I made a strong scotch ale. Bottled it up, 2 weeks later no carbonation. Is there a way to save this batch? OG 1.095, Used Safale US-05, 2 weeks in primary, 6 weeks in secondary, FG 1.030, I used corn sugar to prime and I was pretty careful to mix it. I stored the bottles at 60 degrees for 2 weeks after I bottled (I know, too cool) I have now moved them to 70 degrees.

If the storage in the warm doesn't produce carbonation, what would you do next?


3 Answers 3


With a beer that strong, you probably should have repitched at bottling. There are several factors that the yeast must fight in this situation, including:

  • high alcohol strength - almost 10% ABV
  • cool temperature - the bottom two degrees of the yeast's fermentation range
  • long settling time - six weeks

There's good news, though. That strain should be able to tolerate alcohol around 12%, and that strain has low-medium flocculation, so there should be enough viable yeast in your bottles to repopulate and consume the priming sugar. It will just take some time for the yeast to work in such a harsh environment.

I always see slow carbonation times when I bottle condition with such strong beers. Four weeks is not uncommon, and that's at 68°F.

Leave your beer at 70°F and check a bottle weekly - and wait two weeks on the first bottle if you can afford it, since it will need as much time as you can give it.

I would be surprised if the brew didn't carbonate in another 3-4 weeks, but should that be the case, you may have to pour them back into a carboy and repitch yeast (a more robust strain like champagne yeast) before rebottling.

  • 2
    After a couple more weeks I saw no more carbonation happening. So I poured them back, repitched US-05 (cause that's what I had on hand), and rebottled. After a week I opened one and I was happy to note much more carbonation than before, so with more time I think it'll work. Hopefully...
    – Bill Goetz
    Dec 24, 2010 at 6:06

60f shouldn't be cold enough to kill the yeast, but cold enough to slow it down drastically. If the beer tasted fine prior to bottling, it should be OK after a couple of weeks at 70f.


I opened a bottle after a 10 days at warmer temps and.... there are signs of carbonation!!! So, I guess I'll let it keep going and hope time and temp do the trick. Thanks for the help! Is there anything else I can do do ensure it continues? (I think I saw a post on here about stirring up the yeast by shaking (for lack of a better term) the bottles.

  • you should delete this answer and add it as an edit to the question. You should also select one of the above answers as the "correct" one by clicking the checkmark Nov 24, 2010 at 15:57
  • Hi Bill. Since this website isn't quite like a forum, you shouldn't have posted this comment as an "answer". In the future it would make more sense to edit your original question with this information or put it as a comment on the correct answer. Nov 24, 2010 at 16:08
  • I just realized you are using a different account with the same name. If you would have used your original account then you could have edited the question and made comments, etc Nov 24, 2010 at 16:09
  • Yeah, sorry about that, I can't for the life of me remember how I logged in with the first account. Love this site, BTW.
    – Bill Goetz
    Dec 1, 2010 at 3:52

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