Poor Carbonation

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by ltrog, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. ltrog

    ltrog New Member

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    Been brewing for nearly 20 years using bottles, corn sugar for priming, and a primary fermenter. My last batch I used DME (used the calculator so more quantity than I would have used with corn sugar) and I tried a secondary fermenter. The result was a grossly under carbonated beer. I made 2 changes from my proven technique, using DME & a secondary, so I now have 2 variables in a single equation. Any thoughts on what caused the under carbonation? When using a secondary do I need to save some of the yeast at the bottom of the primary and infuse my beer before bottling? It seems strange to me that I can have little to no sediment in my secondary, prime the beer with sugar, and then expect that yeast will be present to create carbonation. The taste of the beer is good and I had the expected OG and FG so I think I was good up to bottling.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    My first inclination is to say give it some time. I've been using secondary fermentors my entire brewing career and if anything, I've generally had over-carbonation problems until recently, when I got more careful with my calculations, realized I live at 6,000 feet elevation and the guidelines for carbonation were for closer to sea level and dialed back the gas in my beer. Overall, makes for a much more pleasant drinking session. In any case, I've sometimes had beers that were slow to carbonate, often lagers with little suspended yeast. This is not a problem. Perfectly clear beer generally has 100,000 or more yeast cells per milliliter, enough to carbonate a beer. I've also used DME, carbonating tabs and other sugars, no problem. Just give it some time. One more thing to consider since it's winter in the northern hemisphere: Was your storage area cooler than usual? This will increase conditioning time as well.

    Thank you for mentioning the change in two variables! I've preached OFAT (One Factor at a Time) experimentation here often, thanks for the real-world example.
     
  3. MrBIP

    MrBIP Active Member

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    ^ ditto that....
    I prefer to use secondary to help clear things up and have not had any carbination issues (and have used both corn sugar and DME), but sometimes it takes a bit longer (up to three weeks) and if the storage room is a little cooler, like now, in late December, it will take longer.
     

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