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Old 10-28-2009, 01:59 AM   #1
lboucher77
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Default Bottling a Belgian Strong Dark Ale

So awhile back I sought some assistance in the recipe section on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with some spices for a Christmas beer. Link to comments on recipe here:

Brewing part went well, fermentation slow, but getting close to start thinking about bottling, OG was 1.092 and now at 1.024. If stays there, getting ready to move to secondary with some flavoring for a week with a goal of bottling Nov 6 or 7th.

So have been reading mixed things about bottling strong belgians and the time to carbonate, lack of carbonation, etc.

Intent is to let the bulk of these age for a couple of months, but would like to pull a few out for Christmas parties and holiday meals. So is there something I should do to have good carbonation after 4-5 weeks - add yeast when bottling, something else?

As always, appreciate the help.

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:24 PM   #2
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Higher gravity beers tend to take longer to carbonate. I would say minimum 3-6 weeks for me usually. There's nothing you can really do other than kegging it and bottling later.

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:30 PM   #3
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Something that big may even take longer. My Belgian Strong Dark took three months to carb (mostly because the ambient temp was below 70 in my place during the winter.) but even after it was carbed it still needed over 6 months to lose the hot alcohol/rocket fuel taste.

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Old 10-28-2009, 01:55 PM   #4
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Pitch a pack of T-58 or US-05 into your bottling bucket and stir it in with the priming sugar.

I've had beers as big as 11-12% be carbed up in under 3 weeks by doing this. I'm not saying it will taste good in 3 weeks, but it should definitely be carbonated. Try to keep the bottles warmer too, as this will speed the process up.

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Old 10-28-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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My weizenbock has been in the bottle for 9 weeks now and it hasn't reach it's target carbonation yet. Due to space concerns at the time, at about 4-5 weeks I moved them to the basement which is now at 60F. Any harm in moving them back upstairs where it is warmer to see if they carbonate more or is that asking too much of the yeast? I didn't bottle with a fresh pitch of yeast after 3 weeks in the primary.

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Old 10-28-2009, 09:55 PM   #6
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I'd actually encourage moving them to a warmer area.

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Old 10-31-2009, 12:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lboucher77 View Post
So awhile back I sought some assistance in the recipe section on a Belgian Strong Dark Ale with some spices for a Christmas beer. Link to comments on recipe here:

Brewing part went well, fermentation slow, but getting close to start thinking about bottling, OG was 1.092 and now at 1.024. If stays there, getting ready to move to secondary with some flavoring for a week with a goal of bottling Nov 6 or 7th.

So have been reading mixed things about bottling strong belgians and the time to carbonate, lack of carbonation, etc.

Intent is to let the bulk of these age for a couple of months, but would like to pull a few out for Christmas parties and holiday meals. So is there something I should do to have good carbonation after 4-5 weeks - add yeast when bottling, something else?

As always, appreciate the help.
I had similar concerns with my quad..started at 1.100 ended at 1.027. after it stayed there for a week i knew it was done. total time before bottling was about 5 weeks.
When I bottled I decided NOT to add any additional yeast and trust that WLP500 was hearty enough. So i bottled on last weekend in August. I moved them to a VERY warm area of the house.
Needless to say that i worried practically every day if my decision to not add yeast at bottling was right.
So tonight I decided it was time to check out my first bottle. Stuck it in the freezer for 45 minutes to drop the temp rapidly then into the fridge for an hour.
so worried...
is this carbed?
please let it be carbed....

untwisted the cage
barely touch the cork and BOOM it came bursting out like it was shot out of a cannon.
The quad is carbed!
The quad is tasty, still needs time, but damn tasty!

Bottom line is this if its done, bottle it now. Stick it in a warm place. Everytime you want to jump the gun and test a botte just do what I did and follow Revvy's advice...give it at least a couple of months. You'll be happy you did.
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