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General Category => Kegging and Bottling => Topic started by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 23, 2014, 03:49:35 PM

Title: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 23, 2014, 03:49:35 PM
I've got a red ale bottle conditioning that spent 14 days in primary, 18 in secondary, and 13 days bottle conditioning at about 73 F after being bottled with plenty of sugar per priming calculator.

When I opened a chilled bottle last night and put it in a very cold mug, the beer tasted fine, but was otherwise quite flat i.e. very minimal carbonation.

I inverted all the bottles for a few seconds then turned them back upright and plan to do this every other day for about a week before sampling another bottle.

I used Safale US-05 and the beer was properly fermented, but carbonation is low.

Any other suggestions.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: denny on July 23, 2014, 03:51:12 PM
It's possible that your very cold mug provided nucleation sites for CO2, which knocked it out if solution and made the beer less carbed.  Try it in a room temp glass to see if this may have been the issue.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 23, 2014, 03:54:46 PM
Denny,

You may be right, but what is puzzling to me is that other brews that I've made have developed a good head instantly as they are being poured.  And, I am one of those crazy guys that like to drink ales at 40 F versus the "politically-correct" temp of 55 to 57 F.

Thanks
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: beersk on July 23, 2014, 03:56:51 PM
Don't invert the bottles more than once. Once should be enough, otherwise, you're risking oxidation. It takes more time than 13 days sometimes. You need to be patient.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: denny on July 23, 2014, 04:00:12 PM
Denny,

You may be right, but what is puzzling to me is that other brews that I've made have developed a good head instantly as they are being poured.  And, I am one of those crazy guys that like to drink ales at 40 F versus the "politically-correct" temp of 55 to 57 F.

Thanks

Yes, and it's not "politically correct"....it's simply the best way to perceive flavors.  After all the work I out into my beer, I don't want it hidden by drinking it too cold.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: kramerog on July 23, 2014, 04:06:54 PM
The extra time in secondary may have dropped out enough yeast to make bottle carbonation slow. 
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: denny on July 23, 2014, 04:07:39 PM
The extra time in secondary may have dropped out enough yeast to make bottle carbonation slow.

I don't think that's enough time to matter.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: HoosierBrew on July 23, 2014, 04:10:59 PM
  After all the work I out into my beer, I don't want it hidden by drinking it too cold.

Yep, I agree.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: dls5492 on July 23, 2014, 05:09:00 PM
I brewed an Irish Red this spring and bottled conditioned it. I also had low carbonation, at first. But, I let it age another six weeks and the carbonation and flavor turned out quite nice. Sometimes, just a little more time in the bottle does wonders.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: sbruening on July 23, 2014, 05:44:34 PM
I had a question closely related to this topic and instead of transferring my beer to a secondary, I'm going to leave my beer in the primary for an extended period of time to see how that works out.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 24, 2014, 01:37:54 AM
Thanks for your tips.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: klickitat jim on July 24, 2014, 04:40:12 AM
I remember a time when I would see a sign reading Coldest Beer In Town and think Oh Ya! Nowadays I just chuckle and think... whatever.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Stevie on July 24, 2014, 12:05:20 PM

I remember a time when I would see a sign reading Coldest Beer In Town and think Oh Ya! Nowadays I just chuckle and think... whatever.

Twin Peaks does this. They have a large red LED display on the wall showing the temp of their beer. Makes me burp too much.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: beersk on July 24, 2014, 02:41:21 PM
Well, you can always let the beer warm up. Easier to do that than having it be too warm and wanting to cool it down.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: reverseapachemaster on July 24, 2014, 03:05:55 PM
How warm was the beer in secondary? Temperature will affect the amount of CO2 already dissolved in your beer (from fermentation) and priming calculators assume you have the amount of dissolved CO2 in your beer for a beer that has been sitting at 70F. If the secondary got much warmer than that then you likely lost some of that CO2 and needed to prime with additional sugar.

