Author Topic: Bottle carbonation puzzle  (Read 687 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Bottle carbonation puzzle
« on: September 19, 2014, 01:40:09 PM »
I've got a batch of beer where some bottles have much more carbonation than others and I can't figure it out.

My ale  fermented fine --tastes great but is not well carbonated.

 I used Northern Brewers priming sugar calculator, weighed the sugar out to the gram on a digital scale, put in the bottling bucket, stirred gently, waited 30 mins and bottled.

Two weeks later chilled a bottle, popped the top, taste good but has only a bit of head and very little carbonation.

Waited another week, popped open another, massive head and almost over carbonated (had a bit of additional foam coming out of the bottle after the initial pour with the bottle in a vertical position on the table).

Thought everything was fine. 

Next bottle, FLAT.  Very little carbonation.

The one one bottle with the massive head of foam and lots of carbonation was out of the bottom of the bottling bucket and had lots of sediment in it. Why should that make a difference? I'm also guessing it was probably bottled about 20 minutes later than the first beer that went into bottles ( and that's because I only sanitize clean bottles immediately before filling them instead of sanitizing a whole batch at once).  I wonder if the sanitizer is killing some of the yeast although I'm getting some carbonation and I've used this same method on several previous batches without problems.

But it puzzles me why the one bottle with the sediment in it is almost over-carbonated while the other bottles I've sampled don't have nearly enough.

Thanks in advance for your comments and suggestions.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2014, 01:41:51 PM »
poorly mixed priming sugar. next time add the priming sugar to the bucket first and rack the beer on top. Also, you don't specify but you did dissolve the sugar in water before adding it correct?

some folks will go so far as to gently stir the beer every few bottles to make sure the sugar stays evenly distributed.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2014, 01:44:06 PM »
poorly mixed priming sugar. next time add the priming sugar to the bucket first and rack the beer on top. Also, you don't specify but you did dissolve the sugar in water before adding it correct?
+1 - dissolve the priming sugar in water first, then add it to your bottling bucket (preferably while still hot) and start to rack your beer over. Stir gently with a sanitized spoon.
Eric B.

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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2014, 01:55:09 PM »
I did dissolve the sugar in water, but next time I'll take your suggestion and put the sugar solution in the bottling bucket first before racking the beer over.

Thanks
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2014, 02:27:10 PM »
I figured you had but it never hurts to check.

Now, get those bottles cold cold cold because some of those ones that got way too much just might start popping here pretty soon it sounds like.
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Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 02:50:31 PM »
All of the remaining bottles are now in the refrigerator without any going off, so I guess I'll be ok after they get chilled.

Normally I only drink one per day due to possible medication interactions.  I guess if I open one that's flat I could open  another beer from a different batch that's well carbonated, mix the two, pour  one-half of the mixed brew back into one of the bottles thru a funnel, recap it with a new cap, and drink it the next day before any bad bacteria have time to spoil it.

Hopefully I wouldn't lose too much carbonation from what I recap for the following day.
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 05:17:46 PM »
I don't know that I would go to that much trouble.  Rebottling can introduce its own set of issues. 

Bottle bombs aren't a given as long as you keep them cold but is is best to consume them fairly quickly.  I'd invite a bunch of folks over and have a party.  Get it drank and start a new batch if you haven't already.   :)

My answer to most issues is "when in doubt, have a party".

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Offline 69franx

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Re: Bottle carbonation puzzle
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 05:58:00 PM »
I don't know that I would go to that much trouble.  Rebottling can introduce its own set of issues. 

Bottle bombs aren't a given as long as you keep them cold but is is best to consume them fairly quickly.  I'd invite a bunch of folks over and have a party.  Get it drank and start a new batch if you haven't already.   :)

My answer to most issues is "when in doubt, have a party".

Paul
Paul, I love that suggestion! have a party!
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Fermenting:
Conditioning:
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In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age