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Kealia

Re-priming under-carbed bottles

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I am thoroughly disappointed in the carb level of my dubbel (targeted 1.9 CO2 levels, just not to my liking) so today I tried to re-prime 2 bottles with corn sugar.

Both were unsuccessful. With the first, I removed the cap, sanitized, blah blah blah, waited about 10 minutes to allow what little CO2 was in there to escape, and then then plan was to put the sugar in and quickly re-cap since I know they can foam up. Well.....it did. There's no way I could have capped in time, and if I did I'm sure it would have blown off at some point in the next day or so anyway.

With the second, I followed the same process, but diluted the sugar in water first thinking that might result in a different outcome. Nope. Same volcano.

So now I have 24 fewer ounces of beer and still no idea how to re-prime the ones that are left. Of course I can drink them as-is, but the carb level is just way too low for my liking.

In addition, I have a 5-gallon batch of saison that I carbed to 2.2 CO2 volumes which I'm thinking may be low for my taste as well (need to taste one in the next few days). If I don't link that one either, I'd hate to think I'm stuck with about 3 cases of low-carbed beer.

Has anybody successfully re-primed 12oz glass bottles? If so, how the heck did you do it?

I'm off to Google some options as well but I'd love to hear from anybody who has first-hand experience with this.

Thanks.

P.S. The countdown to somebody telling me that I need to start kegging instead of bottling starts now. 3....2....1....... ;):P

Edit to add: My current fallback plan is to pick up some more yeast, open a bottle, sprinkle in a few and then recap and let it do the the work. I'm thinking I won't get any foam that way, BUT I'm also wondering if I might get better results by re-hydrating the yeast first and then using an eye-dropper to just introduce a little bit per bottle.

I'm not sure how the yeast will react to going into a 5.5% ABV environment without rehydrating first, but right now I'm open to any input from people who have experimented here.

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3..2..1...0-Start kegging and buy a Blichmann Beer Gun to fill bottles! :P It works awesome!

I have never tried recarbing a bottle so I am not sure how effective it would be. Might be a good experiment for you though.

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I doubt if adding yeast will do the trick. The sugar has already been eaten and there's viable yeast in the bottle now.

I've never tried to recarb. I've mixed undercarbed beer with something commercial before on the theory that it would improve both.

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I was thinking about that, too. But this is the seasonal dubbel and it under-attenuated so I think there is still some sugar to be eaten. at least I'm hoping that's the case. Adding sugar at this point is definitely out and I'm not interested in opening all the bottles to either re-batch prime or to put it back in a keg to ferment/go flat and then re-prime. Too much risk for infection and oxidation.

I figure I'll try two more bottles: One with some dry yeast sprinkled in and one where I'll re-hydrate. Both are getting a 'pinch' - my scientific measurement.

My issues will be knowledge gains for the borg. Of course if it works we won't know if it was because this beer didn't attenuate well and there was fermentable sugar still left in the bottles, or because the addition of new yeast worked. Since adding fresh yeast will sometimes help a stalled fermentation, I'm cautiously optimistic about trying this out.

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bpgreen wrote:

I doubt if adding yeast will do the trick. The sugar has already been eaten and there's viable yeast in the bottle now.

I've never tried to recarb. I've mixed undercarbed beer with something commercial before on the theory that it would improve both.

Adding yeast could work, but if it attenuated fully using the brewing yeast then you would need to try a different yeast that will attenuate more. But not too much more, just a point or two. That could get tricky to figure out. If brewed with T-58 then maybe a tiny bit of Notty would do it, but I dunno, I've had Nottingham go to >80% sometimes, and that wouldn't be good.

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mashani wrote:

bpgreen wrote:

I doubt if adding yeast will do the trick. The sugar has already been eaten and there's viable yeast in the bottle now.

I've never tried to recarb. I've mixed undercarbed beer with something commercial before on the theory that it would improve both.

