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Old 02-17-2007, 11:06 PM   #1
BrewStef
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Default No carbonation on last two batches...need help!

I brewed two batches of Vertical Epic 05.05.05 five months ago. One was extract the other was all-grain. Both did not carbonate. Granted, I forgot to stir one of the batches after priming, but neither batch carbed. Both batches are still sitting in bottles. I left them both in bottles hoping they would eventually carb. They are sitting in a warm closet (stays between 70 and 77 degreees)

I need help in the best way to get them carbed. Since it has been so long it is my belief that I will need to add some yeast as the yeast in the bottles are probably dormant (let me know if you think I am wrong here). I also need to know what would be best to re-prime with, or if I should bother adding more priming sugar / prime tabs.

Here is info on the batches:

#1 All Grain version (10 gallon), brewed on 9/23/06
27.50 lb Breiss 2-Row Malt
2.75 lb 120L Crystal Malt
0.35 lb Chocolate Malt
3.50 oz Amarillo Gold
1.00 lb Candi Sugar
WLP550 Yeast (900ML starter)

SG 1.068 (target was 1.087 - Totally missed it!...my first AG)
FG 1.006 (target was 1.020)
~46 IBU


#2 Extract version (5 gallon), brewed on 10/11/06
12.0 lb LME Briess Pilsen Light
1.0 lb 150L Caramel Malt
0.15 lb Choclate Wheat Malt
2.10 oz Amarillo Gold
0.45 lb Candi Sugar
WLP550 Yeast (pitched on batch #1 yeast cake)

SG 1.084 (target was 1.091)
FG 1.029 (target was 1.023)
~46 IBU

I added some questionable prime tabs to one bottle and it still did not carb (can't remember which batch it was).

Basically, I need to know what dry yeast (if any) I should add to the bottles, and how much, and if/what type/how much priming sugar I should add. If prime tabs, any particular type better than another? The prime tabs I used before were some my LHBS had lying around in the back room in bulk but were opened (hmmm.)

Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated. Both batches taste really good, I just don't want to screw em up trying to get them to carbonate! I know, I know...time to start kegging...

Thanks.

BrewStef

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Old 02-17-2007, 11:32 PM   #2
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It might not be a factor but it seems to me, off the top of my head, that 13+ lbs of extract for a five gallon batch is an awful lot of fermentable. Have you used this much in the past? It is a lot more than I typically use.

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Old 02-17-2007, 11:52 PM   #3
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On the extract batch, it was only 12 lbs of extract. It fermented like crazy. It needed a blowoff. Based on the activity of the fermentation, I am suprised that it did not fully attenuate further.

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Old 02-18-2007, 07:39 PM   #4
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I had a batch of Wheat Doppelbock that never fully carbonated, and it really pissed me off. I've lightly shaken the bottles several times to rouse the yeast, and put it in my "Jamaica Room" (AKA guest bedroom with a space heater) to help it. Still, very low carbo. But I make sure that that will never happen again:

Here's a rule of thumb that has helped me immensely: whenever I age anything in secondary for longer than 2 or 3 weeks, I add a few pinches of generic rehydrated dry yeast to the cooled priming solution at bottling, and make sure it's well-stirred once added to the beer.


Since I started doing that, I have had no problems with carbonation at all. I recommend this practice to everyone who bottles aged beer.

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Old 02-18-2007, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan!

Here's a rule of thumb that has helped me immensely: whenever I age anything in secondary for longer than 2 or 3 weeks, I add a few pinches of generic rehydrated dry yeast to the cooled priming solution at bottling, and make sure it's well-stirred once added to the beer.
That is a really good idea. Would you suggest that I add a few grains of generic yeast to each bottle, carb tabs, or both? If yeast, what kind would you recommend?

Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2007, 02:14 AM   #6
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I'm curious to know the kind of yeast to use as well. I have a IIPA that is sitting in secondary as we speak, and it's been there for about 2 weeks already. I'm afraid it won't carb up well now, especially since my IPA is not carbed after a week.

What kind of yeast? Can you describe the whole method please?

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Old 02-21-2007, 02:21 AM   #7
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Come on, Evan... Homebrewers need to know, man! Give us the juicy details

5gB

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Old 02-21-2007, 03:01 AM   #8
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Rehydrate some dry yeast...get an eye dropper and put a few drops of the yeasty mix in each bottle and recap.

Place them at 70-73 degrees and give the bottles a gentle rock every couple days to wake up the yeast.

Wait three weeks and test again. If nothing...get a keg set up and force carb..

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Old 02-21-2007, 12:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewStef
That is a really good idea. Would you suggest that I add a few grains of generic yeast to each bottle, carb tabs, or both? If yeast, what kind would you recommend?

Thanks.
I have had some similar problems in the past, and can add a bit of advice based on my experience.

Try adding a few grains of dried yeast to a couple of bottles first. Be sure to gently mix up the bottles a day later. If there is any residual sugar left, it should carbonate within a week if placed in a warm room for a week or two.

If not, then you need some sugar. There are a couple of critical steps here. First, you need to ensure that the bottles are de-carbonated as much as possible (otherwise, if you drop in carb drops they will cause an instant gusher and you will loose beer!). I suggest gently prying open the cap part way to vent the bottle, then chill them really cold. After that, add your carbonation drops and a few grains of dry yeast to each bottle. Re-cap and move to a warm room.

A note: don't add carb drops to your bottles BEFORE you test whether adding dry yeast will carbonate your beers. If your problem is yeast, not sugars, then adding carb drops and yeast may double-prime your bottles -- i.e., bottle bombs.
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Old 02-21-2007, 05:02 PM   #10
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Forget it. Just get a keg setup and dump the bottles in. Force carb, done and done.

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