Carbonation chaos....

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Carbonation chaos....

Postby sneeden » Fri Jan 07, 2011 11:00 pm

I did my first PM brew, a hoppy APA. The flavor is great. It's bottled half in 22 oz and half in 12 oz. The thing is that in some (of each size) the carbonation is perfect, but in others it's too high, and others it's very low.

What I am suspecting is that the priming sugar kinda sunk in the carboy as I was bottling it.

When I boiled the sugar: 3/4 cup dextrose (very fine powder) + 1 cup water, I just eyeballed it and said "It's dissolved". Didn't take long, then I put it in the carboy and waited 15 minutes.

I am thinking that next time I boil the sugar into 2 cups of water and for longer. The extra boiling time would make sure it's completely dissolved and the extra water would make it less dense so hopefully it won't sink.

Do you think I'm onto the solution? If not, why? What else can I do?

Thx!
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Postby bobcat_brewer » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:08 am

It's always a good idea to stir the beer/sugar solution thoroughly and also periodically while bottling.
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Carbonation

Postby slothrob » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:18 pm

Yeah, you need to make sure the beer and sugar are evenly mixed, you can't just dump it in. I mix by adding the sugar to the bottom of the bottling bucket then racking my beer on top. That mixes it pretty well, but a little bit of stirring will make sure it's evenly distributed.

There shouldn't be any need to stir periodically during bottling, though, since the sugar is in solution and shouldn't drop out. I suppose it might help make sure the sugar is well mixed, though. Just try to avoid getting too much oxygen in the beer, because that can lead to oxidation.
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Postby bobcat_brewer » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:28 pm

Ditto the oxygen comment. Stirring is one thing, but splashing a bunch while stirring is not good.
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Postby sneeden » Sun Jan 09, 2011 5:02 pm

Slothrob, it sounds like you are transferring your beer out of your secondary to another bucket in your bottling process? Is that correct? How are you transferring it? Syphon? I hadn't heard of this. Is it a standard thing?

I was taught to bottle straight from the secondary fermenter, which seems to work just fine (except for the original carbonation issue). Just gotta be careful about disturbing the sediment.

I have just finished bottling my second batch, where I paid much more attention to the sugar mixing in. I'm confident that it will come out better.

Thanks guys.
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carbonation

Postby slothrob » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:18 pm

Yes, I siphon from the fermentor (more often the primary than a secondary, which I rarely use) into another container, so that I can mix the sugar in without stirring up the sediment. I believe that's a common practice.
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