Kolsch not carbed

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ike8228

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Did a all grain Kolsch and it has been three weeks in the closet bottle conditioning around 68 degrees. I decided it was time to put in the fridge to lager but opened one to try and see what it was like before lagering. Zero carbonation. I put them back in the closet for now. I used WY2565 Wyeast Kolsch.

I have only had this happen once before, but that was a Belgian Tripel that I summed up to be the ABV was too high for the yeast (about 12.5%).

Should another week do it? Would it still carb during lagering?ideas?
 

MaxStout

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You opened one warm, before chilling in the fridge. CO2 dissolves more readily as temp is lowered, so much of whatever carbonation the beer may have had was not in solution in the beer. Hence, the non-carbed beer.

Chill a bottle in the fridge for at least 24 hours and try it. If that bottle has good carbonation, then you can chill the rest if you wish. If it's not fully carbed, keep the other bottles at room temp another week or so, then chill and try another.

It will not carb while chilled, as the yeast goes dorment at those temps.
 

rburrelli

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Please give some more detail on your bottling procedures.
 

ScrewyBrewer

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By the end of fermentation, beer, depending on its final gravity, should have a residual carbonation level of just under one psi of Co2. What was the final gravity of the beer?
 

Martys1

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Did you use priming sugar or priming tablets when you bottled?
 

hotbeer

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No phffft when you popped the top either? Putting in the fridge wouldn't help. Or if it does, I'd really be surprised and have to redo all my thinking on life. For certain I'll have to admit, "I am wrong". My wife loves it when I have to say that.

I normally make ales and IPA's. I leave them at 73 to 74°F for 2 to 3 weeks. If you had yours on the floor and an ambient air temp of 68°F then the beer might have been quite a bit colder. Especially if it was on a bare uncarpeted floor.

I might shake the bottles a little and then keep them in ambient temps on the higher side of the range recommended by the specs of whatever yeast you used. Give it a week or two more.

If totally impatient, pour them back into a sanitized pot, measure the gravity, compare to your FG, re-assess if you need additional priming sugar and maybe even add some yeast. Then cap them and hope you don't have to do the third times a charm thing.
 
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ike8228

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I transferred from the fermenter to kettle that i bottle from. I add CO2 to the kettle and fill from the valve to help with oxidation. I boiled two cups of water with 3 Oz of corn sugar and added it to the kettle first that way beer coming in mixed in with it better. Then bottle and cap. I usually do closer to 4, but saw that Pilsner/Kolsch style usually have a lower CO2 volume. I was aiming for about 2.5. Same method I use every time.

very small phfff on the second bottle just to make sure I didn’t have a bad cap. So maybe another week or two. I have had no carb on one week and meh on a second week in the past but never after 3 weeks. I bottled on Christmas Day.

transferring a Kolsch and redoing things would for sure oxidize the beer I am sure. Even my normal method is probably suspect. All else fails I will try to transfer to a keg and force carb. I plan to do this with the Belgain I mentioned above.
 

hotbeer

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Are you getting a good crimp on your caps? When you look at the edge, is it almost ninety degrees to the top?

If it's angled out then you didn't pull on the capper hard enough.
 
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ike8228

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Are you getting a good crimp on your caps? When you look at the edge, is it almost ninety degrees to the top?

If it's angled out then you didn't pull on the capper hard enough.
I will look. If this is the case, would they still carb or would they have already finished conditioning?
 

3 Dawg Night

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You opened one warm, before chilling in the fridge. CO2 dissolves more readily as temp is lowered, so much of whatever carbonation the beer may have had was not in solution in the beer. Hence, the non-carbed beer.

I'm confused by this. If the yeast have created the CO2 in the bottle, where is it, if it's not in the beer? Surely not the headspace? What you're saying makes sense for keg force carbonation, but I'm not understanding how that would work in a bottle.

I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm just saying I've never heard it worded like this (and I'm trying to learn).
 

estricklin

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A lot of people give up on bottling and go to kegging, because of carbonation issues. I had a lot of problems starting out, but now I have good luck with my bottles carbing up in 1-2 weeks.

One thing that really helps is to measure the beer. A lot of brewers just use the standard 4oz and don't realize, you may have 5.5 gallons instead of 5. What happens if after dry hopping heavily your only left with 4.25 gallons and you use the 4oz? A lot of bottling buckets have graduation marks on them, or you can make some.

I see you used corn sugar, and that's what I always recommend, either that or table sugar. I think the problem in your case here, is you simply used too little priming sugar. If you used 3oz for 5 gallons, your barely going to get 2 volumes of c02, and 2 volumes isn't much carbonation to begin with. It will likely carb up some more over the next few weeks, but expect pretty low carbonation.

I generally find higher abv beers, or beers that aged longer do take a little more time to carb up but still are mostly carbed within 2-3 weeks.

I'm sure storing them at 68F vs. room temp will slow them down a little too, though I doubt it would make a huge difference.
 

