Author Topic: no carbonation  (Read 331 times)

Offline aaspinall

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no carbonation
« on: February 25, 2019, 03:34:19 PM »
Just before Christmas I brewed a DIPA (OG was 1.090). After 10 days I needed to leave town for 2 weeks, and I decided to not bottle until I got back (I did not take a gravity reading at the time). 2 days after returning I took a gravity reading (it was 1.012) and primed with 5 oz. of corn sugar. After 2 weeks I opened a bottle and there was no carbonation. I waited another week - still no carbonation. I then tried the swirling method (swirl - place bottles upside down for a few days, turn right side up swirl and wait a few more days) No carbonation. Then, I uncapped all the bottles, added carbonation drops, recapped. Waited 2 weeks no carbonation. So, after that long explanation, is it worth uncapping, sprinkling in some neutral dry yeast and recapping, or am I wasting my time. Thanks for any suggestions.

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2019, 05:18:36 PM »
What is the temp where the bottles have been stored?
If it's cool, before I did anything else, I would put the bottles somewhere that is 70-75 degrees. If they're sitting on a concrete floor, get them up off the floor because the floor is just sucking the heat right out of the bottles.
Even after a month in the primary fermenter, there should have been enough yeast to carbonate the beer.
But, if the bottles have been sitting on a table in a 70 degree room for the past month and there's still no carbonation, I guess you'll have to add some yeast to each bottle.
Unfortunately, the downside to opening the bottles twice is going to be some significantly oxidized beer.
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Offline Visor

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2019, 11:25:49 PM »
Bear in mind that you now have double primed your beer, if bottle fermentation does take place you're may have a lot more carbonation than you want. I've had enough batches of mostly to totally flat beer that I always [almost] verify that there is enough viable yeast to bottle condition. After cold crashing, more often than not I need to add some yeast before bottling, whether it be from harvested yeast or CBC-1 or a sachet of the original yeast.
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Offline mdyer909

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2019, 11:40:39 PM »
Not sure where you are at aaspinall, but I agree with my fellow Maine brewer (Aroostook County here) that your beer is maybe too cold to carbonate.  I’ve had the problem more than once.  I put an old bookcase near the wood stove that I put my bottles on in the winter to carbonate.  If I’m lagering  a beer for a month or more I always put half a pack of rehydrated yeast in at bottling time, but then I’ve already racked it into a secondary.  I’ve left ales sitting unracked for weeks and never had carbonation issues.

Offline KellerBrauer

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2019, 01:27:54 PM »
You said you added 5 oz. of corn sugar.  But you didn’t mention how big the batch was.  5 oz. may not have been enough.  I agree with one of the other brewers, there should have been enough yeast left in suspension to carbonate the beer providing the temperature was warm enough.

A second thought I have is weather the corn sugar solution was stratified well wrought in the batch.  Perhaps it wasn’t mixed in very well?

An abstract third thought is: could it be possible you inadvertently added lactose instead of corn sugar?
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Offline aaspinall

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2019, 11:37:02 PM »
Thanks for the replies. At first the bottles were in a spot in the basement that was about 68 -70 degrees (that's why I wasn't worried about it). But after the two weeks and no carbonation, I brought the bottles upstairs to the warmest room in the house which is about 72 degrees. Waited another 2 weeks with no results. FYI, I'm in Denver.

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2019, 11:55:30 AM »
I guess the only option left is to re-open the bottles and add some dry yeast. You won't need much, just a few grains in each bottle. As Visor noted, since you have twice added priming sugar to the bottles, you may have some over carbed bottles. But at this point, other than a package of yeast and your time, you don't have anything to lose.   
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Offline Visor

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2019, 05:46:09 PM »
 It could prove interesting trying to evenly divide a package of yeast between a case or two of bottles :), I doubt you want to risk the O2 exposure of dumping all the bottles into a priming vessel and then re-bottling.
   This thread prompted me to do a little exbeeriment, I dissolved 1 oz. of table sugar and a pinch of Wyeast nutrient in 1C of warm water [OG 1.04] and added 1C of ESB from the top of a jar of recently harvested yeast [less than a week old] and waited to see what happened. Nothing happened, zero fermentation. Tried it again with a couple other samples of recently harvested beer/yeast. Again nothing. This indicates to me that after cold crashing my beer no longer has sufficient viable yeast to bottle condition. If however I pull some of the yeast sediment from the harvest jar and add it to the test I know it'll take off, as the majority of what I brew is brewed with harvested yeast, I usually get the best results with about the 3rd or 4th generation yeast. I've gone as far as the 5th generation a few times but never further, probably won't try to either.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 09:18:18 PM by Visor »
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2019, 06:30:43 PM »
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Offline David

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2019, 04:43:31 AM »
I had an IPA a couple of years ago do the exact same thing, advice I received from everyone is to just leave it alone. I did, and it finally carbonated - after about 9 weeks.....turned out fine but just took a lot longer than normal to carbonate. Never did figure out why, and it has never happened since.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: no carbonation
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2019, 12:52:57 PM »
I had an IPA a couple of years ago do the exact same thing, advice I received from everyone is to just leave it alone. I did, and it finally carbonated - after about 9 weeks.....turned out fine but just took a lot longer than normal to carbonate. Never did figure out why, and it has never happened since.

Sometimes we forget we’re not simply flipping a switch to get a certain result. Rather, we’re dealing with live organisms who’ve adapted to certain conditions coupled with agricultural products than change slightly season to season, yr to yr. Given all the variables leave it alone and let nature take its course is very good advice. Some critters are just more ornery than others.


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“From man’s sweat and God’s love, beer came into the world.” — St. Arnold

Brewed in the Tennessee Valley. Rocket City — Huntsville AL