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I've just begun sampling my first batch, and I noticed that my carbonation level can vary from bottle to bottle. Most are just about perfect, but a few have certainly been over-carbonated, practically like soda.

What could cause this? I didn't stir in my dissolved priming sugar, but I gave it nearly an hour's rest to fully homogenize before bottling.

Also, should I transfer the remaining bottles to the fridge to cease further carbonation?

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4 Answers 4

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I think you answered the first question yourself: the uneven carbonation is the result of not stirring when you added the priming sugar. My procedure is to boil the priming sugar in a cup of water and add that first to the bottling bucket. Then I rack the beer on top of it. I find this distributes the sugar evenly throughout the beer.

As for refrigerating the bottles, I think that this would be a good precaution.

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I'll have to try that approach next time, I've got plenty of ideas brewing as to how to improve my process. And my puns. They're in the fridge now, for safety's sake. –  Colin Jan 13 '12 at 2:06

Sounds like the other answers have addressed your specific problem but I wish include my experience for posterity.

I used to have a similar problem with carbonation drops and it turned out my issue was that I wasn't leaving the beer to condition in the right environment for the right amount of time. For me it was too cold & too short a time. Try waiting longer, though be wary of bottle bombs if some are over carved.

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The priming sugar solution is much heavier than the wort, so it won't homogenize on it's own without some stirring. As other's have said, the easiest way to mix the priming solution is to pour this into the bottling bucket and rack on top, letting the natural swirling of the beer blend the two. John Palmer has a page on this - Ch 11,Priming and Bottling - p.4, Priming Solutions

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I do the same procedure as Tobias for bottleing and I do not stir and have never had uneven carbonation. More info is needed though I think. When did you bottle? What temperature is the room that they are in/ is the room drafty? Have you had any under carbonated beers? Be gentle while handling the bottles so they don't blow.

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I bottled just under two weeks ago, and they have been sitting at about 65 degrees since. No real drafts or fluctuations. I haven't found any to be under-carbonated yet. –  Colin Jan 13 '12 at 2:08

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