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Carbonation advice

Good morning my fellow beer enthusiasts,

I am having a bit of a carbonation issue with a batch of my Sprecher Abbey Triple clone. The carbonation in the bottles has been wildly inconsistent. While I have found a handful of bottles that have been normally carbonated, lately I have been finding dud after dud. The ones that are carbed taste wonderful and is pretty spot on, but the ones that are not taste very poor.

Looking for some possible options that I may have to try and carbonate/recarbonate the batch. Looking at all the bottles, they have a layer of yeast at the bottom so that does not seem to be the issue. Perhaps the sugar did not get mixed very well?

What would be the best solution to try and remedy this:
(1) Open them all up and dump a few mL of sugar water in, shake and let sit a few weeks?
(2) Open them up and throw in a mixture of yeast/sugar water, shake and let sit a few weeks?
(3) Open them up and throw a carb tab in, shake and let sit?
(4) Other ideas?

Only other concern would be if I pop a bottle and it gives the normal burp to indicate it’s properly carbed…do I just recap that knowing it’s ok or do I need to re-prime it to get the carb level proper again?

Thanks for any advice and cheers!!!

You run the risk of over-carbing some bottles if you indiscriminantly add sugar to every bottle. I would chill them all, then when you open one for drinking, if there is no hiss of carbonation, drop in the correct number of carb tabs and immediately re-cap (the tabs will start the beer foaming if there’s any carbonation, so have the cap and capper ready before adding the tab). Then set that bottle at room temp and the next day turn it over and swirl to mix in the sugar and get the yeast re-suspended. Swirl the bottle once a day for a week or two and it should then be carbed.

The likely cause of the under-carbing problem is that you did not thoroughly mix the sugar in the bottling bucket. When I used to bottle like that, I would gently stir the beer after every six-pack to keep the sugar evenly distributed.

Thanks for the reply Shadetree…looks like I’ll need to run by my LHBS and get some carb tabs.

Just to clarify, if I pop the cap and hear the hiss that means it’s carbonated, do I just recap it right away or do I still drop the tab(s) in and just hurry on the recap before it foams over?

Thanks again. Cheers!!!

Hi,

I use better bottle carboy and after I add the priming sugar water I roll the carboy on the floor for a while, let it rest and then bottle. After I started doing this I have not had the problem. Just think about not rocking it to hard so that the beer pick up oxygen.

[quote=“MilwaukeeBeerMaker”]Just to clarify, if I pop the cap and hear the hiss that means it’s carbonated, do I just recap it right away or do I still drop the tab(s) in and just hurry on the recap before it foams over?[/quote]If it’s carbed, you drink it! If it isn’t, you add the carb tab and cap and set aside. So only open one when you want to drink one (or three).

The likely cause of the under-carbing problem is that you did not thoroughly mix the sugar in the bottling bucket. When I used to bottle like that, I would gently stir the beer after every six-pack to keep the sugar evenly distributed.[/quote]

+1 on mixing in the bottling bucket. I was having similar issues with some bottle being under carbed (or not at all) and some being heavily carbed. Started gently stirring every 6-8 bottles and haven’t had a problem since.

Bumping an old topic with a new question.

I bottled my Brown Ale 12 days ago. They have been stored in an area that is in the 70s in a internal shared stairwell. I used a PET (A&W root beer bottle) to check the carbonation. It had returned to it’s original shape and felt almost a hard as an unopened soda.

Well the brown picked up the root beer flavor, but also, I was surprised to find it was flat!

Any ideas on why?
It only had the neck space left on it once it returned to it’s normal non-squeezed shape.

I’d give it more time. I did a brown ale a few months back and it took closer to 4 weeks to carbonate properly.

also, I stir after each 6 pack as well.

There is a point where the bottle will become ridged. Then the CO2 will start to be pushed into solution. Give it another week or two.

Thanks.
Next time I will not choose the plastic bottle as the 1st sample.

[quote=“ibeentired”]Next time I will not choose the plastic bottle as the 1st sample.[/quote]I always sample the plastic bottle first (that’s what it’s for after all). It should be as hard as a commercial soda before putting it in the fridge for a couple of days prior to sampling.

Yeah it was rigid for a couple days before I chilled it. Maybe it wasn’t rigid enough, it’s been a while since I tested a commercial soda bottle (if ever).

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