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1 Week to Carbonate: 2 for 2

Is it unusual that I’m 2 for 2 with bottle carbing in 1 week? The first time was with Caribou Slobber, and this time was with Chinook IPA. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have touched the slobber until at least week 2, probably week 3, but mostly that was a flavor thing (it just kept/keeps getting better and better). The carbonation and head were great from the first bottle I opened and didn’t change at all thereafter.

The Chinook came out crisp and hoppy and well carbonated, and doesn’t really taste ‘young’ like the Slobber did (mostly because with the Slobber it’s best once the hops fall back into the overall flavor profile).

Anyway, I’ve seen a lot of comments suggesting that bottle carbing takes at least 2 weeks, usually 3 to 4, but so far that hasn’t been my experience. Am I just lucky?

I typically have full carbonation within a week, but I pitch fresh yeast and store the bottles at ~75F.

[quote=“Shadetree”]I pitch fresh yeast[/quote]Meaning, at bottling? I just add sugar and let existing yeast take care of it.

Bottles are stored at ~63F, +/- 3*. I’d like to store 'em warmer, but we keep our heat pretty low.

Yes, fresh yeast at bottling. I know it goes against “common wisdom”, but since I started doing it with every bottle, have never had a carbonation issue. I’m surprised you get full carbonation in a week at 63F, though.

Yeah, it goes against everything I’ve read. One poster on another board attributed “fast” carb times to people mistaking fermentation effervescence for actual carbonation, but if that were the case, I’d expect the mouth feel and head character to change over time, which isn’t the case. I did experience the mouth feel of what I believe was active fermentation when I tried some primed Phat Tyre last weekend…definitely much different than carbonation.

Moose Drool after 1 week in the bottle, mildly aggressive pour:

I usually get carbonation that fast, but the beers dont taste their best by then. Maybe the prescribed couple of weeks in the bottle may be for conditioning time?

A few questions about bottling with fresh yeast:

  1. How much and which type of yeast do you use(liquid or dry)?
  2. Do you use a “neutral” yeast or the same type you originally pitched?
  3. Does pitching fresh yeast totally eliminate the need for priming with sugar?
  4. Do you mix the yeast into the entire batch or do something with the individual bottles?

I am new to brewing and the most headaches I’ve had are with carbonation. I can’t seem to get it consistent; some bottles with carb up nicely while others are somewhat lacking.

Adam, I’ve read a lot of posts on boards across the 'net saying that 2 weeks is minimum for carbonation, especially at lower temps. I’ve only seen two brews through to the drinking stage, so I don’t know this for sure yet, but my hunch is that for balanced beers, 2 weeks is the minimum required to let the hops mellow so the beer can achieve full balance. Really, at least with the slobber, it seems that the longer you wait, the better. We’ll see if the Chinook improves much over the next couple of weeks, but since you want the hops up front in an IPA I don’t think the same kind of benefits (hoppiness balancing out with maltiness) are relevant.

jking, I can’t speak to adding yeast, but regarding inconsistent results, what’s your process for adding priming sugar? Are you sure it’s getting mixed in well?

For what it’s worth, I always add the priming sugar solution first, then put the autosiphon hose in at an angle so it creates a bit of a whirlpool. That seems to mix everything up nicely from the get go, and I end up with more or less uniformly carbed bottles. Also, what is your sugar : water concentration? I use 5/8 cup table sugar : 1 cup water.

[quote=“ickyfoot”]Adam, I’ve read a lot of posts on boards across the 'net saying that 2 weeks is minimum for carbonation, especially at lower temps. I’ve only seen two brews through to the drinking stage, so I don’t know this for sure yet, but my hunch is that for balanced beers, 2 weeks is the minimum required to let the hops mellow so the beer can achieve full balance. Really, at least with the slobber, it seems that the longer you wait, the better. We’ll see if the Chinook improves much over the next couple of weeks, but since you want the hops up front in an IPA I don’t think the same kind of benefits (hoppiness balancing out with maltiness) are relevant.

jking, I can’t speak to adding yeast, but regarding inconsistent results, what’s your process for adding priming sugar? Are you sure it’s getting mixed in well?

For what it’s worth, I always add the priming sugar solution first, then put the autosiphon hose in at an angle so it creates a bit of a whirlpool. That seems to mix everything up nicely from the get go, and I end up with more or less uniformly carbed bottles. Also, what is your sugar : water concentration? I use 5/8 cup table sugar : 1 cup water.[/quote]

That’s pretty much the way I do it. Sugar to water ratio is the same as well.

