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Carbonation Question

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mosto

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Given the weather, I've recently put down my first couple of lagers. Both seem a little under carbed. One was carbed with carb drops, the other was bulk primed with disolved table sugar. Both were cold conditioned in primary for about 10 days, but brought back to ferm temp for a day before bottling. I thought maybe too much yeast had dropped out, but after reading some other threads on here, don't think that is the case.

What I now think may have happened, and is my question, is have I underpitched, and therefore, not enough yeast has made it to the bottles. I used one packet of S23 in both, but have since learned that I should probably be pitching two packs (which I have done in the Pale Continental Lager I have fermenting at present).

Didn't think anything of it at the time, but the first batch, an Aussie Lager, did have a faint sulfur smell. Would this be a sign of yeast in distress from underpitching?

I've just cracked the second, a Pilsner, and no sulfur smell or off flavours. Quite a clean tasting beer actually, but yeah, still a little under carbed.

So main question, can underpitching a Lager (or any beer for that matter) result in not enough yeast to fully carb the bottles?

Second question, woud the sulfur smell be a sign of distressed yeast?
 

glenwal

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How long have they been in the bottle? Remember that carbing is just a mini ferment, so will take longer with Lager yeast just like the fermentation takes longer.


S-23 does throw alot of Sulfur - it'll disipate with time.


And no - underpitching will not cause your bottles to not carb up.
 

gap

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How long since they were bottled?
Have they been kept at a temperature which aids conditioning IE not to cold?
They may take some time to reach proper condition. Under pitching wont have
any effect on conditioning but will have other adverse effects on the beer.

Regards

Graeme
 

Rod

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To know when your brew has carbonated

use a small clear plastic bottle , say 300ml , fill it when you bulk prime

store with you bottled beer you have just filled

observe the small bottle and when it is tight and hard your brew will be carbonated

after a few beers you will know about when your brews are carbonated

I had a similar situation with a lager and all went well
 

mosto

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Thanks for the replies.

The Aussie Lager was bottled for about 3 weeks before sampling. I've recently finshed the last one and guess the last few would have been bottled for about 6 weeks, but all were under carbed. The Pilsner has only been in the bottle about 17 days, so definitely a chance that it's not fully conditioned.

I store my bottles in a disused fridge in an uninsulated shed. It's been getting to 0 here lately, so probably does get down to maybe 4-5 degrees inside the old fridge at a guess.

I assumed I was using two drops per bottle for the first batch, but it's not beyond the realms of possibilty that I only used one, I can't quite remember, but would obviously explain a lot.
 

glenwal

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I store my bottles in a disused fridge in an uninsulated shed. It's been getting to 0 here lately, so probably does get down to maybe 4-5 degrees inside the old fridge at a guess.
Do you have any room in your fermentation fridge? keeping the bottles at fermentation temperature will help them carb up properly.

I assumed I was using two drops per bottle for the first batch, but it's not beyond the realms of possibilty that I only used one, I can't quite remember, but would obviously explain a lot.
I'm assuming your using long necks? 1 drop per stubbie or 2 per long neck.
 

lukasfab

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i had the same issue in this cold weather, stored in my ferment fridge at 18c for couple weeks and they came up great
 

mkstalen

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With all the responses it sounds like you under primed, or they haven't finished bottle conditioning either because it's too cold or too short or both.

One was carbed with carb drops,
How big are the bottles? How many carb drops?

the other was bulk primed with disolved table sugar.
How large was the batch? How much sugar used for bulk priming? How much water was it dissolved in? (Did you boil the water?)
 

mosto

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With all the responses it sounds like you under primed, or they haven't finished bottle conditioning either because it's too cold or too short or both.


How big are the bottles? How many carb drops?


How large was the batch? How much sugar used for bulk priming? How much water was it dissolved in? (Did you boil the water?)
the first batch I think may have been under primed. They were 750ml and I THINK I put two drops per bottle in, but I may have had a shocker and only put one (this is one of the reasons I went to bulk priming).

The bulk primed batch was a 26 ltr batch. I used this calculator and disolved 140g of sugar into 200ml of boiled water. Does this sound reasonable?
 

yum beer

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your priming levels are fine, its just too cold at the moment, I have sub zero temps most nights and low teens during the day, garage sitting around 11-14c, cracked
an aussie lager yesterday that was 4 1/2 weeks in the bottle, very light carb, same brew and priming rate in summer, 2 weeks and great.
Just let em sit a bit longer, or into brew fridge or into the house for a week or two.
 

mosto

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No worries, into the house they come.

Thanks for the advice all. As always, very helpful.
 

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