not enough carbonation?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by oliver, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    Since forever, I don't use a priming sugar calculator, I prime with 1oz of priming sugar per gallon of beer. Dilute with half cup water, boil for a second, rack beer on top, and then rack beer into bottles.

    It always seems like my beers are slightly flat, even though I'm using more sugar than the calculator is prescribing... It pours well, and has a decent head on it, but after about 10 minutes the beer isn't really all that carbonated.

    I also usually bottle straight from cold crashing. Does the beer going into bottles around 40ºF cause any lack of carbonation? My only two options I can think of going forward is lettering the beer warmup to room temp before bottling, and using more priming sugar.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    That seems like a lot of sugar like you said, not sure more would be the answer. And warming the beer first would release more co2 from solution, making it flatter prior to carbing

    You said it pours fine, so the yeast are doing their job it seems. Are there liytle spots on the beer glass that gove off more bubbles than others (nucleation sites)? Have you tried different glasses? Giving them a good rinse first? They might have soap or other residue causing the carbonation to leave prematurely
     
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  3. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    My only tip that I found helps since getting my chest freezer is that after you've gone through the bottle carbonation phase to drop them beers back into a cold crash environment for a few days then serve. I perceived longer and stronger carbonation stream and smaller bubbles. Good luck.
     
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  4. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    new theory, I think I'm doing too good of a job not getting any yeast out of the primary into the secondary and into the bottling bucket.
     
  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    But you are getting some carbonation? So yeast must be present

    Maybe not long enough conditioning?
    You have a nice yeast ring at bottom of bottles?
     
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  6. jeffpn

    jeffpn Well-Known Member

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    Suspended yeast should be enough to condition your beer. I think you have to try pretty hard to remove all the yeast.
     
  7. ChuckGViolin

    ChuckGViolin Member

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    My last two batches were both woefully under-carbed. One was my fault (put 2 tsp instead of 2 tbsp of sugar - 1 gallon batch). The other was done with fizz drops which I'm convinced just don't work. Anyways, my most recently bottled batch is being carbed with Domino sugar cubes (box with 192 count). I saw a guy recommend that at homebrewtalk and I'm giving it a try.

    I don't have much in the way of advice, but I do empathize with you. It is very frustrating to brew a great-tasting batch of beer only to have it be flat after a few weeks in bottles. Definitely rinse the #@$! out of your glasses. Soap really does a number on beer.
     
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  8. nzbrew

    nzbrew Active Member

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    #8 nzbrew, Jan 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
    Are you having issues with carbonation or head retention? If it's good when poured, but lacking after 10 minutes it may not be the initial carbonation level. If it's head retention at fault, there are ingredient and mash adjustments you can make. Detergent residue on glasses makes a big difference too.
     
  9. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    I didn't alwasy have this issue... maybe I need to switch dishwasher pods? I used to use the little pouches of liquid detergent, and I've been using the powder pouches lately. Or I'll just clean out my glassware by hand.
     
  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Just saw this on my local hombrew site in cleaning and sanitising the other day www.nationalhombrew.com.au
    And thought it may be relevant for this thread.

    Automatic Dishwashers


    We’re often asked about using dishwashers, but there are a few limitations.

    The narrow openings of hoses bottling valves and bottles usually prevent the water jets and detergent from effectively cleaning the inside. If it does get in there is no guarantee it will be rinsed out. And lastly the drying additives can ruin head retention in beer. These work by coating the surface in a chemical film so droplets won’t form preventing spots. The wetting action destabilises proteins that form the bubbles. It is for this reason that beer glasses should not be washed in the dishwasher.
     
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  11. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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    FWIW, I never used soap on my bottles. I used new bottles or ones that I emptied myself, rinsed them thoroughly, then sanitized them at bottling time. With soap residue out of the equation, I found that low carbonation issues went away with additional conditioning time.
    Note that higher gravity beers can take longer to carbonate.
    You could try adding more yeast just prior to bottling, and see what happens. Here's one option for that, and it doesn't use maltotriose so it shouldn't dry out your beer. http://www.danstaryeast.com/company/products/cbc-1-cask-bottle-conditioned-beer-yeast
     
  12. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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  13. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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    +1 Brewstock, good people there. We're fortunate to have a well-stocked, competitively-priced LHBS in NOLA.
     
  14. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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    Speaking of that, there's a school of thought that claims that, for whatever reason, batch priming yields more consistent carbonation than priming each bottle individually.

    Have I mentioned lately how awesome kegging is compared to bottling? :)
     
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  15. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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    I missed this the first time around: Bottling at 40 deg. is probably slowing down your yeast activity. Try letting the beer warm up first. If you want to maximize the benefit of cold crashing, transfer the beer to a bottling bucket while it's still cold, let it warm up for a while, then bottle. You could even batch prime while you're at it and make your bottling chores slightly less tedious.

    If you currently have bottles of undercarbed beer, try keeping them at room temp. and giving the bottles a little shake to get any dormant, sedimented yeast back in suspension.
     
  16. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    So my process as of now, Rerack out of primary into secondary. hold around 60-70ºF for a few days, cold crash for another few days. straight out of the fridge, and yes I do batch prime, toss 2oz of sugar in for slightly less than 2 gallons. Hold bottles in 70s for a few weeks. I'm going to monitor a few aspects everyone has mentioned in the next few bottling sessions. 1, warmup the beer first, then bottle... 2, clean my glassware out, maybe it's soap residue in my pints and snifters messing with me... 3, add some more yeast at bottling time.
     
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  17. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    4. Dive on in to the Kegging world and set the carbonation with a turn of the co2 regulator yeah baby:p.
     
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  18. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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    do they make 2 gallon kegs that I can rig up? IF so.... I'd probably invest.
     
  19. Gerry P

    Gerry P Active Member

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    They make small kegs but unless you're short on space don't bother. You just put the 2 gallons in the 5 gallon keg, and CO2 fills the headspace.
     
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  20. ChuckGViolin

    ChuckGViolin Member

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    I might give kegging a try eventually. I'm not quite there yet. :)

    On a side note, the batch with the Domino Dots came out great! Carbonated perfectly and tastes great.
     
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