When I say inconsistent I don’t mean a dramatic difference like some are just plain flat. I can notice a minor difference from bottle to bottle which I know is to be expected because they are bottle conditioned and no two will be alike. Also, I’ve had friends taste what I think is the under-carbed beer and they can’t tell a difference. Allot of it comes down to me probably being too picky.

I was just curious about the adding yeast to to the bottle method because I’ve read about it in other places and wanted to know some real world results. I’m always looking for new ways to experiment and hopefully make my beers better.

[quote=“jking”]1. How much and which type of yeast do you use(liquid or dry)?
2. Do you use a “neutral” yeast or the same type you originally pitched?
3. Does pitching fresh yeast totally eliminate the need for priming with sugar?
4. Do you mix the yeast into the entire batch or do something with the individual bottles?[/quote]

  1. US-05 or S-04, rehydrated, 1-2 grams per fermenter for anything up to 1.060, a little more for stronger beers.
  2. Carbing yeast doesn’t have any impact on the beer’s character, so use whatever’s convenient
  3. The yeast eats the sugar you add to carb the beer, you have to add sugar (unless the beer is under-attenuated, but that’s another issue).
  4. You can do it either way. I add dry sugar to each bottle (this makes sure that they all have the right amount of sugar), fill with beer, then add 1mL of yeast to each bottle with a little pipette.[quote=“jking”]I am new to brewing and the most headaches I’ve had are with carbonation. I can’t seem to get it consistent; some bottles with carb up nicely while others are somewhat lacking.[/quote]If you’re getting inconsistent carbonation, you’re likely not mixing your priming sugar well enough. While many people seem to be able to get away with just siphoning the beer onto the syrup for mixing, I found that I got better results by gently stirring the beer with a long spoon after every 6-12 bottles.

Double post…my bad!

This is the Chinook after 8 days carbing in the bottle, maybe 30 seconds - 1 minute after a pretty aggressive pour down the sidewall (had to pause a couple times to avoid overflow). It does have a very subtle sugary flavor to it (as in, table sugar, not malty sweetness), so I can imagine it will be even cleaner and drier in a few more days to a week.

[quote=“ickyfoot”]This is the Chinook after 8 days carbing in the bottle, maybe 30 seconds - 1 minute after a pretty aggressive pour down the sidewall (had to pause a couple times to avoid overflow). It does have a very subtle sugary flavor to it (as in, table sugar, not malty sweetness), so I can imagine it will be even cleaner and drier in a few more days to a week.
[/quote]

Wow, that looks pretty carbed! What was your priming sugar to water ratio with that? I just bottled the Chinook IPA yesterday and went with 3 oz. of corn sugar to 15 oz. of water which should put me around 2.1 volumes of Co2.

I use organic unbleached cane sugar, 5/8 cup to 1 cup of water.

I have a similar question about my cream ale i just bottled on monday. my OG was 1.060 FG was 1.010 i bottled with 5 oz 0f NB priming sugar in 16oz water. I checked my plastic bottle sample and its hard as a rock its stored at about 67deg

Put one in the fridge for a couple of days. Crack it open. If it foams it’s not ready. The problem with the soda bottle trick is that it doesn’t mean that the beer is carbonated, just that the yeast have produced CO2. The beer still has to absorb this CO2 to carbonate which could still take another day or two. You can help it along by storing at cold temperatures since cold liquid will absorb more amounts of CO2 quicker than at warmer temps. OTOH it is still possible to fully carbonate a beer at 1 week with all the right conditions.

Wait did you bottle 3 days ago? There is no way you are carbonated by now. Did you remember to squeeze out all the air from the plastic bottle before capping? The beer needs to be right at the lip of the bottle opening for this to be a good indication of CO2 production.

FWIW, since posting this thread, I’ve had a few batches take up to 3 weeks to carb during some cold weather. I have noticed that carbing occurs within a week at > 75 degrees and within 2 - 3 weeks at < 65 degrees.

Wait did you bottle 3 days ago? There is no way you are carbonated by now. Did you remember to squeeze out all the air from the plastic bottle before capping? The beer needs to be right at the lip of the bottle opening for this to be a good indication of CO2 production.[/quote]
Yes i squeezed out the air and left about two ounces of space in it, also checked a few bottles and most have a cake on the bottom. I’m just worried about them blowing up.

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