After 6 weeks in bottles my doppel bock is flat. Do I dump this batch and start over, or is there a way to salvage it?
Happened to my Oaked Rum Ale, in my case the problem was too little priming sugar in the bottles (I decided to prime in each bottle as I didn't have a secondary vessel, and ended up having the wrong weight per bottle).
I've very little experience in home brewing, so take it with a pinch of salt:
- You could move them to a warmer place and check if they improve;
- Open, add more priming sugar and cap again (with increased risk of contamination);
- Thrown in a barrel and use CO2 capsules (with the downside of having to drink it in a much shorter time span).
In my case as the flavor was still good, I used most of them for cooking stews and consumed the smaller bottles, which were not so bad.
If the taste has gone bad, dump it. But if there is no carbonation, and the taste is ok, you can perform a test like Joe Fitzpatrick suggested. However, if you repeat the same mistakes, it won't help you much.
You really need to answer a few questions to understand what happened.
- What type of bottle and caps did you use?
- What was the bottle conditionning temperature?
- What primming sugar did you use and how much?
If the caps are not tight enough, it will let CO2 escape... If the temperature is too cold for bottle conditionning, yeast will not eat the sugar to create the CO2. If there was not enough sugar, the amount of CO2 will not be sufficient.
You can retry to carbonate a few bottles, but make sure you find and fix the problem before you perform the test.