Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

HELP! 48 bottles of FLAT American Amber beer! G'ah!

Hello there, first time poster here trying to tap the collective wisdom here at the Northern Brewer forum.

I popped open a bottle of my American Amber Ale (AAA) last night and was sadly shocked to see that it was completely flat. The beer was a bit cloudy, but tasted amazing…except for the fact that it was flat with zero carbonation.

After trying to figure out what the heck happened, I realized that the area I had been using to bottle carbonate my beer had changed in temperature. Here in the DC area the weather recently warmed up and the heat was no longer running. My basement area went from a relatively stable 65-68 degrees to a low 55 degrees.

I’m guessing this is the reason that my AAA didn’t carbonate, it was too cool.

I had assumed that after 2 weeks in my basement area that the bottled AAA carbonated. I then put in in the fridge to cold condition for another two weeks.

So, my question is this…

After sitting in the fridge for two weeks, can i safely take all my beer out of the fridge and move said bottles (48 bottles) to a warmer spot in hopes that the yeast in the brew will wake up and carbonate my AAA?

I’m really hoping you guys and gals can help out. I don’t have a CO2 or kegging system and am really hoping I can save these 48 bottles of AAA.

The beer tastes amazing…I just want it carbonated so I can properly enjoy the fruits of my time and labor.

Thanks in advance for your help and time!

~Foo You

I’d say move it to a warmer temp. That should help out. Some people also like to lightly tip the bottles upside down to mix up the sugars and the yeast also.

Thanks so much!

Any thoughts on how long I should leave the bottles in the warmer area to achieve a decent carbonation?

Thanks again!

[quote=“fooyou”]Thanks so much!

Any thoughts on how long I should leave the bottles in the warmer area to achieve a decent carbonation?

Thanks again![/quote]
Probably at least another 2 weeks, maybe more.

Agreed

Yep, move them somewhere warm - 70+ degrees. The yeast should wake back up and finish the job. Did you notice the beer was sweet when flat? If none of the priming sugar fermented there should be a noticeable sweetness. The other possibility is that the sugar wasn’t mixed properly and some bottles ended up with more sugar.

Do the bottle tip thing, when this happened to me, that was the magic trick to fix it

[quote=“fooyou”]Hello there, first time poster here trying to tap the collective wisdom here at the Northern Brewer forum.

I popped open a bottle of my American Amber Ale (AAA) last night and was sadly shocked to see that it was completely flat. The beer was a bit cloudy, but tasted amazing…except for the fact that it was flat with zero carbonation.

After trying to figure out what the heck happened, I realized that the area I had been using to bottle carbonate my beer had changed in temperature. Here in the DC area the weather recently warmed up and the heat was no longer running. My basement area went from a relatively stable 65-68 degrees to a low 55 degrees.

I’m guessing this is the reason that my AAA didn’t carbonate, it was too cool.

I had assumed that after 2 weeks in my basement area that the bottled AAA carbonated. I then put in in the fridge to cold condition for another two weeks.

So, my question is this…

After sitting in the fridge for two weeks, can i safely take all my beer out of the fridge and move said bottles (48 bottles) to a warmer spot in hopes that the yeast in the brew will wake up and carbonate my AAA?

I’m really hoping you guys and gals can help out. I don’t have a CO2 or kegging system and am really hoping I can save these 48 bottles of AAA.

The beer tastes amazing…I just want it carbonated so I can properly enjoy the fruits of my time and labor.

Thanks in advance for your help and time!

~Foo You[/quote]

Thanks for posting this … literally the EXACT same thing happened to me this week. Same beer, same temp issue, same flat beer!

You could sacrifice one bottle. Gently pour it into a soda bottle. See if you can find a single 8oz bottle. Then you can tell if they are carbonating.

In the future, fill one soda bottle with each batch.16oz or 24oz works fine. :wink:

Repetition from a post on another thread… but…

Did you run your bottles through the dishwasher to clean them before bottling your brew?

That could be why (if you haven’t solved your problem yet)

[quote=“dbarton02”]Repetition from a post on another thread… but…

Did you run your bottles through the dishwasher to clean them before bottling your brew?

