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Old 05-26-2012, 02:07 AM   #1
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Default Belgian Tripel not carbonating

Hi Guys/Girls. I'm having trouble getting my Belgian Tripel to carbonate in the bottles and was hoping someone might have an idea. On 2-26 I started a Brewer's Best Belgian Tripel kit, plus a few additions. The OG was 1.095. I used the Danstar Nottingham provided with the kit for a different beer. For this I used two smack packs of Wyeast Activator 3787 Trappist HG. On 3-6 I added a pound of brown Belgian candy sugar. On 3-9 I transferred to a secondary carboy. The SG was 1.020. It tasted good then. On 3-31 I bottled it after adding 6 ounces corn sugar (5 gallon batch). The FG was 1.018. On 4-16 I tried one (I know that's early for this type of beer). It had a really strong alcohol bite and zero carbonation. On 5-10 I tried another. It had mellowed alot, but was still flat. Tonight, 5-25, I tried one. It's still flat. There was barely a psst when opened and no head when poured. So, any ideas? Should I just wait longer or maybe re-open the bottles and sprinkle in a little Champagne yeast? There isn't much if any visible yeast in the bottles unlike all the other ales I've done so far. I just started brewing at the end of December after I got a bunch of stuff for Christmas. So far I've only had one failure. My first batch got sour as hell after a bacteria infection from adding cold tap water to top off the fermenting bucket. Live and learn! Any help would be appreciated with the carbonation issue. Thanks, and happy brewing to all!

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:21 AM   #2
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My quad Belgian took nearly 5 months to carb up.

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:31 AM   #3
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I had this same problem with a quad of mine. I cold crashed my beer, though, and caused most of the yeast to flocc out early. The only suggestion I could give you is to leave the beers in a warm spot (such as a closet, outside in the heat!, or by a water heater). Leave it there for a couple more months. Big beers take a lot longer to carbonate.

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Old 05-26-2012, 02:38 AM   #4
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I have a quad I made over a year ago that never carbonated. A few months ago it was Belgian night at the brew meeting so a few weeks before I shot some rehydrated EC-118 into some bottles. They carbed nicely over that time. You could always do this if they are definitely not carbonating. I have to do this to the rest of it, I have almost 2 cases and it's delicious.

Cue Revvy with his low OG/high OG chart

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Old 05-26-2012, 03:28 AM   #5
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I suppose I can stand to wait longer, but I do get a bit impatient. Thankfully I have plenty of other beer types to share and drink, just no high gravity ones. I read somewhere it takes a week for each .01 of OG. From that, I thought it would be done by now. By the way, I have kept the beer at about 70 degrees, so maybe I'll try warming it a bit more. Thanks.

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Old 05-26-2012, 04:17 AM   #6
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to recap: on 2/26 you brewed a 1.095. On 3-31 you bottled at 1.018. that's an apparent attenuation of 81%, and an ABV of over 10%. it is possible that despite using a hig-grav yeast, it petered out on you. however, it is more likely that the beer just needs more time. in retrospect i would suggest adding some champagne yeast a few days before bottling, but in this case your best addition is time. it might take several weeks, but you'll get there eventually.

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Old 05-26-2012, 10:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice. If I do another beer with this high a gravity I'll try the champagne yeast before bottling. By the way, the 1.095 OG didn't include the extra pound of candy sugar I added later. I'll give it more time.

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Old 12-11-2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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Well, I kept this beer in a warm, dark place and it never did carbonate. I tried one a month since and there's been no change. So on 12/9 I boiled 1 pound of light dry malt extract in a gallon of water for a while, then added an ounce of Fuggle hops for two minutes boil and steeped it until the wort was cool. I put it in a sanitized fermenter and opened the rest of the beers and poured them in. I added some dry champagne yeast and topped it with an airlock. It's been bubbling away ever since, so I guess I'll let it finish and the try carbonating and bottling again.

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