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Beer not carbonating in spite of same procedure

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Josepe

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hi guys,

I’m new to this community so I hope this is the right place to ask a question. First off I wanna say that I’m a very methodical guy. I write down every detail of my brewing process. This time around, I made 4 different batches of which 2 I had made several times before and 2 were new. For the ones I had done before (a golden ale and a pretty simple pale ale) I followed everything exactly as I’ve done before, the OG was the same as always and the FG too. The ingredients were purchased at the same place as always. The only difference I had is that this time I cold crashed them, which I hadn’t done before. Now, I usually leave my beers to condition in the bottles for 3 weeks but I open one every few days just out of curiosity and to check how it “evolves”. Usually they are nice and gassy from around the 3rd day. This time around though they weren’t. I didn’t panic though, it’s only 3 days. I opened one more on day 7. Nothing. Today was day 15 and they are still really flat!! Just a very tiny psst, but very very flat. I’ve never had this happen before. I condition at 22 celsius (72F), the bottles are well sealed, the priming sugar was recently bought, both their OG were 1.05 and FG 1.01. Is it possible that due to the cold crash there wasn’t enough suspended yeast so there’s nothing to eat the sugar? I can see a thin sediment at the bottom of the bottles though. I also shook them gently at around 1 week. Should I start worrying? I mean, I’ve done these two beers about 6 times each before and never had this problem. Thanks so much for the help.
By the way, the other two (stout and Hefe-Weizen) haven’t primed either yet, but I don’t have any experience with those.
 

Jag75

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If you cold crashed then bottled you probably dropped most of the yeast so it's not able to carb up well enough or at all. Personally if I'm bottling I wouldn't cold crash . After you bottle and its carbed where you want it then put it in the fridge. The cold will drop stuff to the bottom of the bottle . When you pour just leave the last bit unless you want to drink the slurry.

Welcome to the forum!
 

Smellyglove

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Are you sure you remembered to add the priming sugar?

3 weeks, even after CC and kept in 22c should in the very most cases give you something more than "very very flat", especially at that OG.

You can't see the suspended yeast by eye when it comes to minimal yeast needed to carb up a beer, but you see a layer on the bottom of the bottles, so you should have enough yeast in the bottles. The tiny pssst could be the co2 already contained in the beer when bottling, trying to get out at 22C.

Turn the bottles upside down, don't shake them (although you already did earlier).
 
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Josepe

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If you cold crashed then bottled you probably dropped most of the yeast so it's not able to carb up well enough or at all. Personally if I'm bottling I wouldn't cold crash . After you bottle and its carbed where you want it then put it in the fridge. The cold will drop stuff to the bottom of the bottle . When you pour just leave the last bit unless you want to drink the slurry.

Welcome to the forum!
Are you sure you remembered to add the priming sugar?

3 weeks, even after CC and kept in 22c should in the very most cases give you something more than "very very flat", especially at that OG.

You can't see the suspended yeast by eye when it comes to minimal yeast needed to carb up a beer, but you see a layer on the bottom of the bottles, so you should have enough yeast in the bottles. The tiny pssst could be the co2 already contained in the beer when bottling, trying to get out at 22C.

Turn the bottles upside down, don't shake them (although you already did earlier).
Thanks for the answer! I’m absolutely certain I put the priming sugar in. 4oz for about 4.3 gallons. And yes, I can see that thin white layer at the bottom of each bottle. I don’t know how I messed up. At this point should I start considering other options? Should I try and re-prime (not sure what the correct term is). Thanks so much for the help!
 
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Josepe

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If you cold crashed then bottled you probably dropped most of the yeast so it's not able to carb up well enough or at all. Personally if I'm bottling I wouldn't cold crash . After you bottle and its carbed where you want it then put it in the fridge. The cold will drop stuff to the bottom of the bottle . When you pour just leave the last bit unless you want to drink the slurry.

