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Worthog

Carbonating Fail

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I recently brewed Witty Monk with a bit of lemon and lime juice. After 3 weeks in the fermenter and two and a half weeks in a 68 degree basement, I put three of the bottles into the fridge for three days. Then I opened one to test -- hardly any carbonation to it. Not just no head -- a taste sample confirmed there were very few bubbles. I opened two more to check -- same thing. Hmmmm. I've made Witty Monk previously with no issues, and used my standard two Coopers drops per PET bottle. Perhaps the original plastic Mr. Beer caps have finally lost their seal.

Does anyone know a way to put some carbonation in these now that they're opened? I'm a fairly new brewer, so I have none of the forced carbonation equipment or anything like that. Would adding a bit sugar to the opened bottles and letting it sit warm again for a week or two do it? Or will that just make it into a sweeter, still uncarbonated beer?

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My recent WM brew was simply 2 cans and nothing else. 3 weeks in the LBK and I batched primed. Mine is carbonated but not as much as I would have expected. I think it fermented so cleanly that there wasn't much left for carbing.
My wife adds the lemon or orange to the glass so I didn't want to experiment with adding anything to the boil.

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There are a few threads on the re-carb process here on the Borg, somewhere. You can do a search. A few have successfully done this. But first, I would recommend giving the beer another week. I have had some take 3-4 weeks at 68 degrees. Not many, but a few. If you could bump that temp to 70, that could also help speed thing up a bit.

Edit: Linky: Re-priming under-carbed bottles

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Bottles were not hard, especially when cold. I think I'll give it another week at room temp, then put them back in the fridge. If that doesn't work, I'll try the boiled sugar water from the linked thread. Thanks!

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Personally, I'd give the bottles at least a month at cool room temperature before deciding to resort to extra measures. Not all beers carbonate at the same rate, even with the same yeast strain. If that is the case, the beer will probaby taste sweeter than it should since the yeast hasn't yet metabolized it fully. That said, the caps for the PET bottles will fail to seal after several uses, so if your patience fails to bear fruit, you can re-carb with new caps with very little worries about infection if you follow normal santitation procedures. I'd be much more cautious with my advice if you were using glass bottles, but the PET let you know how pressurized they are, so you are in little danger of having one go boom.

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Not much help to offer here since I've reused PET caps a whole lot of times without ever having an issue with carbonation. I hate to say it so technically but if your hydrometer reading were steady for 2-3 days the fermentation is done. Of course if the final gravity isn't 70-75% lower than the original gravity should have been, the issue is with the yeast.

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