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Slow or no carbonation?

I am a new homebrewer. My first batch was Nut brown ale form NB. Everything went great and ultimately the beer turned out great. It carbonated in about 2 weeks of bottle conditioning, which is what the instructions said. I did try one after one week, and can fully appreciate that the 2nd week of bottle conditioning did most of the carbonating. My second batch was the St Paul Porter. It has been in the bottle for 3 weeks, and it’s still very flat. There is almost no carbonation. Should I be worried? I used the recommended amount of table sugar/water and put it in my bottling bucket at the start of siphoning from secondary. Would corn sugar be better? Do I need to wait longer? Is something else wrong and it will stay flat? Any thoughts would be appreciated, as my 3rd batch (john q adams marblehead lager) is in primary right now.

If you know you used the proper amount of sugar, then you either didn’t have enough yeast (very unlikely) or have inconsistent mixing of the sugar in the bottling bucket, so some bottles have too much and some not enough (most likely). While many people seem to have great results just letting the siphoning mix the sugar, I found that I needed to stir the beer every now and then to keep it well-mixed during bottling.

I had a similar problem with my first beer which was a porter (they are not suppose to be heavily carbonated anyway) but it still tasted flat. I think i solved my problem though if you are going to add your sugar dry, if you are moving from your fermenter into a spigot bucket like i do put the sugar in first then siphon your beer. I was so worried about aerating my beer. I just tried to stir it in and i don’t think i did a good enough job of mixing it properly. It worked great on my last two batches perfectly and carbonated much more evenly (My porter was hit in miss some were fine others were flat) There is always the tablet option which i think i will try next.

It may also not be conditioned yet some beers take time. Ive seen some take 2 months to condition and carbonate so don’t give up on your beer it may surprise you.

+1 to adding the priming sugar solution first (I cool mine in an ice bath before putting it in the bucket). Once that’s in and you have enough beer in the bucket to keep the end of the hose under it, run the hose along the wall of the bucket to create a bit of a whirlpool. This has worked for me twice, which isn’t really enough to be scientifically meaningful by any stretch, but both times I was worried that I forgot to mix yet ended up with uniformly carbed bottles.

Still, I bottled more last night and used my new mash stirrer just to be safe.

Is the temp of the bottles different than the 1st batch? Is it a different yeast strain? Did it sit in primary/secondary for a longer time that the other batch?

So many variables to account for.

Try tipping the bottles 2 times a day and give them a little shake to mix up any yeast that has settled to the bottom of the bottle.

And place them in the warmest area you can find.

[quote=“Nighthawk”]Is the temp of the bottles different than the 1st batch? Is it a different yeast strain? Did it sit in primary/secondary for a longer time that the other batch?

So many variables to account for.

Try tipping the bottles 2 times a day and give them a little shake to mix up any yeast that has settled to the bottom of the bottle.

And place them in the warmest area you can find.[/quote]

I agree with Nighthawk. Make sure your bottles are in a warm environment for the yeast to work.

I have adopted the practice of letting my bottles set for one week and then turning them upside down for a second and then right side up again. This is done of course while the bottles are in the case so it’s an easy chore just make sure the top of the case is secure.

And last I went to carb drops before I started kegging and I loved the results. No variations in the carbonation of the beers, which happened rarely, but still happened.

I also do the bottle tip thing after about a week. I only do it every couple of days though.

I did put the sugar solution in the bucket first, and had a nice whirlpool type stir before bottling out of the bucket. They were two different yeasts, the first was neobritainia from wyeast, and the second was wyeasts ringwood ale. I will try doing the bottle flips/shake and maybe move it to a warmer location. My furnace room is fairly cool (upper shelving is probably at 64, the floor is 60/62). I’ll move the bottles upstairs and see if it improves. Thanks for the ideas!!

So nobody seems to think corn sugar would be better? Is there any reason I should look at corn sugar instead of table sugar?

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