That could be why (if you haven’t solved your problem yet)[/quote]


@dbarton02

Nope, I never run my bottles through the dishwasher and never use dish detergent. In reusing my bottles I rinse them out (as soon as I’m done drinking them) with very hot water and then sanitize them with StarSan.

So far its been a week since I’m moved them to a warmer location. Based on the feedback, going to leave the bottles for two more weeks before I open a test bottle to test the carbonation.

Cheers! posting.php?mode=quote&f=1&p=965040#

Howdy fooyou, and welcome!

I’m here in the DC area, too. I’m sure you recall that we had some rather warm weather (upper 70s, low 80s) back in Feb and early March? Well, that was when my first beers were bottled, and my first four or five batches carbed up in a week. Then, the temps became more seasonal and suddenly my beers were taking 2.5 - 3 weeks to carb.

Then, 2 weeks ago I bottled some Brown Ale and it was quite warm during the first week. They were well-carbed at 1 week.

The room where I store my bottled beers is basically at around 60 degrees when it’s cold out and the heat is on, and gets up to around 75 when it’s warmer and the AC is on. That apparently makes a HUGE difference in how quickly carbonation occurs.

On the upside in your situation, I’ve discovered that a carbed beer isn’t necessarily a finished beer. I’ve found that less-hoppy styles almost invariably benefit from at least 2 weeks of bottle conditioning, regardless of when they are finished carbonating.

If you haven’t already, it makes sense to follow the advice to tip the beers. The yeast has probably settled to the bottom at this point.

Cheers, and enjoy!

I really need to start doing this, rather than risk drinking an overly-sweet, uncarbed test beer :wink: .

[quote=“ickyfoot”][quote]In the future, fill one soda bottle with each batch.16oz or 24oz works fine. [/quote]I really need to start doing this, rather than risk drinking an overly-sweet, uncarbed test beer :wink: .[/quote]For those who want to try this, be sure to use a PET bottle, fill to about an inch from the top, take the cap in one hand and with the other squeeze the sides of the bottle to make the beer come up to the lip, the quickly screw the cap on tight. As the beer carbs, the beer level with drop and the bottle will begin to harden and once it’s firm when squeezed, it’s ready to sample.

VOILA!! SUCCESS!!

Many thanks to everyone that posted and helped out! I’m proud to report that my American Amber Ale is carbonated and friggin’ DELICIOUS!!

After starting this thread and following everyone’s great advice, I moved my two cases of AAA to the 2nd (and warmer) level of my home. I gently rolled each bottle to stir up the yeast and prayed that whatever living yeast was still inside would wake up.

Three weeks later I took a bottle and chilled it for a few days in the fridge. The other night I popped it open and heard the most beautiful sound:

fwiiiish!

From the sound I instantly knew my beer had carbonated. Poured the AAA into a glass and it was tasty!

Thanks again to everyone for their words of encouragement and so happy that my beer was not lost.

For my last batch (Irish “not-so-red” Ale), I’m definitely going to fill one PET plastic bottle with beer to make sure everything is well carbonated.

CHEERS!!

[quote=“dbarton02”]Did you run your bottles through the dishwasher to clean them before bottling your brew?
That could be why (if you haven’t solved your problem yet)[/quote]
I actually had never heard that. Why does using the dishwasher make a difference?

I’ve only ever sanitized my bottles in the dishwasher, and have yet to have a bottle carb fail.

[quote=“a10t2”][quote=“dbarton02”]Did you run your bottles through the dishwasher to clean them before bottling your brew?
That could be why (if you haven’t solved your problem yet)[/quote]
I actually had never heard that. Why does using the dishwasher make a difference?[/quote]

Running them thru the dishwasher won’t make a difference. the key is to not use detergent or rinse-agent as they can inhibit head retention so I’ve read. Just set the diswasher at its sanitize/sterilize (or what ever your dishwasher manual calls it) and go. It’s the heat that sanitizes the bottles.

edit: i load/run mine at night so they are ready in the morning.

cheers

That makes sense. I still can’t think of any reason why it would keep the beer from carbonating.

That makes sense. I still can’t think of any reason why it would keep the beer from carbonating.[/quote]

It doesn’t stop carbonation, like stromybrew said, it just kills head retention.

Right, but that’s a completely different thing. I’d like to know if dbarton02 was confusing the two, or if he meant that using the dishwasher would inhibit carbonation.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com