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Reviving Undercarbed Beer

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philmud

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I had my first go at bulk priming recently. I usually use carbonation drops, but as I was using a number of LC dreadnoughts I needed to bulk prime. I made a 23L batch of Neil's Centenarillo & primed it with 125grams of dex - I had wanted to be conservative to avoid bottle bombs, but I realise now that I've been far too conservative. I think I've fallen shy by approximately 25 grams and I intend to add some dex (in a water solution) and recap. I wanted to run my intended process by the forum to "test" it out - if anyone can see major flaws with what I have planned, please sing out.

Step 1 - Sanitise by spraying idophor on all the bottles before uncapping them.

Step 2 - dissolve 25 grams of dex in 230 mls of boiling water.

Step 3 - uncap bottle (one by one) and using a sanitised 10 ml syringe add some of the dex solution at a ratio of around'10 ml per ltr (approximate, dreadnoughts at 568ml would get about 6ml of dex solution, long necks at 750ml will get 8ml). Recap with a sanitised cap.

Repeat for subsequent bottles.

I'm not sure if I am still undershooting - I am aware that when I open the bottles, I am losing the Co2 in the headspace of each bottle & so I need to replace that, as well as add Co2 to the beer. As it stands the beer is undercarbed, but not flat. If I had to guess I'd say it's about 3/4 of the way there, maybe less - that being the case would I be better off adding more than 25g (eg: 1/4 of 125g is 31g - should I add 35g or 40 to account for the headspace Co2).

I should also add that the beer was fermented at approx 18C & conditioned at about 24C - 26C & I anticipate that the re-conditioning will occur at about the same temperatures.

The beer tastes great, so I don't want to waste it, but it's not really drinkable as is - all help & suggestions appreciated.
 

Ivan Other One

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How long has the brew been bottled for mate?

If it's been down for four weeks and this is your result, the what you have planned sounds feasable.,

Maybe worth trying just a couple of bottles first, put these aside in a spot that can handle a potential bottle bomb, just in case, n then check them in about a month.
 

mwd

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At 24-26C your bottles should have carbed up fully after about a week.

Good idea repriming with a syringe adding sugar granules would produce a foaming mess.

Could even add one carb lolly to each bottle should not cause bottle bombs. Be quick recapping.
I have to say I prefer overcarbed beer to undercarbed I usually use about 150-160g of dextrose bulkpriming 23L suits me fine and I do not get any foam overflow.
 

philmud

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Thanks gents, it's been in the bottle for 3 weeks now, so pretty new, but I anticipate that any further development will be incremental, from long chain sugars. Ivan, I have added some sugar to one bottle as an experiment (at the rates mentioned) in my post - I thought I should ask for some opinions here because I have no idea about the rates.
Tropical, I have some carb lollies, you don't think this'd cause a bomb? I might give it a crack & see - I'd wrap it in packing tape just in case!!
 

black_labb

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how much sugar/dex did you carb with and in how many litres?
 

black_labb

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It will be on the low end but not too low. I'd leave it as is.
 

jimmythehuman

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Is there a way of knowing how wel carbing has worked without opening?
 

hoppy2B

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Is there a way of knowing how wel carbing has worked without opening?

You should be able to see yeast on the bottom of the bottle. :unsure:

Just crack one and have a mouthful. :D
 

manticle

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Yeast on the bottom of the bottle means it's carbonated?

Opening a bottle is a good way to tell if a beer is carbonated without having to open it?

Top advice.
 

freezkat

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Yeast on the bottom of the bottle means it's carbonated?

Opening a bottle is a good way to tell if a beer is carbonated without having to open it?

Top advice.
That never occurred to me.

Here's a couple other ideas

Sodastream machine would work too. Chill the beer almost to freezing first.

Pour the batch into a keg.
 

manticle

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I was responding to Hoppy2b's advice, not offering my own, sorry.

Bottle some in PET and give them a squeeze.

As to the OP - your idea will work fine as long as you dose them right.

I'd give them longer than 3 weeks though - at or around 18 degC
 

philmud

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Just popping back to say thanks for the advice gents - I'll have a look at it on the weekend (will be 4 weeks) & if still too flat for my liking I'll give my syringe idea a crack - as long as I keep thinks sanitary & don't go too nuts with the dosage I think I'll have a far better beer on my hands (er, in my glass?)
 

jimmythehuman

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Just popping back to say thanks for the advice gents - I'll have a look at it on the weekend (will be 4 weeks) & if still too flat for my liking I'll give my syringe idea a crack - as long as I keep thinks sanitary & don't go too nuts with the dosage I think I'll have a far better beer on my hands (er, in my glass?)
Did you do anything Phil?

My first batch has inconsistant carbonation. Will be 3 weeks this sunday, 1 carb drop, fill each stubbie to with 50mm of the top, stored in boxes out of sunlight at around 16o. Have tried 2 days in the fridge before opening.

Some give off bubbles when poured but some have none from the pouring, almost none hold any head to speak of :( Is this just crap beer making skills ?
 

bum

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Is this just crap beer making skills ?
Could be the kit/ingredients. Could be the cleanliness of the bottles/glasses. Could be that they just need more time or are too cold. Could be the brewer but I like to blame him last in in my brewery - he means well.

Carb drops are renowned for inconsistent carb though. Even if a bit more time does get some carb in there you may find the batch varies fairly significantly from bottle to bottle.
 

jimmythehuman

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Just in case some one searches and comes across this. the answer to my question above is, wait :) 5 days after posting that i have excellent carb and i am pretty to be honest: i made beer :)
 

Helles

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I had my first go at bulk priming recently. I usually use carbonation drops, but as I was using a number of LC dreadnoughts I needed to bulk prime. I made a 23L batch of Neil's Centenarillo & primed it with 125grams of dex - I had wanted to be conservative to avoid bottle bombs, but I realise now that I've been far too conservative. I think I've fallen shy by approximately 25 grams and I intend to add some dex (in a water solution) and recap. I wanted to run my intended process by the forum to "test" it out - if anyone can see major flaws with what I have planned, please sing out.

Step 1 - Sanitise by spraying idophor on all the bottles before uncapping them.

Step 2 - dissolve 25 grams of dex in 230 mls of boiling water.

Step 3 - uncap bottle (one by one) and using a sanitised 10 ml syringe add some of the dex solution at a ratio of around'10 ml per ltr (approximate, dreadnoughts at 568ml would get about 6ml of dex solution, long necks at 750ml will get 8ml). Recap with a sanitised cap.

Repeat for subsequent bottles.

I'm not sure if I am still undershooting - I am aware that when I open the bottles, I am losing the Co2 in the headspace of each bottle & so I need to replace that, as well as add Co2 to the beer. As it stands the beer is undercarbed, but not flat. If I had to guess I'd say it's about 3/4 of the way there, maybe less - that being the case would I be better off adding more than 25g (eg: 1/4 of 125g is 31g - should I add 35g or 40 to account for the headspace Co2).

I should also add that the beer was fermented at approx 18C & conditioned at about 24C - 26C & I anticipate that the re-conditioning will occur at about the same temperatures.

The beer tastes great, so I don't want to waste it, but it's not really drinkable as is - all help & suggestions appreciated.

Condensation in the head space is a good indicator
 

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