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Old 12-21-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
johnthemc
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Hi everyone.I started my first 5 gallon, non-mr. beer. It fermented in 1 week, racked and sat for 2 weeks and bottled which would have it ready for Christmas being 3 weeks.
Couldn't wait so I tried one bottle last night. It is totally flat.
When I bottled, I put 3 sugar tablets in each then capped.
Can something be wrong? I was told at the supply store to be careful on how many and they said use 3 but the bag said 5.
In time will it carbonate or should I open and add 2 to each bottle.Made 2 cases. Appreciated any help.
John

 
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthemc View Post
Hi everyone.I started my first 5 gallon, non-mr. beer. It fermented in 1 week, racked and sat for 2 weeks and bottled which would have it ready for Christmas being 3 weeks.
Couldn't wait so I tried one bottle last night. It is totally flat.
When I bottled, I put 3 sugar tablets in each then capped.
Can something be wrong? I was told at the supply store to be careful on how many and they said use 3 but the bag said 5.
In time will it carbonate or should I open and add 2 to each bottle.Made 2 cases. Appreciated any help.
John
How long in the bottle? What was the temperature you stored the bottles while carbing?
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:18 PM   #3
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How have you stored the bottles? They need to be warmer to carbonate, something like 72 to 75 F. and it may still take 2 to 3 weeks to completely carbonate. Even then the beer wouldn't be really ready by Christmas as it still takes a little time to mature with darker beers taking longer than the lighter beers.

 
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:34 PM   #4
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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.


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."

Lazy Llama came up with a handy dandy chart to determine how long something takes in brewing, whether it's fermentation, carbonation, bottle conditioning....



If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them more time. If you added your sugar, then the beer will carb up eventually, it's really a foolroof process. All beers will carb up eventually. A lot of new brewers think they have to "troubleshoot" a bottling issue, when there really is none, the beer knows how to carb itself. In fact if you run beersmiths carbing calculator, some lower grav beers don't even require additional sugar to reach their minimum level of carbonation. Just time.

Additionally since you're probably using the larger mr beer bottles, you can add another week or 2 to the timeframe. Larger bottles tend to take longer.
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
johnthemc
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On 12/26 it will be 3 weeks in the bottle and the temperature in my basement is a constant 65.1 degrees. Thanks

 
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Old 12-21-2011, 01:49 PM   #6
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You should read the thread I just started before reading yours ("Success from my un-carbed beer.") I too used three carbing tabs, and I too had flat beer for many weeks (and months.) After 6 months it was perfect.

 
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Old 12-21-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthemc View Post
On 12/26 it will be 3 weeks in the bottle and the temperature in my basement is a constant 65.1 degrees. Thanks
So it's under 3 weeks still AND it's below 70. Those 5 degrees may not seem like much to you and me, but it seems to be a lot to carbing, add at least another week to that.
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Old 12-21-2011, 04:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthemc View Post
On 12/26 it will be 3 weeks in the bottle and the temperature in my basement is a constant 65.1 degrees. Thanks
too cold to carb up in 3 weeks. next time try batch priming so you don't have to worry about 3-5 tabs or whatever and keep the bottles at 70 degrees or so.

 
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:45 PM   #9
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I noticed early on that carbonation drops/tablets don't work as fast or as well as bulk priming. I think it was my 3rd batch when I built a bottling bucket for about $12. I by a couple pounds of dextrose at a time,& even keep a bag of demerara around as well. And I got a digital scale at Super Walmart for $20 to measure everything.
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