Too much yeast sedimentation = no carbonation ?

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brewman !

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I bottle carbonated my last beer by priming with corn sugar, 1/3 cup for a 3 gallon batch. It didn't carbonate very well !

I'm kind of anal about fining my beers. I rack from primary to secondary and fine with a bentonite slurry and then refridgerate it. It really clears up the beer. They drop a lot of sediment, even if they looked fairly clear before.

I am wondering if it clears it up the beer too much, such that there isn't any yeast left to ferment the priming sugar ?

Why else wouldn't my beer carbonate ?
 

sirsloop

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When you refrigerate the beer, you basically stall out any fermentation that may be going on. There's still yeast in the beer, but its too cold for them to actively ferment the priming sugar. I suppose if you let the beer warm up again they will start fermenting... but it will take a number of days/weeks to complete.
 

Evan!

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brewman ! said:
I bottle carbonated my last beer by priming with corn sugar, 1/3 cup for a 3 gallon batch. It didn't carbonate very well !

I'm kind of anal about fining my beers. I rack from primary to secondary and fine with a bentonite slurry and then refridgerate it. It really clears up the beer. They drop a lot of sediment, even if they looked fairly clear before.

I am wondering if it clears it up the beer too much, such that there isn't any yeast left to ferment the priming sugar ?

Why else wouldn't my beer carbonate ?
Yes, this is a very distinct possibility, and is probably the reason for the weak carbo. In essence, you're sacrificing carbonation for clarity, which is a shyte tradeoff IMHO. I mean, I'm not gonna tell you how to make your own beers, but I'll give you some advice based on my own experiences.

I personally rarely use finings, but oftentimes, I will age my beers in carboy for a long time. My first long-term aging project that went awry was my Wheat Doppelbock. Being a huge beer, I let it sit in secondary for a long time. When I bottled it, I just added priming sugar and that's it. Now, 4 months after bottling, there is still almost no carbonation on them, and there never will be. Why? Because the prolonged aging period pulled too much yeast out of the beer.

Personally, clarity comes in low on my list of qualities I'm most concerned with in my beer, whereas actually having carbonation is pretty high. As such: since that mishap, I've adopted a strict policy wherein any beer that ages in secondary for more than a month gets a few pinches of rehydrated dry yeast added to the batch at bottling time. This has solved my carbonation woes, without adversely affecting the beer in any meaningful way. My clarity may suffer, but not that I've noticed.

So, short answer: yes, it's probably dropping out too much yeast, and leaving you without ample carbonation cells. Either chill out with the clarification processes, or add more yeast at bottling....or you'll end up with this problem more often than just this once. Good luck!
 

FlyGuy

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Brewman -- if your yeast has dropped out before fully carbonating the beer, just agitate the sediment at the bottom of each bottle, and put it in a warmish place. I can't speak for lagers, but I have had this happen a few times for ales because my storage area (basement) is a wee bit cool for bottle carbonation. I have found that just rolling your beer bottles across a table resuspends the yeast, and carbonation will certainly happen if there is enough warmth (particularly necessary if you used finings, I imagine -- not much time before all the yeast settles again).
 

hoppyhopman

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Yes, this is a very distinct possibility, and is probably the reason for the weak carbo. In essence, you're sacrificing carbonation for clarity, which is a shyte tradeoff IMHO. I mean, I'm not gonna tell you how to make your own beers, but I'll give you some advice based on my own experiences.

I personally rarely use finings, but oftentimes, I will age my beers in carboy for a long time. My first long-term aging project that went awry was my Wheat Doppelbock. Being a huge beer, I let it sit in secondary for a long time. When I bottled it, I just added priming sugar and that's it. Now, 4 months after bottling, there is still almost no carbonation on them, and there never will be. Why? Because the prolonged aging period pulled too much yeast out of the beer.

Personally, clarity comes in low on my list of qualities I'm most concerned with in my beer, whereas actually having carbonation is pretty high. As such: since that mishap, I've adopted a strict policy wherein any beer that ages in secondary for more than a month gets a few pinches of rehydrated dry yeast added to the batch at bottling time. This has solved my carbonation woes, without adversely affecting the beer in any meaningful way. My clarity may suffer, but not that I've noticed.

So, short answer: yes, it's probably dropping out too much yeast, and leaving you without ample carbonation cells. Either chill out with the clarification processes, or add more yeast at bottling....or you'll end up with this problem more often than just this once. Good luck!
Hi Evan,

Thanks for the advice above. I have a Dunkelweizen in bottles (no secondary, no carboy) that is refusing to carb much. I plan to use your re-yeasting technique on my next batch. But I don't know how much yeast for a half-batch to use, or what kind. Can you advise?

Cheers,

Steve
 
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