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Old 10-11-2011, 06:17 PM   #11
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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
This is absolutely not true. Champagne yeast does not contain the ability to ferment maltose in almost every strain. Beyond that they certainly cannot ferment maltotriose, which even a lot of brewing strains do not ferment. So adding Champagne yeast to a beer that's only 80% attenuated is not a problem because the champagne yeast will only ferment the priming sugar. Trust me I do it ALL the time and get great results on my high ABV beers.
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:57 PM   #12
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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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This is absolutely not true. Champagne yeast does not contain the ability to ferment maltose in almost every strain. Beyond that they certainly cannot ferment maltotriose, which even a lot of brewing strains do not ferment. So adding Champagne yeast to a beer that's only 80% attenuated is not a problem because the champagne yeast will only ferment the priming sugar. Trust me I do it ALL the time and get great results on my high ABV beers.
Thanks guys. I knew I was right. In yo face!
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Old 10-11-2011, 08:20 PM   #13
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This is absolutely not true. Champagne yeast does not contain the ability to ferment maltose in almost every strain. Beyond that they certainly cannot ferment maltotriose, which even a lot of brewing strains do not ferment. So adding Champagne yeast to a beer that's only 80% attenuated is not a problem because the champagne yeast will only ferment the priming sugar. Trust me I do it ALL the time and get great results on my high ABV beers.
I guess I should have been more specific and stated 'fermentable' sugars. I'm still not sure how taking an ale yeast that only attenuates 80% of fermentable sugars and then adding champange yeast that will attenuate 100% of fermentable sugars at bottling time, plus priming sugar doesn't present a potential problem. If it works for you, more power to you.

Personally, until someone can show me something scientific or widely accepted that this is safe, I'll just give it some extra time to carbonate using the existing yeast in solution rather than take a chance.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:39 PM   #14
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I used to have a reference just for a doubter like you. It all has to to do with the yeasts ability to produce hydrolyzing enzymes. If the yeast cannot then maltotriose will not be cleaved off into glucose. Some yeast can directly ferment sucrose but many will convert the sugars enzymatically into glucose through sugar bond breaking and molecular rearrangement.

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Old 10-12-2011, 01:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by gclunde

I guess I should have been more specific and stated 'fermentable' sugars. I'm still not sure how taking an ale yeast that only attenuates 80% of fermentable sugars and then adding champange yeast that will attenuate 100% of fermentable sugars at bottling time, plus priming sugar doesn't present a potential problem. If it works for you, more power to you.

Personally, until someone can show me something scientific or widely accepted that this is safe, I'll just give it some extra time to carbonate using the existing yeast in solution rather than take a chance.
Alright I'll do my best to convince you without some sort of experiment. You have simple sugars ( monosaccharides I.e. Sucrose, glucose, fructose) these are easily fermented and champagne yeasts will eat ALL of them. The majority of sugars in wines, meads, ciders are simple and therefore can finish very dry. In beers however there are complex sugars. These a sugars that have multiple monosaccharides connected to each other for instance maltose is two glucose molecules. In order to metabolize these complex sugars yeast must cleave the bond connecting the two molecules of glucose. Champagne yeasts can't do this. So they don't touch many of these sugars that are remaining. Ale yeasts also consume simple sugars very easily and will consume most (if not all?) during fermentation along with some complex sugars. Attenuation, put very simply, is a matter of how many of these complex sugars are metabolized.

So to address exactly what you said, you said "I'm still not sure how taking an ale yeast that only attenuates 80% of fermentable sugars and then adding champange yeast that will attenuate 100% of fermentable sugars at bottling time, plus priming sugar doesn't present a potential problem."

The problem is that it is 80% sugars total, not %80 of fermentable sugars. Champagne yeast love the simple corn sugar (sucrose) you add and eat it real quick, but nothing else. Long story short I don't see any biochemical problems with it, nor any real life experience issues. Hopefully that helps.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:42 AM   #16
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Ok...I'll buy that...

Here's my next question...

Why use champagne yeast at all if the ale yeast is going to ferment the simple sugars anyway?

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Old 10-12-2011, 02:59 AM   #17
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Ok...I'll buy that...

Here's my next question...

Why use champagne yeast at all if the ale yeast is going to ferment the simple sugars anyway?
1. It has a higher alcohol tolerance than most ale yeasts.
2. It's much cheaper.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:08 AM   #18
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1. It has a higher alcohol tolerance than most ale yeasts.
2. It's much cheaper.
Exactly. Strong beers can wear out your primary yeast. If you're going to repitch at bottling, why not use a pack that costs around a dollar and will carb your beer in one week?

I made this thread to put this whole issue to rest, get some good testimonials and scientific back-up going. Thanks, guys.
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Old 10-12-2011, 04:24 AM   #19
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... 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)
I may be way off, but im pretty sure your beer is absorbing the co2 while it is conditioning. Refrigerating it just reduces the pressure to a more manageable point, so you get beer with a nice head and gentle carbonation... not a glass full of foam.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:31 AM   #20
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The second there is pressure higher than atmospheric pressure CO2 begins dissolving into solution. Sometimes it just takes a couple weeks to get all the way there. I think champagne consumes all the sugar so fast compared to tired ale yeast that completed fermentation that it carbonates the beer much faster.

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