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mattfly77

Carb drops not working.....

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So twice now, on 2 separate batches, I've used carb drops at the recommended rate, and the beer is coming out flat. I'm not a beginner, these 2 batches were my 31st and 32nd batches. The beer tastes great, it's just flat. The temps are right, everything was done per the directions by MB, and it ain't working. I know others on here use them and have no problems so I assume it's me, but I can't figure it out. But, having followed MB's directions and it not providing properly carbonated beer, I've now got 2 cases of flat beer, which isn't cool. Any thoughts? 

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Carbonate at 70 degrees for a minimum of 3 weeks. Also, be sure your caps are sealed very tightly. Leave your beer out to continue carbonating. It will eventually carbonate, you just need to give it time.

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Table sugar, with the Mr. Beer sugar measurer, worked fine until I switched to batch priming.

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I use new plastic caps every time and carb drops never have had any problems bottles always rock hard

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I just tried a patriot lager w/ LME smooth that's been conditioning for 6 weeks, rock hard bottles and the beer has very little carbonation and no head. 32oz bottles 2 1/2 carb drops in each bottle.room temp 72. fermented 3 weeks.

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I brew mostly stouts and dark ales always beer always has good head to it. I have notice some of the more pale beers i did don't have as good head retention on them but they taste good

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Same experience with pale beers having less head retention even though carbonated. Have not found out the impact of adding Dextrin yet, Still in brewing mode fermenting Aztec as lager.

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New bottles, new caps, and they've both been in the bottle for at least 6 weeks....absolutely no head, and only a tiny amount of carbonation, and I do mean tiny.....closer to flat than anything. 

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Any chance you might no have got the caps tight enough?  When I was still using PETs I found it advisable to go back over the ones I just bottled and check the caps a second time.  

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I just tried a patriot lager w/ LME smooth that's been conditioning for 6 weeks, rock hard bottles and the beer has very little carbonation and no head. 32oz bottles 2 1/2 carb drops in each bottle.room temp 72. fermented 3 weeks.

 

Doesn't add up that the bottles are rock hard but there's not carbonation. Do they go phitt when you take the caps off?

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Doesn't add up that the bottles are rock hard but there's not carbonation. Do they go phitt when you take the caps off?

 

That's what I'm getting too, hard bottles but no carbonation. I know it doesn't make sense because the pressure making the bottles hard has to be coming from something, but theres little to no carbonation and absolutely no head whatsoever! 

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That says that while carbonation is being created, it's not being absorbed by the beer.  Don't know why, but that's what the 4 or more weeks of conditioning, at 70 or higher, is supposed to accomplish.

 

How much head space are you leaving - at least 1/2 inch?

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Yes, the head space is perfect. However, the temp hasn't gotten above 68 in our house at all. If that 70 degrees is truly the magical number, then maybe that's it. But the yeast temps calls for a range from 58-73 or something like that, so I thought the temp shouldn't be an issue. 

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how low did it get, and how often does it fluctuate? @ a constant 68 I'd still expect them to be carbonated in 4 weeks.

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Yes, the head space is perfect. However, the temp hasn't gotten above 68 in our house at all. If that 70 degrees is truly the magical number, then maybe that's it. But the yeast temps calls for a range from 58-73 or something like that, so I thought the temp shouldn't be an issue. 

 

 

No - temp is an issue.  The lower the temp, the longer it takes.  70 isn't magical, but the reality is that the temp you ferment at should almost always be lower that the temp the bottles condition at.  Maybe figure an additional 50% for 68, so 4 weeks becomes 6.  Then only refrigerate what you'll drink in 3 days, leaving the rest to condition some more.

 

I go at least 3 weeks upstairs where it's 70, then put things downstairs where it's 64 this time of year and increases to at most 68 in the peak of summer.  I use table sugar, and transitioned to batch priming on my 9th batch.  I've had ONE flat bottle so far (a PET).  

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I got to disagree with you based on experience. This room I'm in is where I condition. From Dec to Mar it never gets above 65 in here, and all mine are carbed in 4 weeks...still green, but carbed..

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I was referring to his comment that the yeast says 58-73, so he assumed too cool wasn't an issue.  If it's low 60s, you're going to wait a long time for the CO2 to be absorbed back into the beer.

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Ok, then I'll just wait to drink anymore until the house warms up to at least 70 and wait another several weeks.....

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No - temp is an issue. The lower the temp, the longer it takes. 70 isn't magical, but the reality is that the temp you ferment at should almost always be lower that the temp the bottles condition at. Maybe figure an additional 50% for 68, so 4 weeks becomes 6. Then only refrigerate what you'll drink in 3 days, leaving the rest to condition some more.

This is what happened to me, and the above advice from RickBeer worked perfectly.

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I was referring to his comment that the yeast says 58-73, so he assumed too cool wasn't an issue.  If it's low 60s, you're going to wait a long time for the CO2 to be absorbed back into the beer.

my bad, I misunderstood.

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What's really strange is how the rate of CO2 is increased at higher temperatures but the absorption of CO2 is more efficient at lower ones.

