losing carbination

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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losing carbination

Postby bfabre » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:52 pm

What causes this?
The last couple of batches I did lost carbination during the conditioning process. I bottled the brew as normal using 3/4 to 1 cup corn sugar to prime. everything seemed to be going well until the two week dead line. Then it apears to have lost the carbination it had so dutifully been preforming. Prior to this I used just bleach and water to sanitize. I just recently switch over to using BTF Iodophor. The instructions say 2 tablespoons per 5 gal. and do not rinse. Admitingly, I might have went over this just a little. Would this be the problem? :x :( :cry:
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Re: losing carbination

Postby billvelek » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:58 am

bfabre wrote:The last couple of batches I did lost carbination during the conditioning process. ... snip ... I just recently switch over to using BTF Iodophor. The instructions say 2 tablespoons per 5 gal. and do not rinse. Admitingly, I might have went over this just a little. Would this be the problem? :x :( :cry:
First, I'm going to assume that you mean that it 'failed to carbonate' rather than "lost carbination" which can only happen with a bad seal. Second, it depends on what you mean by "went over this just a little"; at some point, an increase over the recommended strength is probably going to start having an adverse impact on your yeast. Unfortunately, I don't really know the 'point' of no return. Also, I'm not positive about this, but I suspect that you could have a problem if you did not allow your bottles to DRY before filling them; my bottle of Iodophor says to "air dry", and I _think_ that during the drying process, some or all of the antiseptic evaporates. Did you air dry? If not, then that might have caused far more antiseptic to go into your beer than 'going over a little' in the mix. And if they need to be dried, then that needs to be done on a bottle tree so that the iodophor solution can DRAIN from the bottles. Dumping them out and then setting them upright on a counter is only going to cause the solution to drain down into the bottom of the bottle, where it won't easily evaporate, and put even more iodophor into your beer. If you don't know what a bottle tree is, here is a picture: http://www.jwdover.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=9

Does the beer have an antiseptic or chemical type of flavor? If so, there isn't anything you can do with it now except dump it and learn from your mistake; it was either mixed too strong, or not dried, or a combination of the two. If the taste is okay or, if you're desperate, at least good enough to drink without making you sick, then you can fix the lack of carbonation by blending your uncarbonated beer with one that is fully carbonated. I had to do this not very long ago when <blush> I apparently forgot to add the primer. Duhh.

Cheers.

Bill Velek
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lost carbonation?

Postby akueck » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:17 pm

I'm also a little confused about the word "lost". Before 2 weeks, the bottles were carbonated, and then afterwards they were not?

As for the iodophor, I have used that many times. Lately I'll mix up a fairly concentrated solution (probably 5 times label strength) and squirt it into the bottles (instead of soaking them). Then they hang on the bottle tree and are filled while still wet. No problems with sanitizer in the bottles thus far, either with taste or proper conditioning.

If it's only been 2 weeks since bottling and the carbonation is low, waiting another week or two might be the cure. Also moving the bottles to a warm (70F) area will speed the process. If carbonation is uneven between bottles, you might just need to mix the priming solution in more thoroughly before bottling.
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carbonation

Postby bfabre » Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:51 pm

Yes, I do have a bottle drying system.
Yes, the bottles do have time to air dry.

Sorry for the confusion on the word "lost". It does have some carbination just not much. In speeking with our local brew heads around here. I did have a good seal from the caps. They also said the beer was on the right track but, I wanted the brew too clear. The lack of carbonation was apparently caused by a low level of yeast being transfered along during the bottling process. Not the BTF concentration. I have little to no sediment in the bottles during conditioning. What do you think?

Fortunatly I do not have to toss the batches. I do have a couple of kegs I will be using to force carbonate. Still a hard lesson.
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Postby akueck » Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:57 am

Ah, I've had that experience. Very clear beer, takes forever to carbonate. But fear not, it will eventually come around, just not in 2 weeks. Give it a month and check again.

For myself, in the future when I have very clear beer I'm thinking of stirring up the very top layer of lees while racking before bottling. This should increase the cell count in the bottles. Or, just waiting will also work in most cases.
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slow carb

Postby slothrob » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:18 am

I've experienced this slow carbonation with high flocculating yeast. They have all seemed to carbonate eventually.
Be warned that if you stir up the yeast more than the slightest bit you'll have a lot of yeast at the bottom of your bottles. This wouldn't bother me, but it can be a annoying when sharing bottles with friends that don't know how to deal with it.
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slow carb

Postby bfabre » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:18 pm

Currently I am in the process of force carbonating 1/2 of the batch. The other half I will leave in the bottles as suggested. :D
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