I’m still quite new to brewing with just 4 batches under my belt but my last 2 batches have given me some trouble with carbonation. My 3rd batch was an altered Petite Orange dubbel extract recipe. I forgot to add my priming solution to the bottling bucket before transferring the beer, so I poured the solution over the beer in the bottling bucket. Halfway through racking to bottles I realized I had never stirred in the solution. When I began drinking the conditioned batch over the next few months I had extremely carbonated brews and then as I got into the last 3rd of the bottles I had completely flat beers. I attempted adding fizz drops to the bottles and recapping but I found that by that point most of what I had left was indeed carbonated so my fizzdrops were creating volcanos. Anyway, I digress. I have popped open a few of my latest batch, a chocolate milk stout from extract. My first 2 were again super carbonated, like it was taking me over 5 minutes to pour into a glass, allowing head to settle and continue pouring over and over again. Then I had another and it was just the slightest bit carbonated, almost not at all. The thing is, I did not make the same mistake on this batch. I added the priming solution first and allowed it to mix in as I transferred the beer into the bottling bucket. So, I’m thinking maybe I was wrong about the cause of my vastly inconsistent carbonation levels in my beer. Could I be doing something else wrong? What steps can I take to try to ensure more consistent carbonation levels in my bottle conditioned beer?
Upside is, at least a semi-flat stout is drinkable, unlike the dubbel which was just horrid without the bubbles.