Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Undercarbonation question

Friends:
Bottled a Kolsch in early Sept as a gift to a friend. Tried in in end Sept and flavor was great, but it was undercarbonated, so my advice was to let it sit. Well, we did, and it still tastes the same. At the recommendation of a local beer and wine store, I added carbonation pellets to a bottle or 2 as an experiment. Just one pellet sent the bottle foaming over the top w/ a loss of volume down to the bottom of the neck. 2 was a gushing disaster…

Is adding one pellet per bottle the way to go/as good as it gets or is there another way to rescue the batch?? Thanks to all who respond.

Drink it undercarbonated, or try adding about 1/4 tablet per bottle.

Is it gushing when you add the tabs or after they sit for a week?

I’ve had this happen to me in the past where I knew it was an issue of underprimed beer (not all the sugar dissolved in the water, but I decided to just go with it anyways). What I did was estimate how much more carbonation I wanted to add, then calculate how much priming sugar I would need to add to each bottle. In most cases it’s going to be about 0.1g, which is the smallest amount my scale can measure. Obviously, there is a wide margin of error here as you can’t really accurately weigh something that light on that scale, but it got me close enough and I ended up saving the batch.

I just did the same thing today with an undercarbed caribou slobber. Opened one up, poured in a little over an eighth of a teaspoon of corn sugar, and it immediately foamed out of the bottle. Not enough to leave the bottle underfilled, but it did foam over pretty well. I suspect that this is normal? I recapped and have it wrapped in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box that is wrapped in a garbage bag. I plan on placing box and all(for obvious safety reasons) in the fridge in about a week to see if I have any results. I have another original bottle in the fridge now as a control baseline. I’ll report back as to whether this bottle survives or not.

Ron

Unless you didn’t prime or underprimed when you bottled, I would add a small amount of yeast, not sugar.

Judging from my notes, I underprimed. I bottled this batch just after having overcarbed a batch of nut brown ale, and I cut back on the priming sugar. This Caribou Slobber is probably halfway carbed (guessing), and there’s plenty of sediment in the bottles.

Ron

Judging from my notes, I underprimed. I bottled this batch just after having overcarbed a batch of nut brown ale, and I cut back on the priming sugar. This Caribou Slobber is probably halfway carbed (guessing), and there’s plenty of sediment in the bottles.

Ron[/quote]

You could mix the two. When I bottled, if I had a flat beer, I would mix with different beers. Sometimes with good results, but not always.

Like Dave said, 1/4 tab per bottle might work.

Judging from my notes, I underprimed. I bottled this batch just after having overcarbed a batch of nut brown ale, and I cut back on the priming sugar. This Caribou Slobber is probably halfway carbed (guessing), and there’s plenty of sediment in the bottles.

Ron[/quote]

You could mix the two. When I bottled, if I had a flat beer, I would mix with different beers. Sometimes with good results, but not always.

Like Dave said, 1/4 tab per bottle might work.[/quote]

I tried mixing the two, but when I did the result was a foamy mess. And the taste was kinda weird.

[quote=“Frenchie”]I just did the same thing today with an undercarbed caribou slobber. Opened one up, poured in a little over an eighth of a teaspoon of corn sugar, and it immediately foamed out of the bottle. Not enough to leave the bottle underfilled, but it did foam over pretty well. I suspect that this is normal? I recapped and have it wrapped in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box that is wrapped in a garbage bag. I plan on placing box and all(for obvious safety reasons) in the fridge in about a week to see if I have any results. I have another original bottle in the fridge now as a control baseline. I’ll report back as to whether this bottle survives or not.

Ron[/quote]

Yep, this is expected. The sugar will provide a whole bunch of nucleation points for the CO2 that actually is there in solution. I had to cap real quick after I added the sugar to the batch I saved.

I think you guys are having problems because you’re adding sugar to already-carbonated beer. When your corn sugar or priming tabs are hitting the beer, the nucleation sites are causing the CO2 to come out of solution, producing an instant foam-up.

I think you’d have better luck mixing up a strong sugar syrup, boiling it for at least 5-15 minutes to drive out oxygen, then dosing your partially carbed beer with a dropperful or so.

You’d have to do some figuring in order to determine just how much of your strong priming syrup to add, but that would get past the instant foam-up.

If you’re recapping a bottle that you’ve just primed, with lots of extra headspace, you’re just asking for bottle bombs. Good luck, be safe.

My Caribou Slobber that I added about a quarter tsp corn sugar to last week came out better carbonated but still not enough(ambient temp was only 68F and was only carbing for a week, so…

for better or worse, here is what I did today to my undercarbed Caribou Slobber–I’ll post results in a week or two in hopes that whatever happens might help a fellow bottler down the road.

Figured I was at about one third to one half carbonation, which would be anywhere between .8 and 1.2 vol. So i wanted to add 1.2 to 1.6 vol to the remaining 42-12 ounce bottles (I know, huge variable). So I had about 500 ounces to carb at what I decided should be around 1.3, which called for about 30 g of corn sugar. So I took El Capitan’s advice and boiled the sugar in enough water to bring the volume to about 7 ounces, which is about 42 teaspoons. Cooled the sugar water, dunked all bottles in starsan for a few seconds, uncapped 6 at a time, added 1 teaspoon sugar water(absolutely no foaming), recapped. Finished in about 45 min. Of course I sanitized anything that touched either the sugar water or the bottles. I’ve got each sixer wrapped in a plastic bag in a dark closet, ambient temp about 67-68*F. I’ll check one at about a week and report back.

Ron

SUCCESS! After two weeks, the CS is carbed nicely. There was real progress after one week. but two weeks has given spot on carbing.

Thanks to everyone for all the help.

Ron

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com