Practically No Carbonation after 2 weeks

I am only on my 3rd 1 gallon batch so I am still trying to figure this out. I should first say all the beers taste great with no off flavors and would stand up to anything on the market.

I have bottled my first two batches (Smashing Pumpkin and Festivus Ale) with the Fizz drops and left them to bottle condition in a 70F closet turning the bottles every few days. After 2 weeks I place the bottles in the fridge for the CO2 to absorb. When opening a bottle after being in the fridge for 2 days it hisses and the C02 cloud can been in the neck.
Pouring results in a very quick fiz but subsides very fast with no head unless I pour very aggressively. If I decant into the glass the carbonation is better but drinks like a beer that was poured an hour ago.

I just bottled my 3rd which is the Bavarian Whit beer and I used dextrose instead of the fizz drops (local home brew shop recommended after hearing my troubles). I used the calculator on this site for the right amount in grams based on volume style and diluted in boiling water (1/4 cup of water). I let this cool while sanitizing and cleaning the bottles.
I racked the beer into the bottling container (after sanitizing the container) and bottled right after all the beer was taken off the yeast cake in the fermentation jug.

When bottling with the bottling wand it seems difficult to keep the flow with auto siphon so end up pumping which I feel it putting to much air in the beer. Would this cause low carbonation?

I feel like I am following the all the normal procedures and the beer taste fine so I don’t believe there is infection going on but I just can’t get the carbonation to the level i want. Am I not waiting long enough? Is the dextrose a good idea verse the fizz drops?

I’ve heard a fair amount of negative reviews when it comes to the drops. If I was bottling I would avoid those. 2 weeks is a bare minimum to get carbonation. You have to remember that the beer just finished up a pretty big job and now your asking them to perform more. Give them a few more weeks at 70+° and check them after placing them in the fridge for a day or so.

But to clarify… There is some carbonation even though the head falls quickly?

Head retention and carbonation are separate animals. Lack of Head retention is often the cause of the glassware. Oils on the glass, soaps, or dishwashing agents are detrimental to head retention. If you are having problems with head retention soak one of your glasses in PBW over night. Rinse well, and pour the beer. This will help identify if it’s glass related, process related, or recipe related (doubtful if it’s a wheat beer).

With that consistent carbonation issues, my first thought is perhaps there is a problem sealing your bottles? Probably not as you get that “hissing” when you open, but worth checking that the caps are really tight.

I’ve never used fizz drops, but I’ve read of lots of people that have had problems with them being inconsistent. I used to use dextrose until I realized that plain old table sugar works just as well and costs a fraction as much. Also, no need to turn the bottles; the yeast is very good at finding and processing any sugar that is present.

Hard to see where the problem is; the only other thing that comes to mind is that the actual time it takes for the beer to carbonate can vary depending on the recipe. Some beers will carbonate fully in two weeks, while some might take four. So try to be more patient?

There is slight carbonation after two weeks, however its like a very soft barely hinting at carbonation. Like if you were to pour a beer and leave it for an hour in a warm room. Its pretty flat by that point.

I don’t think it is a capping issue, as I was turning them upside down ( in a box) with no leaks.

The local home brew shop said the same thing about the fiz drops which is why i picked up some dextrose hoping maybe i have just been getting a bad batch of fizz drops.

Does the OG play a role in carbonation times? Like higher alcohol content beers require longer conditioning times? The believe the Festivus ale is a pretty high on the Alch. vol and maybe I didn’t condition long enough. With the holidays here I am also trying to get beers ready for parties and such so maybe im just rushing the process.

Yes. Higher ABV brews do tend to take longer, occasionally as long as 6 weeks or more. After all, with a high ABV brew the yeast are more stressed out with the hard work they just finished and the somewhat toxic environment they just created. I don’t know what the Festivus typically comes in at, but I would give it some more time at temp in the 70s.

Thanks for all the responses. I will post back the results after two weeks on the whit beer and the use of dextrose.

A possible problem which I had when bottling was that I didn’t rinse the bottles good enough. I do believe the sanitizer killed what few viable yeast cells that could have started a secondary fermentation…Sneezles61

Start by rinsing the bottles well right after use. Clean and sanitize them well (as with most everything. homebrew). I have never used Fizz drops but have used prime tabs, an older version of them with mixed results. Table sugar works fine unless you bought a kit that included corn sugar then that is fine.

If you are using a siphon to bottle do yourself a favor and get a bucket just to be used for bottling with a spigot, some tubing and a bottling wand. Bottling is a giant PIA IMHO so anything to make it easier. A lot of us go to kegs for that reason, me included.

