This is my first batch after a 2 year break in home brewing, so I brewed up an ale with an OG of 1.07 and at 1.01 two weeks later, I transferred it to a glass carboy secondary where it sat for a month. On bottling day I brewed another batch so I transferred the first beer to a bottling bucket so I could pour the new batch right on the cake, and unfortunately ran out of time that night to bottle the beer after brewing all night, so I left the beer in the bottling bucket overnight and bottled the next day. The new beer I poured on the old cake has fermented wonderfully…but now two weeks from when I bottled the beer, after much excitement and anticipation, the first beer I cracked open is completely flat! What a letdown! Should I open a few more bottles to make sure it wasn’t just a bad bottle?
So two questions, what made it flat? Was it letting the beer sit for probably 16 hours in the bottling bucket with the priming sugar? Or was it that after a month and two weeks the yeast didn’t have anything left to be able to eat the priming sugar?
And secondly, is there anything I can do to salvage the batch? Sanitize the lips of all the bottles and pour them all back into the bottling bucket where I should add more sugar and add some yeast? The beer tastes great so I would hate it if I ended up having 45 bottles of chicken marinade on my hands!
What temp did you bottle condition? Did you stir the beer before finally starting to bottle? Was there a krausen ring in your bottling bucket or any other signs of fermentation?
I think the sugar was either fermented out as there is little priming sugar and is an easily fermented sugar or the sugar settled to the bottom which means some have no carbonation, some will have little, and some will have a lot.
To be safe, I would store them in a container (in case of bottle bombs) and give them more time).
I suspect the yeast ate your priming sugar. Keep the bottle warm for another week. Slightly lift the edge of the cap on multiple bottles, listen for CO2 release. Recrimp the cap of each bottle immediately. If there is no carbonation, adding sugar to each bottle would be better than pouring the beer back into a bucket for bulk priming.
[quote=“Loopie Beer”]What temp did you bottle condition? Did you stir the beer before finally starting to bottle? Was there a krausen ring in your bottling bucket or any other signs of fermentation?
I bottled at 68F and didn’t stir the beer, good thought. I didn’t see a krausen ring but I think I remember the airlock did bubble in between bottles as I filled them.
Definitely some good advice
I think I’ll do that…maybe I’ll see where we’re at in another week and test multiple bottles.
I highly doubt that the yeast ate all the sugar overnight. But if you didn’t lightly stir it up again before bottling, the sugar all settled on the bottom. If you can remember, crack a few of the bottles that you bottled last. They might actually be overcarbed/getting ready to blow…
Update - I left the bottles to sit for another two weeks so it’s now been a month since I bottled. I took a random sampling of about 5 bottles to test. When I opened them I did hear a “psssst” sound that I don’t recall from the bottles I opened initially, but when I poured one of them, it was still completely flat, I sealed the other 4 again and put them back with the rest of the batch. I think I’ll give it another two weeks, if no progress is made then I’ll add some sugar and see what happens.
The good news is that because of all of this I’ve decided to bite the bullet and convert my chest freezer into a kegerator…so no more waiting and hoping.
We had a similar problem with one of our batches recently. My son being curious shook one of the bottles and noticed it was leaking. Apparently we had a lightweight on the capper that day. We redid all the bottles in that batch and a weak later full carbonation and quite the head!