Author Topic: Coffee Stout - no carbonation  (Read 6886 times)

Offline amgregorypls

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Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« on: February 18, 2012, 04:48:26 PM »
We just brewed a coffee stout.  Used a basic stout recipe, and "dry beaned" crushed sumatra beans in the secondary for about 10 days.  We bottle - and we used the recommended amount of corn sugar (between 3.5 and 4 ounces).  Some of the bottles have little to no carbonation, and others have what I consider as a good amount for a stout.  The bottles that lack carbonation still open with the sound of some releasing air.

Any theories on why the carbonation isn't present?  This is the first time any of our batches have had this problem.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2012, 05:53:44 PM »
Any theories on why the carbonation isn't present?  This is the first time any of our batches have had this problem.

Since you think some are fine and others don't have enough carb, it sounds like it could likely be a problem with evenly distributing the priming sugar.  Normally, one boils the priming sugar in some water, cools it, dumps it in the bottling bucket, and then racks the beer on top.  This usually mixes the sugar pretty evenly but, depending on the racking, maybe not.  Also, it's a good idea to gently (don't want to oxygenate) give things a little stir while you're bottling.  Is that your process?  or are you doing it a different way?
Joe

Offline garc_mall

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2012, 06:33:23 PM »
Since you think some are fine and others don't have enough carb, it sounds like it could likely be a problem with evenly distributing the priming sugar.  Normally, one boils the priming sugar in some water, cools it, dumps it in the bottling bucket, and then racks the beer on top.  This usually mixes the sugar pretty evenly but, depending on the racking, maybe not.  Also, it's a good idea to gently (don't want to oxygenate) give things a little stir while you're bottling.  Is that your process?  or are you doing it a different way?

+1

This sounds like a classic symptom of the priming sugar not being mixed properly. I recommend stirring a bit, for me its the only way to be sure that the sugar is evenly distributed.
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Offline amgregorypls

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2012, 08:00:01 AM »
We do boil the priming sugar and rack the beer over it for bottling.  Have never stirred it - sounds like a good idea to consider.

Thanks.

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2012, 08:44:38 AM »
That sounds exactly like what happened to one of my batches.  Some were almost flat, and others were pretty carbonated (in addition to tasting sweeter).  The direct problem was that hops clogged my racking cane a few times so there wasn't enough of a good mixing going on when I racked on top of the priming solution.  A good gentle stirring is a safe way to give yourself some insurance of a consistent solution, and I've never had that problem since.
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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2012, 08:04:27 AM »
I had several batches with carbonation consistency problems - until I started stiring the wort/priming sugar in the bottling bucket.
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Offline alcaponejunior

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #6 on: February 29, 2012, 05:56:51 PM »
I've been bottling out of a carboy, and have added a little bit of wort (maybe a half gallon) before adding the sugar.  I make sure to do this as gently as possible with a sanitized funnel, running down the side of the carboy, to keep oxygenation to a minimum. 

Caveat: sample size is small, but so far, no problems.  Stout bottling in a day or two, plan to follow the same procedure again unless someone points out why this is bad.

Comments on this idea welcome.  I hadn't seen it mentioned before.

Offline beersk

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2012, 08:32:35 AM »
I had several batches with carbonation consistency problems - until I started stiring the beerwort/priming sugar in the bottling bucket.
It's wort until the yeast is pitched!

I don't feel comfortable with the idea of stirring it pre-bottling unless I had a stainless steel spoon that is easily sanitized.  My plastic spoons I used to stir the mash and for boiling currently have scratches and whatnot all over them.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Coffee Stout - no carbonation
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2012, 08:50:45 AM »
I've been bottling out of a carboy, and have added a little bit of wort (maybe a half gallon) before adding the sugar.  I make sure to do this as gently as possible with a sanitized funnel, running down the side of the carboy, to keep oxygenation to a minimum. 

Caveat: sample size is small, but so far, no problems.  Stout bottling in a day or two, plan to follow the same procedure again unless someone points out why this is bad.

Comments on this idea welcome.  I hadn't seen it mentioned before.

The only thing that is problematic with bottling out of acarboy is that it's not as easy as bottling out of a bucket with a spigot and keeping the syphon going can be a PITA.

Also, as beersk pointed out you are adding a half gallon of BEER rather than wort. you can add wort to the bottling in place of sugar but that's complicated.
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