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Old 10-09-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
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Default Use champagne yeast to carb big beers

I am drinking a tripel that I bottled one week ago. I carbed it with champagne yeast, lalvin 1118. Within one week, it is fully carbed. Not only that, the yeast dropped and formed a tight sediment at the bottom of the bottle without any time spent in the refrigerator. I just grabbed a bottle from the basement, tossed it in the fridge, and an hour later am enjoying a crystal clear super bubbly tripel in a tulip glass, not a bit of yeast in it.

Just thought I'd post this because before I tried this I read through some threads with mixed advice on whether or not this works. I think the best part is how fast this carbs.

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Old 10-09-2011, 08:07 PM   #2
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FYI, the champagne yeast should attenuate approximately 100% of the sugars in solution.

My point? There's is a good chance you are going to end up with a bunch of bottle bombs. Your 'rapid' carbonation technique could very well backfire on you (no pun intended). You may want to consider placing the remaining bottles somewhere that should they explode, hazards and mess cleanup will be minimized...you may have a potentially dangerous situation.

Just my .02

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Old 10-09-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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As mentioned above, it's generally not a good idea to add yeast at bottling that has significantly higher attenuation than the yeast used to ferment the beer. The new yeast will eat all of the priming sugar, plus a bunch of the more complex sugars that the original yeast couldn't. The best case scenario is the beer ends up drier and more carbonated than intended. Worst case scenario is bottle bombs. In the rare cases that additional yeast is required at bottling, it's usually best to use the same yeast it was fermented with.

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Old 10-10-2011, 04:54 AM   #4
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I think it's fine. First, it's a tripel. It finished at 1.004. So no problems, it's already dry.

Second, champagne yeast isn't going to ferment something that an ale yeast couldn't. It has a hard time with maltose.

I read the same warnings in other threads, but it doesn't sound like the people advising against it had ever tried it. People who had all said it worked fine. Now that I've done it, I believe them.

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Old 10-10-2011, 02:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
I just grabbed a bottle from the basement, tossed it in the fridge, and an hour later am enjoying a crystal clear super bubbly tripel in a tulip glass, not a bit of yeast in it.
that sentence right there shows that there was extreme pressure built up in the bottle. the beer didnt need to be chilled at all to let the CO2 dissolve. it had enough pressure to force adequate volumes of CO2 in at room temperature. that would require much higher pressure.

im interested to hear how the carbonation level of the beer is after 2 weeks in the refrigerator...?
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:52 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audger View Post
that sentence right there shows that there was extreme pressure built up in the bottle. the beer didnt need to be chilled at all to let the CO2 dissolve. it had enough pressure to force adequate volumes of CO2 in at room temperature. that would require much higher pressure.

im interested to hear how the carbonation level of the beer is after 2 weeks in the refrigerator...?
I don't follow you. You always naturally carb ales at around room temperature.
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Old 10-10-2011, 05:34 PM   #7
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you always naturally carb everything at room temperature. but if you were to pop open a naturally carb'd beer before it was refrigerated, almost all the CO2 would be in the headspace still and the beer wouldnt be very carbonated.

the fact that this beer carbonated to an adequate level without refrigeration shows there was much higher pressure inside than normal. and if it were cooled and given a week or two to actually dissolve (assuming no bottle bombs), im guessing the beer would be highly overcarbonated.

(i am sort of oversimplifying the 1 hour in the fridge to be the same as no refrigeration at all. only a negligible amount of CO2 would probably dissolve in that time period. it normally takes 3-4 days at minimum to allow a naturally carb'd bottle to absorb all the CO2)

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Old 10-10-2011, 07:38 PM   #8
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Has anyone in this thread other than rex (and I) used champagne yeast at bottling for a high OG ale? Has anyone who answered yes to the previous question had carbonation problems?

I have used this technique several times with NO ill effects. The idea that champagne yeast has higher attenuation is right, BUT the complex sugars left over by the ale yeast will not be eaten, only the priming sugars. I promise you this. If anyone has had bottle bombs using this method, chances are they did not finish fermenting before bottling or they had an infection.

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Old 10-10-2011, 08:38 PM   #9
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Actually, you need to take a look at the attenuation associated with your original yeast. If it only attenuates 85% of the sugars you will have substantial 'fermentables' left over prior to adding priming sugar and champagne yeast...and since the champagne yeast will attenuate 100% of sugars you could be in for an unpleasant experience.

It's very easy to achieve a FG well below 1.000 using champagne yeast...so the fact that the FG of the Trippel is 1.004 doesn't really mean much. The fact that a HG beer carbonated so quickly is indicative of very high pressure in the head space...think of force carbing in a keg and the pressures involved in that process (you're doing something similar with a glass vessel). Although your pressures probably aren't quite that high, you're definitely putting yourself in a position to have a potential bottle bomb. Having had one with a cider recipe, I can tell you it makes a huge mess and I wouldn't want to be in the same room with the flying glass.

Let us know in two weeks...I'd be curious to see if you've had any explode by that time.

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Old 10-11-2011, 05:13 PM   #10
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The only way champagne yeast can attenuate that high is if ALL of the sugars are simple, like in a mead. What sugars that are left behind from fermenting with an ale yeast are complex sugars that the champagne yeast cannot and will not eat. The only way they will eat them is if enzymes are added to break them down to simple sugars.

gclunde, you say you've fermented below 1.000 with champagne yeast. Was this a beer?

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