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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > PLEASE Newb help on priming issue ;+)
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Old 04-01-2012, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default PLEASE Newb help on priming issue ;+)

My son and I have been brewing (kits) very successfully for some time now but we just tried our first home recipe and I have a huge issue that will likely render all our work and ingredients useless.

Long story short we altered a Belgium Triple and ended up with such a high OG that it was near the desert wine area of the hydrometer. There MAY have been some inaccuracy from not mixing as well as we should have but I am pretty certain that is not the main issue.

I dont expect this beer to taste great at this point but I would like to at least try an salvage something out of it other than a lesson in what NOT to do LOL

I feel the only way we will be able to prime the beer for bottling will be to prime the 5 gallons with new yeast. How much yeast should we add to a five gallon bottling bucket? I dont want a flat beer, however I fear bottle bombs as well???

Am I screwed????

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Old 04-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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First off, don’t worry! The beer may need a few+ months (to a year+) to come around but all your work will not be useless.

Most ale yeast can handle up to 10%abv+… depending on how much you pitch, how viable it is (cell count, yeast stress…etc.) If you’re talking about a 10-15%abv, then flat may not be so bad as it’ll probably be a sipping barley wine???

What was your recipe? What was your OG and FG? What type of yeast are you using?
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:59 PM   #3
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It was all the way into the "desert wine" area. I have two fears in using priming sugar in order to create the carbonation.

1. Even if it did work it will still (likely) be far too sweet and barely carbonated.
2. It wont work at all and simply be flat

Do you know what is a relatively safe amount of yeast I can add to prime (instead of priming sugar) since there will be plenty of sugar to activate the priming yeast???? I have read it can be done, but have not found directions on how or how much yeast to add to the bottling bucket in order to bottle and (hopefully) achieve some carbonation???

Very concerned about this first complete and utter failure.

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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The issue is not so much the amount of yeast available for fermenting, but the amount of fermentable sugars left in the beer. The all the yeast in the world won't produce any CO2 unless there are some sugars available they can actually metabolize.

For strong beers it is not uncommon to add additional yeast at bottling, an alcohol tolerant strain like a champagne yeast is a common choice.

What were the OG and FG, and what was the yeast? And was the FG stable over several days? The thing that is more likely to produce bottle bombs is if it was slowing down but not really finished, or if the yeast dropped out early because of high alcohol concentrations or because it was stressed and then you add a more vigorous strain back in that finds a bunch of unfermented sugars in excess of what is needed to carb.

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Old 04-01-2012, 04:35 PM   #5
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Saying that the OG was in the range of a desert wine doesn't tell us much. If you want some practical feedback, we need more detailed indformation.

- What was the OG?
- What was the recipe (and volume)? Sometimes OG readings can be incorrect if the wort is not completely mixed.
- What yeast did you use?
- What is the current gravity?
- What temperature did you ferment at, and what temperature is it at now.

Before giving you advice, we need to understand if most of the fermentable sugars have been used up or if the beer is stuck (for various reasons).

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Old 04-01-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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[QUOTE="Calder"]Saying that the OG was in the range of a desert wine doesn't tell us much. If you want some practical feedback, we need more detailed indformation.

+1
Need more info!!
How much extra sugars did in the wort? When did ya put it in? Boil/ post boil....
I like my tripels age for 2-4 months before I bottle it.....and another 3-4 months bottle condition...that's just me...
Igotsand

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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Sorry guys (GALS) for the lack of info and thanx for any help you can give , we certainly need it!!! Im new, but Ill try and give as much as possible.

1. The OG before we put in the yeast was between 1.0 and 1.1

2. It is currently fermenting violently well

3. The yeast was what came in the Brewers Best Belgium Triple Kit

4. We added some different grains along with what was given

5. We replaced the candy sugar in the kit with sugar in the raw at the same 1 pound amount

6. We boiled as directed in the kit if that helps

7. There were some spices added in very small quantities (teaspoons)

8. The place where we made a mistake I feel, is we had some oak chips soaked in spiced Rum and 1/3 cup of Maple syrup for a week in which we boiled off the alcohol and then added this to the wort. (this added much too much sugar and is likely the sole reason the OG was so high and a BAD mistake)

As I said, it is fermenting fine and I do not fear the full fermentation process. What I fear is the inability to attain any carbonation during bottling due to the OG being so terribly off and the final alcohol being too high to simply add sugar as a primer. Im hoping there is a way we can salvage this.

Yeah yeah yeah, we bit off wayyyy more than we should have at this stage, no need to say that , please try and be kind, we KNOW we screwed up ;+(

The wort tasted GREAT after boiling and we probably should have watered it down to a decent OG before adding the yeast but we are a tad too late for that now ;+/ Guess I play jazz piano much better than I brew at this point.

Thnx Tunes ©¿©¬

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
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I think you left some digits out of your OG numbers, usually the readings are 1.xxx., like 1.084 for an OG or 1.023 for an FG, something like that. 1.000-1.100 is a HUGE uncertainty range for a single gravity reading.


I don't think 1/3 cup of maple syrup is going to add that much to your gravity in a 5 gallon batch, but am to lazy to do the math right now, but it is certainly not enough to ruin the beer, maybe 0.001 or 0.002 points.

Was this a 5 gallon batch, and did you bring the volume up to 5 gallons with top off water before adding the yeast? I assume it was dry yeast? Do you remember what color the packet was? Pink, blue, green, or yellow?

If it is fermenting happily right now, do not go borrowing trouble! Let it do its thing, keep it in the fermentation range for the yeast (probably right around 65*F), and give it plenty of time, like several weeks.

When you go to bottle you can add some more yeast if you want to ensure there are some viable yeast for carbing.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:55 PM   #9
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1.094 to be as exact as I can Doug

You state we can add some yeast when we go to bottling? How much in a 5 gallon batch

The yeast was Fermentis Dry Safebrew S -33 11.5 g Dry Brewing yeast

we cooled the wort down to 70 degrees before reading and pitching and it is now at room temperature and doing well. Again, my main concern is achieving carbonation not the actual first fermentation, if you will.

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Old 04-01-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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1.094 is a reasonable OG for a tripple, so that looks fine to me. (Some one will chime in if I'm wrong, don't worry! )

So if you want to avoid the bottle bombs, give the primary 3-4 weeks at least, then start checking gravity. Two readings several days apart that are the same indicate the beer has finished and it is safe to bottle. As has been pointed out earlier though, you may want to bulk condition this for a few more weeks. A beer this big needs time to age and condition.

When it is time to bottle add your priming sugar and another pack of yeast, champagne yeast is common for this use, such as Lavelin K 1118, because champagne yeast has a higher alcohol tolerance than most ale yeasts. That said, people also use the same strain they originally fermented with. You can use a whole pack (11.5 grams) of dried yeast without worrying about bottle bombs. You may actually have enough viable yeast in the brew at bottling time any way though, and not need to add extra yeast. But it won't hurt to add more to be safe.

It is the amount of fermentable sugars in the beer at bottling time that will determine how much CO2 is produced, and not the amount of yeast.

If you use the amount for a typical ale (~5 oz.) you will be fine, but strong Belgian ales are often carbed to higher volumes. If you want to carb to the traditional levels you will need Belgian beer bottles or champagne bottles to handle the extra pressure.

I hope this makes some sense, and is somewhat helpful.

ps I can't wait to start brewing with my boys, but we have about 17 years before they can start enjoying the fruits of this hobby. You and your son must be having a blast with this!

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