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Old 02-22-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
DBONES
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Default Will it ever carbonate?

I know, RDWHAHB, but its hard to HAHB when they won't carb up. Bottled my first brew on 1/17/10, exactly 5 weeks ago, a wheat ale kit from The Home Brewer. Everything went fine, 2 weeks in the primary and 10 days in the secondary. OG and FG were right on according to instructions. Priming sugar was boiled and added. Bottles are stored in a closet with a constant 68 degrees.

I opened one 2 weeks after bottling and the beer was delicious, but very flat. Decided to give them a few more weeks. So chilled one (for 2 days) and tried again yesterday. Very little carbonation. Poured directly into bottom of glass (not down the side) and got about 1/4" of head. Still tasted fabulous for as little carbonation as it had.

Some possible beginner mistakes:

This was my first brew and I did not have any starsan, so I used bleach to sanitize everything during the brewing process. I've been in the restaurant business for 35 years and bleach is the only sanitizer I have ever used. I checked everything with test strips and did not exceed 50ppm. Did not rinse bleach but air dried everything including the bottling bucket.

Sanitized bottles in dishwasher not using any soap, however the dishwasher has an automatic jet dry dispenser which has no provision for turning off.

As I said, the beer is delicious, and drinkable, just very flat. Do you think it will ever reach full carbonation?

Thanks,
Dan

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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Did you stir up your bottling bucket after adding the sugar? Sometimes it doesn't mix well, so others will be more carbed than others. How much priming sugar did you use?

From personal experience, I've noticed that if you leave a couple in the fridge for atleast 1 week (after sitting at room temp for 3-4 weeks)... the CO2 absorbs real nice back into the beer and holds it. I'd try leaving a few in the fridge for a week, if not more and try one then... also try taking them in various spots when you bottled (if you kept them in order while bottling... take some from the beginning/middle/end).

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #3
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After 5 weeks at 68, I doubt it. A few things you can try if you haven't already. Shake the bottles up to get the yeast back into suspension and let them sit for another week or so. Then refrigerate them for 2 days. Or, make sure your closet is 68 degrees. If your closet is on an outside wall and you keep the door closed, it is probably considerably cooler. Try moving the bottles to somewhere warmer. And as a last resort, you could uncap them, add a smidgen of sugar, recap, let sit 2 more weeks.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:12 PM   #4
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In my experience it usually takes my bottles a month before they carb up...but I have them in a stable 68* closet.

You are looking at a 5 week old brew...2 of which it was in the primary and another in the secondary, so its only really been aging 2 weeks.

So Relax Don't worry and have a store bought
Grab a 6'er of same style so you can compare...that's what I used to do before the pipeline...and still do when I kick both my kegs on the same day and have to wait for the others to carb up (and boy does this chap my arse...can't wait till I get my keezer finished)

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:23 PM   #5
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I did stir the beer after adding priming sugar. The closet is an inner closet and it does remain a constant 68 degrees.

If I uncap and re-prime, how much in each bottle, and will this really help if the problem is with the bleach and jet dry?

The beer is over 8 weeks old. It has been bottled for five weeks.

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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If you uncap and re-prime just pick up some carb tabs at the LHBS and drop one in each bottle then recap. However, I'd just tip them over to re-suspend the yeast and leave it for another 2 weeks. What was the OG on this beer?

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Old 02-22-2010, 01:58 PM   #7
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Did you cap them tightly? If not much of the carbonation might have escaped.

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:24 PM   #8
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If your getting 1/4 inch head I'd stop worrying.

Shake those bastards up, try and find someplace a little warmer maybe (On top of the fridge) and leave em for a week and try again.

If they were totally flat I'd be worried. But since you are getting some carbonation I'd be not as worried.

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:37 PM   #9
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I sometimes use Jet-Dry as a defoamer when some joker puts soap into a fountain or pool. Just a hunch, but that may be the problem.

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:41 PM   #10
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Next time don't use the dishwasher with the jet dry for sure. I am not sure if that is a problem here or not, but I use my dishwasher to sanitize my bottles with just the water and heat and have had zero problems.


You need to shake each of the bottles up good to get the yeast up off of the bottom, back into suspension and warm them puppies up to 70-75 degrees. They'll carb up.

I like to be at at least 70 degrees for my bottle carbing.

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