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Lack of Carbonation

Whats up NBF,

looking for some advice/feedback on my latest batch of brew.

I concocted a fairly large scotch ale, did a secondary with cherry juice concentrate, and then aged the brew on some single malt scotch (6 oz.) and wood chips for 4 weeks.

It has been almost 4 weeks since i bottled it and the carbonation is nearly non-existent. I used the majority of a 5 oz. package of priming sugar when i bottled ( i eyeballed it going for about 4 oz.).

At first i thought the carb might be failing because the location of the brew was probably maintaining an average temp of low-mid 60s. For the last week or so i have moved the bottles to a warmer location and have been swirling the cases to agitate the yeast and making sure the temp is relatively warm.

I have tasted the brew at 2, 3, and now 4 weeks since bottling; the stuff tastes amazing, even flat, and i would like to help this beer reach its full potential (i.e. have some frothy goodness in it). Looking for some insight from all you guys here on the forum.

The only thing that i have been able to come up with/brainstorm with the guys at work is to un-cap each bottle individually, squirt/sprinkle a little yeast on top, and then re-cap.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Did you get any slight carbonation, just a little above flat? If so give it more time. How long in the primary, how long in the secondary, how long did it age? For a big beer that is aged awhile it is a good idea to re-yeast the beer before you bottle. That is adding 3-4 grams of fresh yeast to do the work. I have never uncapped beer to add yeast so I can’t help you there but I would give it some more time to see if it is carbing, It might take a few more weeks for the yeast to eat all the sugars that are in there.

You may need to be a little more aggressive than “swirling the cases”. Take each beer bottle and flip end for end until the cake on the bottom is no longer there. If there is no layer do sediment, you have a different problem.

So the initial fermentation lasted for about a week before airlock activity slowed to a standstill (6 gal. carboy), then i added the cherry juice concentrate into the same carboy and fermentation picked up again, with a decent krausen, and lasted for about another week. After that i racked the brew onto the whisky and wood chips in a 5 gal. carboy where it sat for another 4 weeks. Total of 6 weeks in between brewing and bottling.

I haven’t examined the bottles yet for a layer of sediment at the bottom, so i will have to do that this evening.

560: what do you think the problem would be if i do not find any yeast at the bottom of the bottle?

I have not been brewing that long and have never had to re-yeast a beer before bottling. This is my third of 4 batches i have done and the first to fail to carbonate within 3 weeks.

I also tested another batch i brewed after “the flat one” last night (batch number 4 of 4). That batch has been in bottles for a week less than “the flat one” and has attained a decent level of carbonation; this makes me think that the yeast in the bottles of “the flat one” is no longer viable/able to convert the sugars in the bottle into co2.

As far as to whether or not “the flat one” has attained any carbonation, i think my mind may be playing tricks on me. I’m worried that i want it to carbonate so bad i may be talking myself into believing it has improved since last week. there is definitely no head of any sort on the beer after pouring (even after a hard poor) just a few clear bubbles appear in a couple of spots on the top. The beer does have some mouth-feel and body initially, but i have been attributing that to the fact that it is a fairly large beer and i used some specialty grains to induce these characteristics. About halfway through the glass all of the mouth-feel is gone and the beer is completely dead. (except for the tantalizing whisky/cherry aromas wafting from its lifeless corpse. sigh)

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