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Old 12-23-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Not enough priming sugar...

I made a six pack of an imperial nut brown and bottled it with maple syrup. I used John Palmers measurements for maple syrup at 5.5 oz per 5 gal. Since I bottled .5 gal, I decided to try to weigh out .55 oz of maple syrup. Well if you've ever used syrup you know you don't get it all out of your container. After bottling I also noticed some syrup residue in the bottling bucket. Well long story short, my beer is not well carbonated. This was two weeks ago, enough time to carb them up considering I added yeast to the bucket too. They've been sitting at 70f and are pretty flat. Could I open up the rest of the beer and add a few drops more syrup, or is the yeast in there dying/dead already? If so, how much syrup is too much?

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:06 PM   #2
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The yeast is alive and well. If it was dead your beer would taste and smell awful. You can add more to each bottle. The trouble is figuring out how much to add to each bottle. It may be so small that it is difficult to measure.

The alternative is to redo your bottling. This time, try measuring out your syrup and mix it in hot boiling water. That should thin it out so you have less problems. After pouring the mixture in your bottling bucket, slowly pour each bottle into the bucket. Try to avoid splashing as much as possible. I had to do this once, and I poured the beer down the side of the bucket while trying to keep it as far down in the bucket as I could without touching the beer.

Anyway, there's lots of ways to do this. That's two of them. Good luck!

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #3
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+1 to the above advice for dissolving the syrup next time.

For now, what I would do is either 1) give it more time or 2) use carbonation tabs - the kind where you add one tab to each bottle. Trying to measure out individual bottle-sized amounts of syrup sounds like a nightmare to me.

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #4
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How big a beer is your Imperial Nut Brown? I ask for two reasons. First, higher gravity beers often take longer to carb up. Second, an imperial nut brown could taste better with less carbonation, especially if drunk on the warm side.

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:18 PM   #5
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How big a beer is your Imperial Nut Brown? I ask for two reasons. First, higher gravity beers often take longer to carb up. Second, an imperial nut brown could taste better with less carbonation, especially if drunk on the warm side.
+1 yeasties do not like high alcohol environments and bigger beers take longer to bottle carb
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #6
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It's a 10.7% abv. It has a slight carbonation, and Is not difficult to drink, but I would like to see a nice head on it when I pour. I'll give the beer another week or so to see if it carbs up a little better, if not I'll try to add another couple drops of syrup. I guess I was also wondering if the existing yeast in there would have been killed off by then?

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Old 12-23-2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by trevorc13 View Post
It's a 10.7% abv. It has a slight carbonation, and Is not difficult to drink, but I would like to see a nice head on it when I pour. I'll give the beer another week or so to see if it carbs up a little better, if not I'll try to add another couple drops of syrup. I guess I was also wondering if the existing yeast in there would have been killed off by then?
Yeah, with that ABV, I would not expect the beer to be carbed up in three weeks. Personally, I would wait a couple months before doing anything. It probably needs to condition that long in the bottle anyway.

And no, the yeast will not be killed off by then. It is not as if they have a certain time period in which they can do their work, and if it expires, they poop out. They have their own schedule. I recommend accommodating them instead of trying to force them to do what you want in the time period you have allotted them. Everything might be fine - the leftover syrup in your bottling bucket might not be enough to make a big difference. Only time will tell.
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Old 12-23-2010, 05:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by mojotele View Post
Try to avoid splashing as much as possible. I had to do this once, and I poured the beer down the side of the bucket while trying to keep it as far down in the bucket as I could without touching the beer.
Pour down the side seems kind of counter-productive to me. Pour like this increases the surface area of the beer as is rolls down the side of the bucket. Larger surface area means more contact with atmosphere.

I agree that you don't want to splash the beer, but I would pour from the bottle as close to the surface of the beer in the bucket as I could.
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Old 12-23-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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Pour down the side seems kind of counter-productive to me. Pour like this increases the surface area of the beer as is rolls down the side of the bucket. Larger surface area means more contact with atmosphere.
That's entirely possible and is something I didn't consider. I was just trying to minimize splashing and it seemed like a convenient way to slow the flow. I'm no chemist

Anyway, I'm with the other posters who say give it more time. At 10% ABV you need much, much more time to carbonate than 2-3 weeks.
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