Carbonation conundrum

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Nightwulf1974

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Hey all,

Not a "newbie"brewer per say, as I've done about 30 batches give or take. Anyways, I'm running into an odd issue I've never encountered before with bottle carbonation.

My recent Xmas ale recipe was batch primed as normal, albeit my priming sugar was pretty syrupy so I had to add some extra water to the bucket before dumping in the beer. I normally never mix/stir as the whirlpool effect has always worked fine.

This batch I undershot my priming sugar amount to be probably 2.2 volumes with a calculator goof. After 4 weeks at 72f and 3 days in the fridge, the first two were flat as a pancake.

The yeast was Voss Kveik and it's all I've used for the last 10 batches due to its ease of fermentation Temps and speed. Brand new o2 absorbing caps, thorough cleaning regimen as I've always used. Same process for the last several batches.

Oddly enough, one bottle I cracked warm had great carbonation, good head and all was good, sans just being warm. I've just this am flipped all bottles upside down and plan on leaving them like that for a 3 days before flipping back upright for 3 more. There's plenty of flocced yeast in each bottle so I know the yeast have done their part.

I plan to put a few in the fridge after the 6 days of rotation for another 3 days before trying again. Any idea what's going on? I thought about adding Coopers drop to each bottle, but that screams duck and cover. Caps are perfectly sealed and do not leak upside down fyi.

Thanks!
 

hotbeer

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Don't know what to tell you to do. However in retrospect, my priming sugar lately is Agave Nectar. Just because I had to buy a bottle for something else and only used a smidge for that. So now I'm trying to use it up.

Anyhow... It's pretty syrupy too and whirlpooling has never worked to dissolve or mix it in completely even though I dilute it before I add it to the priming pot. So I always have to stir gently the contents of my priming pot until the wavy patterns of the denser syrup disappear in the priming pot. Then I know, or at least reasonably assume the two are mixed thoroughly.

I had a batch come out a little lighter on the carbonation than expected recently. I agitated the bottles some to stir up the yeast and upped the temps some. Week later, no change. I too thought I'd measured correctly and yadda yadda yadda. Maybe I didn't or maybe we can blame it on the solar flares or something else! :bott:
 

GoodTruble

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Is it possible your xmas ale's ABV has already maxed out the yeast's top end range? I ran into that problem with my Halloween Ale.
 
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Nightwulf1974

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Is it possible your xmas ale's ABV has already maxed out the yeast's top end range? I ran into that problem with my Halloween Ale.

Kveik is good to like 13% abv or higher, and my abv is only 7% or so in this batch. It's just odd. I'll play the waiting game though and worst case I end up with flat beer, best case in a few more weeks I won't.
 

GoodTruble

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Ah. I'm stumped.

FYI - I tried adding more priming solution to my Halloween Ale after it only lightly carbed the first few days. It didn't work. It barely made up the difference in carbonation loss from opening the bottles. If I were to try it again, I would just add 75% of the original priming over again.
 

BrerRabbitBrew

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You'll have to see if some bottles are overcarbed, that'll tell you right away it's a mixing issue. Recently I bottled a stout and forgot the priming sugar all together! I ran to the LHBS the next and bought the Coopers carbonation drops, opened every bottle, added the drop and re-capped them. That beer is fizzy at fridge temps but doesn't have any head still. I usually just drink them at basement temperature (62F) where they'll build up a little head especially if I pour vigorously.
 

MaxStout

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The "whirlpool" method of racking beer onto the priming solution isn't always reliable by itself. One of your bottles had good carbonation, yet others were flat--which suggests uneven mixing. Adding carb drops may help the under-carbed bottles, but could over-carb the bottles with already sufficient carbonation. And you won't know which are which. Better to just let this batch ride.

Next batch, rack the beer onto the sugar solution, then carefully stir with a long spoon (you don't want to draw in air and oxidize your beer). Then bottle.
 
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