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1st batch- Chinook IPA- Zero carbonation?

Just brewed my first batch of home-brew! It was NB Chinook IPA extract kit. Everything went according to plan and it turned out really very good. I bottled it a week ago and used 3/4cup of corn sugar boiled in 1cup of water. Then mixed it in the bottling bucket with my 5 gal of beer and let it sit for a week at 70f, put it in the fridge for a day. I have been drinking it today and it tastes very good :slight_smile: but… There is zero carbonation. well maybe a tiny bit but there is no head when I pour. I assumed my first batch wouldn’t be perfect and honestly it tastes really good for being flat and I have been drinking it anyways. But what do I need to do different for next time because I have two more batches that will be ready soon?

It might just be that you forgot to type something…

But did you actually bottle the beer?

No i put the 5gal bucket into my fridge. Haha, sorry yes I did bottle the beer and left sufficient head-space in them. :wink:

You had me for a second. You put caps on the bottles right?

In all seriousness I had a couple caps that weren’t on tight and have had to recap them. If you give the cap a twist after you cap it the cap shouldn’t move. I can’t quote where I learned this from but I have found it to be something that happens, especially when I used a butterfly capper.

Also I always will pull a couple bottles after a week and try it but have found that some brews have more carb after 2 weeks.

That’s all I can tell you, I’ll wait for someone with more experience to get into the nitty gritty details.

A week isn’t very long. Most beers need at least 2. 3 or 4 is better. One trick I’ve used is to flip the bottle over and let them sit upside down for a week. This gets the yeast back in suspension and working. Then flip them and let them sit another week right side up.

Your beer looks tasty. Nice job.

Ok. I just flipped over the rest of my bottles. I can see some sediment in the bottom so hopefully that will get mixed back in and I will wait another couple weeks.(although I doubt they will last that long, as they still taste pretty good and I have been drinking them up :smiley: )

And that is what I’m afraid is going to happen when I get my first brew bottled… I’m going to become highly impatient since I love beer. :cheers:

[quote]One trick I’ve used is to flip the bottle over and let them sit upside down for a week. This gets the yeast back in suspension and working. Then flip them and let them sit another week right side up.
[/quote]

Thanks for the tip, LJb.
:cheers:

And that is what I’m afraid is going to happen when I get my first brew bottled… I’m going to become highly impatient since I love beer. :cheers: [/quote]

I would suggest waiting a full 3 weeks before consuming. Otherwise you are going to get a lot of what’s referred to as “green beer” flavors. You need to give the flavors time to meld together and kinda mellow out. Otherwise you will be thinking to yourself “man this is good beer, but whats that weird flavor i can’t put my finger on.”

That being said, I always pop one open at 2 weeks just to check on carbonation and flavor. It’s never as good as waiting the full 3+ weeks but I look at it as a lesson to learn how the flavors change over time. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much they change for the better.

I’ve only got 6 brews under my belt but I’ve never had a beer even close to carbed in a week.

Sorry, I’m not familiar with this recipe. Is it a high OG? Higher gravity beers typically take longer to carb up. I had a batch that came out at 1.062 (my highest gravity so far) take 3.5 weeks bottle conditioning at room temp before it had good carbonation and head formation. So I have to second what mattnaik suggested and recommend you wait a full 3 weeks, at least. Some lighter beers (like a cream ale) can be fully carb’ed at 2 weeks, but the flavors won’t be fully melded quite yet.

Your bottling process sounds perfect so I think you’ll be fine given time. Believe me, I know how hard it can be to resist drinking your first batch since you don’t have any homebrews ready to drink to tide you over, but you’ll be glad you waited if you can hold out to let it bottle condition. The flavor improves and the carbonation really comes together. Pick up a few of your favorite microbrews and try to be patient :slight_smile:

[quote=“Conrad”]Ok. I just flipped over the rest of my bottles. I can see some sediment in the bottom so hopefully that will get mixed back in and I will wait another couple weeks.(although I doubt they will last that long, as they still taste pretty good and I have been drinking them up :smiley: )[/quote]I’m going to guess that you flipped the bottles and put them back in the fridge? If so, take them out again, get them to room temp (70-85F is good), and then flip and swirl once per day for at least a week before chilling and sampling again.

Yup, refrigeration will arrest the carbonation process. You need to keep them at room temp until they are fully carbonated. If you’ve put them into the fridge already, just let them warm up again so the yeast can get back to work.

OK thanks all for the tips. I had first put the bottles into the fridge, but have since moved them into room temp and have put them upside down. My room temp is about 70f. 85 seems a bit toasty… Anyways I have two more batches still fermenting. a White-House Honey Ale, and a Big Honkin’ Stout. With these two I used two packages of the Wyeast 1332 northern ale yeast. The Chinook I only used one, so maybe having more yeast will help when it comes time to bottle. These fermentation’s definitely are more vigorous than the chinook was.

Honey Ale

There is always plenty of yeast unless you aged it for a LONG time or lagered it for a long time. I think the key to your issue is TIME. You can’t expect a beer to carb up in a week. 2 is absolute minimum. Often places tell you shorter times (whether it be carbing or aging) because many people would pass on brewing if they knew that it would take 4 weeks of ferm time, 4 weeks to age, 4 weeks to carb in bottle.

Right on; patience is the name of the game, gotcha… I wasn’t trying to speed up the process or anything by adding more yeast. My local NB shop had recommend I use two since these were higher abv beers.

That is good advice for higher gravity beer. Even better advice would be to make a yeast starter once you feel up to it. Costs less than buying multiple packs of yeast and it brings the yeast to peak activity level before you pitch them. But it is more work and takes some planning ahead…

[quote=“Conrad”] My room temp is about 70f. 85 seems a bit toasty… [/quote]Yeast is happy up to at least 100F and the small amount of sugar used for carbonation isn’t going to be enough to form off flavors from the higher temp. 85F is great for carbing up those high-ABV, longer-aged beers where you forget to add a little fresh yeast at bottling and a month later they’re still flat. 70F will get you there though it’ll take longer.

So should I add a bit of fresh yeast at bottling time? Guess I meant 85f was a bit toasty for my personal comfort, ha. Do u use a heating pad then to get it up to those temps?

That is one of the many issues that experienced brewers disagree on. It is possible that adding a bit of yeast at bottling time will make the beer carb faster, and some brewers consider it “insurance”. I’ve personally NEVER had a problem with too little yeast to carbonate the bottles, and don’t think it necessary to add more.

[quote=“Conrad”] Do u use a heating pad then to get it up to those temps?[/quote]Don’t usually have to since I’m in Texas. But during the deep winter, when it’s 45F outside, I’ll put them in the mashtun with a ceramic lizard bulb or a heating pad on low. I always add a little fresh yeast (1mL of slurry per 12 oz) when I’m bottling - if it’s good enough for Sierra Nevada, it’s good enough for me. :wink:

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