So I have been thinking about what the best strategy will be to make sure a batch of beer carbonates but does not result in bottle bombs. Here are some details:
I was making an Imperial Stout aiming for an OG of 1.100 but I think my homebrew store gave me more than the 9lbs of DME that I requested because the OG ended up being 1.121. The recipe does include two 3.5oz bars of Lindts Chocolate added in the last 5 minutes of the boil and my software didn't account for how this would affect the OG, but I doubt it would raise it by .021 in a 5 gallon batch. Not having too mnay options, I pitched one packet of S-33 and hoped for the best.
Fermentation went slow and steady for about 1.5 weeks. It never seemed to be as active as some of my other high gravity beers, so I was surprised when I checked the gravity after 2 weeks that it was 1.035. It sat in the primary for another 2 weeks, and then I transferred it to a 5.5 gallon oak barrel. The gravity was still 1.035. I added a fresh packet of S-33, and now it has been in the barrel for 2 weeks. I plan on tasting it to see if there is enough oak, and also measuring the gravity Tuesday night. If there is enough oak, I am bottling that night.
I already plan on adding another packet of S33 into the bottling bucket. The question is, how much priming sugar do I use. For the stout, I don't need much carbonation, so the typical 5 oz for 5 gallon batch is way too much, I am worried that if I use too little that it won't carbonate at all. Also, with the ABV being at 11.4% before taking into account what it may hav gained in the barrel, it is already at the upper end of S33's tolerance. I am not expecting the gravity at this point to be much lower than the 1.035 when it went into the barrel.
Because I was not aiming for and 11.4%, is it a viable option to add some water to the batch at bottling in order to give the yeast a better chance? Or do I just use 2oz. priming sugar and hope for the best?
Thanks for reading this lengthy post and I appreciate any input.