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Old 11-20-2007, 02:32 AM   #1
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Default carbonation question

Okay, my beer has suffered from being too carbonated so based on previous threads here I used this site (http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/rec...ml?9196539#tag) to try and calculate how much sugar to use. Well, apparently the site doesn't work b/c after 15 days the beer is flat as can be (temperature between 66 - 70 degrees). So, should I add carb tabs?

I made 5 gallon batch and used .6 cups of corn sugar.

On a somewhat related note, this is for the pumpkin ale which I spent way too much time on. Partial mash with fresh pumpkin, sparge was slow/stuck numerous times. I will also never use pumpkin again so I would like to enjoy it the one time I did. Although next year I might use sweet potatoes instead.


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Old 11-20-2007, 05:27 PM   #2
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actually, .6 cups for 5 gallons sounds about right...you really want weight not volume for the sugar amount, but .6 cups should be pushing 5oz dry weight.

is this bottled or keg'd?
did you test more than one bottle? did you stir the sugar in or make a sugar/water solution?
are you sure your cap(s) sealed tight? or keg lid if it was keg'd?


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Old 11-20-2007, 06:47 PM   #3
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Yeah, I tried two different bottles. The second one I tried was out of a Sam Adam's bottle which I've never had trouble with.

My process is the same as always, boil two cups of water, add sugar, and boil for 10 minutes. When done add 5 gallons of my uncarbed beer and stir, then bottle. I used a gram to cup conversion. It actually came to .5 something cups but I put a little extra in because it called for a lot less sugar than I've previously used.

I doubt swirling the bottles will do anything b/c I've never had to in the past. I'd also like to have some ready by Christmas (it was supposed to be ready by Thanksgiving but oh well). There is seriously no carbonation.
When I opened the bottle it sounded good (nice popping sound) and a little mist came out, not much. But when I poured, nothing. And of course it tastes really flat, not a spec of carbonation.
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Old 11-20-2007, 08:26 PM   #4
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When did you bottle it. Carbonation takes some time. I've had beers that were crap for carbonation one weekend and perfect the next.


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Old 11-20-2007, 09:34 PM   #5
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I bottled it 16 days ago. Usually I drink after two weeks and there is plenty of carbonation but this could be a result of me having over carbonated beer.

So here is what I'm going to do. Go home, give all the bottles a little twirl to get the yeast moving and then wait another week. If no carbonation after another week (23 total days) than I'm going to buy carb tabs. Does this sound like a good idea or would three weeks be too soon?
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:39 PM   #6
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keep them at 70F for a week so the yeast stay plenty active.
any sediment forming?
i agree they must be sealed or you wouldn't even hear a 'hiss' when opening.

what's the ABV %? did you perhaps exceed the yeast's tolerance...or come really close, which would slow them down on the priming sugar?
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Old 11-21-2007, 01:13 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the responses.....

The ABV is just over 6 percent and I used American Ale Wyeast, so yeast tolerance shouldn't be an issue.

The temperature in my basement is 68 degrees. I'll move them to a closet somewhere upstairs where it is a little warmer.

There is a decent amount of yeast (at least I believe it is yeast) at the bottom of the bottles. Is this good or bad? I've never really paid much attention to the bottling b/c it has always worked out.

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Old 11-21-2007, 11:23 PM   #8
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68 might be slightly on the cool side. the fact you've got some sediment forming is a good thing.

get em in the mid 70's for a week and test another bottle.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:33 PM   #9
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So it has been close to 6 weeks. I've swirled the bottles, increased the temperature and still very little carbonation (I actually have a little trace on the glass though...very little).

So, do I add carb tabs? there is sediment on the bottom. Is there something that I can add to get it to carbonate quickly, like a few days? Who wants to drink Pumpkin ale after New Years?

Also, I've heard that All-spice has some oils in it that makes carbonation take longer, anyone heard of this before? I did use allspice.
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:43 PM   #10
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I use that carbonation calculator all the time and it works great. One thing though if you carbonate to lower volumes the temperature you serve your beer at becomes much more critical. If you carbonate a British Bitter to ~1.5vol and then serve it at 33F straight from your fridge it will taste flat, thin and lifeless. Serve it at 55F and it is creamy, flavourfull and lively and the carbonation is apparent.

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