying to recycle old ones? That's it for now, but there will probably be more.
Batches are around 20lt, the first 2 batches I put the sugar into the bottles 1tsp per litre, I also tried putting 1.5tsp per litre but no change. 3rd batch I put the same amount but I put it into a 10litre bottle and mixed it before bottling.

as for caps I dont use caps at all. I use plastic soda bottles between 1 litre and 2 litre mixed. Over all Ive barely noticed any difference in the carbonation by the different size of bottles OR the amount of sugar I put.

They are not completely flat but just flatter than they should be, I usually pour without tilting the glass to get a small amount of head which quickly disappears
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:28 PM   #4
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The proper procedure is to take about 130 grams of sugar, mix it with a cup or so of water, and boil the sugar water on the stove. Then pour the sugar water into your bottling (second) bucket and add your beer on top of that. Give it a couple gentle stirs and then bottle.

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Old 07-01-2013, 01:30 PM   #5
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How long are you letting them carb up? I've used 2 liter Pepsi bottles before and it works fine, but it take at least 3 weeks. Plus you really have to crank the twist tops on, or some of the carbonation leaks.

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Old 07-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #6
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How long do you refrigerate them before drinking? You'll want them to be in your fridge for 2-3 days before popping them open to get the CO2 into the beer.

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Old 07-01-2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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If you double the amount of sugar, your gonna have a sh*tload of yeast/sugar residue in your bottles..........

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:15 PM   #8
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Interesting. At the temps you are conditioning (30°C/86°F), 1.5 tsp sugar/liter should get you about 2.4 volumes of CO2.

Someone else already asked how long you have been bottle conditioning for, as that is pertinent to the equation too.

I guess I still have questions about the soda bottle aspect of this. You are talking about screw top soda bottles right? If so are you using recycled soda bottles with the old caps or new caps? I'm just wondering if you might be having leakage issues.

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:22 PM   #9
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I have to imagine the issue is a leak. If your carbonation is roughly equal irrespective of priming sugar added and time, your caps are probably not tight enough. They are acting almost like little regulators. They let out a little gas when they reach a certain carbonation (pressure) level.

You could turn one upside down to check this - instead of leaking a little gas, it would leak a little beer. This would be a definite indication of a leak.

Also, this makes no sense to me, but I have heard it many times. Screw tops will loosen over time, so get them tight and then retighted once or twice after a day or two.

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Old 07-01-2013, 03:33 PM   #10
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Stick a balloon over the bottle, if the balloon inflates then you have a leak through the caps (this may take a few days to notice). I am willing to bet that your caps are not air tight. At 30 degrees celsius you should have carbed beer in a week or 2 depending on the gravity of the beer.

As mentioned above the preferred method is to batch prime using a bottling bucket. There are many calculators online that tell you how much priming sugar to use. Boil the sugar with water for a few minutes and pour it into your bottling bucket. Then rack your beer into the bucket and give it a gentle swirl to ensure even distribution of the sugar. Then you will use the spigot with a bottling wand or tubing to fill your bottles.

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