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Rescuing bottle carbonation

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beerisyummy

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Hi there!

I brewed a lager, and I lagered before bottling. After 4 weeks, there's no sign of carbonation in any of the bottles that have been opened.

I am an inexperienced lager brewer - so next time I suppose I will either add yeast to the bottling bucket, or lager in the bottle after carbonation has been achieved.

In the meantime I'm trying to decide what to do with this beer, which tastes pretty good, it's just flat! I could just go Medieval and drink it flat. Or, I could live dangerously and open up the bottles, add yeast for carbonation, and re-cap.

Has anyone aver done this? If so, any tips?

TIA ---
 

Gnomebrewer

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How much sugar did you add at bottling? Even after lagering, there should be enough yeast left to carbonate. Also, if there's still priming sugar left in the bottles, the beer should taste pretty bad.
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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How much sugar did you add at bottling? Even after lagering, there should be enough yeast left to carbonate. Also, if there's still priming sugar left in the bottles, the beer should taste pretty bad.
I almost always use the standard 4 oz.
 

Gnomebrewer

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So you've used enough priming sugar, the primed beer was kept warm enough, there's no carbonation but the beer doesn't taste sweet?
If that's all correct, the next guess is leaky bottle caps.
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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My family has actually had more of it than I have - I have to have some medical tests done and I've been asked to stay dry for 30 days, so I only had a mouthful. Maybe I'll try another and make sure my palate is clean beforehand. Nobody has said it tastes sweet tho, including my assistant brewmaster son, who has a very keen sense of taste.

What are the chances ALL my bottle caps are leaky? Not many opened thus far, but results consistent.

The bottles do go "pfft" when opening, but there's just hardly any carbonation in the beer itself. Possibly needs more time? But it's been 4 weeks....
 

mirthfuldragon

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Give them a swirl, warm them up, and wait longer. There's yeast left, but not a lot of yeast left, so it may take a bit longer. Unless it is something major like a big dopplebock, give the yeast some time and they will carbonate.
 

Gnomebrewer

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The bottles do go "pfft" when opening, but there's just hardly any carbonation in the beer itself. Possibly needs more time? But it's been 4 weeks....
Well that changes things!
On the bottle caps (which probably isn't the issue if there's some carbonation) - it would more likely be caused by the capper itself, rather than individual caps (a bent or damaged bell can do it).

But back to the lack of fizz....
As mentioned, it can take a fair bit longer for a lager to carbonate - most of the yeast have dropped out of suspension and the remainder are a bit sluggish. They will get the job done though. There is some fizz, so there is some yeast working.
What size batch was it? 4oz of sugar in a standard 5 gallon should be OK for a lager.
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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Hi there!

I brewed a lager, and I lagered before bottling. After 4 weeks, there's no sign of carbonation in any of the bottles that have been opened.

I am an inexperienced lager brewer - so next time I suppose I will either add yeast to the bottling bucket, or lager in the bottle after carbonation has been achieved.

In the meantime I'm trying to decide what to do with this beer, which tastes pretty good, it's just flat! I could just go Medieval and drink it flat. Or, I could live dangerously and open up the bottles, add yeast for carbonation, and re-cap.

Has anyone aver done this? If so, any tips?

TIA ---
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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Well that changes things!
On the bottle caps (which probably isn't the issue if there's some carbonation) - it would more likely be caused by the capper itself, rather than individual caps (a bent or damaged bell can do it).

But back to the lack of fizz....
As mentioned, it can take a fair bit longer for a lager to carbonate - most of the yeast have dropped out of suspension and the remainder are a bit sluggish. They will get the job done though. There is some fizz, so there is some yeast working.
What size batch was it? 4oz of sugar in a standard 5 gallon should be OK for a lager.
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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Sorry about the last couple posts, either the site or my computer was wobbly yesterday.
To answer, it was a 5 gal. batch fo the 4 oz. priming sugar.
It's a Maibock, OG 1.068, so probably not so intense that it would be killing off yeast I would think.
I like the idea of swirling and waiting. It's going to continue to be warm here for another week or two, so my closet should remain at 72°
 

ncbrewer

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Did you leave the bottles in the fridge for a day or two before opening?
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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Did you leave the bottles in the fridge for a day or two before opening?
The sample bottles (3 or 4 I think) were in the fridge anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
 
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beerisyummy

beerisyummy

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Give them a swirl, warm them up, and wait longer. There's yeast left, but not a lot of yeast left, so it may take a bit longer. Unless it is something major like a big dopplebock, give the yeast some time and they will carbonate.
ARRR me hearties. Thanks so much for the advice, this was spot-on. The Maibock is now bubbly and delicious. Prosit!
 
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