No Carbonation after 1 month

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

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No Carbonation after 1 month

Postby kabbo » Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:19 am

Hello,

I'm having a carbonation problem with my two last batches (a Dubbel and a English IPA).

I've never had any carbonation problems before, but now the bottles don't have much, if any, even after 2 months @ room temp.

Both batches sat 1 week in primary @80F, and 3-4 weeks in the secondary at the same temp. I even made a starter for the second one to ensure better pitching rate... Maybe I got two bad liquid yeasts, but it seems pretty anormal to me..

The difference between thoses batches and all I've brewed so far is that I'm now bottling in ez-cap type bottles, which seem even more airtight than normal capped bottles. Could it be the caps ?

I even added some primed dried yeast into every bottle for one of the batch, 1 month after bottling to troubleshoot... Now it has little carb, a nice head for 1 minute that dissapears, and the beer feels flat.

The IPA didn't have any added yeast, and is 100% flat after 1 month...

What the !"/$%?&*( ??

I'm getting hungry wasting those tasty batches, and thinking of force carbonating, or unloading a truckload of dry yeast and prime sugar in every bottle.

What are the possible causes ?

Thank you so much
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Aliens

Postby brewmeisterintng » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:52 pm

They are known to survive by breathing CO2 so they must be sucking it out of your bottles. :lol: Seriously, If the yeast fermented normally and you are not making a high alcohol beer given that your OG and FG were good, your residual yeast should have consumed the priming sugar and provided you good carbonation. Are you adding the boiled priming sugar (half to 3/4 cup for five gallons) to the bottling bucket and siphoning the beer onto it prior to bottling? There will be folks out there that will argue with me but my experience revealed that darker beers took longer to carbonate. I always left the beer three weeks in the bottle to carbonate. Hope this helps.
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Postby kabbo » Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:32 am

I must have aliens...

The beer fermented in 5 days, and didn't drop (maybe .001) in three additional weeks... Temp was too high, (80-85F) don't know if it killed the yeast.

I drop the same amount of sugar in every bottle when bottling, to ensure unifom distibution of the sugar (about 5ml of corn sugar solution in every bottle).

There is a thin film of yeast in the bottle, but it doesn't seem to be carbonated.

I will let it age a bit, but it's been two months, and it seems pretty flat in the bottle. I'll put one in the fridge for 1 week, and let you know.

Thanks :)
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Here is a silly thought

Postby brewmeisterintng » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:33 pm

Did you by mistake use Malto Dextrin Powder instead of priming sugar? If you have any left, taste it. I am grabbing at straws here as your experience is defying the laws of science.
You might be able to mix your flat beer with a well carbonated one and end up with a fizzy brew.
I'm at a loss... as I know you are too.
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How did you sanitize your bottles?

Postby billvelek » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:17 am

After successfully bottling numerous batches using Iodophor, I suddenly had the same problem as you ... inexplicably. Since the same problem occurred during the same bottling session but with beers from two different fermenters and yeast cultures, I'm pretty sure it was my sanitization. I suspect that I made an error in mixing my Iodophor and made it too strong, and also that I did not get rid of residual iodine by allowing my bottling bucket and/bottles to actually dry (they merely drained a bit, although I'm just assuming that drying helps). That's the only explanation I've been able to come up with.

Cheers.

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re: no carbonation.

Postby warthog » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:22 am

just because i can't think of another solution......

are the caps on tight?
not meant to offend. if you are using twisty bottles, it is possible to get a bad seal. this can even happen with pop topers. sometimes i let my son help with bottling, and i go and re-clench all the bottles after he goes back upstairs. it might be worth checking.
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Postby kabbo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:03 pm

Thank you guys,


brewmeisterintng: I used corn sugar. I will try DME for the next batch...

billvelek : You are right, I changed my sanitizing solution for these two batches that turned flat... I tried Oxy-San (http://www.clickabrew.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=536).
The guy at the HBS told me to use 1 tsp/L, and it is what I've done.
I just saw on the address above that it is supposed to be 1 tsp/gal !!!!

