Mashing and Carbonation

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Feb 11, 2008
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Hey all,

I finished my first two all-grain batches about a month ago. Now there are conditioning in bottles. I know they've only been in bottles for a week, but the carbonation level seems way too small. I've never seen this before after brewing up partial-mash batches. This makes me wonder if I have screwed up the all-grain mashing. Could I have screwed up during the mash and that is why my carbonation is low? One batch is a Brown Ale and the other is a Christmas Ale. I used single infusion, batch sparging with both batches. Bottling was done with 5oz of priming sugar with each batch.

Both beers taste wonderful, if I could only get the bubbles working. Any ideas?


Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2008
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Lake Bluff, Illinois
this probably has nothing to do with whether or not you screwed up the beer- this has to do with whether or not the sugar you added for bottling is being fermented properly

5oz of sugar should be plenty for those beers to carbonate, and yes, you should see some level of carbonation by now- id say 75% of the carbonation in bottle-conditioning is present within a week(i have no science to back this up)

also, is it possible that the beers have CO2 in them but the head retention is bad? think of champagne- its super bubbly, but it has no head retention, so bubbles just pop and disappear, leaving no foam behind

the solution to poor head retention is checking your water, using specialty grains, not overusing irish moss or other clearing agents, and making sure to include a little of the break material from the boil kettle to provide proteins and aminos to the fermenting process

also, if you racked the beer from a fermenting vessel after an extended rest with no agitation, say 6 weeks or more, you may have had all the yeast settle out left little to be bottle-the solution to this is time, it will just take longer for the bottles to carbonate- solve this by pitching fresh yeast at bottling for beers that have spent a long time in the primary/secondary