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I brewed my first batch of kit beer that required a kind of "secondary fermentation". That is after it was done fermenting I transferred it to another carboy and added the bourbon barrel wood chips. After 4 weeks, bottled it with recommended priming sugar. This is my first failure in brewing beer.

After over 3 weeks it has no/zero fizz. The beer is ok but without the co2 it is not good. Any ideas on:

  1. What went wrong? What killed the yeast?
  2. How to salvage it? Rebottle it? Buy a keg and co2 system and pour it in?

Thanks for any advise you can provide. Bob

  • Could it have been a temperature issue? Bottle conditioning requires room temp (~70 F) for best results. – Franklin P Combs Mar 1 '15 at 21:20
  • There are some good ideas in this post. Other than that, do you see any sediment in the bottles? Maybe you can throw little fresh wort into one and whether the yeast wake up. – Pepi Mar 2 '15 at 12:07
  • The bottled were stored in the usual place, 69 Deg F during the days and down to about 64 at night. This wasn't a problem for the preceding batch of beer. But some/many of the bottles have virtually no sediment at the bottom. – thornrg Mar 3 '15 at 3:50
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It could be that there was an insufficient amount of active yeast in the beer when you bottled it. You could try this:

  1. Uncap each bottle
  2. Add two or three grains of dry yeast
  3. Recap the bottles
  4. Keep somewhere warm for a week or two.

The other possibility is that the alcohol percentage in the beer is high enough to kill any yeast. If the beer is above 10% alcohol, you'll need to add an alcohol tolerant strain of yeast, instead of ordinary brewer's yeast.

  • The alcohol is much less than 10%, closer to 6%. Perhaps I could give adding a little yeast a try on a few bottles. How important is it to use brewing yeast? Before I was 18 years old, I use to make beer using my mom's sugar and baking yeast along with a can of blue ribbon malt syrup. It kind of tasted like beer, had a huge head........and had a big kick. But that was almost 50 years ago. – thornrg Mar 3 '15 at 4:01
  • You say "it tasted like beer". I think you've answered your own question. :) – FishesCycle Mar 3 '15 at 14:36
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You can also try storing the bottles upside down for a week or two. I have had great success with this in the past. I assume it has something to do with the smaller area for the yeast and sugar to settle. One side note, once carbonated you'll need to turn them back over to resettle or you'll have the yeast ring around the bottle mouth.

  • I'm giving this one a try. As mentioned in my comment to the above idea, many of the bottles have virtually no sediment on the bottom. – thornrg Mar 3 '15 at 3:52
  • I have no idea if this works or not, but it is an inspirational idea. – Michael O'Neill Jul 30 '15 at 16:53

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