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Old 06-06-2012, 05:36 PM   #1
FutureJack
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Default Please help save my Flat Belgian Golden Strong

Brewed a BGS in March and bottled six weeks ago. Used WLP570 and got a very vigorous fermentation. Added a cane sugar simple syrup a few days into fermentation and got the final product down to about 1.011 (starting from about 1.074). I primed with cane sugar syrup for bottling like I have done with my previous brews.

The beer has a great flavor but is as flat as apple juice. I'm wondering if my sugar additions to the fermenter strained the yeast too much that they couldn't condition or carb the ale? This was the first time I have added sugar to the fermenter.

Whatever the case, I don't think this beer is going to suddenly come back to life. And I have a lot of it left. This is the first time I have ever had any carbonation issues.

My plan was to uncap the bottles (cleanly of course) and add a few drops of yeast to each one and then a carb tab. I have never done yeast additions to the bottle or used tabs for carbonation.

Suggestions? I was also considering using either Cal Ale WLP001 or a Champagne yeast - as both are good for high alcohol.

Any thoughts on yeast strain, amount per oz to use or carb tabs? I obviously want to avoid bottle bombs. Thanks to the good folks around here for any information.

Cheers!

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Old 06-06-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
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Give it more time. It's a big beer. It can take months to carb.

You definitely DON'T need to add more sugar, the problem is NOT that there's no sugar. It's that the yeast is taking it's time to eat the sugar already in there. Add MORE fermentables, and when the yeast does get around to eating it all, bottles go BOOM.

I had a 1.090 Belgian strong that wasn't carbed and conditioned until it was 6 months in the bottle. Carbed in a bout 3 needed 3 more to mellow.

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Old 06-06-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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Give it more time. It's a big beer. It can take months to carb.

You definitely DON'T need to add more sugar, the problem is NOT that there's no sugar. It's that the yeast is taking it's time to eat the sugar already in there. Add MORE fermentables, and when the yeast does get around to eating it all, bottles go BOOM.

I had a 1.090 Belgian strong that wasn't carbed and conditioned until it was 6 months in the bottle. Carbed in a bout 3 needed 3 more to mellow.


Thanks Revvy. So if nothing happens in another month or two, would you suggest then adding some yeast, but no fermentables?

And while I am inclined to heed your advice about not adding carb tablets, what is the harm in adding some fresh yeast now?
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:57 PM   #4
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What's the temperature of the room holding the beer? You could try moving it to a slightly warmer spot (with a reasonable temperature).

I think it just needs more time. I've had beers that a long time to carb in the bottle.

If you really wanted to add yeast, you could try opening one bottle and dropping in a few grains of powdered yeast (US05). Adding liquid yeast seems a lot harder. Adding in more fermentables (carb tabs or sugar) is very risky...you could have way overcarbonated beer later and/or bottle bombs.

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Old 06-06-2012, 07:34 PM   #5
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What's the temperature of the room holding the beer? You could try moving it to a slightly warmer spot (with a reasonable temperature).

I think it just needs more time. I've had beers that a long time to carb in the bottle.

If you really wanted to add yeast, you could try opening one bottle and dropping in a few grains of powdered yeast (US05). Adding liquid yeast seems a lot harder. Adding in more fermentables (carb tabs or sugar) is very risky...you could have way overcarbonated beer later and/or bottle bombs.

The bottles are stored in my basement, which stays around 68-69 most of the summer. I could move them to a closet up stairs that might hover around the mid 70s on warm days. I live in a very mild coastal climate and don't have A/C.


I guess I'm also trying to grasp what happened and why this beer did not carb as my others have. The last beer I made before this one was around 8% abv and was made with WLP005. I've made other 7+% beers using WLP001. Never had carb issues.

So is it reasonable to infer that the sugar additions to the fermenter could be the cause of this? Or some combo of the WLP570 and the sugar? I am still brewing extract, and I previously was having trouble getting my beers to finish below 1.020. Hence the simple syrup to the fermenter. So I got the result I was looking for as far as gravity, but I am trying to determine why this beer hasn't started carbing when all my other beers before this one were carbed in 2 weeks or so and conditioned in 4.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Give it more time. It's a big beer. It can take months to carb.

You definitely DON'T need to add more sugar, the problem is NOT that there's no sugar. It's that the yeast is taking it's time to eat the sugar already in there. Add MORE fermentables, and when the yeast does get around to eating it all, bottles go BOOM.

I had a 1.090 Belgian strong that wasn't carbed and conditioned until it was 6 months in the bottle. Carbed in a bout 3 needed 3 more to mellow.

For the masses (not really) that were curious about this.....

I did nothing to the beer and it carbed just fine on its own - within a week or two from the time I made this thread. Thanks for the advice to NOT add any more sugar for priming. This beer turned out really nice and is just as foamy/frothy as I could have wanted for this style. I'm sampling a bottle of this every few weeks and am pleased with my first attempt at a Belgian.

Cheers!








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Old 07-16-2012, 07:56 PM   #7
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That's nearly always the case. Carbonation is 99.9% foolproof. All it takes is trust and patience.

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Old 07-16-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Ugh I've been waiting 4 months for a Belgian dark strong to carb. I know it will eventually...

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