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-   -   Weird Carbonation batch?? New one for me!! (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/weird-carbonation-batch-new-one-me-382206/)

dstranger99 01-17-2013 01:22 PM

Weird Carbonation batch?? New one for me!!
So this was a 5 gal PM, IPA extra hoppy, OG 1.047 FG 1.010

Added 5 oz of corn sugar on bottling day.

2 weeks have passed and in 1 box of 24, 9 or 10 of them have a white foam at the head of the bottle, when I pop these, theres no carb, no Psssssshhh at all??? Yet the others that have no foam at the head and are crystal clear aside from the normal residue on the bottom carbed fine!!!

I used my normal method : Sugar in first, then rack on top.

Anyway, I popped the tops on the foamy ones, added carb drops, and recapped.

Any idea how this happened, or what's the foam deal at the top of some of these?.........

unionrdr 01-17-2013 01:30 PM

Sounds like the priming solution didn't mix evenly at all,being dumped in the empty bottling bucket then racking. I let maybe 3-6 inches of beer rack over,then pour in half the priming solution. Wait till about 2/3's of the way racked over,& pour in the rest of the priming solution. Finish racking it over. By then,since the beer has been slowly swirling,it should be mixed better.

Revvy 01-17-2013 01:30 PM

You added MORE sugar to foaming bottles?!?!?! Why? Do you like bottle bombs?

The reason you have odd, inconsistant AND FOAMING carbonation is simple, you're opening them too soon. That's it....there's no other reason.

And you jumped the gun if you added MORE sugar to beer that you ALREADY added sugar too, that the yeast WASN'T DONE EATING YET. SO you added more sugar to beer that already had enough sugar.

he co2 is in the headpsace and NOT in solution.

We get this all the time from impatient folks who open their bottles WAAAAAYYYYYYY early.

If you watch Poindexter's video on time lapsed carbonation, you will see that in many instances, before a beer is carbed it my gush, that's not from infection, or mixing of sugars, but because the co2 hasn't evened out- it hasn't been pulled fully into the beer. Think of it as there's a lot of co2 being generated and most of it is in the headspace, not in the beer, so there's still "over pressure" in the bottle, so it gushes when it is opened.

But when the beer is truly carbed it all evens out, across the bottles.

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

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.

And just because a beer is carbed doesn't mean it still doesn't taste like a$$ and need more time for the off flavors to condition out. You have green beer.

Temp and gravity are the two factors that contribute to the time it takes to carb beer. But if a beer's not ready yet, or seems low carbed, and you added the right amount of sugar to it, then it's not stalled, it's just not time yet.

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

Additionally once the three weeks or so has passed, chiling them down for a few days (not just a few hours or over night as most new brewers want to do ;)) will help the carbonation settle.

If you indeed added more sugar, I would be VERY careful and isolate your bottles in a rubbermade box or something to contain any possible explosions. AND I WOULD LEAVE THEM ALONE for at least another 3 weeks...and be ready now for over carbed beer.

And in the future, I would not touch my beers for a MIMIMUM of three weeks. And also come here look at the answers on here (which get asked a hundred times a week) or ask the question, BEFORE you try to fix things...

You didn't have a problem, but since you added more sugar, you PROBABLY do now....totally different from what you expected.

Revvy 01-17-2013 01:33 PM


Originally Posted by unionrdr (Post 4794955)
Sounds like the priming solution didn't mix evenly at all,being dumped in the empty bottling bucket then racking. I let maybe 3-6 inches of beer rack over,then pour in half the priming solution. Wait till about 2/3's of the way racked over,& pour in the rest of the priming solution. Finish racking it over. By then,since the beer has been slowly swirling,it should be mixed better.

I still don't believe in the "priming sugar doesn't mix on it's own," idea...he has inconsistant carbonations, because the beer was opened too early not because anything was wrong.

I still believe that Inconsistant carbonation, usually simply means that they are not ready yet. If he had opened them a week later, or even two, you never would have noticed. Each one is it's own little microcosm, and although generally the should come up at the same time, it's not an automatic switch, and they all pop on.

