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Old 11-15-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
brewjack
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Default Berliner didn't carb. Now what?

Brewed up a very tasty berliner wiesse, everything about it was spot on, until I bottled it. I used a calculator to prime it to a high level of CO2, (high enough I was worried about bottle bombs), but the thing is only mildly carbed. It's not flat mind you, it's about where you might want your stout. They have been sitting now for about 3 months, so I don't expect I'll get a significant amount of additional carbonation. I think the issue was that I didn't re-yeast before bottling, so most of the sugar was consumed by lactic bacteria and brett, which don't produce CO2 in the same ratio as yeast.

Question is, now what?

I'm thinking about opening them up, and either re-priming them (this time with fresh yeast) or force carbing it to drink off the keg.

What would you do? Am I missing something?

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:00 PM   #2
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I'm not into sours, so I can't really help much. But I'd be hesitant to pour the beer into anything else because of oxidation. If it was me, I think I'd drink it as-is. I might be completely wrong, too.

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:10 PM   #3
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Agreed. I'd leave it be--an under-carbed Berliner is better than an oxidized one, imo. I had a similar thing happen with an otherwise great sour, so now I always add some wine yeast to my sours before bottling as an insurance policy.

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Old 11-15-2013, 09:24 PM   #4
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Brettanomyces will produce just as much CO2 at Saccharomyces from the same amount of simple sugars.

If the pH of the beer is too low, the Brett/Sacc will not be too happy. If you are really adventurous and can't take the carbonation level, you can try to add some freshly re-hydrated champagne yeast with a little sugar to each bottle and re-cap. But if you don't have an accurate way to dose each bottle it might be a bit of a crapshoot, but if you can accurately dilute 75,000,000 yeast cells and 3.75mg sucrose into 1ml/bottle you should get 1 volumes of CO2/ 750ml bottle (assuming you are using 750ml bottles). Considering there are ~20 billion cells per gram in a dry yeast pack there are 20,000,000/ mg you will need 3.75mg of yeast/bottle. This will give you a final concentration of 100,000 yeast cells/ml and give you 0.5ºP in each beer, One ºP is~ 2 volumes of CO2.

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Old 11-16-2013, 02:39 AM   #5
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How long did you let the BW go? Mine are usually in the bottle after about 3 weeks of pitching the yeast, and I have not had an issue with 5 batches.

The low Ph is hostile to the yeast. If you left it six months or more, I wouldn't be surprised to find most, if not all, the yeast gone.

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Old 11-16-2013, 05:40 AM   #6
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Yeah, i think you're about right on the cause. I can't remember now exactly how long it was, probably close to three months. It didn't occure to me as a problem because it had a pelicle from some brett. I figured I was better off letting it go a while longer to be sure It hit terminal gravity. I was concerned about bottle bombs if there was any resduals before priming. I guess that was the wrong concern!

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