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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > My beer carbs SLOWLY....
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #11
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You absolutely can and should control how your beer carbonates and conditions in my opinion. If your beer is taking months to carbonate, something is not right. I think we have all had that situation occasionally, but it is an indication that something is not right. It is not a case of you somehow have lazy yeast.

The two main factors that will control the carbonation and subsequent bottle conditioning are yeast health, and live yeast count.

The health will be dependent on many factors. A few of the major factors in yeast health will be, initial pitch count, oxygen level of the beer available to the yeast at the start of fermentation, pitching temperature, temperature differential between your yeast and the wort at pitching, fermentation temperature, and alcohol content of the beer. I would go through a mental checklist of those items first. If something is typically amis, I would correct that first and see if it helps.

Yeast quantity in solution will also affect the carbonation quality and time. The cake at the bottom of the fermenter has no (significant) affect on the beer. There are yeast alive in suspension for quite a while, and those are the buggers that will be doing most of the work.

It sounds like you leave your beer for a long time int he fermenter. Is this because you just don't get to it? Or are you taking that time intentionally? If so, why? I lager regularly, but I have always kegged those beers after a significant time of aging because the yeast will mostly have gone dormant and dropped out of solution. If I were bottling a beer that had been sitting around aging for 2 months, I would absolutely cold crash, then dose with fresh yeast for bottling.

Yes, unhealthy yeast at low numbers will eventually carbonate your beer, but why would you wan that? In that situation the yeast is in the worst possible situation which rarely leads to a higher quality end product. Instead give your beer a better chance. Yeast flavor effects are minimal at this stage, buy a pack of notty or other dry yeast, and use that at bottling time.

There is no need for any standard beer to take more than 2 weeks to bottle condition. Various beers may improve with aging, but many don't (your DIPA for example). You should be drinking that thing fresh and vibrant at around 2 weeks.

Examine you fermentation schedule for areas where yeast health could be negatively affected, then think about redosing if you are intentionally aging for a long period.

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #12
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Whoa... sorry for the long post.

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #13
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Just a question...

I hear people say a lot that sometimes you should add a small dose of fresh yeast and sugar at bottling time if you think there might not be an optimal amount left in the beer.

My question is how much yeast? I assume same amount of bottling sugar for your intended level of carbonation but how much yeast would you add?? 2 grams? 3 grams? Whole pack? (11.5 g)

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #14
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Page two of this handy guide can help with some good starting points. I think the information is presented better there than I could explain.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/docume...nditioning.pdf

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:53 PM   #15
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To address you current beers, I would not recommend opening them or anything like that. i would just wait out your current batches and try to do better next time.

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Old 06-06-2012, 07:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thehopguy View Post
Just a question...

I hear people say a lot that sometimes you should add a small dose of fresh yeast and sugar at bottling time if you think there might not be an optimal amount left in the beer.

My question is how much yeast? I assume same amount of bottling sugar for your intended level of carbonation but how much yeast would you add?? 2 grams? 3 grams? Whole pack? (11.5 g)
I think I remember Jamil, on Brew Strong, recommending about 1/4 of a vile (so ~25 billion cells). I could be remembering wrong, though. You might want to email Sierra Nevada and ask them how much they dose their bottle with (they bottle ferment).
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:27 PM   #17
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You can use champagne yeast to bottle condition. It leaves a cleaner dryer taste. but be careful as adding to much yeast & sugar at bottling can create bottle bombs. On an off note, im almost positive Vinny from Russian River used Champagne yeast exclusively on his bottle conditioned beers before changing to rockpile and a wine yeast blend. It can handle the higher abv that most beer yeasts cant and has a bit more longevity or resilience to temperature fluctuations..

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Old 06-07-2012, 02:43 AM   #18
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Just a thought to help process of eliminate: How are you cleaning and rinsing your bottles? If a little cleaner or chlorine is left, it could be stressing the yeast and it takes some extra time to do it's thing.

Are you getting a little sediment in your bottles within the first couple weeks? Are they clearing at this point, or not clearing until they have fully carbed?

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Old 06-08-2012, 09:48 AM   #19
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So, when I make beers meant for quick consumption or ones that have very little yeast sediment (lagers) and want them to carb faster, I give the bottles a shake a day after bottling. It seems to break out enough CO2 to get the yeast going. In a week and a half to two, they're good and bubbly

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Old 06-08-2012, 05:02 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colorado_Gold View Post
It seems to break out enough CO2 to get the yeast going.
.....huh?

The yeast don't get activated in the presence of CO2... they make it! Shaking your bottles doesn't absolutely nothing to help carb your beers. All your doing is causing possible oxidation off-flavors (read: cardboard.)
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