MaxStout

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I'm confused by this. If the yeast have created the CO2 in the bottle, where is it, if it's not in the beer? Surely not the headspace? What you're saying makes sense for keg force carbonation, but I'm not understanding how that would work in a bottle.

I'm not saying you're wrong; I'm just saying I've never heard it worded like this (and I'm trying to learn).

I probably didn't write my previous post as clear as I should have. My bad. :)

My point was to suggest that since OP had opened a bottle prior to chilling, much less of the CO2 inside would have been dissolved in the beer. The rest would be in the headspace (it can't go anywhere else as long as the bottle is sealed). Since there is an inverse relationship between temp and CO2 solubility, I suggested that OP cold-crash a bottle and try again.
solubility-co2-water.png

Another possibility is poorly-sealed caps, which someone else mentioned upthread. Yet another: maybe the yeast was shot by the time of bottling.
 

3 Dawg Night

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I probably didn't write my previous post as clear as I should have. My bad. :)

My point was to suggest that since OP had opened a bottle prior to chilling, much less of the CO2 inside would have been dissolved in the beer. The rest would be in the headspace (it can't go anywhere else as long as the bottle is sealed). Since there is an inverse relationship between temp and CO2 solubility, I suggested that OP cold-crash a bottle and try again.
solubility-co2-water.png

Another possibility is poorly-sealed caps, which someone else mentioned upthread. Yet another: maybe the yeast was shot by the time of bottling.
How is this affected by pressure, though? I would think that increased pressure would result in increased solubility. In other words, I would assume that as pressure increases (and temperature remains constant), you're forcing more CO2 into the beer.
 

hotbeer

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I will look. If this is the case, would they still carb or would they have already finished conditioning?
If you find they are not crimped enough and suspect the CO2 just leaked out then crimping them better probably won't help.

After the first week the yeast probably consumed most of the sugar they used to make CO2 and by the second week it was gone already.

If you know your FG before you bottled then take another SG reading and see if any sugar is left in there.

Knowing the difference in FG and now might give us more to speculate about.
 

Hans O. Lowe

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How is this affected by pressure, though? I would think that increased pressure would result in increased solubility. In other words, I would assume that as pressure increases (and temperature remains constant), you're forcing more CO2 into the beer.

Increasing pressure does indeed force more CO2 into solution. But you'd better drink the beer in that state. When you pop the top at 68 degrees the excess CO2 will disperse. If you chill the beer down more will go into solution and you will have overly carbonated beer. Here is the force carb chart I use for kegging. It applies to bottle carbing as well, you just can't dial in the pressure and have to rely on the beer/priming sugar relationship.
forcechart.jpg
 

MikeCo

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I would give these bottles more time - sometimes the yeast just takes longer to do its job. Another thing to try is to put the bottles in a warmer place. I like to bottle condition in the mid 70s.

In the future, use a priming sugar calculator to determine the right amount of sugar for the target carbonation level. If this is a 5-gallon batch, 3 oz of corn sugar will only amount to about 1.9 vols CO2, so you may not get as much carbonation as you wanted. I use this calculator:

Adding fresh yeast at bottling will also speed up the carbonation process.
 
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ike8228

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I would give these bottles more time - sometimes the yeast just takes longer to do its job. Another thing to try is to put the bottles in a warmer place. I like to bottle condition in the mid 70s.

In the future, use a priming sugar calculator to determine the right amount of sugar for the target carbonation level. If this is a 5-gallon batch, 3 oz of corn sugar will only amount to about 1.9 vols CO2, so you may not get as much carbonation as you wanted. I use this calculator:

Adding fresh yeast at bottling will also speed up the carbonation process.
I used brewers friend app to calc this style…it is less than I normally use, but this my first light/lager/Pilsner type beer I’ve ever made. Which I just went in and redid…I was off by 1.8oz…not sure what happened. Fat fingers.

it’s been another week, this time in my chamber set to 72. I will pop one in the fridge for awhile and test again.

what would be the effects of popping the caps off and putting a few drops of some new corn suger solution into the bottles and recapped? I think oxidation would be minimal. Would that work? I used 3 Oz before, was supposed to be 4.8. Should I do 4.8 or the difference of 1.8?
 
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Rish

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I would do as you mentioned and add more priming sugar if you aren't pleased with the carbonation you have. I doubt there will be an oxidation issue. I'd probably go with 2 oz or a little more as you'll lose some CO2 when you open the bottles.
 
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ike8228

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Here is an update. It has now been another two weeks conditioning in my temp controlled chamber at 72F. I checked one after one week and seemed a little more. Checked again today (another week later), and seemed a little more. Still maybe 1/4 - 1/3 what I think it should be. So I opened two bottles and added carb tablets. 1 in one and 2 in another. I will give it another two weeks in the chamber and test those along with another with no tablet to see. I will then move forward based on my results. If for some reason it is still ‘flat’ I will see about transferring to a keg and force carbing with limited oxygenation 😬
 
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