Hooray I Bottled! Bottles Lack Carbonation Happiness…Boooo!

Hello Dear Blog – like an old friend from high school or college who promised to keep in touch after graduation and then dropped off the face of the earth, I am admittedly dropping a line now for the sole purpose of making amends. This unfortunately isn’t the beginning of your former regularity, however, but more of a case of me stopping by for a visit. With a wedding anniversary on Saturday (6 years with my better and often wiser half!) and company coming in from out of town on Sunday, I won’t dare make any presumptions of trying to make a post this weekend.

Ah, but what is a blog post without illustrations or pictures? Sadly incomplete. Never fear, for I’ve bottled the home brew and have a few pics to share…

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Into a clean and sanitized empty bottle goes the auto-siphon…

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Out goes the auto-siphon after filling the bottle with liquid magic…

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Bottlecapper – locked and loaded!

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Push down on bottle and then lift up…hmmm, does this count as push ups?

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And Viola! (In hindsight, this bottle may be easier to see without the black tarp).

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I started to type a caption about how after each bottle received its crown, it joined the rest of the royal family but the fact these particular crowns have American flags on them leads me to believe that may not be the best direction to take with that.

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And since we’re somewhat on that note, you might be wondering what the deal is with the American flag caps. Well, partly because my husband found them online and I thought they were neat. Besides that, I actually brewed this round on July 4th weekend so it seemed fitting.

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And into the box everyone goes to carbonate for a week or two!

Now since the time these pictures were taken, my second homebrew has had a little time to sit in the closet (the darkest place in our condo) and I’ve sampled a few…and have discovered one teensy weensy problem in that there’s not much in the way of carbonation. Not none, mind you but enough to say Ruh Roh. The brew itself actually tastes better than the last one but the effect is not quite what I was aiming for obviously.

As when I discovered my yeast boo boo from a few posts ago, I sought the wisdom of the peanut gallery via online forums for answers on where I erred (and equally important, for a potential solution). The somewhat relieving discovery is that I’m far from the first person to have this problem though the peanut gallery options for culprits ranged from 1) potentially not having used enough priming sugar or not distributing it enough through the wort, to 2) not having enough yeast left alive to eat up the sugar and belch out carbonation, to 3) simply storing the bottles in a location that’s too cold and hence making the yeast go dormant.

Option 1 is conceivable since the first beer I made came with a bag of corn sugar already measured out and this time I bought a bag from the home brew store with instructions to use roughly half. As far as distribution, I stirred my simple syrup concoction in to the wort with a whisk but admittedly did do a blunder in that I added it to the bottling bucket after I’d already put the wort in. If I end up with a few super carbonated bottles, I’ll know that’s the winner. I doubt it’s Option 2 because the bottles aren’t entirely flat and that means there was definitely still plenty of yeast to finish the party. As far as Option 3, I’m a bit doubtful but have migrated half of the bottles to the laundry room and other somewhat warmer vacationing spots than the closet. The general collective advice was to let the bottles sit for a bit longer to see if carbonation improves (and even shake a few in case the yeasties need to be reawakened from their slumber). So for the moment, I’m in experiment mode.

But hey, this is drinkable science so I’m not complaining. And worst case scenario, I’ll just go with one person’s suggestion in the forums and serve my brew with dry ice. It’ll add to the presentation!     :o)

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