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Old 02-28-2010, 07:37 PM   #1
jescholler
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Default Bottle Conditioning Barleywine

I brewed a barleywine at the beginning of January. I fermented in the primary for 3 weeks, and it's currently in the secondary for aging. When I bottle, it will have been in the primary for 3 weeks and in the secondary for about 2 months. I won't be counting on my yeast to be up for carbonating, so I'll be adding back some liquid yeast at bottling time. I did some research and sent my questions over to Wyeast. Here's what they said:

QUESTION:
Hi,
I will be bottle conditioning my high gravity barleywine after aging in
the secondary for 1-2 months. I would like to add yeast at bottling time
to ensure proper carbonation. My questions are:
How much yeast do you recommend using for the bottle conditioning? I've
read 1-2 million cells per mL is a good place to start.

What is the cell density in cells/volume or cells/weight of an Activator
pack (I will be using 1098 if it matters)? What I would calculate is a
volume (or weight) that I need to add to do the conditioning.

In advance, thanks for your help.

RESPONSE:
Thank you for the email.

1-2 million cells per ml. is a good rate for bottle conditioning.

Our cultures are packaged (prior to rupturing the nutrient packet) with
a cell count of 1.2 billion cells per ml. The cultures have a density
of 1.1 g/ml.

You will need ~16-32 ml. (18-35g) yeast per 5 gallons of beer. (3.2-6.4
ml/gal. or 3.5-7 g/gal.).

I hope that this helps.

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Old 03-01-2010, 03:31 AM   #2
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That's cool to get a response directly from them. I was just listening to the carbonation show on Brew Strong today and the were saying basically the same thing, although a little diff - 1 billion cells per liter of beer. I believe they said this is what SN uses and is kind of an industry standard. Seems right, right?... or have I had too many tonight?

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Old 03-01-2010, 04:30 AM   #3
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Sounds right to me I think your both saying the same thing.

1,000 million = 1 billion
1 million cells per 1 ml = 1 billion (1,000 million) cells per 1 liter (1000 ml).

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
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I'm trailing you by two months (I'll brew my barley wine this coming weekend). In the past when I have bottled I have just let whatever yeast remained to carbonate and it has always worked just fine. I'm not a beer scientist though. I'm wondering, why wouldn't even the smallest amount of viable yeast work out over the long run?

Here's what I'm thinking about when I write this. In the past I have left beer in a secondary for a couple of months and my typical FGs for the styles of beer I brewed were in the 1.012 - 1.016 range. I now have a baby son and left some beer in a secondary for a very very long time. I'm not sure how long, but it may have been an entire year. What surprised me was that of the three batches in secondary this long, the FG range was 1.006 to 1.010, and that 1.010 was a pretty big beer to begin with. So by this personal example, wouldn't the yeast keep munching, albeit very slowly?

I'm very curious what the thinking is on this.

Scott

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Old 03-01-2010, 12:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottlindner View Post
why wouldn't even the smallest amount of viable yeast work out over the long run?
It might, but the more important issue is what is optimal (or reasonably optimal) not what will work.

As a side note. Sierra Nevada, Boulevard etc remove all the yeast from the beer via centrifuge or filtering before adding the bottling yeast. So I would definitely should for more like 1 million cells per ml, or even a bit less.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by remilard View Post
As a side note. Sierra Nevada, Boulevard etc remove all the yeast from the beer via centrifuge or filtering before adding the bottling yeast. So I would definitely should for more like 1 million cells per ml, or even a bit less.
Good point. I knew that, but didn't think to adjust based on that. I was going to go for the middle and use 1.5 million/ml, but now I think I'll use 1.
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Old 03-02-2010, 01:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
Good point. I knew that, but didn't think to adjust based on that. I was going to go for the middle and use 1.5 million/ml, but now I think I'll use 1.
Plus, that won't take nearly as long to count them at that rate...

what?...

nothing?...

oh well
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Old 03-02-2010, 11:01 AM   #8
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Here's something I thought about overnight. My plan is to bottle condition for a very long time. I need to be certain in the amount of fermentables left or I could have little ticking time bombs. I'm considering letting it sit in secondary for about six months, then add champagne yeast to secondary. When that is finished, the prime to hit my target carbonation, hit with more champagne yeast, and bottle.

Scott

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Old 03-07-2010, 04:28 AM   #9
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just got the barleywine bottled. I ended up going with about 1 million cells per ml. For my 3 gallon batch, it ended up being 14g, after taking into acount viability. I'll report back with the results.

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Old 03-24-2010, 08:59 AM   #10
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Please do report back! I've got a barleywine that had 2 months in the primary and 4 months in secondary and will probably go a bit longer until I feel up to actually bottling (yuck). I'm sure there will be no usable yeast left in there to carbonate. My only worry is that it's too strong and the yeast won't be able to handle it. And sucks to champagne yeast, I'm not risking bottle bombs on something I've been working on for so long.

Would notty be okay to use?

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