Author Topic: Slow carbonation ....  (Read 7887 times)

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Slow carbonation ....
« on: November 13, 2009, 09:21:14 PM »
So I've done 15 batches - the last 3 I've switched from extract+grains to a mini-mash. On the previous 12 batches I've always had very decent to strong carbonation at 3 weeks. And I'm brewing very middle of the road ales with OG's from 1.043 - 1.057 and I've been just ball parking the priming corn sugar at 3/4 cup to 1 cup. Most of the time its 3/4 cup plus 2 TB spoons to one pint of water -- boil 10 - 12 minutes. The beer is left to condition at around 60 - 65deg.

I bottled a mini-mash brown porter (OG 1.049   FG 1.016   IBU 21.7) 3 weeks ago. This is a minor tweak of JZ's brown porter from Brewing Classic Styles --- the taste is very good -- but at 2 weeks it was basically flat -- a week later there were slight signs of carbonation.

I bottled a mini-mash Nut Brown ale (OG 1.053    FG 1.013   IBU  18.2) 2 weeks ago. Basically a direct clone of TableRock's Nut Brown Ale - on this one I used only 3/4 cup corn sugar to be restrained. At 2 weeks it is mildly carbonated - but very mild - only a thin head etc.

I guess my big concern is the porter as its barely fizzy (have tried 2 bottles) - the nut brown may come along. This sounds dumb but does using less extract and more mashed grains (partial mash) have any affect on sugars - yeast - carbonation ?? Both fermentations were vigorous - about one week in primary and one week in secondary. And my wife (brew monkey) is a fantastic and experienced cook who measures and preps the priming mixture. Another dumb question -- can corn sugar age too long ?? This stuff may be 6 - 8 months old.

I'm baffled and on Sunday I'm going to bottle a mini-mash Southern English Ale which should be restrained ... but I may dump a full cup of corn sugar in. Argh .....  


Both beers taste great - worse case I'll pick up a Tap-a-Draft and carb it a gallon or so at a time
http://morebeer.com/view_product/18291/102300/Tap-A-Draft_Homebrew_Setup
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 09:23:06 PM by SleepySamSlim »
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Offline SOGOAK

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2009, 08:43:35 AM »
I have had a couple creepers too.  Are you letting a few yeast get into your bottling bucket?

Otherwise my only difference has been using table sugar which seems slower than priming.  I just dump a heaping 3/4 cup in and let the siphon mix it.
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Offline stevemwazup

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2009, 10:49:38 AM »
     I'm no expert, but I would say get a little more yeasties in the bottling bucket.
Also if my bottles are taking a little longer to carbonate, I will gently tilt them to get the yeast back into suspension.
I also use 3/4 cup corn sugar as well, and that amount seems to work.
stevemwazup

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2009, 04:41:37 PM »
I may try the tilting idea ---- still pondering otherwise
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2009, 12:22:10 PM »
I think it is more than enough sugar for 5.0 gallons, and from what little I've read on this, there is ample yeast (invisible still) in suspension even after a normal secondary.  You have to crash chill for a while to have so little yeast that bottle priming would be tough. 
So how about the caps?  Caps or capping method changed?  Some other cleaner/sanitizer change that would affect yeast?   Are you cooling the priming sugar before adding to batch?   Mixing it well before starting to bottle?  Time?  I usually find bottles drinkable at three weeks but much better at five.

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 07:31:39 PM »
I agree (and believe) there are billions of yeasts still floating around -- the only real change in the last 2 bottlings was washing the bottles with Powered Brewery Cleaner versus Planet (or 7th Generation dye-free/fragrance-free) dish soap. And as I was cleaning bottles today I decided to do half the bottles with brewery cleaner - the other with the dish soap. I do ample rinsing but our water chemistry might be better with the the dish soap which I have always used ---- beats me.

Guess I'll know more in 2 weeks as we bottled a English Ale today.
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

dhaenerbrewer

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2009, 07:38:10 PM »
The difference in the soap just might be your problem. Those type of soaps do not rinse well, and if there was any residual cleaner in the bottle, it will affect the head forming agents. So the beer may be properly carbonated, just not displaying the head you would normally expect. I had a huge problem with this at BJ's, because my bartenders weren't rinsing the glassware properly. I was getting tons of complaints about flat beer. I ended up having to go to a demonstration at the bar in which I took a pint glass from the glass rack and poured a beer. No head. Then I took a pint glass from the same rack, rinsed it well with tap water, then poured a beer. Perfect head. Residual soap is a head killer.

Darin

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2009, 11:40:56 PM »
Darin - I totally agree on soap affecting the head - and of course the taste if you have enough residual. But I'm just racking my brain on what things I've changed recently. And even mostly flat the porter has a great taste --- damn. So at this point all I can do is wait 2 weeks and see if there is any change in the porter (as it will be at 6 weeks in the bottle) ---- also the nut brown ale should be more carbonated (as it will be at 4 weeks) ----- and the Southern English Ale I just bottled will be at 2 weeks.

And even if I have to do a mini-keg I will carbonate the porter .... which means I should have a butt-load of good beer for Thanksgiving.

If anything this is a wake up call to pay more attention to the carbonation process .... mostly I've been on auto-pilot for 15 batches
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2009, 12:08:02 PM »
Interesting that soaps have the same effect globally in bottles as they do in the individual serving vessels (pint glasses) at the bar.

This bottle rinser gadget works well for me.  StarSan is a great rinse-aid as well as sanitizer.

And I find the Carbonation tool in BSmith quite accurate for fine-tuning the amount of CS to use to get the volumes CO2 I want.  Doing that by weight is much more accurate than by measuring cup. 

Offline SleepySamSlim

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Re: Slow carbonation ....
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2009, 09:47:42 PM »
Following up ---- the Brown Porter (from Jamils  Brewing Classic Styles) finally carbonated and is really excellent. Took about 5 - 6 weeks.

I'll have to look at options like BSmith for doing carbonation calculations
Some people tell you the old walkin' blues ain't bad
Worst old feelin' that I've ever had ...
-Robert Johnson

 

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