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Rburnham82

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hi all
So far I've done around 10 brews with varying success. I have only done the kits, lager pilsner and ciders. Mainly coopers kits and mangrovejack kits. I've had a couple come out good, ciders seem to be more fool proof. Anyway a few have come out flat or very little carbonation and I can't work out what I'm doing wrong. They all taste good but but need more fizz. I have been sanitising with a no rinse sanitizer, then mixing it all in and leave for the 6 or 10 days like the kit says, I now use a ispindel so I can see when fermentation stops, usually leave it a day extra. Then sanitise all the bottles and caps. Bottle up and use two coopers drops per 500ml bottle. But after 2-3 weeks I pour it and its flat or flattish.
Is my problem at mixing stage or bottling stage? Please help as I feel like I'm wasting it all.
I have tried chemsan no rinse sanitizer, a granulated no rinse sanitizer, and before that I have used a rinse sanitizer too. Do you leave bottles to soak in sanitizer or rinse them out shaking them about, do they need to be bone dry before bottling?
 

_BullDog_

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I never had great success with the drops. As soon as I moved to a bottling buckets and gently stirring in sugar my carbonation improved.

boil the needed sugar in a small amount of water and then transfer the beer in a gentile whirlpool to mix well. Then bottle from the bucket.
 
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Rburnham82

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Hi thanks for your reply. So I've just done a cider and it came with a pouch of sugar, so I transferred into a separate bucket leaving the sediment behind then stirred in the sugar pouch in boiling water then added to batch then bottled. That seems to have gone well. So are you saying do that with the beers too instead of the drops in the bottle? Being that I only really brew lager kits any advice on how much sugar in how much water for a 23l batch? Also any advice on sugar type?
 
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Rburnham82

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That suggests that you are using PET plastic bottles. If so, I've read that the lids need to be really tight to seal properly.
I've used pet bottles, glass bottles, and 5l mini kegs, same in all of them.
 

_BullDog_

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Find an online calculator and it’ll let you know how many grams based on the amount of carbonation you want.

I use BeerSmith and get around 4.7 oz of sugar for 23L (6 gallons)

bottle type shouldn’t matter given your sizes mentioned.
 

_BullDog_

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Maybe a little less in the mini keg. For 5gal kegs it is ~ half the amount of sugar
 

doug293cz

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hi all
So far I've done around 10 brews with varying success. I have only done the kits, lager pilsner and ciders. Mainly coopers kits and mangrovejack kits. I've had a couple come out good, ciders seem to be more fool proof. Anyway a few have come out flat or very little carbonation and I can't work out what I'm doing wrong. They all taste good but but need more fizz. I have been sanitising with a no rinse sanitizer, then mixing it all in and leave for the 6 or 10 days like the kit says, I now use a ispindel so I can see when fermentation stops, usually leave it a day extra. Then sanitise all the bottles and caps. Bottle up and use two coopers drops per 500ml bottle. But after 2-3 weeks I pour it and its flat or flattish.
Is my problem at mixing stage or bottling stage? Please help as I feel like I'm wasting it all.
I have tried chemsan no rinse sanitizer, a granulated no rinse sanitizer, and before that I have used a rinse sanitizer too. Do you leave bottles to soak in sanitizer or rinse them out shaking them about, do they need to be bone dry before bottling?
What temperature are you storing the bottles at during the carbonation time?

Also, as mentioned previously, caps must be tight or the CO2 will leak out of the bottle, reducing carbonation.

Sanitation isn't your issue, as bad sanitation leads to infections in the bottles, which usually leads to too much carbonation over time.

Brew on :mug:
 
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Rburnham82

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I just leave them out of the sunlight in the garage. In the UK. So guess it gets colder at night and warmer during the day, I guess this fluctuations aren't helping. What do others do?
 

tgolanos

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Are you cold-crashing your lagers & pilsners before trying to carb them? If so , you could be knocking a lot of yeast out of action, thus increasing the carbonation time. You could always add a bit of fresh yeast before you bottle.

I just leave them out of the sunlight in the garage ... What do others do?
I leave mine in the (generally) warmest room in the house. Easy access to test/drink and less temperature flucuation, IMO.
 
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Rburnham82

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I'm not cold crashing them, the kit instructions don't say anything about that. What exactly do you mean though. If it will help then I could give it a go. I'd be scared to add yeast before bottling as I've had many bottle bombs from where it hadn't finished fermentation (I believe) but willing to give anything a go under instructions from far more knowledgeable people than me
 

doug293cz

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I just leave them out of the sunlight in the garage. In the UK. So guess it gets colder at night and warmer during the day, I guess this fluctuations aren't helping. What do others do?
The cooler night temps will slow down the fermentation that is creating the carbonation, and the fluctuations may encourage the yeast to go dormant.

Brew on :mug:
 

doug293cz

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I'm not cold crashing them, the kit instructions don't say anything about that. What exactly do you mean though. If it will help then I could give it a go. I'd be scared to add yeast before bottling as I've had many bottle bombs from where it hadn't finished fermentation (I believe) but willing to give anything a go under instructions from far more knowledgeable people than me
Excess yeast will not cause bottle bombs. Bottle bombs are caused by having too mush fermentable sugar in the bottles. The amount of fermentable sugar determines the amount of CO2 created in the bottle. Making sure that primary fermentation is complete prior to bottling is critical for avoiding bottle bombs. Use SG readings to determine when fermentation is done - identical SG readings at least two days apart indicates that fermentation is complete.

One caution on adding yeast for bottling: there are some strains of yeast that will ferment sugars that "normal" yeast will not (known as diastaticus strains.) These should never be added for bottling (unless they were also used for primary fermentation.)

Also, adding new yeast for bottle conditioning is almost never necessary, even after cold crashing or fining, there is usually enough yeast left in the beer to successfully bottle condition.

Brew on :mug:
 

GBRbrew

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Hi thanks for your reply. So I've just done a cider and it came with a pouch of sugar, so I transferred into a separate bucket leaving the sediment behind then stirred in the sugar pouch in boiling water then added to batch then bottled. That seems to have gone well. So are you saying do that with the beers too instead of the drops in the bottle? Being that I only really brew lager kits any advice on how much sugar in how much water for a 23l batch? Also any advice on sugar type?
That's how I do my bottling, make my sugar solution add it to my bottling bucket and rack the beer on top of it. Dont splash or you will oxidize the beer. Gently stir for a couple seconds and bottle. I use corn sugar and brewers friend calculator to figure the sugar amount.
 

dwhite60

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If you have the right amount of sugar and the lids are tight I would get them somewhere warmer for a week or so.
 
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