However, your beer may just need a few extra days to finish carbonating.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 24, 2014, 04:13:33 PM
Primary and secondary were both 73 F.  I don't have a cellar or basement, so I'm brewing and fermenting ales at basically room temperature.  Since I grow a vegetable garden and often in July and Aug we have outside temps of 95 F and higher with high humidity, I don't like keeping the A/C much lower than 73 F.  The difference between inside and outside is enough of a contrast even at 73 F.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: morticaixavier on July 24, 2014, 06:40:46 PM
Primary and secondary were both 73 F.  I don't have a cellar or basement, so I'm brewing and fermenting ales at basically room temperature.  Since I grow a vegetable garden and often in July and Aug we have outside temps of 95 F and higher with high humidity, I don't like keeping the A/C much lower than 73 F.  The difference between inside and outside is enough of a contrast even at 73 F.

73 is pretty warm for fermenting beer. did you enter that temp in the calculator you used to figure out the priming addition?
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 25, 2014, 04:09:56 PM
Yes, I put 73 F in my calculations for both the fermenting and the bottle conditioning.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Joe Sr. on July 25, 2014, 07:16:47 PM
I remember a time when I would see a sign reading Coldest Beer In Town and think Oh Ya! Nowadays I just chuckle and think... whatever.

Crap beer is better consumed when its so cold you can't taste it.

I've been drinking my English ales at cellar temp these days (58 or so).  Quite nice.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Kinetic on July 25, 2014, 07:31:21 PM
Sometimes it takes 3-4 weeks to fully carbonate.  2-3 weeks is more common for regular beers that haven't been aged a long time or fermented at high temperatures.  You fermented pretty warm.  Probably too warm for clean results.  73* ambient was probably close to 80* fermentation temperature.  Enter 80* in your calculator and see how much priming sugar you should have added.

Don't chill any of them and wait another week before you drink one.  How much sugar did you use?  What kind of sugar?  How much beer volume?  What volume of CO2 did you want?
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 27, 2014, 11:22:51 AM
Since the wort spent 14 days in primary and 18 days in secondary, I would have thought the temperature would have returned to ambient.  Your thoughts on that, please.

I used 98 grams sucrose in 4.5 gals and was looking for about 2.2 volumes carbonation.

Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: erockrph on July 27, 2014, 12:47:36 PM
Since the wort spent 14 days in primary and 18 days in secondary, I would have thought the temperature would have returned to ambient.  Your thoughts on that, please.

I used 98 grams sucrose in 4.5 gals and was looking for about 2.2 volumes carbonation.
Even though you're above ambient at the peak of fermentation, the yeast is still actively producing CO2. For priming sugar calculators you want the highest temp the beer reached after the yeast finished producing CO2, since any offgassing will not be replenished at that point. If you're not using temp control, then you're looking at a degree or two above ambient, tops. So ambient is good enough for those calculators, IMO.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Kinetic on July 27, 2014, 01:44:36 PM
The difference between 73F and 80F is only 0.07 volumes of CO2.  You added enough sugar for 2.1-2.2 volumes of CO2.  Sometimes the yeast is "worn out" after fermentation and it takes longer than usual to carb or may not carb to the desired level.  This can happen if you didn't pitch enough yeast.

What was the OG and FG of the beer?  Did you rehydrate your S-O5?   
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 27, 2014, 02:08:54 PM
Final gravity was 1.012;  I didn't take a O.G. reading.  I did rehydrate the yeast before pitching it, but did not add ny yeast at bottling.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Kinetic on July 27, 2014, 02:22:10 PM
It sounds like you pitched enough yeast unless the beer is highly boozy.  Nothing left to do except wait and see.  Does the beer make any foam at all when you pour it?   
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 28, 2014, 10:10:57 AM
The beer does have some foam.  I had chilled the beer down to 40 F and had poured it into a mug from the freezer.
Title: Re: Carbonation low on bottle conditioned beer. Suggestions Wanted
Post by: Lazy Ant Brewing on July 30, 2014, 03:42:15 AM
I popped another cap today and the beer is now nicely carbonated.  Inverting the bottles to stir up the yeast and waiting an additional week did the trick.  Tastes good too.  Thanks guys for your advice.