 

CO2-06.jpg

 

C02-production-classavg.png

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What's more amazing is that you know that, and then chose to share the knowledge with us...   :lol:

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The suggestion is that 86F would be the best temperature to produce a good amount of CO2 while getting decent absorption.

 

Very interesting.

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Vakko, the Energizer Bunny of scientific knowledge about beer.  He keeps going and going...

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Doesn't add up that the bottles are rock hard but there's not carbonation. Do they go phitt when you take the caps off?

there is a phitt, very little amount of bubbles in my beer, is the patriot lager not much different that CAL. when carbonated?

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I can't speak to the patriot lager but that's sure a CAL. Is that what we're talking about?  Tiny bubbles? (with apologies to Don Ho)

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Its patriot lager, it seems a lot like the cal that i finished last week. Kinda flat very small amount of bubbles in it. The 

PL seems to taste and feel watered down. 

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That says that while carbonation is being created, it's not being absorbed by the beer.  Don't know why, but that's what the 4 or more weeks of conditioning, at 70 or higher, is supposed to accomplish.

 

How much head space are you leaving - at least 1/2 inch?

About 1&1/2 -2"

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Are you getting the tiny bubbles at all?

Yes, I'm drinking one right now it is better than the one I had 2 days ago. Just needs more time i guess.

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Perhaps but as I said, I cannot speak to the Patriot, but sounds just like a CAL. So it may never get better with those(certainly not the CAL).

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my northwest ipa+ pale lme+ booster, had an amazing aroma, and due time probably the best tasting beer ill ever drink, but after 15 days I opened a bottle and it was flat, no foam, no carbonization, so I waited another week again the same thing, I remember I added less sugar to prevent too much foam ,bcuz of my last batch,  so I used corn sugar and re carbonized the bottles. 3 days later, I put one bottle in the fridge for 48 hrs, took it out poured into a cold glass and it was perfect, still it needs to lager longer for flavor but my carbonating issue is gone.

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my northwest ipa+ pale lme+ booster, had an amazing aroma, and due time probably the best tasting beer ill ever drink, but after 15 days I opened a bottle and it was flat, no foam, no carbonization, so I waited another week again the same thing, I remember I added less sugar to prevent too much foam ,bcuz of my last batch,  so I used corn sugar and re carbonized the bottles. 3 days later, I put one bottle in the fridge for 48 hrs, took it out poured into a cold glass and it was perfect, still it needs to lager longer for flavor but my carbonating issue is gone.

I'll take over carb versus under carb any day.  Flat beer tastes like dirty water.

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Michael, why are you introducing more complexity into a process that you've repeatedly had difficulty with?

I use 1 cup. Amount of sugar varies by type of beer, highest temp brew hit during fermentation, type of sugar... If you're not going to figure that out, go with 15 teaspoons.

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The suggestion is that 86F would be the best temperature to produce a good amount of CO2 while getting decent absorption.

 

Very interesting.

Yeah, but you will also get off flavors and such at 86F....

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Yeah, but you will also get off flavors and such at 86F....

Shouldn't get off flavors because primary and secondary fermentation is over.

 

Additionally, the overall consensus is that it's easier to just produce the CO2 at room temp for at least 2 weeks.  Even though 86F would probably have most bottles fully carbed up at 4-6 days.

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ain't just the carbing...the yeast needs time to clean up after it finishes carbing.

also known as secondary...

 

If you're referring the refining process that is needed to "finish" the brewing process, well that is 100% yeast driven and you can't slap a temp on that without knowing what yeast you're working with.  However, on smaller beers (3.5%-5%), refining is pretty unnecessary unless the beer is mostly malt.

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No it's not finished in the secondary, there is still more to clean up in the bottle. Typically mine are carbed in 2 weeks, just "green" as he...heck.  This is where the whole OG conditioning thing comes into play. For the noobs that may not know. If your OG is 1.053 then it needs to condition 5 weeks in the bottle at room temp.

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Shouldn't get off flavors because primary and secondary fermentation is over.

 

Additionally, the overall consensus is that it's easier to just produce the CO2 at room temp for at least 2 weeks.  Even though 86F would probably have most bottles fully carbed up at 4-6 days.

Well, carb'ing is essentially starting another fermentation and should be handled in the range the yeast like.  Will that small amount of sugar being fermented make a difference?  I dunno, but not something I would risk and find out.

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Well, carb'ing is essentially starting another fermentation and should be handled in the range the yeast like.  Will that small amount of sugar being fermented make a difference?  I dunno, but not something I would risk and find out.

80% of the beers I have been making are lagers that primary and secondary fermented at 55F.  Then they're bottled and set to carb at room temp.  After 2 weeks, I put them back into 55F for long term conditioning.

 

I haven't had any off flavors yet.  And my room temp is 76F.

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The "off flavors" will only occur in the primary or secondary fermentation. As I have said on another thread; I condition in a room w/o AC, I cool it by forcing cool air in with a fan. Stays in the 80s in the summer. No off flavors, however(and FWIW) I have not seen any decrease in carbonation time from winter to summer either.

