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Old 12-18-2008, 07:42 PM   #1
KingPellinore
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I bottled my first non-kit brew (Frank The Tank's Red Dragon Ale) on Saturday.

I opened a bottle Wednesday night to see if the carbonation had taken. I've done this before with other brews and they were already quite carbonated after 4 days in the bottle. My face fell as I poured the red ale into my glass and it was as flat as iced tea.

Should I be worried, or am I just being impatient?

 
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:44 PM   #2
Deacon240
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2-3 weeks at 70*f to get a real good carbonation. My first batch took around 2 weeks to get a good carb.
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Old 12-18-2008, 07:46 PM   #3
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Impatient noob you are...Read this...

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/558191-post101.html
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:29 PM   #4
KingPellinore
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Thanks, guys. I've brewed this particular one to give away as Xmas presents, so I'm particularly anxious for it to turn out well!

On the plus side, it's pretty tasty, even if it's flat at the moment!

 
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:30 PM   #5
Deacon240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingPellinore View Post
Thanks, guys. I've brewed this particular one to give away as Xmas presents, so I'm particularly anxious for it to turn out well!

On the plus side, it's pretty tasty, even if it's flat at the moment!
Just give it as a gift and tell them to leave it room temp till the 31st and throw it in the fridge for New Years Ever party.
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Old 12-18-2008, 10:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingPellinore View Post
I bottled my first non-kit brew (Frank The Tank's Red Dragon Ale) on Saturday.

I opened a bottle Wednesday night to see if the carbonation had taken. I've done this before with other brews and they were already quite carbonated after 4 days in the bottle. My face fell as I poured the red ale into my glass and it was as flat as iced tea.

Should I be worried, or am I just being impatient?
It's a good exercise to pop one open every week or so to see how the carbonation develops and the flavors meld. Generally it'll take anything between 10 and 30 days for a beer to become fully carbonated. There are a lot of variables that affect this - how much yeast was still in suspension when you bottled and what temperature you are conditioning at, how much alcohol the beer contains, etc.

If the beer is still flat after 3+ weeks, then it's time to start taking steps to fix the problem. Flat beers are relatively easy (though tedious) to fix, undercarbonated ones are extremely difficult (unless you keg, of course).

 
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:08 AM   #7
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I am struggling with this myself. My first brew - a hefe - has been in the bottle for over three weeks. It is still pretty flat, although each bottle I open is a little better than the last. It is a little colder than 70 where I need to keep it (SWMBO, you know). Also, I boiled the bottling sugar in a really large pan, and I think only about two thirds of it got in the bottling bucket. AND I didn't stir the beer to mix the sugar. What can I say - It's a first brew. At least I have room to improve.

I'm counting on patience to solve all the problems. At least it smells great and tastes pretty good (for flat beer).

 
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jldc View Post
I am struggling with this myself. My first brew - a hefe - has been in the bottle for over three weeks. It is still pretty flat, although each bottle I open is a little better than the last. It is a little colder than 70 where I need to keep it (SWMBO, you know). Also, I boiled the bottling sugar in a really large pan, and I think only about two thirds of it got in the bottling bucket. AND I didn't stir the beer to mix the sugar. What can I say - It's a first brew. At least I have room to improve.

I'm counting on patience to solve all the problems. At least it smells great and tastes pretty good (for flat beer).
If the beer has decent body, you can try mixing it with a little bit of club soda to pep it up a little bit. Sounds like blasphemy, but sometimes it works.

 
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArcaneXor View Post
If the beer has decent body, you can try mixing it with a little bit of club soda to pep it up a little bit. Sounds like blasphemy, but sometimes it works.
If I'm no better off in a week or two, I'll try that.

 
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:51 AM   #10
dcarter
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I am struggling with this myself. My first brew - a hefe - has been in the bottle for over three weeks. It is still pretty flat, although each bottle I open is a little better than the last. It is a little colder than 70 where I need to keep it (SWMBO, you know). Also, I boiled the bottling sugar in a really large pan, and I think only about two thirds of it got in the bottling bucket. AND I didn't stir the beer to mix the sugar. What can I say - It's a first brew. At least I have room to improve.

I'm counting on patience to solve all the problems. At least it smells great and tastes pretty good (for flat beer).
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Sounds like a shortage of sugar combined with some channeling from not being mixed. Although sugar is very soluble in water/beer, a little stirring is required to get an even prime. Before I would mix soda water with my beer, ugh, I would make another batch, over carbonate it slightly and mix it with the slightly flat beer.
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