Carbonation question

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This is my 1st batch of homebrew and I followed all the instructions.  I
bottled my beer about a week ago and couldn't resist opening one although it
is not suppose to be ready for 2 more weeks.  I noticed that the flavor was
good but it had very little carbonation.  These bottles are in a wine cooler
at 53 degrees.  Will the carbonation increase over the next 2 weeks or have
I made a mistake somewhere along the way?

Andy



Re: Carbonation question

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53 degrees is on the cool side for carbonation.  At that temp it will take
some time to carbonate.  Try to get the bottles around 70 degrees. A week or
two at 70 degrees will get you where you want to be.

Les



Re: Carbonation question
When I bottled these beers I left them at room temperature for 2 days
(recipes instructions), I then moved them to the cooler.  I will not be
opening them for 6 more weeks.  Do you think that I should take them out of
the cooler for a week and let them sit at room temperature before returning
to the cooler or will the 6 week time period be long enough for proper
carbonation to occur while in the cooler?  If I do take them out for a week
and then return them will these temperature changes have an effect on the
beer?
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Re: Carbonation question

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Most folks bottle condition (carbonate) at 70 degrees or so for a couple
weeks at least.  At 52 degrees, they may carbonate at six weeks, or they may
not (cool temps slow down fermentation, which is what is happening during
carbonation).  You will have to test one.  My experience tells me that two
weeks at room temp (70 or so) is just about right for carbonation to occur.
Moving them from a cooler to room temp should not cause any problems.  When
my bottles are ready to drink, I put a few  in the fridge, and put the rest
away on the cool side of the basement.  You could put all the bottles in the
fridge, or store them all in a cool dark place (anywhere where the temp is
stable and there is not a lot of light) until you are ready to serve them.
I have bottles that have been stored for several months without
refrigeration and are perfectly fine when served.  Remember that carbonation
is caused by fermentation and cool temps can slow down, or stop,
fermentation.  So you want to treat the newly bottled beer in a similar way
that you treated the beer when it was initially fermenting.  As this is your
first batch, you are still refining your process.  After a few batches, it
will become almost automatic.  I have been brewing for almost 10 years and
can now perform most of the procedures in my sleep.  There is a learning
curve involved, and you will figure it out as you go.  It gets easier, and
before long you will become a pro at this stuff.  All you need is patience
and some more practice and you will be fine.

Hope this helped you out.

Les



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