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1wildflower

Mr Beer 1-quart PET bottles

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I have long since stopped brewing Mr Beer, but I still like their 1-quart bottles.  Now I see they are not selling them anymore, only the Coopers size that is somewhat smaller.  I have found another source but the plastic is SO thin that it bends if you blow on it.  So if anybody knows a good source for these I would love to hear from them. 
 

But that wasn't my main question.  I brewed this Kolsch extract kit from my LHBS, and it krausened up nicely, I racked it into a secondary and then bottled it in my 1-quart plastic bottles.  After two weeks and about a month from brew date they are still not exactly firm, I opened one that was firmISH, and found it had absolutely NO head and looked remarkably like it had come out of a dog.  It tasted so-so but I do like a little foam on my beer.

So I am wondering if I could open each bottle and add one or two carbonation drops and wait, or do I have to find some wheat beer yeast and add that too?  Any ideas appreciated.

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Head and carbonation are not the same...

Color has nothing to do with carbonation.

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Do you think the bottles vented the CO2 or did you forget to prime? My bet - it is the bottles. At this point it is difficult to say what the next step would be. If you have confidence in the bottles, I would prime again, and perhaps even add a grain or two of yeast, if you have dry yeast available. The other option, if the bottles are not sealing well is to move the beer to different bottles, and again re-prime (with a grain or two of yeast added too). Hate to see good beer wasted. I also like the large 1 liter bottles for some brews, and have about 30 left. Even at cooler temperatures in my basement, most bottles firm up in 2 weeks.

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Just rereading your initial post. I did not think to ask if you bottle prime or batch prime. Again, my feeling is that the bottles are not sealing well. Lastly, i have had some brews wich, for one reason or another have taken 3-4 weeks to really firm up, but in the end they were well carbonated.

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Brian,  I could see one or two of the bottles not being properly carbonated, but not the entire batch.  I may wait until I come back from Xmas and see how they are doing.  I was really wondering if I need to add more yeast for the sugar to feed on.

 

Rick, I know the color has nothing to do with it but I've never had an extract beer that had absolutely NO carbonation. 

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I batch primed these.  And indeed I have had some bottles that take longer than others.  I usually put them in the closet and forget about them for weeks and then they are OK.  Thanks for your help.

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You never said no carbonation until now. Many extract batches have no head, people steep Carapils to get a head. There is a difference.

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yea basically what Rick said, I use carapils or carafoam in all my beers so that is one thing I dnt worry about. I remember this past summer my Jamaica mon recipe, all 12 of my glass flip top bottles didn't carbonate, I soon found out it was the rubber seals that were only used maybe twice before this batch, so I replaced every one of them, re carbonated all bottles, waited about another month, and everything turned out as expected. since then I just get into a schedule of replacing all the seals after two batches in the bottles! how often do u replace the plastic caps after many brews bottled??

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How long did you refrigerate them for before opening?  Ive had beers conditioning for months and 24 hours in the fridge still yields no carb. needs at least 3 days for some brews

 

Also I use corn sugar for batch priming and its taken longer than two weeks for bottles to firm up.  by week four it seems like they firm up perfectly

 

but also I would agree that maybe your caps are bad.  Ive had that too... unfortunate. 

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I replace caps very rarely. If I notice no compression on tightening or if I notice one in a batch has no carb and others are OK I will change the cap. Must have used most of them 5 or more times so far

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I did use corn sugar on this batch, often I use DME or brown sugar but this was a kit.  They probably were refrigerated for only a day or two.  And they must have been somewhat carbonated because the PET bottles were semi-rigid.  I will look into carapils/foam.   I have taken to marking my caps with the month and year that I bought them and although one or two of them might not have sealed properly I can't see that happening to the entire batch. Thanks guys.

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What temp. are you conditioning? If it cooler than 72- 74 deg. you may need allow more time 2 weeks seems kind of fast from bottling to drinking give it more time then go from there, if you got carbonation of any kind it seems to be doing its thing, just needs time.

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John, you may have nailed it!  The outdoor temperature has gone down the last few weeks and I have no place to store bottles other than right behind the wood stove, and now I'm going away for the holidays it may just sit there at 62 until I get home.  I don't think I can justify cranking up the furnace for the beer. 

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2 weeks is likely too short, especially at those temps.  Once you get below 62 they aren't doing anything.  Carapils/Carafoam will do zero for carbonation, just mouthfeel and head.  What you use - sugar, corn sugar, DME, brown sugar - will have no impact on how long they take.  Temp is a huge impact.  Figure every day at 62 you're not carbonating, and add time.

 

Also, ideally, 3+ days in the frig.  CO2 needs to absorb back into the beer.

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