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Billbofet

Re-carbing question

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Hello all,

I have just recently experienced severely undercarbed batched. I batch primed both an Amber Ale and Horse's Ass Ale with both really, really lacking in carbonation. Neither brew even generates more than a thin layer for head.

Thinking back, I batch primed both and used corn sugar. I have not used corn sugar in a long time and have been happy with table sugar and carb tabs these last few months. I used the corn sugar as it was there and I hate to waste.

Is it possible the sugar itself went bad?

Either way, what the hell do I do with these two or three batches I will have affected? I put some of the amber in a growler, so I opened and dropped a carb tab in thinking I have nothing to lose since it is such a massive loss of beer either way - either it's flat or I blow the growler up.

Any suggestions? Is it safe to re-open and drop a tab in? Will that oxidize the beer? I've read agitating the bottle will re-suspend the yeast and may help.

Any ideas are welcomed and thanks in advance.

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First, sugar doesn't go bad. It's just its nature. That's not the issue.

Some questions for you, though.

Did you use glass bottles or PET? If PET, then the caps may have lost their ability to seal properly if they've been used for five or so batches.

If glass, then I have to ask, did you use a wing capper or a bench capper? Before getting my bench capper, I used the same wing capper for months, and eventually had some carb problems. It may just be the nature of these things that they eventually loosen up and don't crimp the bottles properly.

If you open the bottles and drop a carb tab in, it may help, but not if the problem is a faulty capper.

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Dave,

Thanks for the suggestions. I am using glass bottles along with a hand capper. Good advise on it being the equipment itself. I should know relatively soon as I just bottled my last batch with carb tabs. If it is the capper, I will know right away.

I was going to bottle my Caribou Slobber tomorrow, so I guess I'll be putting the batch in PET bottles until I can confirm on the capper - none of the PET bottles have been used yet. By the time I got my second and third LBK I was putting everything in glass.

Thanks again. I'll keep the post updated. It just seemed odd that my issues started immediately upon going back to corn sugar.

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I've had some batches that were under carbed when bottling. I found that moving them to a spot that's a few degrees warmer for a week did the trick. If its been sitting for a while that's not the problem. I assume you used a calculator for the priming amounts. It takes a little more corn sugar to the desired results than cane sugar. It's definitely possible that your capper isn't crimping. But I would look at the caps first. Make sure you have the right ones for your capper. Maybe you have the wrong caps for the bell on your crimper. Or maybe the bottles have a short crimp neck? (Sorry I'm tired. And can't think of the term) Is the space between the bottle crown and the base the capper grips pretty short?

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I was under the impression that bottle caps were pretty much a standard size, but I could be wrong. I've used the same caps with Sam Adams bottles, Bass, Guinness, Pilsner Urquell, generic empties I bought at the LHBS, as well as other brands. No problems. Ditto with moving from a hand capper to a bench capper. They all work, regardless of where I bought them.

Good call on the double-lipped bottles, though. Bass ale comes in double-lipped bottles, and a hand capper won't work with those, although a bench capper will.

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I'll wait it out a little longer on both, but the Horse's Ass that is undercarbed is going on being a month old in the bottle.

Up to this point, my equipment, method, and storage have been the same for the past 9 months and this is the first time I've come across this issue.

It would really suck if it is the capper. I've been brewing like a maniac lately in order to make variety packs for friends and family this holiday. This would impact four batches.

Is there a way to test the capper itself aside from waiting and opening one early? How about if I cap a bottle with water and oxyclean in it, shake it up and see what happens. I think if it held I would be good.

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I was actually having the same problem. I opened up 2 bottles of pumpkin porter and one was carbed and the other was not. I know have some things to look at and maybe change. Thanks guys!!

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Are any of you familiar with Barrilito? It's a cheap, low alcohol Mexican beer, but it comes in the coolest little grenade bottles. I brought a bunch home from a trip and used them my next bottle day. When I came back around for my first taste of the batch I went for a grenade bottle. Flat :huh: . Another wait and a 2nd try from a grenade. Flat again :( . Upon bottling a newer batch I noticed that the caps weren't catching as they should. The capper couldn't close enough around the stubby little bottleneck to get a good seal. 3rd taste, longneck. Pretty damn good. :chug:

Guess I could've just asked- you using regular ol' pry-top longneck bottles?

Also, I batch prime with almost everything but corn sugar. Not sure why.
Honey or white sugar do me right pretty much every time.

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"Billbofet" post=291061 said:

I'll wait it out a little longer on both, but the Horse's Ass that is undercarbed is going on being a month old in the bottle.

Up to this point, my equipment, method, and storage have been the same for the past 9 months and this is the first time I've come across this issue.

It would really suck if it is the capper. I've been brewing like a maniac lately in order to make variety packs for friends and family this holiday. This would impact four batches.

Is there a way to test the capper itself aside from waiting and opening one early? How about if I cap a bottle with water and oxyclean in it, shake it up and see what happens. I think if it held I would be good.

Okay, I'm leaning more and more toward the problem being your capper, based on what you're just revealed here. You've been using the same equipment for the past 9 months, and you've been brewing like a maniac lately, which means you've been bottling like a maniac lately, as well.

This sort of fits the pattern of what happened with me. Similar time frame, busy brew schedule, etc.

Not every bottle of every batch is going to be affected, so don't go off the deep end just yet and try to re-prime and re-cap every one. Just be aware that there's a possibility of some of the bottles, especially in the later batches, being flat.

But I'd recommend you get a new capper ASAP.

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