No rinsing nor drying done, so I think the solution was 4X too concentrated, which could have affected the yeast... grrr....
It is one of the obvious possible cause...


warthog: as for the caps, I used grolsch-style pop-top 750ml bottles for these two batches (first to cut on bottling time because of the size, and secondly because I used to have cap problems with small bottles.)

These caps are airtight, if I shake them like hell, I can't hear any gaz trying to escape, which was the case with small bottles.

So I don't think gaz escapes from the caps.

For the next batch I will correct my sanitizing solution, use DME, do a starter according to Mr.Malty's guidelines, keep a normal controlled fermentation temperature, and I'll try to bottle some of them in regular small bottles (just to compare), and I'll try some with dry yeast added to the bottle.

I'll let you know.

Thank you so much !








http://www.clickabrew.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=536
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sounds like sanitizing

Postby warthog » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:08 pm

i think you hit on a solution with the sanitizer (pun intended).

good luck.
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Force carb in the bottle ?

Postby kabbo » Wed Oct 03, 2007 6:28 pm

Thanks,

I'll try one this week to see if it got better.

If not, can I force carbonate the bottles with a CO2 tank and ss airstone ?

I guess if I put some CO2 in and close the cap immediately when it gets foamy and close to pouring off, I could have something nice once chilled ?
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Forced carbonation required pressure

Postby billvelek » Thu Oct 04, 2007 9:18 am

No; foaming the beer with CO2 and then quickly capping it won't do a thing to improve your beer. I seriously doubt that this would even be an effective way to saturate your beer with CO2 at ambient pressure (what your beer is like in the fermenter during or immediately after fermentation); if you've ever used a wine thief to test your gravity and taste your beer before bottling, you'll know what I mean -- not much carbonation. The only way I know to solve your problem is to keg it in order to force carbonate it, or do what I did -- if it otherwise tastes okay (doesn't have a messed up flavor from over-dosing it with sanitizer). I mixed it in a mug with a commercial beer, maybe half and half. It will no longer be what you intended, but at least you won't be pouring it down the drain. When I had to do it, I had heavier beers (seems like maybe a porter or stout or IPA), and when mixed half and half with a commercial lager like Busch it isn't half bad, and definitely improved the Busch. :D

Cheers.

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Beer gun ?

Postby kabbo » Thu Oct 04, 2007 10:53 am

Do you think the Blichmann Beer Gun would work for that purpose ?
Isn't it especially designed to bottle force carb. beer ?
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Re: Beer gun ?

Postby billvelek » Thu Oct 04, 2007 11:22 am

kabbo wrote:Do you think the Blichmann Beer Gun would work for that purpose ?
Isn't it especially designed to bottle force carb. beer ?
You mean this: http://www.blichmannengineering.com/BeerGun/BeerGun_features.htm

Unless I am severely mistaken, it is used to transfer carbonated beer from a keg to a bottle -- it replaces the counter-pressure bottle fillers that are used for that same purpose. Although it mentions using it with bottling buckets on this page http://www.blichmannengineering.com/BeerGun/BeerGun.htm, I'm pretty sure that the purpose there is to inject a little CO2 with the beer to eliminate oxidation, and not for the purpose of carbonation. I just don;t think that it's physically possible to carbonate a beer like that. Sorry.

Cheers.

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Postby slothrob » Thu Oct 04, 2007 1:39 pm

I think Bill's got it right. I don't think there's any way to force carbanate the beer in the bottles.

You could pour it into 2 Liter soda bottles and force carbonate with a Carbonator Cap.
Last edited by slothrob on Thu Oct 04, 2007 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Same as carbonating soda

Postby billvelek » Thu Oct 04, 2007 2:55 pm

slothrob wrote:snip ... You could pour it into 2 Liter soda bottles and force carbonate with a Carbonator Cap.
Yes, that will definitely work. I can remember that back 20 or 30 years ago there was a product going around for families to make their own soda using syrup and tap water that would be mixed and then force carbonated in a plastic bottle like that. It's the same principle with beer.

Cheers.

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