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Priming problem... and solution?

Need advice… I brewing an American style hefe. Got busy and it sat in the secondary for about three months. (I know, I know…) I had had taken about half gallon out to make a cherry wheat beer (with local Jersey cherries, so I had about 4.5 gallons of hefe. Primed with 4 oz sucrose, capped and sat in the basement. They have not carbonated. It’s been many months. I opened one after a few weeks… some carbonation, but not enough to be drinkable. Let them sit a while longer to the same ending. Ok, so it’s cool in the basement, so I took a few upstairs and put them on the radiator where it’s nice and warm. Gave them a good shake every few days… Still no luck. Not drinkably carbonated. I figure that the yeast must have died off? Or did I not add enough priming sugar?

If you want to know, original gravity was 1.052, when I bottled it was 1.011.

What I’m proposing… Open each bottle. I have a red ale that I just brewed, so when I move it into the secondary, I take a dropper full of yeast-filled red ale and put it into each bottle. I make a syrup of 4 oz corn sugar (glucose) and 2 oz (plus 2 t) water. 6 oz (+2t) total, which is 38 teaspoons of volume (I’m a pastry chef by trade…). I then add one teaspoon of this sugar syrup to each bottle and recap. Does this make sense? Or have I had one too many homebrews tonight…

I don’t want to toss all this beautiful hefe, the flavor is great (and you know, kinda pricy!)! Let me know what you think.

Brewblogger says you need 6 oz of sugar to prime this one, but yep, I think you may have let it sit just a little to long to get it to carb right. Yes you can open each bottle and reyeast and put a small amount of sugar wth it. My first instinct was you don’t need to add any more sugar, but maybe it could use some more. Good luck!!!

Ok, so I melted down 4.5 oz sucrose with 1.5 oz water to get 6 oz priming solution. Added one teaspoon (5ml) to the first two bottles and realized that was too much, forgot that sugar will melt down to less volume when liquified… so… added 3/4 teaspoon (3.75ml) solution to each bottle, but came up short. Got 28 bottles that way, made the same solution to finish off the rest. Then added about the same amount of fresh (super fresh yeasty) Red Ale to each bottle and re-capped. We’ll see what happens.

I did mark the first two bottles with exclamation points on the caps (since they have more sugar than the rest), put them in a ziploc bag in case they blow. If they don’t, great… if they do, they’ll be contained and I’ll know to put the rest in the fridge.

If nothing else, this has been a learning experience and a (sort of) fun experiment in trying to fix a mistake.

If I’m reading this right, I think you have a bunch of bomb on your hands.

You added sugar and capped them. After several weeks no carbonation. So you added more sugar and some yeast slurry from a different batch of beer.

You have double primed your bottles.

When you think they are getting close to being carbonated, get them in a refrigerator FAST, preferably the crisper drawers. If you can’t, get them is some plastic storage containers. That way if they do blow up the damage will be contained.

Just adding a drop or 2 of yeast slurry should have done the trick.

Good luck.

Nighthawk… You sort of read that right (or I didn’t explain well enough which is more likely). I originally primed them then let them sit for several months, not weeks. And they did carbonate, just not to a level where it was drinkable. The yeast consumed whatever sugar was in there, since there was a little effervescence. I’m thinking that there wasn’t enough sugar… Or because I used sucrose instead of dextrose.

Anyway, I popped one open today and it was carbonated perfectly. I accidentally over sugared two of the bottles, so I put those two in a heavy ziploc bag in case they go, but one of the properly measured bottled was tasty (like I said…).

To be on the safe side, I’m going to have another just to make sure they’re all carbonated and then toss them (gently place them) in the fridge… Just in case.

Thanks for the advice.

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