Author Topic: Carbonation issues  (Read 937 times)

Offline Kevin

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Carbonation issues
« on: April 03, 2017, 09:58:07 PM »
I brewed and bottled a coffee bourbon porter that is having carbonation issues. I added the coffee and bourbon (soaked in oak cubes) to the secondary and am wondering if these two ingredients are affecting carbonation. I added sugar to my bottling bucket as always but carb is almost nonexistent. Bottles have been in closet in boxes at approx 68 degrees for three weeks. Any advice for how to remedy this at this point and beyond?  Thanks

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2017, 01:35:36 AM »
Well, there's only a few factors that affect carbonation.

1) Yeast, what kind was it and how long did this beer sit in the secondary? Did you cold crash it before bottling or use any finings?

2) Priming sugar, what did you use and how much...is this your first time bottling or a one time problem?

Sometimes with high abv beers, the yeast can crap out early once fermentation is complete and not be up for the job of carbonating your beer. If there is not enough priming sugar, carbonation will be lacking. If the beer sat in the secondary for an extended period of time, there might not be enough yeast up for the job.

Only thing I can see trying at this point would be first to take the bottles out, gently roll them to mix up the yeast and sugar if there is any left and set them in a slightly warmer environment for a few more weeks.

Other than that I have heard of others adding a little dry yeast and sugar to each bottle and then recaping, never done it. But I'm sure others will chime in.

Offline cdawson

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2017, 02:44:02 PM »
I gently invert my bottled beer once a day for the first 3-4 days after bottling. This really seems to help keep what little yeast is left in suspension to carbonate my brews. I would think that 68 deg should be warm enough, but you could try going a little warmer. As others mentioned there could be several other factors. Not enough sugar or yeast left would be my guess.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2017, 06:11:31 PM »
Thanks for the responses. I used a white labs yeast starter. No cold crash but did use Irish moss during boil. Sat in secondary for two weeks.

I used 5 oz of corn sugar at bottling. This is my third brew. My second took longer to carbonate but improved when I moved to a warmer location. It was a Belgian triple. This current brew is my first shot at my own recipe.

I will try inverting to see if that helps. What do others prefer instead of bottling for great carbonation and head?

Offline PORTERHAUS

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 06:51:33 PM »
I was never a batch primer when bottling, I always just used Domino sugar cubes 1 per 12 oz bottle so I cant comment on your priming amounts, but you did stir the mixture into the beer before bottling? Did you dissolve the sugar in water first?

Only other option besides bottling is a kegging system but bottling homebrew has been the way for decades. You need yeast, sugar, temps and time to make it work. Take one of those factors out or unbalance that mixture and the carbonation will suffer one way or another.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 06:56:23 PM »
How did you add your coffee?

Offline Kevin

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 12:30:58 AM »
I did dissolve the sugar in boiling water for five minutes and stirred gently for about a minute. I will try the  sugar cubes out in the future. Thanks for the suggestion!

I added course grounds to the secondary. Coffee and bourbon flavor is great!  That's what makes this especially frustrating. I think it would be mighty tasty without the carbonation issue.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2017, 02:14:55 AM »
Was the coffee high in oil? If so, that could be causing foam issues which you may think of as lack of carbonation.

Does the bottle pop when you open it?

Offline Kevin

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2017, 12:06:31 PM »
There is pop when I open a bottle, but is much less than my other brews. Minimal. Not sure on the oil content. I used an espresso bean.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2017, 01:43:11 PM »
Let it go another week or two.

Offline coolman26

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2017, 07:11:01 PM »
Was the coffee high in oil? If so, that could be causing foam issues which you may think of as lack of carbonation.

Does the bottle pop when you open it?
This ^^
Give it some more time. It will carbonate, and Is keep it warm. I add coffee to secondary the same as you. That beer always takes longer to carbonate fully.


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Jeff B

Offline PharmBrewer

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Re: Carbonation issues
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2017, 10:46:48 PM »
Sometimes I wonder if my bottle capper did not create a good seal when there is inconsistency from bottle to bottle.
Jim
Havencrest Home Brewery - 5 Liter/BIAB
Member: Beaverton Homebrew Club, Oregon Mainbrew Guild, AHA
"Chance favors the prepared mind" - Blaise Pascal