There’s nothing worse than opening your long awaited bottle of home brew only to find the beer flat and lifeless. Thankfully it’s easy to make sure this doesn’t happen.
If you primed your beer correctly yet still wonder why you have flat beer there are a number of possibilities you could consider:
- The yeast may have settled to the bottom – shake and see if that solves it
- The yeast may not have worked yet – it often takes up to two weeks for the yeast to finish production. This is often the case if the home brew releases gas when opened but has little head retention.
- The temperature is too low for the yeast to work effectively. Either move the beers to a warmer area or wait longer.
We recommend agitating each bottle and/or moving to a warmer temperature, say, 70+ °F. If you added the sugar it will carbonate. Some styles will take longer to carbonate than others, and temperature can play a big role in carbonating a beer as well.
It is not unusual for a beer to take 2-3 weeks to carbonate. Just open a beer each week until the carbonation level desired is achieved. Then place the beer in a cool location (below 55 °F) to prevent over carbonation.
Now if you had a high gravity brew, say in the O.G. 1090/F.G. 1024 range, and you had a long (months) secondary fermentation. You might want to add some fresh yeast to it before bottling. usually 1/2 a packet of dried yeast for a 5 gallon batch will do the job.
Now, if you already bottled, and you're still not having luck after months of waiting, avoid the impulse to pour them all back into a bucket add additional yest. You will oxidize your beer, and wind up with a funky tasting who knows what. Instead de-cap the bottles, add 5-6 yeast granuals per bottle then cap with fresh caps. then wait a few weeks as normal
You might want test this on a few bottles to make sure you get the desired results before you go to all that work.