no carbonation

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ruffiano31

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For the first time I did a secondary fermenter, and this batch of beer doesn't have enough carb. It has been bottled for two weeks at 68-70 degrees. Is it good to add yeast at just before bottling if you use a secondary fermenter? The point of a secondary fermenter is to clear the beer and to have less sediment in each bottle, right? That is what I heard. I was worried there wouldn't be enough yeast left in the beer, and that is what it seems like has happened. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do? Should I add more yeast to each bottle? Just wait longer? Are secondary fermenter's not neccessary? I start with a carboy anyway.
 

Yooper

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Usually, you can expect decent carbonation in three weeks at 70 degrees. If the temperature gets a bit lower than that, it might take as long as 4 weeks or so.

Using a clearing vessel doesn't affect the carbonation. I've lagered in a carboy at 34 degrees for 8 weeks, and still had the bottles carb up. Be patient- it'll happen.
 

llazy_llama

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It has been bottled for two weeks at 68-70 degrees.

That right there seems like the most likely culprit to me. We generally recommend 3+ weeks at 70+ degrees for proper carbonation.

No need to add more yeast after secondary, as even if the beer looks really clear, there will still be enough yeast in suspension to carbonate your beer. Unless, that is, you're bulk aging in secondary for several months... let's say 6 or more.

Edited: Yooper's on her game today... beat me to it. :D
 

Nurmey

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Using the secondary for a few weeks (months really) won't have any effect on your carbonation. Leave your beers for another couple weeks. Three weeks at 70° is the norm but sometimes it can take a little longer for complete carbonation.

edit: Wow, I really need to type faster. :D
 
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ruffiano31

ruffiano31

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Thanks for the replies everybody! I'll heat them up and wait longer. Do you guys all use secondary fermenters?
 

llazy_llama

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I don't.

Unless I'm adding oak, fruit, honey, sour cultures (haven't yet) or need to free up a larger primary.

Edited: Or bulk aging for several months.
 

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Thanks for the replies everybody! I'll heat them up and wait longer. Do you guys all use secondary fermenters?

I used to use a clearing vessel for all my beers, but now only for lagers, or for beers than can benefit from time in the clearing tank. The term "secondary" really isn't accurate for my beer making, since no fermenting takes place there. In a commercial brewery, it's called the "bright tank"- where the beer clears a bit after fermentation is finished.

I do use a real secondary in all of my wines- I rack from the primary fermenter into the secondary when the wine is 1.020-1.010 and let it finish under airlock in the secondary.

Anyway, regardless of what you call it- I rarely use it any more. I leave most of my beers in the fermenter for 3-4 weeks, then rack to keg or bottles.
 

ifishsum

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I secondary most of mine, the biggest reason being that I have the carboys and I want to free up a primary bucket for a new brew. I usually go 2 weeks in primary and 2 weeks in secondary and I haven't had any significant carbonation problems. Temperature and time are important, 3 weeks @ 70* is really the minimum, and bigger beers usually take a week or two longer to get good carbonation.
 
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ruffiano31

ruffiano31

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Thanks again everybody! Does anyone add dry yeast at the same time when adding the priming sugar? I've heard this can be done to help carbonation.
 
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