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After bringing home a growler and not finishing it before it went flat, I began to wonder - could I bottle it, add some sugar, and re-carbonate it? (The beer was naturally carbonated and we'll assume it was not contaminated)

  • don't bother. If not contaminated it got oxidized anyway. – Roman Oct 25 '18 at 2:22
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    Sure, try it -- worst case you'll lose a bit of sugar. – Robert Oct 25 '18 at 3:08
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In Theory yes you can, but YMMV.

First there may not be alot of yeast left in suspension if any at all. can be fixed by adding a neutral yeast to it.

Second you have introduced oxygen to the beer, which will cause it to go stale very quickly. Cant be fixed, only drink it faster.

Third, which you mentioned is contamination. but per your comments, not a factor.

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  • I agree, you probably could, certainly with the addition of more yeast. But is it worth the effort? I'd argue not. I'd certainly consider force carbing it in a PET bottle and then drinking it fast though. – Frazbro Oct 24 '18 at 22:49
  • Well the user didn't ask if it was a good idea or not, I do agree that force carbing would be a better choice then trying to do a natural carb. – jsolarski Oct 24 '18 at 23:02
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    I know, that's why I upvoted your response. Just thought I'd add to the discussion – Frazbro Oct 24 '18 at 23:08
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Force carbonating it in a PET bottle with a carb cap and then drinking it very shortly afterwards would be a better approach, to my mind. IT will still oxidise, but if you just want to enjoy it rather than tipping it, this is much faster and easier. Does rely on having the gear though.

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