Extended primary, secondary, leading to carb issues?

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Kent88

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I've been dealing with a few big life events for almost the past year, and I've been neglecting my beers in primary. Some, like my milk stout have stayed in for a month total (and then a month or two in secondary after that), one for almost 2 months total (a kolsch).

And I'm starting to see issues with carbonation. It took significantly longer than the typical 3 weeks for the portions of milk stouts given a secondary to get any kind of carbonation. My kolsch has been sitting in the basement at about 65F for almost a month and I'm seeing no signs of carbonation. When I pop the cap i hear a very weak sound of gas escaping and when I pour I get no foam, no bubbles.

I use carbonation drops like i always have, I doubt that would be an issue. It is hard to believe that the extra time in what should be a fairly low alcohol environment could be making the yeast this sluggish.

I was wondering if my capper isn't making a tight seal, but I've inverted a couple full, sealed bottles and I don't notice any leakage.

Does a little extra time in primary (and secondary) really make the yeast that sluggish?
 

jtratcliff

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I would guess that you just need a little more patience... hard I know... 1-2 months isn't insane... I typically do 3-4 weeks in primary before bottling (no secondary unless I'm adding fruit or some other extra ingredient)...

Slightly longer in primary/secondary means more yeasties going dormant... so perhaps slightly longer to wake up and feed on the priming sugar. Carb drops vs dissolved priming sugar might make it harder for them to get all the sugar quickly.... 65F is kinda cool for carbing, as well... so it might might add to the time... I usually carb at 70+F

I wouldn't worry yet... RDWHAHB... unless it's not carbed yet... :D
 
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TravelingLight

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With the few batches I've bottled instead of kegging, if the beer aged for a while (even just a month or two), I've found they take significantly longer to carb up. I think it's just a case of more yeast dropping out over the longer period of time. Eventually mine have carbed.
 
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Kent88

Kent88

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Oh I typically bottle ales before 3 weeks, but I thought I read something in Joy of Homebrewing where Charlie P. sometimes doesn't get around to bottling for a month. i also usually give them 3 weeks or more to carb before I crack into one and they'll usually a little fizzy by then.

I think those carb drops are extract formed into tablets, they seem to dissolve quickly, the couple times I've observed them. Also, I used Wyeast 2565 and it is still a bit cloudy because I assume that the yeast is still in suspension, and it is supposed to be good down to 56F.
 
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Kent88

Kent88

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Just as a follow up, I bottled a Belgian Dark Strong Ale that had been in secondary for over 5 months, somewhere around 10.5%abv, and I added some new yeast at bottling, probably a little more than a month ago. That extra yeast does the trick. It isn't as carb'd as I'd like, but it's over 10% and has only been bottled for a month, so I wasn't expecting much.

So it is probably just poor yeast health as a result of extended time in primary and secondary. Probably not a bad seal with the bottle and cap.
 

C-Rider

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Unless you are adding something like fruit....FORGET THE SECONDARY. Not needed and perhaps your loosing yeast there. I usually go a month in primarys just because I'm in no rush. My big American Imperial Stout went about 5 weeks in primary and then a year in bottles and took two first places in local contests. As said above 65 is a bit cold to carbonate so it will take longer.
 

thehaze

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I do not do secondary. As for primary, I had beers stay in the primary for 50 days with no ill consequences.

I usually bottle after 4 weeks. Most styles I brew are ready and good for bottling 30 days after brew date. I now have a Saison which took its time, as I brewed it on June 27, but I am bottling it in 4 days.

You could use some yeast to bottle with along side the carbonation drops, but that should not be neccessary, unless you have a really high gravity beer, as Kent88 above.

But higher gravity beers to take longer to carbonate to acceptable levels. I had a 7.5% Stout which took 30-35 days. :)
 
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Kent88

Kent88

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Unless you are adding something like fruit....FORGET THE SECONDARY.
Hey dude, no need to shout :mug: we're all friends here. I'm not going into these brews planning on letting them sit for as long as these past few have, unless they're a super strong ale or a lager, or like you suggest, I am adding flavorings to them in secondary.

Sometimes life just gets a little hectic.

And I was really surprised. I figured that it would take a little longer for the yeast to wake up and get that beer carbonated, but I was thinking days, not weeks.
 

kh54s10

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I will go against the grain and say that the extended length of time that you are stating is not long enough to make much of a difference in carbonation. I have aged a couple of big beers for a few months. I did not add any more yeast and they carbed up fine. If it took longer it was not more than an extra week. Meaning 4 weeks instead of 3.

The problem I see as far as how long it is taking is the 65 degrees. Find a warmer place for the bottles to condition.
 
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