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 Post subject: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:19 am 
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Location: Temecula, SoCal
Second batch in a row, I have had my beer turn out a lot less carbonated than I expected. First was a Ruination Clone, this last one is a Tripel. Both are high alcohol beers. I did not to due OG/FG recordings on the Ruination clone, but I can tell it is atleast 7%. The Tripel is right around 9%. I bottled 3 1/2 weeks ago, adding 1 1/4 cup of sugar to bottling bucket. When I cracked one Saturday, almost completely flat. Tastes great though. What is confusing me is when I cracked open another one at cellar temp, and added one carb tab....FOAM OVER! Doesnt this mean there is CO2 in solution if it foams over when I add sugar? Why is it almost flat when I chill it and pour? I really dont think it is my bottle capper, it is almost new, only about 12 five gallon batches. If not for the foam over, I would have assumed the yeast just got wiped out by the high alcohol after long fermentation/conditioning. If I am getting foam with carb tabs, the idea of making a yeast starter and trying to add to each bottle seems unlikely to be successful (more foam over?).
Its not a dumper, but I sure would like to figure out what Im doing wrong. Thanks.

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Jason.

tap:Alesmith IPA
carboy:Sour Blonde, Rye Saison w/Brett
bottld: Tripel A,Tripel B,Sour Blonde,Hef, Saison w/Brett
OnDeck:Brown Ale
Longtermferm:

"They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!,"Nacho


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:20 pm 
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You might just need to give it a little more time. Some times the higher alcohol brews take a little longer to carbonate. Are you storing them all at cellar temps? If the chiled one you drank was completely stored in the fridge, it will take forever to carbonate thatway. Did you add any extra yeast on bottling day? I only have done that for the 2 brews over 8% and it worked well. If it's normal alcohol I don't bother, but probably needed for a 9% beer.

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My wife used to call me an alcoholic, so I started brewing beer. Now I have a hobby, and I'm a beer enthusiast, not an alcoholic.


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:56 pm 
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When you say you added 1 1/4 cups of sugar to the bottling bucket does that mean you just added the sugar itself to the bucket or did you dissolve the sugar in some boiling water first? If you didn't dissolve it first it's possible that the sugar never actually dissolved in the beer or that it didn't get mixed in which would mean you'll have some other bottles that will be way over-carbonated.

If the sugar wasn't mixed well, that could also explain why the beer you added the carb tab to foamed over. That bottle may have been more carbonated than the one you chilled and drank. Also, the bottle at cellar temp will foam up easier than the chilled bottle due to CO2 (gases in general) being less soluble at warmer temps.


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:47 pm 
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Location: Temecula, SoCal
Thanks for the replies, sorry I was vague. I did boil the sugar, then let it cool and added the sol'n to the bottling bucket. All my beers are kept in the closet, average 68-72F, but it did get up in the hi 70s two weeks ago. I did not add extra yeast at bottling. I never had to in the past, didnt hear Jamil mention it when he was talking about his Tripel, but maybe I should.
As far as the carb tabs, I am half way thru my Ruination Clone. 90% of them have been way under carbonated, but delicious. I opened 3 and placed one 3 carb tab in each last week, all three foamed up...so I said to heck with it. I cant win!
Thank for the great advice, I will consider adding yeast to these beers at bottling in the future. I heard someone mention Champagne Yeast for Belgian beers specifically for carbonation?

_________________
Jason.

tap:Alesmith IPA
carboy:Sour Blonde, Rye Saison w/Brett
bottld: Tripel A,Tripel B,Sour Blonde,Hef, Saison w/Brett
OnDeck:Brown Ale
Longtermferm:

"They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!,"Nacho


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:47 pm 
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Location: Temecula, SoCal
Actually I added 3/4 cup sugar.

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Jason.

tap:Alesmith IPA
carboy:Sour Blonde, Rye Saison w/Brett
bottld: Tripel A,Tripel B,Sour Blonde,Hef, Saison w/Brett
OnDeck:Brown Ale
Longtermferm:

"They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!,"Nacho


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:40 am
Posts: 74
I bottle all my beers and had lots of problems with carbonation levels in the past. Then I found BCS page 298, the table with amounts of sugar to add to achieve CO2 volumes verses flat beer temp. My carbonation levels have been dead-on since. If you don't refer to this, start here.

Champ yeast in big beers at bottling never hurt. I just did the old monster barleywine and actually spaced out adding the extra yeast. It was cool, 65-70, didn't carbonate a couple weeks after bottling so moved it upstaris, 80-90 F, carbed right up. I had a Belgian Golden Strong carb well without any extra yeast, so you can get by bottling big beers without extra yeast. It may really depend on how healthy the yeast are.


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Two words.... force carb.


Mylo

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"HEINEKEN? Fuck that shit! Pabst Blue Ribbon!!!" - Dennis Hopper, in Blue Velvet


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 Post subject: Re: Undercarbonated...again!
PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:32 am
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Thanks for all the feedback. :jnj

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Jason.

tap:Alesmith IPA
carboy:Sour Blonde, Rye Saison w/Brett
bottld: Tripel A,Tripel B,Sour Blonde,Hef, Saison w/Brett
OnDeck:Brown Ale
Longtermferm:

"They think I do not know a buttload of crap about the Gospel, but I do!,"Nacho


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