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After two weeks of bottle conditioning at about 55-60°F (13-16°C), my beer is still a bit flat. I put a few in the fridge and after 2 days, they tasted just as flat. At this point, what should I do? Find a warmer location? Just be patient and wait another week? Put 'em in the fridge or leave 'em out? I'm still not clear on what part refrigeration plays in bottle conditioning.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Yeast work better at warmer temps, and at this point you want the yeast to ferment the priming and carb your beer. That means you should keep the beer around 70-75°F (21-24°C) while you're trying to carb it. Once it's carbed, putting it in the fridge will not only aid the dissolution of CO2 into the beer, but will also retard staling. At this point, your best bet is to keep the beer at room temp and be patient.

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Thanks Denny. I know people use blankets and ferm wraps to warm up carboys in cool rooms. Any suggestions for warming up a few crates of bottles? Ambient temp in this room is 60-65. –  Jason Moore Nov 12 '12 at 12:02
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Yeast should still be active at 60-65, but it will take longer to get them to carbonate. Patience will get you where you are going. But a little heat would speed things up. Putting them next to your furnace or furnace room works pretty well for me. –  Chris Plaisier Nov 12 '12 at 17:00
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CO₂ solubility is a function of temperature. If you can force carbonate, temperature and pressure can be varied in relation to each other to obtain a particular level of carbonation (generally expressed in the number of volumes of CO₂ dissolved into the beer).

When you bottle-prime, you've added a fixed amount of sugar, which means a fixed amount of CO₂. Temperature will only vary how readily it stays dissolved. If cold and you open with a "pop", then when heated you'll get a "POP". But the temperature won't change how much CO₂ present overall. If it's not carbed warm, it'll be perceived as even less carbed cold.

Please detail your priming/bottle conditioning process. What style of beer? How long in primary? What was the FG? What was your bottling process? How much priming sugar? How did you introduce the priming sugar?

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This was a Brewers Best extract kit for Pale Ale. It sat for two weeks in the primary, I believe the FG was between 1.005 and 1.010. I bottled into a variety of Grolsch style flip-top bottles using the BB priming sugar dissolved in boiling water as per the directions in the kit. Sugar was added to bottling bucket, then I racked the beer on top of it, and did some stirring to mix it in. –  Jason Moore Nov 15 '12 at 18:31
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Try increasing your room temp for a about a week and then fridge overnight. If that doesn't help then it's back to the drawing board I'm afraid.

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Ha, if it hadn't carbed since 2012 I'd say it was a lost cause ;) –  Another Compiler Error Mar 22 at 22:08
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Sure, but there may be visitors to the site looking for similar answers. :) I agree with this one 55-60 does sound very low, unless it was a lager yeast. I would warm to 65-70F for a week and then chill, as mentioned in this answer. –  mdma Mar 23 at 19:30
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