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Chuck N ™

How The H-E-Double-Toothpicks Does That Work?

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My last two batches of stout have come out flat. The first of the two almost seemed flatter coming out of the bottle than it did going in if that's at all possible. This last one could whip up a little bit of head but only if I poured it quite aggressively in to the glass.

Until today.

Today I set three bottles aside to have in honor of St. Patty's Day. The first one was as per the others; Little or no head and absolutely no head retention. (They all tasted very good, though.) But then the next one I had a bugger of a time getting the bottle opener to grab the edge of the bottle cap. When I finally got the cap off - I wasn't paying enough attention to hear what the hiss of released carbonation might have been - and poured it into the glass I almost overflowed the head over the top of the glass. There still wasn't a lot of head retention or residual carbonation but now I'm confused (more than normal). All of my other beers come out with lots of head and lots of carbonation and I use the same wing capper on them. Is this just an unlucky coincidence or what?

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Interesting that the one that was carbonated you had trouble getting the opener to grip. I wonder if maybe you got some bad bottle caps?

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Chuck Norris,

I'm having similar issues with a couple of Stouts and regular ales over the last few months. I bottle prime and some bottles are carbonated fine and others are flat as can be. I also use a wing capper and am suspecting that as the problem. I'm looking at a bench capper, which I assume will be more durable and presise. That's what the guy at the brew store suggested when I bought the wing capper anyway.

Not much help but I've gone over my processes and find nothing that would lead to this inconsistent carbonation in the same batch.

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The other thing that comes to mind is that there are two types of caps for glass bottles (not the Grolsch bottles) there is a regular one and an oxygen absorbing one. I spend a few extra bucks and get the oxygen absorbing ones. Also I do use a bench capper. I upgraded because after we moved I had no idea where my wing capper went!

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i've only bottled 1 batch with any kind of capper so i don't know anymore than mjbearit. i read somewhere if your not storing for long term the o2 absorbing caps are of no added value over the other type. i don't know but "sounds" reasonable. maybe someone who knows more will pop in and clear it up.

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I had a problem with my last couple of beers being almost flat or very low carb. Then about a month ago I moved the beers that were leftover off of the carpeted floor in my spare room to the storage cabinet in the same room, but now they are up off the floor, enclosed and snuggly. So this weekend I had a few of them after 2 days in the fridge, and they are all nicely carbed and taste awesome. What I'm getting at is, where you conditioned them, was it cooler than usual, or on bare floor? Take a few and find a nice warm place to stick them in and see what happens.

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the O2 caps are not worth the money.

1. the yeast will use the O2 in the bottle
2. O2 caps will cause your IPA's to lose their hoppiness

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I've also heard if you use a No-Rinse sanitizer it contains oxygen so if you soak your caps, it saturates them to the point of no longer working.

Not sure if that's true as I don't know the chemistry behind the caps or the sanitizer but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in. :)

I'm also on the boat that perhaps they conditioned a tad too cool and haven't fully carbonated. Maybe warm them up for a week or 2 and see?

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+1 to frogmeat69 and Cleveland013 warming them can't hurt. you won't be out anything but a little time

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