A tiny difference in temps between bottles in storage can affect the yeasties, speed them up or slow them down. Like if you store them in a closet against a warm wall, the beers closest to the heat source may be a tad warmer than those further way, so thy may carb/condition at slightly different rates. I usually store a batch in 2 seperate locations in my loft 1 case in my bedroom which is a little warmer, and the other in the closet in the lving room, which being in a larger space is a tad cooler, at least according to the thermostat next to that closet. It can be 5-10 degrees warmer in my bedroom. So I usually start with that case at three weeks. Giving the other half a little more time.

unionrdr 01-17-2013 01:43 PM

I've been thinking that sugar solution being heavier than water,might not mix as easilly as many think. I've added the priming solution first,then racked,let a few inches of beer rack over,then add. Rack 1/3,add half the solution,when 2/3's racked over,add the other half solution. Stir gently or not. My batches used to carb incredibly fast,now they're a bit slower,even though I put the boxed bottles in the master bedroom. It's the warmest room in the house.81F at times with the lil heater we have in there.
They still don't always carb evenly. They're maybe 8' away from any heat source. Not very evenly carbed with some batches,even at 4 weeks & a week fridge time.
But I did discover something one day a month or more ago. I was cleaning bottles,& noticed a thin,crusty/grainy layer around the lip of the bottles. I thought maybe at a certain amount of co2 pressure in the head space that the crud would allow the gas to leak till it went down to a given psi. So I soaked the neck end of the bottles in PBW for 20 minutes or so,then scrubbed'em with a dobie & rinsed. Dried with a towel & boxed till bottling day. We'll find out if that was part of the problem in another 3 weeks or so. They've been bottled 5 days today...:mug:

dstranger99 01-17-2013 01:47 PM

Ok, thanks for the write up, I think I popped the caps on about 12 of them last night, and put in 4 little carb drops, the package said four for a medium carb......I have a heavy towel over the box right now, but I'll go ahead and move it inside a cabinet when I go home for lunch.......

BTW: Just checked my notes, and this batch was bottled on 1/6/13

F250 01-17-2013 01:50 PM

I've yet to have an issue with pouring the priming sugar solution in the bottom of my bottling bucket and then simply siphoning the beer on top of it. When it's actually ready every bottle has been the same, well carbed, no duds, no gushers.

Most of these problems are caused by people being impatient and jacking with stuff before it's ready.


unionrdr 01-17-2013 01:53 PM

Lucky you. Mine were fine till early last summer. Still trying to solve this one.

Revvy 01-17-2013 01:55 PM


Originally Posted by unionrdr (Post 4794998)
[FONT="Georgia"]I've been thinking that sugar solution being heavier than water,might not mix as easilly as many think.

A couple people have been experimenting, but remember, it's not sugar being heavier that water, it's a sugar solution of water and sugar boiled together, (simple syrup is a technical name for it) being mixed with another sugar solution containing a percentage of alcohol. The densities/ gravites are a lot closer to each other than a lot of folks seem to think. What is beer? Simple syrup and Alcohol. What is priming solution? sugar water about to be turned into alcohol.

This is NOT like oil and water.

Stauffbeer posted this in another thread in one of the endless debates about this (which you were involved in, buddy.)


Originally Posted by Stauffbier (Post 4697550)
Regarding the "stir" debate...

I did a little experiment about a year ago. You can try this too.

Take a cup of water and add your favorite color of food coloring to it. Add a lot of food coloring so that the color is nice and dark. Dump it in a bucket. Rack 5 gallons of clear water from another bucket on top of the colored water with a siphon. This imitates racking beer onto priming sugar. You'll notice that the cup of colored water mixes in with the 5 gallons of clear water very nicely. Give it a try!

One of these days I'm actually going to brew an extremely light beer, like a kolsch and tint my priming sugar solution, and get the clearest bucket I can find to use as a bottling bucket, maybe one of those plastic containers from a restaurant supply store, and put 2 or three cameras on the damn thing to have three different angles, and record it mixing, and finally put this damn myth to rest.

It's one thing to be dropping dry sugar into the bucket, and another to be mingling two liquids of nearly the same density.

I've NEVER had inconsistant carbonation.....All my bottles, WHEN I WAIT LONG ENOUGH, have ALL carbed just fine, and I've NEVER stirred it. I just let the natural flow of the racking beer do the work.

How come I have consistant carbonation, when so many folks apparantly don't? Well if you look at these threads, it's because I wait long enough to let the beer carb up.

Also, how come so many of the folks who claim they have carbonation problems(which we realize they opened the beer before 3 weeks) including "inconsistant" issues, come back AFTER 3-4 weeks, and report all their other bottles are now fine?

After enough years answering these threads and following up, you begin to see the pattern....it's a time issue more than anything else.

But I'm MORE concerned today with the fact that the OP added more sugar to "fix" his supposed problem....Not good.

unionrdr 01-17-2013 02:08 PM

Yes,I remember that thread. But the search for the answer to my particular problem in this regard can leave no stone untouched. Gotta cover all the bases. If they carbed much at all,they took longer than average for an average gravity ale. It's gotten better but 4 weeks & one in the fridgr for half decent carbonation is def wrong compared to earlier results.

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