Adding yeast could work, but if it attenuated fully using the brewing yeast then you would need to try a different yeast that will attenuate more. But not too much more, just a point or two. That could get tricky to figure out. If brewed with T-58 then maybe a tiny bit of Notty would do it, but I dunno, I've had Nottingham go to >80% sometimes, and that wouldn't be good.

I thought about that, but was thinking of something like Champagne yeast. But I was concerned about over-attenuation.

I'm still thinking the best approach is to mix it with something with a known cab level and hop for the best.

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EDIT: Seen your no longer interested in adding sugar so this is for anyone else needing a tip.

I have reprimed. It was my coconut porter. Had great results with only one mild foam up. Did you heat p sugar water solution? If not the sugar may not have been dissolved well enough to allow no foam up?

My process was:
i used a ratio of 1/2 tsp of sugar per 12 oz bottle when i reprimed. i gathered enough sugar for all bottles (11 bottles=5.5tsp) and added a very small amount of water to it, just enough to dissolve and boil in microwave (about 90 sec?). once cooled, i used a baby medicine dropper to measure total sugar solution in ml's. divided the total ml by 11 and that gave me the amount of solution to add to each bottle. recap and turn bottles to mix. dissolved sugar is much much much less volital when added to partially carbed beer than granulated sugar. and the volume added was minimal. my results were good and would not hesitate to do again if needed.

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bpgreen wrote:

mashani wrote:

bpgreen wrote:

I doubt if adding yeast will do the trick. The sugar has already been eaten and there's viable yeast in the bottle now.

I've never tried to recarb. I've mixed undercarbed beer with something commercial before on the theory that it would improve both.

Adding yeast could work, but if it attenuated fully using the brewing yeast then you would need to try a different yeast that will attenuate more. But not too much more, just a point or two. That could get tricky to figure out. If brewed with T-58 then maybe a tiny bit of Notty would do it, but I dunno, I've had Nottingham go to >80% sometimes, and that wouldn't be good.

I thought about that, but was thinking of something like Champagne yeast. But I was concerned about over-attenuation.

I'm still thinking the best approach is to mix it with something with a known cab level and hop for the best.

I think every gravity point is about 0.5 volumes of CO2 FWIW. So champaign yeast would be a bad thing unless you like shards of glass stuck into every available surface. I think mnstarzz concept above is perhaps a better bet.

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mnstarzz13 wrote:

EDIT: Seen your no longer interested in adding sugar so this is for anyone else needing a tip.

I have reprimed. It was my coconut porter. Had great results with only one mild foam up. Did you heat p sugar water solution? If not the sugar may not have been dissolved well enough to allow no foam up?

My process was:
i used a ratio of 1/2 tsp of sugar per 12 oz bottle when i reprimed. i gathered enough sugar for all bottles (11 bottles=5.5tsp) and added a very small amount of water to it, just enough to dissolve and boil in microwave (about 90 sec?). once cooled, i used a baby medicine dropper to measure total sugar solution in ml's. divided the total ml by 11 and that gave me the amount of solution to add to each bottle. recap and turn bottles to mix. dissolved sugar is much much much less volital when added to partially carbed beer than granulated sugar. and the volume added was minimal. my results were good and would not hesitate to do again if needed.

I'll keep this in mind, too. I was against trying to add sugar the way I did again, but if you've had results with this, I'm willing to try. I didn't boil the sugar last time so that would be an option for me to test as well.

Thanks for the input.

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Ok, three more bottles tested, this time without volcanoes.

1 bottle = pinch of dry yeast
1 bottle = pinch of rehydrated yeast
1 bottle = 1/2 tsp corn sugar (boiled and cooled)

For whatever reason, as mnstarzz13 said, boiling and cooling it prevented it from foaming over when I added it to the bottle. I used an eye dropper to remove a little beer first, then squirted it in. It fizzed for a second, but very mildly with no foam over.

All bottles have been labeled accordingly so I can see which method works and can take notes and report back here in 1-2 weeks.

