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Old 12-04-2011, 09:52 PM   #1
Scarthingmoor
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I've had two batches now where my bottle conditioning isn't working. I've had batches in the past that worked fine, but now I get no carbonation. (I add sugar directly to the bottles).

The only thing that I'm doing differently is that I'm leaving it in the secondary longer. There doesn't seem to be any active yeast left when I go to bottle. Does the yeast die off after too long in the secondary?

I've heard that it's okay/better to leave it at least a few weeks in the secondary. I'm wondering if this is only true keg users though. What am I doing wrong? How do I know what is too long to ferment?

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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Is it too cold to bottle condition now? What temp is it
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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What do you mean "Bottle Condiotioning Isn't working." It's a process that happens automatically. And takes a minimum of three weeks, when the bottles are stored above 70.Carbonation/conditioning is an automatic process. It doesn't not work. You add sugar, the yeast eat it, and it happens. The only thing that doesn't work, is usually the brewer's patience, to wait the process out.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:01 PM   #4
Scarthingmoor
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Temp is maybe 67-70F.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:02 PM   #5
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I don't secondary unless I'm adding oak,fruit,etc. Just let it reach a stable FG,then give it 3-5 days to clean up & settle out more. Then boil 2C of water,& add the measured amount of priming sugar by weight to the boiled water. Stir until clear again,then cool down to 70 or 80F. Then,start racking the beer to the bottling bucket till you have a couple inches swirling. Then slowly pour the priming solution into the surface of the swirling beer. Less chance of adding o2 at that point.
This way will work better than pouring sugar into the bottles.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:04 PM   #6
Scarthingmoor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
What do you mean "Bottle Condiotioning Isn't working." It's a process that happens automatically. And takes a minimum of three weeks, when the bottles are stored above 70.Carbonation/conditioning is an automatic process. It doesn't not work. You add sugar, the yeast eat it, and it happens. The only thing that doesn't work, is usually the brewer's patience, to wait the process out.
But what if the yeast are dead? I waited for a batch in bottle for a month, and there was zero carbonation. I finally cracked every bottle and added a bit more yeast. It started to carbonate within a week.

 
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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That's another reason I don't secondary. Waiting for it to reach FG,then secondary for a long time,& it seems like so much yeast settles out going dormant,that there's not enough left to do the job.
Don't let it sit so long in secondary if you're not bulk aging a big beer or adding something. you'll have a beer going into bottles that's quite clear,but has enough yeast left to carbonate. See if that does it. and bulk prime with solution in a bottling bucket,that'll work better. Not to mention,more consistent.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:14 PM   #8
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Yeast really doesn't die as easily as most new brewers believe. Beer has been brewed with 45 million year old yeast that had been encased in amber. It's pretty tough.

Yeast can be tired..... but even if you secondary there's still plenty of yeast left to do the job, unless perhaps you've kept in secondary for maybe a year.

A month is nothing, how do you know that in a week or two more the beer woulda carbed on it's own? I've had beers take 6-8 weeks before they've carbed up. I've had a high grav beer need 6 months, but it did...

Like I said it's a pretty automatic and fool proof process, if you give it time. Yes adding yeast when you think it might need help is a good thing. it's recommended in high grave beers or those that sat in secondary for over 6 months or so. But in normal situations you shouldn't need to. And it would cab on it's own in time.
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:23 PM   #9
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Ottawa rules!!

Anyways, to the question at hand; let it wait longer. Get a good pipeline going so you aren't waiting for beer...let the beer wait for you. Give it 6 weeks and if it isn't carbing, maybe there is a problem in the process? Are you wiping the tops of the bottles before capping to make sure there is no sugar particles which may lead to leaks? Maybe your capper is broken and not sealing them tightly. Worst case (or best, depending on your point of view..) buy a kegging set up!

Oh, and FYI......Ottawa rules!
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Old 12-05-2011, 02:20 AM   #10
Scarthingmoor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StittsvilleJames View Post
Ottawa rules!!

Anyways, to the question at hand; let it wait longer. Get a good pipeline going so you aren't waiting for beer...let the beer wait for you. Give it 6 weeks and if it isn't carbing, maybe there is a problem in the process? Are you wiping the tops of the bottles before capping to make sure there is no sugar particles which may lead to leaks? Maybe your capper is broken and not sealing them tightly. Worst case (or best, depending on your point of view..) buy a kegging set up!

Oh, and FYI......Ottawa rules!
Lovin the stittsvegas love. And appreciate the advice.

 
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