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Bamsdealer 09-18-2012 01:33 AM

Bottling after months in secondary
So, I'm transferring a 10+% Dark Belgian Strong Ale to secondary for a few months. When it comes time to bottle after such a long secondary, will I pick up enough healthy yeast to do their job on the priming sugar? I'm reading that many people add new yeast after long secondaries or for brews with very high ABVs. If I do need to add new yeast, I'd like to avoid spending another $7 and a trip to the LHBS. Will any ale yeast do the trick? Do I need to choose a yeast with the same or less attenuation as the Belgian strain to avoid additional fermentation of the original sugars in addition to the priming sugar?

rexbanner 09-18-2012 01:51 AM

Use champagne yeast. It is ~1$ a pack. Despite what anyone tells you, it will not create bottle bombs or change your beer in any way, other than carbonating it quickly, reliably, and cheaply.

You can try using the existing yeast to carb it. If it doesn't work, you are straight up ****ed. I've never risked it. I used champagne yeast to carb my first tripel, and it worked really well. Since then I have brewed many, many high gravity bottle-conditioned beers with this method. The only ones I do not use champagne yeast to carb are my WLP002 old ales. They are less attenuated, but from what I understand about wine yeast, they don't ferment maltose so it wouldn't matter if I used it anyways. However, I age them for at least six months so I don't really care if it takes a while to carb, and they are under 9 ABV so the existing yeast will work.

By the way, I will personally fly over to the first person who says champagne yeast makes bottle bombs, and make them drink a gallon of my dark strong at gunpoint. :cross:

Bamsdealer 09-18-2012 03:38 AM

Yeah? I'm liking the sounds of that. Is there a specific type of champagne yeast I should be looking for, or just get the cheap stuff. I just transferred by the way. Two week primary got this one down to 1.014 with the airlock popping every 20 seconds or so. I figure this will get down another point or two, just enough to purge the headspace of any oxygen. Bulk age for a few months then bottle carb. I plan to let this one sit for 6 months before I start drinking them, but if I get them bottled and carbed in the next 3 months, I'll probably crack a few for the holidays.

Can't ferment maltose... awesome. That's exactly the answer I hadn't thought of, but is the best response I could have got.

Did you just add yours to the cooled priming solution? An entire pack?


lumpher 09-18-2012 03:49 AM

you can use almost any yeast. the beer has taken on the character of the yeast you used to ferment by then. the yeast is usually dormant, but not dead, by that time, so when you add bottling sugar, it will wake up. if you feel the need, add any champagne yeast, add the bottling sugar, and put bottles in a shatter-proof container

rexbanner 09-18-2012 03:54 AM

Rack the beer onto the priming solution. Once about one gallon of beer has tranferred, sprinkle about 1/3 of the packet of yeast. Just use the cheap stuff.

Also, I guess it is too late but never rack a dry beer before it has reached FG. With such a high ABV, you definitely want to go below 1.014. It will taste gross at that level. It may not keep going after racking. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I had a dark strong that quit at 1.016, and six months later it still sucks. Same thing with a tripel. Ignore style guidelines for FG and mash low, ramp up temp, and try to dry it out. Trust me.

Bamsdealer 09-18-2012 04:21 AM

The yeast will finish their job... it may be at 1014, but there won't be any fermentable sugar left. I pitched a pint of yeast from a previous batch and I picked up plenty of yeast when racking. If it was still fermenting, which I'm not sure it was... could have been residual CO2... all I did was rouse some yeast to help fermentation along. If its overly heavy or sweet to the point of being gross, which I doubt, I can always add some sugar or syrup to the secondary to bring it down a few more points

GilSwillBasementBrews 09-18-2012 04:21 AM


Originally Posted by rexbanner

By the way, I will personally fly over to the first person who says champagne yeast makes bottle bombs, and make them drink a gallon of my dark strong at gunpoint. :cross:

Makes we want say it. Kinda like a challenge lolol.

Calichusetts 09-18-2012 10:25 AM

I had a Bopils lagering for nearly three months and over four months before I bottled. While it was only 7% I didn't add any yeast and it turned out fine. If your nervous, add some

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