Welcome to the forum!
Hey, thanks for the answer! That sounds like bad news lol. Could I buy some dry yeast, activate it and pour a little into each bottle, then cap again? This was for sure the first and last time I cold crash before bottling. The funny thing is that thin white layer (of what I think is yeast) at the bottom of each bottle. I mean if there is that, shouldn’t there be enough yeast to eat the sugar? Thanks anyway, appreciate the help.
 

Smellyglove

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Thanks for the answer! I’m absolutely certain I put the priming sugar in. 4oz for about 4.3 gallons. And yes, I can see that thin white layer at the bottom of each bottle. I don’t know how I messed up. At this point should I start considering other options? Should I try and re-prime (not sure what the correct term is). Thanks so much for the help!
You're actually low on sugar.

Why did you use that amount of sugar? Did you use a priming calculator and input the temperature of the cold crashed beer?

How did you add it? Was it glucose or dextrose?

3 weeks in is pretty long for just a small pffft. So i'd consider doing something.

This will set you back a few bottles but..

From each batch. Especially if you use a priming bucket to blend the priming solution into, mixing with beer: If you store the bottle in cases, or in any other way know which bottle was primed first and last, take the first and last bottle, taste them, and take a gravity reading if you don't trust your buds 100%. Do they taste sweet? If they do not taste sweeter than they should, you might be leaking gas (hihi). This means yeast has eaten the sugars, but gas i escaping the bottle. Maybe the capper didn't want to work that day, you just didnt' seal the caps?

If they taste sweet this means the yeast has not converted the sugar to alcohol and bubbles. Then I'd add a priming yeast. It could be the same yeast as you used, or the Safbrew (fermentis) F2 priming yeast.

You also mention that the two other beers which didn't cold crash haven't primed yet, so it seems like it might be a mechanical issue.

In either way you're probably looking at some oxidation of the beer since you either have a leak or the oxygen haven't been scavenged by active yeast.
 
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balrog

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Bottle caps the same and bottles the same? Using twist off tops this time or something like that?
@Smellyglove is right about the temp of priming calculators, never use the cold crash temp. The amount of CO2 disolved in the fermenting beer is determined by the temp when the CO2 was being produced. If you subsequently cold crash, it doesn't introduce any more CO2 to the beer, but the calculator asking for the temp of the beer assumes the temp you enter is the temp during which CO2 was actively being added and dissolved into the beer.

Anyway, my bet is still on the bottle caps.
 

Jag75

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4 oz of priming sugar is ok @70 degrees. That gives you about 2.6 volumes approximately. The colder your temp less sugar you need I believe. So if you used 4oz and carbed at say 38 degrees your gonna get higher then 2.5 volumes.
 
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Josepe

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Hey everyone! First of all, thanks so much for all your help and ideas. It’s been a learning experience all on its own. Good news is that I found the problem, bad news is that I found the problem. Like some of you already speculated here the problem was in the bottle capper. I guess it’s due for a change. I opened 4 more bottles last night of which one was perfectly carbonated. If you look hard enough you can see a very slight angle on some of the caps and through trial and error I think I know more or less which ones are sealed properly and which ones aren’t. I guess my question now would be if those that didn’t seal properly can be recarbonated if I add sugar again. Thanks again, and at least this was a learning experience and I learned a lot about troubleshooting this kind of problem.
 

Jag75

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Glad you found the culprit . As of trying to re carb idk. Someone here will know more about that .
 

balrog

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Yes you can. It's not ideal, and it'll be a pain unless you get carb drops (or little mini dots I think they are called by Domino, not the regular sized ones) and calc how much "dosage" (say that w a French accent) to add to each bottle.

Do not pour all bottles back into bucket to add priming sugar. Too much oxidation.
 

balrog

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Also, by the way, and in addition, @Josepe , the "eyeball test" is good when bottling.
Setting all bottles on counter after capping and really look at them.
Look hard at them.

Make the rest of your family question your very sanity, when you examine them.

Okay, make them question your sanity more than they already question your sanity.
 
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