Store the bottles just like you have been. A little warmer might even help. Now the hard part. If you try one and it is not carbed enough, wait longer. :tired_face:

Oh and make sure the priming sugar is mixed well in the bucket.

I would like to update this thread. I opened a beer up after one week of conditioning and I was pleasantly surprised. There was a good amount of carbonation head didn’t last long but that was maybe due to the glass.
The difference i think was the dextrose instead of the fizz drops. Temp hasn’t changed from the previous batches and all other preparation was done the same way.
With that said should I keep them at 70 degrees in the closet or move them to the refrigerator?

I would recommend a minimum of 2 weeks of room temp/70 degree conditioning especially given your problems in the past.
2 schools of thought on this, there is the “when they’re carbed they’re carbed”, and the wait 2 or even 3 weeks or longer every time school,…

Head retention in the glass can also be affected by chilling time. Try four days in the frig for one bottle to see if you find a difference.

I’m also a homebrew rookie, and I’m having the same issues. I have brewed the Smashing Pumpkin, Festivus Ale, and Rum Runner Stout. All have been flat. The taste is fine, but little to no carbonation. I am also using the fizz drops. Have you brewed any more batches since switching to the dextrose? Was the issue with the fizz drops or some other cause?

Also, I have been soaking my bottles in LD Carlson Easy Clean solution, then putting the work straight in without rinsing the bottles out (because it says No Rinse on the label). Should I be rinsing out my bottles with water after sanitizing them?

Thanks!

Some fizz or carbonation drops are notorious for taking up to a couple of weeks to dissolve. Save some money and weigh out table sugar or corn sugar for bottle carbonation.

Not familiar with Easy Clean. Does it say whether or not the bottles can be filled wet or needs to dry before filling?

Easy clean is a no rinse cleaner, not a sanitizer. If my bottle are a little dirty I soak them for a couple minutes in easy clean, shake them up really good and dump the cleaner out, then I put them in star San to sanitize. Then fill while the bottles are still kinda foamy. Haven’t had and issues with carbonation but I weigh out table sugar. Usually have pretty good carbonation in about week, but always by two weeks.

What kind of bottles are you using? Flip tops are notorious for leaks and twist off bottles don’t seal properly.

I have not had chance to get a new batch going. I would recommend against the fizz drops like most posters on the forum. I have not tried the table surgar only dextrose and I got awesome results with that. I used the northern Brewer calculator to get the weight in grams based on conditioning temp, volume, and style you are brewing.

I’m using standard brown, pry off, 12 oz. bottles, and I’m making sure they are capped well. On the first batch I brewed there was a slight hiss when I opened the bottles, but that’s it. I’m also using the 1 gallon small batch kits. I did a primary fermentation for a week, then a secondary fermentation for another week, then bottled for a month. Another theory I’ve been working on is that I’m filtering out too much yeast by doing a secondary fermentation. Thoughts? I just brewed a small batch of Caribou Slobber that is on it’s first fermentation. I’m gonna skip the secondary fermentation, and go straight to bottle to see if that helps.

There’s always enough yeast in suspension to bottle condition. Some yeasts just take a lot longer than others. With dry yeast, it seems with US-05 I have good carbonation within a week of bottling, whereas S-04 might take over a month before there’s much to speak of. If you’re hearing a slight hiss when opening, then there’s something happening and you just need to give it a little more time.

How warm are you keeping the bottles? When in doubt, it usually helps to warm them up a little. With small batches, it doesn’t give you many test bottles before you’re out, so try to move them to a warmer location and give them another couple of weeks! Although I’ve never used fizz drops I’ve heard of plenty of problems with them, so I’d also suggest switching to corn or table sugar.

I currently brew one custom recipes (and a kit occasionally) and have used in flzz drops (:scream: :relaxed:) the recent past.

If you are going to continue with small (one gallon) kits or custom recipes for a while, and consistent carbonation (across all bottles in the batch) is a concern, seriously consider switching to priming sugar as soon as it’s convenient for you.

WIth fizz drops, I find that I get good carbonation most of the time if I’m patient - one to two months of bottle conditioning and a couple of weeks in the refrigerator. I had a batch (custom ‘saison’ style) where the carbonation was OK after a month in the bottle and excellent after five months. My gut feel is that that my variability in carbonation is related 1) to either fizz drops or 2) to bottles & bottle caps - but not related to the use of primary / secondary fermentation. So eliminating fizz drops forever (:grinning:) from my brewing process is probably the next logical step for me.