I've also got the bottles in a ziplock bag wrapped in blankets so if there is any issue/risk of bottle bombs it should be contained.

Hopefully my testing can save the lives of future beers.

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Kealia, I feel your pain. my first all grain was a witbier and I did not use enough priming sugar. I tried it like you did by adding sugar with the same results. I hated pouring all those bottles down the drain. It had such a good taste. I hope what you tried works. Let us know

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I have successfully recarbed on occasion. I have used honey dosed out with a childs medicine syring. I would use one or two Ml.'s per 12 oz. bottle to add carb. You do not need to mix. The yeasties will find the honey at the bottom just fine. Just wait the two weeks at room temp and enjoy.

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lanz2005 wrote:

Kealia, I feel your pain. my first all grain was a witbier and I did not use enough priming sugar. I tried it like you did by adding sugar with the same results. I hated pouring all those bottles down the drain. It had such a good taste. I hope what you tried works. Let us know

I have a feeling at least one of the three methods should work. I'll know more in 2 weeks. I was thinking that I would try one in 1 week, but I've waited this long so I might as well give the yeast every chance I can to make things right so 2 weeks it is.

I'll also be listening for the sound of exploding bottles in my sleep... ;)

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I used muntons carb tabs. Put the beer in the fridge over night to get nice and cold. I decided to use swmbo as my helper. I uncapped she put the tabs in, and then i recapped really fast. Some of them still foamed over but alot of the time i was fast enough to get them capped.

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48 hours later and no projectile glass flying through the bedroom.
This is a good sign. ;)

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Sounds good for ya so for, atleast your havin fun with it.

I made an excellent IPA (my own recipe) and it taste awesome, hops level strong, very good for me even. It is seriously undercarb'd..... darn it. I am just gonna drink it, enjoy it, and carb it right next time. Checked my records and found I had put in little less than half the corn sugar I should have.... dag nabbit! Live and learn. :woohoo: :woohoo:

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Keep an eye on this thread for updates FIT. I'll let you know what works.

I doubt either you or I will be the last ones to have this problem!

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1 week in, no bombs from any of the bottles yet. I'm still very optimistic.

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i have purched a soda carbonator at bed-bath-beyond for $50 bucks , they had other larger models of co2 units [$150 - $200] the name was [ isi ] i had a batch of flat beer , this will help , liquids should be cold to get maxium co2 infusion , :silly: 5hollween2011.jpg

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Kealia,

Wondered how the recarbination went. Have you tested any of them yet. I have some czech pilsner that is undercarbonated and have been wondering if yours came out better when you added the dissolved sugar.

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I haven't tested them yet, although I am very anxious. I wanted to give them a full two weeks even though it's probably not needed. If you can hang on until the weekend I plan on drinking all three and posting my results.

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Kealia wrote:

I am thoroughly disappointed in the carb level of my dubbel (targeted 1.0 CO2 levels, just not to my liking)

Kealia I can understand you're disappointment with so little carbonation in an otherwise perfectly fine beer. After a little research I found the style guidelines for a Dubble call for 1.3 to 2.3 volumes of Co2. If fermented at 70F beer will already have .83 volumes of Co2 in it, which is only .17 volumes of Co2 shy of your target.

If I have it right this means you only added 0.0567 teaspoons of corn sugar per 12 ounce bottle, which is practically no sugar at all. So it seems your biggest challenge is in getting more sugar in the bottles without foaming over, then the yeast will produce more Co2. Keep us posted on your results, I'm interested to see how this turns out.

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Screwy, my bad on the initial post. It should read "targeted 1.9 CO2 volumes" not "1.0". In any case, I don't like the carb level at 1.9 :)

I'll keep everybody posted.

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@Screwy, funny thing is that the Ommegang dubble I got was carbed *way higher* then style guidelines, more like a highly carbed wheat beer or a strong belgian like Duval, seemed to be above 3 volumes to me. I was carbed so high that after days in the fridge without being re-corked it still had more carb then some of my English ales. I liked it better as the carb level dropped and it got exposed to air.

