From the HBD Archive
From: Darryl Richman <>
Subject: re: Need help with carbonation control...
Date: 1988-12-20 14:08:03 GMT

Two things comes to mind regarding inconcistent carbonation levels.
The first is that measuring corn sugar by volume is a somewhat risky
proposition. Depending on how it gets packed, you can see quite a
difference in the actual amount you get, just like flour (or water
treatment salts). And since you are carbonating at a relatively low
level (although I usually use 90gms, which is roughly 1/2 a cup, for
British style ales), this difference can become very evidient. In
order to get truly repeatable results, you should add corn sugar by

The other aspect may be when you bottle. If your beer is more still
sometimes when you get to bottling, it will have less fizz later on.
If it has merely slowed down, or appears still because of a cold snap,
you could end up with higher levels of carbonation in your finished
product. If, at bottling time, you take a gravity reading and it
shows that you are still at 1.020, the beer probably still has some
fermenting to do (unless it is a barleywine...). On the other hand,
if you are down to 1.008 (and you didn't add great quantities of
sugar), you wouldn't expect it to go any further. This is the reason
most of the books suggest that bottling time has come when the beer
doesn't move for 3 days.

--Darryl Richman
(The Falcon's Nest homebrewer's BBS sysop 818 349 5891)

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