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Old 01-27-2010, 04:27 AM   #1
ElDuderino
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Default Add yeast at bottling time?

I've been adding yeast at bottling time to ensure that my beer carbonates in a week. I rehydrate half a pouch of us-05 for ten gallons. I use all different kinds of yeast for primary fermentation but started doing this when I first started brewing a year ago and made an English bitter with london ale yeast that then took three weeks in the bottle to gas up. So adding yeast at bottling was kind of an insurance policy.

Is anyone else doing this regularly? I am going to bottle a California Common on Monday and I was thinking of not adding yeast this time, but I figured may be it would be safer to see what people here think...

I brew all grain. Temperature for bottle conditioning is 68F.

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Old 01-27-2010, 05:07 AM   #2
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i do, but i mostly brew Belgium beers i age & cold condition for a month + in secondary carboys. i have found that the carbonation can be inconsistent without a dose of fresh active yeast & sugar if you are not aging & cold conditionaing before bottling you should be OK with just sugar

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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Adding more yeast, from what I understand, really isn't necessary. Amount of sugar, gravity, temperature and other variables can cause carbonation to take less or more time.

Basically, if you have yeast still alive (and you should assuming that you haven't done something crazy), adding more yeast isn't necessary.

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:33 PM   #4
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The beers you mention will carb fine without any additional yeast added. I lager beers at 30F then bottle and the yeast still ferments fine.

I do add new yeast to very high alcohol beers ( > 10% ). My experience is that the yeast is just not viable after a month in that much alcohol.

At 68 I'd imagine the beers would be carbed in a week and at their peak in 3 wks. I store my bottles at about 74 and they usually show moderate carbonation in about 4 days.

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. I will try it again without yeast and just give it time.

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:25 PM   #6
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You don't need to unless you have been bulk aging a beer for close to a year, or are doing an extremely high gravity beer, like a barleywine where the yeast may be tuckered out.

There is plenty of yeast to do the job normally....All you need is patience and temps above 70 degrees.

Nothing else.

All you need to know about carbing and conditioning can be found here; Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning. With emphasis on the word, "patience."

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Old 01-29-2010, 05:49 AM   #7
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Adding a different Yeast at bottling could be a technique to add a different taste to beer, for the daring.

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Old 01-29-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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Belgian brewers routinely re-yeast their beer before bottle conditioning. This is typically done on beers that are centrifuged/filtered/cold lagered to remove the strained fermentation yeast. Dry yeast is cheap, so I use it as an insurance policy on beers that are high in alcohol, styles requiring lively carbonation, or beers that have been bulk aged for multiple months. Ideally you can top crop yeast from an active fermentation, but this is rarely a viable option for me, so I like to use US-05 because I want to pick up all of my yeast character from the initial yeast, not the bottle conditioning yeast.

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Old 01-29-2010, 04:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonderbread23 View Post
Belgian brewers routinely re-yeast their beer before bottle conditioning. This is typically done on beers that are centrifuged/filtered/cold lagered to remove the strained fermentation yeast. Dry yeast is cheap, so I use it as an insurance policy on beers that are high in alcohol, styles requiring lively carbonation, or beers that have been bulk aged for multiple months. Ideally you can top crop yeast from an active fermentation, but this is rarely a viable option for me, so I like to use US-05 because I want to pick up all of my yeast character from the initial yeast, not the bottle conditioning yeast.
Actually one of the main reasons they often do it, is to hide what they feel is their unique strain from theft. And not all of them do it these days.

There are lots of belgian beers with the primary yeast strain still in the bottles.

There was an interview with David Logsdon of Wyyeast I think on an australian podcast, talking about how White Labs and Wyyeast don't have all the Belgian strains. And can't get them.

And folks have tried to steal them, even from the original breweries. Logsdon was actually quite cagy about how they did acquire some of them.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Actually the main reason they often do it, is to hide what they feel is their unique strain from theft. And not all of them do it these days.
From Brew Like a Monk

Chapter Nine: Bottling

Quote:
Among Trappists and other breweries that practice refermentation in the bottle, what Westmalle does is fairly standard. Workers centrifuge much of the dead yeast from the wort before bottling begins, then dose it with sugar and fresh yeast before bottling.
Quote:
As Thiel eloquently described earlier, conditioning takes place in a harsh environment. The yeast left in your beer has already been through a war. It isn't necessary to use the same yeast as in primary. Trappists do that because they always have it ready
Chapter Eleven: Recipes: What works

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Bottle-condition, re-yeast when bottle conditioning, and condition to high levels of CO2 in a warm room.
So, no real indication from Hieronymus that Belgian brewers are pitching fresh yeast at bottling time to hide the original strain. I'm not saying that never happens, but it doesn't seem to be the general practice. There are also some notes about pitching strains at bottling time that work better at lower temperatures (like a lager strain) if you don't have a warm room for conditioning.

I brew nothing but Belgians and I've had inconsistent results relying on the yeast left after fermentation for carbonation. The majority were fine but I had too many flat batches (even after 3-6 months of waiting for them to condition).

Currently my practice is to bottle with a dose of Nottingham. It has a forgiving temperature range and flocculates nicely. I just make a 500 mL starter, let it settle, decant 200 mL, pitch 100 mL in the bottling bucket and save the remaining 200 mL in two jelly jars to make future starters. It's easy, cheap and I don't have to wonder whether or not it will carb up or how long it will take. 2-3 weeks and it's done. Period.
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