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Author Topic: Bottle Carbonation problem...again  (Read 2607 times)

Offline robcoombs

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Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« on: January 01, 2015, 12:58:41 PM »
I brewed an IIPA recently and as of yesterday it had been in the bottle for 10 days at 20C. I find nearly all of my beer only need this amount of time at this temp to carbonate fully. Occasionally I'll have a batch that needs another few days but no more than 14. I understand they aren't conditioned at this point but they are usually fully carbed so I can try a bottle. I cracked a bottle last night and it had almost no carbonation whatsoever. There was barely a sound when I opened it.

The beer is 9.8% (due to finishing with a higher than expected OG) and I've read it can take a little longer to carbonate a high abv beer but never had that problem before. Have any of you guys experienced this before? I don't mind waiting it out but it's a IIPA so I obviously want to enjoy it NOW.

I always check two separate online carbonation calculators to ensure I use the proper amount of priming sugar. This batch I calculated to carbonate to 2.7 vol co2. My last beer (mosaic IPA) also seemed a little undercarbed so I wanted to calculate for a higher carbonation on this one. I did switch to table sugar for these last two batches but a lot of people seem to use that with no issues. 

Offline ECH

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2015, 07:15:19 PM »
I was always told that a good rule of thumb is a week for every % of alcohol. However I did a Winter Warmer about 3 months ago, been in the bottle for over 2 months and still very low carbed.

James said that it could be that the higher alcohol could have killed off enough of the yeast cells that there isn't enough in the bottle to react with the sugar enough to create the CO2 needed.

My batch was done with US-05, and the beer is supposed to be about 7-5-8% alcohol, so maybe slightly too high for US-05.

Going to do the same kit again but use a Belgian Abbey, which is much higher alcohol % resilient. Needless to say by now, it won't be ready to drink until spring, so may take a few liberties with it to experiment.

Offline robcoombs

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2015, 06:40:44 AM »
One more reason to move to kegging I guess.

Offline ShawnBrew

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 12:04:17 PM »
Higher ABV beers can definitely present a problem when it comes to bottle priming, but usually it would have to be pretty high to do that. If your beer doesn't improve, I'd say that's likely the culprit. Next time you could add a small amount of dry yeast to your bottling bucket, just to be sure.

I've brewed beers to 7-8% ABV, using US-05 and other yeasts, and never had to wait longer than 1-2 weeks for them to carb. Maybe when you're approaching 10%, you go into a different zone. I've brewed and bottled beers that high before, but can't remember off-hand if I added dry yeast or not. I'll have to check my notes.

Offline robcoombs

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 01:55:18 PM »
I was always told that a good rule of thumb is a week for every % of alcohol. However I did a Winter Warmer about 3 months ago, been in the bottle for over 2 months and still very low carbed.


That seems excessive to me. I've brewed beers around 8-9% before and never had to wait longer than 10-14 days to be fully carbed. I imagine that if your winter warmer hasn't carbed fully after two months, it may not reach full carbonation.

Offline ECH

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2015, 05:37:44 PM »
Shawn, when you say "add a small amount of dry yeast", how much would you add for say a 5gal batch? 1/2pkg? 1/4pkg? 1 grain in each bottle? LOL
 

Offline jamie_savoie

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 10:09:22 AM »
I find that almost all my 9% + takes 4 weeks to properly carb but I usually wait 6-8 weeks before even opening  one.  11% beers Iíll wait minimum of 8 weeks for sure.   Re-yeasting is a good idea since the yeast from primary was under stress.  I always re-yeast when I bottle big beer (and sours).  Krausen from a batch fermenting works really well or dry yeast too but make sure to properly rehydrate it.  I use 1/4 of a pack of us05 or notty for 5 gal, for 10-11% beers I use wine yeast.
Try putting the bottles in a slightly hotter area, say 22-23C.  And flip the bottles to put the yeast back in suspension

Offline ShawnBrew

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Re: Bottle Carbonation problem...again
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 03:04:33 PM »
Shawn, when you say "add a small amount of dry yeast", how much would you add for say a 5gal batch? 1/2pkg? 1/4pkg? 1 grain in each bottle? LOL

I fill all the bottles up, leave them uncapped and standing on the kitchen floor. I then sanitize the outside of a sachet of dry yeast, cut it open with sanitized scissors, and sprinkle the yeast towards the bottle in a "feeding-the-chickens" maneuver.

Ok, none of that is true. I don't do it in a scientific way, but 1/4-package for a 5 gallon batch would be more than enough. Sometimes I'm sure it's closer to 1/8.

And again, I'm not 100% sure it's necessary, but it can't hurt if done properly and sanitarily (if that's a word). I brewed a 9% Tripel once and didn't do it, and it was carbed after 2 weeks. I brewed a 9.7% DIPA once and DID do it, and it was carbed after 2 weeks. I definitely like to rely on it when bottle-priming lagers, or other beers that have been sitting for a long time, and/or at cool temps.