First Time Brewer

I am a first time brewer. I bottled my red ale starter beer last week and put one in the fridge this morning. Just opened it and it was flat. Do I need to let the beer sit for another week or is just no good? Any suggestions on where I might have gone wrong if it is ruined?


Without knowing your step-by-step process, could be a few things. But yes, let it sit longer. I typically won’t open a bottle for 2-3 weeks. Other things to consider:

Fermentation temp
OG and FG
Amount of priming sugar (weight, NOT volume)
Conditioning temp
Type of yeast


Yep, it’s ruined! just kidding!.

1 weeks is way to short of a time. 2-3 weeks is more like it. Get it in the warmest area you can to help it out. Shake the bottles 1-2 times a day.

Future brews, fill one 16/20 oz soda bottle when you are filling the glass bottles. Squeeze the O2 out and screw the cap on. The bottle will expand as CO2 is formed. When the bottle is hard, allow another week. Place a bottle in the fridge for 2 days, then sample.

Patience is a virtue.

You do have your next batch brewing right? :wink:

What temps are the bottles sitting at? Too cool and they won’t carb 75-80 is a good temp.

Stupid question, but did you add the priming sugar when you bottled?

Is it dead flat or just not as carbed as you want?

Bottle are stored in my room which is usually around 70 degrees. I live in Chicago so it’s freezing outside so not sure where else I can keep them. The two I opened weren’t dead flat, when I shake the bottles they foam up so is that a good sign? I shook all the bottles and will keep doing that.

Just got my new brew kit which is the Hefeweizer! Can’t wait to try that one, this process is a lot longer than I expected so really testing my patience haha.

Thanks for all the responses, I will update in a few weeks.

There isn’t much else to be said…yes, you need to wait longer and the warmer the faster your bottles with carbonate. One thing I will add is that once you have them carbonated, try to store them in a cooler place (60f and cooler). This will help keep the beer in much better shape for storage. Cheers and welcome to the brewing world!

I had the same problem after 1, 2 and even 3 weeks of bottle time for my first batch. I was given the advice of take your bottles by the neck and give them a swirl to get the yeast roused in the bottle again. Do this once a day for about 5 days and then after those 5 days let them sit for about 3 days and then try a bottle. After I did this the carbonation and head retention were off the charts! Good luck.

The best thing to do is get multiple beers going. I don’t understand the science, but the yeast needs to do it’s thing and you can’t rush it. Patience is not one of my strong suits so I totally understand the desire to rush the process. Good luck, and have fun.

Primary: Olde Homestead Guernsey Farm Cream Ale.
Secondary: “JavaHouse” Coffee Stout
Keg Conditioning: Peasmarsh British Mild, Toasted Oatmeal Cookie Brown Ale.
On tap: Kent County Brown, Kolsch
Bottled: For the holidays, Barley Wine (Brewed New years Eve 2011), Harvest Pumpkin, Hearth warmer Amber.