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Cessna172pilot

Carbonation Drops Not Working

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I have brewed probably six batches of beer, and I always used granulated sugar.  This time, I decided to try the carbonation drops.  I did everything else the same other than the drops.  I have opened two bottles of the latest batch (American Lite), and both were flat.  No carbonation.  Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong?  I followed the directions regarding how much to use.  Thanks!

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Did the drops dissolve?

Did you store them at room temp for at least 4 weeks?

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Yes, the drops dissolved.  I bottled the beer after 2-1/2 weeks, then stored it at room temperature for about 4 weeks.  The bottle I tried had been in the refrigerator for about a week.  Next time, I'll go back to granulated sugar I think. 

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Shouldn't have been an issue.  If it's a PET bottle, I'd look to the cap as the culprit.  Sugar is sugar, if you put the right amount of drops in it should have been fine, assuming room temp was at least 68.

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It could have been the temperature.  It was above 68 during the day, but cooler at night.  I'll open another bottle or two and see how they are. 

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PET bottles should be rock hard before going in the frig, 4 weeks at 70 or above is recommended. 68 maybe a tad longer but should not be flat. Too cold and the yeast sleeps.

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I agree with Rick.  More than likely the cap on the PET bottle.  You have to crank those things tight.  Even a pinhole can ruin carbonation.  

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I have used the carbonation drops and didn't have any issues with carbonation. I would double check the caps.

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I used to use carb drops exclusively with no problems.. check your caps as was mentioned.  sugar cubes are cheaper... each domino dot is 2g of sugar. makes carbing easy.

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PET bottles should be rock hard before going in the frig

Rick, is it normal for them to get a little softer after being in the fridge? Reason I ask is because I plan on trying a few this weekend and put 3 rock hard bottles in the fridge. I felt them today, and they were noticeably easier to squeeze.

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drew.. at room temp, the co2 gas developed during carbing is only partially in the ale... some sits on top of the beer in the bottle making the plastic firm.  chilling the bottle causes the co2 to dissolve fully  into the solution (beer).  this might cause the bottle to come out of the fridge a little less firm.

 

I routinely drink room temp beer. I don't like chilled beer that much because to me it makes them taste different.  if I ever get a bottle that I just cant open without causing a mess, I pop it in the fridge for a couple days. the co2 goes into the beer and I can safely open it.

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Rick, is it normal for them to get a little softer after being in the fridge? Reason I ask is because I plan on trying a few this weekend and put 3 rock hard bottles in the fridge. I felt them today, and they were noticeably easier to squeeze.

Yes. Cold temps will reduce the pressure caused by Co2 resulting in less firm bottles. This is why champagnes and sparkling wines should be chilled before opening. Ever opened a warm bottle of sparkling wine? It gets messy. As zorak pointed out, the co2 dissolves better into solution when it's cold than when it's warm. That's why when force carbonating in kegs, it's best to do it when the beer has been chilled.

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I once had a batch where the bottles would foam over at opening. I tried putting the bottles in the freezer for 1/2 hour before opening and it did help.

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Mine will tend to gush foam if opened at room temp, have to chill them. They will retain adequate fizz poured cold and drunk when warmed up a bit if that kind of beer. Some do taste good right out of the fridge.

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Sugar is sugar so shouldnt make a difference what you used.  Not sure how often the caps need to be replaced, but they WILL need replacing eventually.  I simply save pop caps and rotate then in on a regular basis as do not want to wait for a failure (ie flat beer) to know they went bad.

 

On another note, the 172 is a fun toy!  I fly - or used to when I had time - an Aero Commander 100 "Darter".

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