From the HBD Archive
From: fwb@demon.siemens.com (Frederic W. Brehm)
Subject: Why no carbonation?
Date: 1989-05-08 17:01:06 GMT

My second batch of brew has a problem: most of the beer is flat. The beer
tastes OK (there's not have enough hops to my liking, but chalk that up to
experience). A few bottles in my first batch had an obvious sour taste, so
I guess those bottles were not really sanitary. I haven't detected that
taste in any bottle from this batch, however.

The first two bottles I filled were champagne bottles and these were very
well carbonated. (Pouring from a champagne bottle "gluggs" and mixes the
sediment more than a lager bottle, but that's a different discussion.) All
of the others were either Sam Adams or New Amsterdam bottles. The
conditioning conditions (??) were probably OK because all the bottles make
a little "pfft" sound when I open them. Most of the beer in the lager
bottles are flat, but every now and then I find one with carbonation.

I had to adjust the caper after the champagne bottles, so my hypothesis is
that I blew the adjustment and the seal on the rest of the bottles was
marginal.

Are you experienced? Well, I have some questions for you.

1. Is this a reasonable hypothesis?

2. Is there another possibility, like some kind of infection? I've
heard of bacterial infections causing a too high pressure, but how
about a too low pressure?

3. How do I test my (or your) hypothesis?

4. Is there a way to salvage this beer? Maybe I should buy a seltzer
maker and CO2 cartridges! :-) Can I reset the caps and let them
stand another week? Should I add some boiled sugar solution and
recap?

5. Is there a good way to check the adjustment on the bottle caper
before using it on fresh beer? That would contribute to my brewing
relaxation! I have the two-handle kind which grabs a ridge on the
neck of the bottle to compress the cap.

I have about half of a case left (it's amazing how a little investment of
time and money will make you consume anything). I'll report on any
experiments which I attempt.

Thanks for a wonderfully informative newsletter.

Fred
--
Frederic W. Brehm Siemens Corporate Research Princeton, NJ
fwb@demon.siemens.com -or- princeton!siemens!demon!fwb

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