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Old 11-25-2012, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default Carbonation question/problem

So I combined a spiced winter ale recipe and an oatmeal stout recipe I found on the web to make a heavy, spiced winter oatmeal stout. My problem is lack of carbonation. After 3 weeks in the bottle I have opened 3 beers, 2 were almost completely flat (hissed when opened) and 1 was very, very lightly carbonated. Good news is the brew tastes good flat, so getting some carbonation would be awesome. Here are the details..

5 gallon batch
O.G. 1.072
T.G. 1.020

When I transferred from secondary fermentation to bottling bucket, I added 3/4 cup maltodextrin, desolved in 1cup water, lightly boiled and cooled to 80F. This is the first I have used maltodextrin, I usually use corn sugar in the same manner. I used the maltodextrin to add mouth feel and body to the beer.

SO after sampling the 3 bottles, I gave each unopened bottle two flips upside down to help stir it up a bit. I should also mention my storage temp is lower than I would like, about 60-64 F.

Any opinions or thoughts? Could I have done something wrong with the maltodextrin? Is this simply a problem of low storage temp and I need to kick it up closer to 70?

Proste!


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Old 11-25-2012, 07:25 PM   #2
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First you only need to use Maltodextrin to add body to your beer, not to carbonate. Second you should add the 3/4 cups of dextrose to your bottling bucket, THEN rack the beer on top of that. After all your beer is racked into the BB, I would ever so gently stir the mixture together to elevate the falling dextrose. This will even out the consistency between your beers. Remember, don't stir to much just enough to elevate sugar.

Hope this helps.


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Old 11-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #3
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Maltodextrin is not generally fermentable - did you add sugar too?
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jknapp12105 View Post
First you only need to use Maltodextrin to add body to your beer, not to carbonate. Second you should add the 3/4 cups of dextrose to your bottling bucket, THEN rack the beer on top of that. After all your beer is racked into the BB, I would ever so gently stir the mixture together to elevate the falling dextrose. This will even out the consistency between your beers. Remember, don't stir to much just enough to elevate sugar.

Hope this helps.
So you don't pre-dissolve your priming sugar in water, boil for a few minutes, then cool prior to adding to your bottling bucket? This was how I learned and has been standard procedure for me for a couple years. Skipping that step would be nice.

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Originally Posted by cshamilton View Post
Maltodextrin is not generally fermentable - did you add sugar too?
Didn't add sugar as I was assured by my local home brew supply store guy that maltodextrin was an acceptable substitute for corn sugar (what I usually use).

What's your guys' opinions on saving this batch? Should I:
1)toss all of it back in the bucket and add sugar directly to it, stir, then re-bottle?
2) crack each bottle, add a small amount of sugar (1/2 tsp per 12 oz) and re-cap?

I've never failed at carbonating before, this is new to me!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 PM   #5
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I think your general technique is fine, I rack on top of my sugar solution and get consistent priming all the time - no need to stir if you do it right.

Was is it pure maltodextrin? I would double check, if it was DME it will carb but it will take a bit longer.

Also your results will be more consistent if you measure your sugar by weight. A decent digital scale is $15.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cshamilton View Post
I think your general technique is fine, I rack on top of my sugar solution and get consistent priming all the time - no need to stir if you do it right.

Was is it pure maltodextrin? I would double check, if it was DME it will carb but it will take a bit longer.

Also your results will be more consistent if you measure your sugar by weight. A decent digital scale is $15.
pure maltodextrin. further internet research proves you are correct. maltodextrin is known to be non-fermentable....DOH!!!!!!
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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pure maltodextrin. further internet research proves you are correct. maltodextrin is known to be non-fermentable....DOH!!!!!!
I suppose I'm lucky that the guys at my LHBS generally know what they're talking about, but this wouldn't be the first time I've heard of someone at a brew shop giving terrible advice.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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If you're not happy with flat beer, The easiest thing might be to get carbonating tablets. Pop the cap, add a tablet and re-cap. Quick, neat and accurate.
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Old 11-25-2012, 09:26 PM   #9
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If you're not happy with flat beer, The easiest thing might be to get carbonating tablets. Pop the cap, add a tablet and re-cap. Quick, neat and accurate.
I agree, that would be easier than messing about with granulated corn sugar...

Cheers!
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:57 AM   #10
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If you're not happy with flat beer, The easiest thing might be to get carbonating tablets. Pop the cap, add a tablet and re-cap. Quick, neat and accurate.
better than my ideas....it will be done.
Proste!


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