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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Hi-Grav Bottle Conditioning...or, Why is My Barelywine Still Flat?
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Old 08-25-2013, 10:30 AM   #1
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Default Hi-Grav Bottle Conditioning...or, Why is My Barelywine Still Flat?

I have a super-hi-grav barleywine that's been sitting in bottles at about 68ºF for two months. I cracked open a bottle to test the progress, and I get barely a whimper. The beer is hardly carbonated, and it definitely tastes of live yeast (if you know what that tastes like).

I've de-settled these bottles twice in the past two months, to no avail. Three days ago, I moved them from the air-conditioned shelter of my 2nd floor, to my garage, which sits at around 85ºF. I have 16oz in a plastic bottle as a tester, and the apparent gas pressure is still not high enough (squeeze test).

Is there anything else I can do to make this awesome brew carbonate faster? Should I try another de-settling to stir up the yeasts?

Also, not that I keg, but what luck have you guys had with force-carbing barelywines in a keg?

Should I have added yeast in the bottling process? The last yeast I added was Red Star Champagne Yeast, at the start of secondary fermentation.

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Old 08-25-2013, 10:55 AM   #2
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"Super high gravity" beers will take a good long while to get going. Re-pitching in the bottling bucket is usually reserved for beers like this and some lagers due to low viability(high alc.) or low YCC (lagers) or both.
Alcohol level matters, and so does the yeast strain, but generally speaking, if you have sediment in the bottles, and your certain you primed correctly its should carbonate....eventually. If you've ANY positive pressure in the bottle you should wait it out -IMHO.

If you are in doubt, you can re-pitch. I have seen people do this successfully by sprinkling a few grains of an alcohol tolerant dry yeast directly into open bottles and re-crowning them. US-05 works well for this and is readily available.

Hope this helps.

*edit; just saw your in Okinawa. How's the US-05 availability over there? You may have to poke around to find a alcohol tolerant strain around you, depending on how high it is. There are MANY different strains that should work... It's more avoiding the ones that won't.

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Old 08-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewskii View Post
"Super high gravity" beers will take a good long while to get going. Re-pitching in the bottling bucket is usually reserved for beers like this and some lagers due to low viability(high alc.) or low YCC (lagers) or both.
Alcohol level matters, and so does the yeast strain, but generally speaking, if you have sediment in the bottles, and your certain you primed correctly its should carbonate....eventually. If you've ANY positive pressure in the bottle you should wait it out -IMHO.

If you are in doubt, you can re-pitch. I have seen people do this successfully by sprinkling a few grains of an alcohol tolerant dry yeast directly into open bottles and re-crowning them. US-05 works well for this and is readily available.

Hope this helps.

*edit; just saw your in Okinawa. How's the US-05 availability over there? You may have to poke around to find a alcohol tolerant strain around you, depending on how high it is. There are MANY different strains that should work... It's more avoiding the ones that won't.
Honestly, there's no local availability of anything related to homebrewing around here. All the US-05 I use comes from the 'States.

The Japanese don't appreciate "craft beer" like we do in America. Instead, they prefer to produce their own local varietals of alcohol. Here, in Okinawa people make awamori, which is just another high-alcohol rice drink, minus the fact that it's fermented in underwater caves...so I guess the coolness factor is high for it. Most ryukyuan men prefer to drink Orions until they fall asleep on the street corners.

I order all of my supplies from the US. Luckily, I have found a great kit vendor (Jasper's, AKA www.boomchugalug.com) and I supplement this with yeasts and brewing supplies from amazon.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
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Dumb questions: Did you add priming sugar? His long was primary/secondary? Did you add yeast at bottling?

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Heh--I've caught myself numerous times, about to siphon my carboys into the bottler, when I hadn't boiled the priming sugar. No, I definitely added the 5 oz of sugar.

Primary for the barleywine was 12 days. The OG was like 1.121! When fermentation slowed, I transferred the beer to the carboy, added champagne yeast and several ounces of hops, and waited 24 days before the bubbling was < 1/min, and for the hops to fall and the liquid to clarify. I've never brewed anything that has taken more than a week in primary and two weeks in secondary. FG was 1.030.

I did not add any yeast at bottling. If this is a good technique, what's the best way to do this successfully? Should I have proofed another packet of champagne yeast until it was liquified, and added that to the bottling bucket? Or do you just sprinkle a few grains of dry yeast into each bottle (ugh)?

Or, should I just buy a bunch of kegs, and force-carb stuff from now on? I think that'd be the easy way out.

FYI, I'm brewing this one again. I just transferred it into the secondary, and I'm waiting for the hops to fall/liquid to clarify again. I may try adding another packet of RS Champagne, if you guys think that's a good idea.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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If secondaried for less than a month then I don't think you needed to add more yeast at bottling. I assumed with something huge like this you would have gone for a couple months.

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Old 08-27-2013, 12:08 PM   #7
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Shoot. I was going by the airlock activity/hop falling/liquid clarity method. How does letting a high-gravity brew sit in secondary for 8 weeks assist in the bottle conditioning process?

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