I have a relatively flat porter and had a few questions for everyone. I bottled 2 different 5-gallon batches of beer 1 week apart. One has a decent carbonation level and the other is pretty flat. Here are some of the details:
Batch 1 - Pumpkin Honey Porter. Brewed 9/30/12, secondary 10/4/12, bottled 10/21/12, OG 1.052, FG 1.010, Priming sugar: 3/4 cup dextrose
Batch 2 - Dunkelweizen. Brewed 10/14/12, bottled 10/27/12, OG 1.040, FG 1.008, Priming sugar: 1 cup dextrose
Just after bottling the porter, the temperature dropped outside dramatically and also in my basement (where the bottles are kept). Typical temperature for the basement is 70 deg. When the colder weather came, the basement temperatures dropped into the mid-50s briefly and was probably in the low 60s when I bottled the dunkelweizen. 10 days after bottling the porter, I opened one and noted its low carbonation level. I then realized that the basement temp was the likely cause and I added a portable heater to the room and have since kept the temp at 72 deg.
Several days after adding the heater, I opened one of each beer. The dunkelweizen was decently carbonated but the porter is still pretty flat. My question here: Does it make sense for one beer to carbonate faster than another?
What I think happened is that the porter yeast became inactive and settled on the bottom during the coldest week before bottling the dunkelweizen and is slow to wake up. Recently, I have swished the porter bottles around to get the yeast back in suspension but it seems to settle back on the bottom. Second question: Should I shake the bottles a little more vigorously one more time? Third: Do you all expect that adequate carbonation will come in time or should I think about adding yeast or sugar tabs to the bottles at some point down the road if I see no progress?