Bottles didn't get carbonated enough. How's this idea sound?

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

ezatnova

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
So my huge cannon ball stout has been resting for about 2.5 months total now, including about a month in the bottles. I cracked one open last night to see how things were going and I was really pleased with the taste, but, the carbonation was simply too low. It pouts completely flat, and you can only detect some tiny bubbles on your tongue. Now, I should admit that this IS my fault. Being a huge thick stout, I didn't want to add 100% of the priming sugar packet that came with the kit (since the sugar packet size is universal in any kit from a zippy summer light beer to a big thick stout), so, I only added in 3/4 of the sugar. It was JUST enough carbonation to hear a faint "pfff" when popping the top, but again, just not enough.

So, what I did tonight was mix up the remaining 1/4 of the 2.4 oz packet of the priming sugar (I kept it), in the appropriate amount of boiled water (1/2 cup) and let it cool to about 75 degrees. I divided that volume by the number of bottles to get an even amount for each bottle I had. Then, as rapidly as I could, one by one, I popped the top, injected the 3.1 ml of sollution into the bottle, and re-capped them with new caps. I flipped the bottles a few times to agitate the settled bits from the bottom, then rested the cases upstairs where it's 75 degrees, rather than in the basement where it's 68 or so. I think I remember reading that the warmer temps will help carbonate them up better.

Any thoughts on whether this has any hope? I guess WORST case is, I just let the little bit of carbonation pressure out of them all and this new step ends up adding nothing, leaving me with COMPLETELY flat beers. Crossing my fingers though.
 

rsmith179

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2009
Messages
934
Reaction score
1
Location
Cleveland, OH
Could possibly work.. 2 1/2 months is quite a while for the yeast to be sitting in a pretty strong beer, but I would bet that there are still active yeast in there to eat up that additional priming sugar. May have needed additional yeast, but only time will tell. Let us know how this turns out.
 

ifishsum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2008
Messages
1,447
Reaction score
10
Location
Portland OR
I wish you luck, but since you let out what pressure you did have in the bottles when you opened them, you're close to being back to square one. I'm thinking that he small amount of priming sugar will not be enough to even get you back to where they were before they were opened. It's the pressure in the head space of the bottle that carbonates the beer.

When this happens to me I just drink them as they are.
 

conpewter

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
5,076
Reaction score
59
Location
East Dundee, Illinois
It depends on how strong of a stout this is. Sometimes it does take months at 70 degrees to get a high alcohol beer to carb, the yeast have a lot they are working against. At this point I'd leave them as is, in a warmer place. In the future you may want to pitch some neutral yeast into the beer when you add the priming sugar.
 

bigzippo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
68
Reaction score
0
I've done the same thing and it worked fine. The only thing I'm not sure of is if you added enough sugar to compensate for what you lost by opening the bottles
 
OP
E

ezatnova

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
Thanks. I will definitely report back when I try one again in a few weeks.

Should I definitely be leaving them upstairs and not in the 65-69 degree basement? The upstairs is usually 73-76 in the evening and can get to be 80 when I'm at work during the day. If so, for how long?
 

ChshreCat

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
11,517
Reaction score
586
Location
Camano Island
I would give them a month, then stick one bottle in the fridge for 2 days and try it. If it's not carbed, leave it where it is and repeat the process every 2-4 weeks or so. When you hit a good carb, move them downstairs.
 

Lucasdog

New Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
I've actually had good luck slowly turning each bottle upside down and getting the yeast stirred up again. It has worked for me several times.
 

Revvy

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2007
Messages
41,288
Reaction score
3,729
Location
"Detroitish" Michigan
I would have left it alone for a few more weeks...you may now be setrting yourself up for bottle bombs

My stout took 8 weeks before it carbed up, and it did without me needing to mess with it....my 1.090 Belgian strong ale took three months before it fully carbed.....

The gravity of the beer and the temp during carbonation are the largest determining factor in length of time it takes for a beer to fully carb...if they weren't carbed enough, and you added the correct amount fo sugar initially they would have done so in time/

Lazy LLAMA said it best here...



Please read my blog Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

And if you already did what you planned, I would prepare for the possibility of bottles bombs, at the worst, and gusher and the best......
 
OP
E

ezatnova

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2007
Messages
52
Reaction score
0
I would have left it alone for a few more weeks...you may now be setrting yourself up for bottle bombs

And if you already did what you planned, I would prepare for the possibility of bottles bombs, at the worst, and gusher and the best......
I hear ya...but, how would I really be opening myself up to bottle bombs if all I did was add the REMAINING sugar from the original recipe anyway?? It's not like I added the whole pack to begin with, then now added more. All I did was add the 1/4 pack of sugar that was left because I was purposefully trying for light carbonation by only adding 3/4 of it.
 

RBlagojevich

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
120
Reaction score
0
I would've put the whole batch back in the fermenter (being careful to aerate as little as possible) and then left it for a week to let all the carbonation come out of the beer. Then bottle again, with the correct dose of priming sugar.
 

Beernip

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2009
Messages
640
Reaction score
19
Location
Oregon.. Go Beavs!
I had the same problem with my Belgium Strong Ale. After 4 weeks it was only slightly carbed so I let it sit for another month and turned out perfect.
 
Top