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Well guys, for the love beer, I can not figure out why these brews didn't carbonate as prescribed. 2 different batches and both came out flat, using the MB prescribed amount of sugar tabs. They've been in the bottle since February of this year. Very frustrating as they weren't cheap recipes. Guess I'll be going back to table sugar, as that's what I used for by first 30 something batches....

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I keep saying that the ratio of Mr. Beer carb drops to table sugar in the "they didn't carb" contest is like 25 to 1.  I can't remember the last time someone said they didn't get carb with table sugar.

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I have used carb drops twice, both times worked like a charm.

 

However, I do feel that if I keep using them, I'm gonna get a "dud batch". I have only used sugar (and brown sugar once!) to prime my bottlesfor the past 4 batches, and will continue to do so.

 

I will admit - my Oktoberbeast wasn't carbed at all last time I checked, after 5 weeks in the bottle, but it's a big beer - using sugar to prime with.

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I keep saying that the ratio of Mr. Beer carb drops to table sugar in the "they didn't carb" contest is like 25 to 1.  I can't remember the last time someone said they didn't get carb with table sugar.

Yep, I believe that statistic! Will never use those drops again. 

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And I've never had a problem with carb drops.  ::shrugs::  Until someone does a statistically-accurate study, it's all anecdotal evidence anyway.  In the end, use what works for you and what you feel confident with.  That's what leads to success in this great hobby.

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My point was that I cannot recall a table sugar user saying "my beer didn't carb", all the complaints seem to be carb drop related.  I was going to do a survey among Mich State grads, but they all said they had trouble filling in the little circles.

 

:rolleyes:

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I'm still new (only 5 batches so far), so please pardon me if my response is uninformed (stupid). Just a few weeks back I had a related discussion (argument) with the "help desk" at Mr.Beer.

 

The CarbDrops package instructions specify 2 Drops/750 ml bottle.  I'm using their 1/2 liter (500 ml) bottles, so I asked them how many drops I should use per bottle.

They insisted that only 1 Drop should be used per 500 ml bottle.  This of course resulted in more discussion (argument).

With degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, it was obvious to me that if it takes 2 CarboDrops to carbonate 750 ml, 1 drop will only carbonate 375ml, not 500 ml.  "Can you do the math?" I asked them.  Unfortunately, I guess they didn't have a calculator handy to divide 750 by 2, so my explanation to them went nowhere.

 

Their ultimate response was "Well 1 Drop per 500 ml bottle is what our Brewmasters recommend.  If you don't agree, please take it up with them".

 

So against my better judgement, I used only 1 drop per 500 ml bottle.  As a result, right now I have 2 cases of finished product carbonating.  Needless to say, I'm going to be really troubled (pissed - and I don't mean drunk) if these cases come out flat because of their mistake (or because of my own mistake for listening to them).

 

I'll know either way in about another week.  If anyone knows for sure that 1 Drop will be enough, please send me a reassuring pat on the head that everything will be OK.

Thanks!

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All your beer should be sent to me for inspection and I will verify carbonation.

 

RickBeer

123 I Will Drink Your Beer Lane

Ann Arbor, MI  48198

 

I understand your frustration with measures.  Prior to drops existing, the recommendation for a one liter bottle (the original Mr. Beer PET bottles) was 2 1/2 teaspoons.  Therefore, the recommendation for an 1/2 liter bottle should have been 1 1/4 teaspoons.  It was not, it was 1 teaspoon.  And a 12 liter bottle was 3/4 teaspoon.

 

1 Mr. Beer drop = 1 teaspoon (note all drops are NOT created equal).  Therefore, the recommendation is valid for your 1/2 liter bottle.  

 

Fact - Mr Beer's recommended carb levels are HIGH for many, some use 65 - 75% of Mr. Beer's recommended levels.

 

So, if your bottles don't carb, the ONLY reason is that the carb drop didn't actually contain 1 teaspoon of sugar, it contained far, far less.  In which case, ship the remaining bottles to me for safe disposal.

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The recommended dosages of carb drops have worked for hundreds of people, including myself, for many years. Of course, none of it is set in stone. These are the average recommended dosages to get approximately 2.4 volumes of Co2. This level may not be appropriate for every style of beer, but it is the average level for most beers. You can always use more or less sugar to achieve a certain carbonation level. No one said that was against the rules. ;)

https://byo.com/images/stories/primingchart.pdf

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My point was that I cannot recall a table sugar user saying "my beer didn't carb", all the complaints seem to be carb drop related.  I was going to do a survey among Mich State grads, but they all said they had trouble filling in the little circles.

 

:rolleyes:

That's only because UM grads and fans already filled the circles in, trying to stack the odds in their favor.  Seems to be the only way they can win.   :P

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I can safely say from experience, one whole Mr. Beer carb drop will not break a 12-oz. glass bottle, but I imagine the beer was about at the top-end of what those bottles are rated for (3.2 volumes of CO² or so would be my guess).

 

2 carbonated my 750mL PET MrB bottles nicely, guessing in the 2.3-2.5 vols range.

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