Carbonation help

this is my first batch (Irish red). I fermented for 4 weeks @ 60 degrees. Prepared priming solution and siphoned beer on top of it in my bottling bucket. Bottles have been at 70 degrees for 3 weeks now. My beers vary from hardly any carbonation with taste being okay to loads of carbonation and so sugary they can’t hardly be drank. I’ve went over my notes and double checked everything, can’t see where I might have went wrong. Help!!

Chances are your priming solution wasn’t evenly mixed into your beer. I like to give the beer a gentle swirl with a long spoon before I start and every 12 bottles filled to insure that the priming solution is evenly mixed throughout.

Once it’s stirred in it will stay evenly distributed. Here is a short video describing diffusion.

http://highered.mheducation.com/sites/0072495855/student_view0/chapter2/animation__how_diffusion_works.html

Very upsetting as I have a nut brown that was bottled the same way that should be ready next week. Any drawbacks to priming tabs so I can avoid this in the future?

Just stir in your bottling sugar. Once it’s uniformly mixed into solution it will stay uniformly in solution. It’s fast, it’s cheap and it works…

Lots of mixed reviews on the tabs. The sugar is a much better way to accurately carb up your bottles. Just mix it in properly in the future and you should be fine. I’ve done the stir method (lightly swirling every 10-12 bottles) and have never had an issue with varying carbonation. Don’t stir too hard, or you’ll risk oxidation. A light swirl should be fine.

Priming tabs don’t really allow you to dial in the specific volume for different styles. Since the carbonation in a Dry Irish Stout is not stylistically the same as a Belgian Tripel.

I’ve also heard quite a few people say the priming tabs are unreliable. I’ve never used them.

I’ve bottled without stirring plenty of times when i first started brewing and have never had inconsistent carbing issues so it could be just a fluke and your brown ale may be just fine.

I just use my racking cane to gently stir. It’s already sanitized from when I rack into bottling bucket and I’m already holding on to it.