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Getting impatient. I took all three bottles and put them in the fridge this morning so they can chill for 48 hours and be tested this Saturday. A little shy of 2 weeks since the re-priming but I figure it should be close enough to know which method is going to work so I can fix the rest of them.

The good news from all of this is that this batch will have conditioned for quite a while by the time I get to drink the majority of it.

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The moment of truth arrives!

Drum roll please.....

Bottle #1: Re-primed with a pinch of dry yeast. Outcome - no change from original batch. Still pretty much flat. Wasn't sure if it was because the dry yeast was pitched into alcohol and couldn't work its magic so I eagerly cracked into...

Bottle #2: This bottle was re-primed with rehydrated yeast.I was greeted by the same weak "pfft" as the first bottle. After pouring it and taking a sip I thought it might have a bit more carb than the first bottle. Then I took another sip of #1 and antoher sip of #2 and couldn't tell the difference. Nothing. Nada. Bust. Onto...

Bottle #3: Re-primed with 1/2 tsp corn sugar that was boiled and cooled in a tiny amount of water. The opening "pfft" was a bit stronger but not by huge amounts so I had my doubts. More bubbles showing in the glass, that's a good sign. First taste.....IT WORKED! IT WORKED!

The 3rd bottle was primed damn near perfect so I'm happy to report back that it worked like a charm. I'm not sure what to chalk this up to, really (the under-carbing to start with).

This batch under-attenuated so in theory there should have been plenty of unfermentables in the beer to carb the bottles in the first place. If not, I would have thought that the sugar added at priming would have taken care of it. I'm going to chalk it up to it being an extract batch that *might* have contained more unfermentables but I really will never know. Chalk the tester bottles up to an offering to the homies.

My plan for the remaining 15 bottles:
Weigh out 1/2tsp of corn sugar and multiply that weight by 15 to get my total amount needed to re-prime all bottles. Add a small amount of water (measured in ml) that's easily divisible by 15. Bring to a boil, cool and use a syringe to measure the solution back into the bottles.

Re-cap and re-carb for 2 weeks, then pop into fridge to enjoy.
I expect to have inconsistent carb in the bottles, but they should all be carbed and drinkable. I have to say that the flavor of the dubbel comes through much better when it's carbed. The flat beer was hard to drink but I really liked the carbed bottle.

Hope this thread helps somebody else in the future.

Cheers.

edit: Thanks to mnstarzz13 for the direction to boil the sugar and water before adding. That made all the difference.

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Glad to hear it worked out. Congrats!

Hopefully I won't ever have an opportunity to use this knowledge, but I will definitely keep it tucked away for future reference. Thanks for sharing the results!

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Awsome! Glad it worked, I know I was given the idea by the borg so glad I was able to pass it on to someone in need :cheers:

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Bump

I'm going to try this tonight with a batch of hccd i have, I spilled some of the priming solution on bottling day, it didnt seem like that much so I used it & went ahead & batch primed & bottled.

Must have spilled more than I thought, after a momth in the bottle there is a very small Pffffft upon opening & after the pour the beer is completely flat in the glass.

Great tasting beer otherwise.

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I actually re-primed once with an apfelwein that I had brewed. I drank some of it and then decided it would be better carbonated so I opened a bottle poured some out and then primed it with apple juice. It worked great, nice and fizzy, just make sure to sanitize!

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How many tabs? I used 4 tabs originally and after 10 days in the bottle not much carbonation.

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"TJTHEBEST" post=194067 said:

I used muntons carb tabs. Put the beer in the fridge over night to get nice and cold. I decided to use swmbo as my helper. I uncapped she put the tabs in, and then i recapped really fast. Some of them still foamed over but alot of the time i was fast enough to get them capped.

How Many tabs? I used 4 originally and after 9 days my raspberry wheat is pretty flat. I bottled in 12oz glass.

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