So I’ve made 5 extract batches now. Made them as fast as I could to get familiar with the basic process and nail down my temperature control. So far, the three beers I’ve sampled all taste WONDERFUL. I’m so happy with the flavors of all these NB kits. However, only my first batch (Caribou Slobber) carbonated properly and pours with a nice head. The latter two batches I’ve sampled (Brickwarmer and Cream Ale) are very under-carbonated and have literally no head. The Brickwarmer has been bottle conditioning at room temp, about 70*F ambient, for 4 weeks to the day, and the Cream Ale has been bottle conditioning 2 weeks. I’d expect SOME head on both of them, but my samples are almost flat. I can taste carbonation, so they’re pretty drinkable (not going to pour it out or anything), but there’s no head whatsoever.
The funny part… my first batch, which carbonated nicely, was a complete bottling catastrophe. I didn’t use a bottling wand. Just bottled straight from the spigot. I also didn’t let my priming solution cool at all and I forgot to stir in the solution with the beer.
The batches that aren’t carbonating at all have followed this exact process. Please let me know if I’m doing something wrong. There has to be some little detail that I’m forgetting or messing up:
- Mix 2/3 cup corn sugar with 16 oz. water and boil for 10-15 minutes
- Let the priming solution cool to room temp while I clean/sanitize everything
- Pour the priming solution into the bottling bucket
- Siphon beer from secondary into bottling bucket, getting a nice “vortex” going to mix the solution with the beer
- I then attach the sanitized hose and bottling wand
- Bottle 6-8 beers and cap them
- Gently stir the beer
- Repeat steps 6 & 7 until all is bottled
Am I boiling the priming solution too long? Or perhaps I shouldn’t be stirring and keeping the sugar in suspension rather than down by the spigot?
Any help is GREATLY appreciated. Once I fix this carbonation issue I’ll be making some damn good beer