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Old 02-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
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Default "yeast can't live in a high pressure environment" ?

So yesterday I made my first batch of home-made Root Beer, into which I pitched some US05 a couple of hours prior to bottling for carbonation. I read on a soda website (http://www.greydragon.org/library/brewing_root_beer.html) that:

"Once the pressure in your bottles gets to a certain point, the ale yeast will be killed off because it can't live in a high pressure environment."

I have too many memories of broken beer bottles in my basement to believe this statement (I had a Westy 12 clone that went HORRIBLY awry). This root beer is sticky-sweet stuff, and I have a hard time believing the yeast are going to procreate themselves into extinction in such an environment. If a Belgian ale can blow up from pressure, surely this stuff can. Right?

Thoughts on this? I'd planned on waiting until my root beer got good and carbonated and then put it all in the fridge to stop fermentation. Or can I realistically expect in-bottle fermentation to just stop on its own, despite an abundance of yeast-food?

I thought about posting this in the soda forum, but there are obvious implications for beer here also.

Thank you



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Old 02-12-2012, 09:42 PM   #2
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You must measure your yeast. If you use too much you will be decorating the walls of what ever room you store your rootbeer in with brown sticky dried foam.

If it's too late, a good way to keep the decorating from happening is to either refriderate it, or put it into large Rubbermaid containers to keep the gushers from hitting the ceiling.

I did have one batch overcarb. Damage control is your best bet if you didn't follow a recipe.

More reading:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/new-guy-wants-make-butterscotch-rootbeer-289333/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/why-didnt-my-root-beer-carbonate-109437/

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f95/alcohol-my-root-beer-124658/

Also look at the threads at the bottom of the page.



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Old 02-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Slobberchops View Post

"Once the pressure in your bottles gets to a certain point, the ale yeast will be killed off because it can't live in a high pressure environment."

Thank you
More than likely your bottles would shatter, because when you're talking about a "high pressure environment" that would kill the yeast, you're talking about way beyond the psi a mere bottle could handle. If that were the case we'd never have bottle bottle bombs, nor would be need champagne bottles, your beer bottle would be sufficient for everything.

Yeast still lives even in a pressurized beer keg....the person who wrote that should be left in a room with 2 cases of over primed beer to test his "theory" out....
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Old 02-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy

More than likely your bottles would shatter, because when you're talking about a "high pressure environment" that would kill the yeast, you're talking about way beyond the psi a mere bottle could handle. If that were the case we'd never have bottle bottle bombs, nor would be need champagne bottles, your beer bottle would be sufficient for everything.

Yeast still lives even in a pressurized beer keg....the person who wrote that should be left in a room with 2 cases of over primed beer to test his "theory" out....
This made me chuckle!
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Old 02-12-2012, 11:09 PM   #5
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This made me chuckle!
Me too.
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Old 02-13-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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You must measure your yeast. If you use too much you will be decorating the walls of what ever room you store your rootbeer in with brown sticky dried foam.
Thank you for your reply (I too chuckled - I am sadly no stranger to bottle bombs). Call me lazy, but measuring yeast into each bottle seemed like a lot of effort, so I pitched in a packet of Fermentis US05 into the pot, let sit for 2 hours, and then bottled 2 gallons of soda. From your experience, does this seem like I over- or under-pitched? (Or did my laziness work out just right?)

What pitch quantities would you recommend for soda to get the desired stall out?

I put a bottle in the fridge this AM to test out tonight. I will do this again over the next few days and then put the whole batch in the fridge (only about 20 bottles).

Thanks
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Old 02-13-2012, 02:08 PM   #7
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I don't use ale yeast in soda, I use wine yeast. But I use about 1/2 teaspoon or even less in 3 gallons of soda. You don't measure the yeast individually into each bottle- you stir it into the soda you made and then pour it into the bottles like that.

It won't hurt, it'll just have more of a yeasty taste. The amount of yeast you add doesn't affect the level of carbonation. What works well is to bottle in plastic bottles, and stick the bottles in the fridge when they get hard so that it halts fermentation. You only use the yeast to carbonate, so you don't want to let it sit for a couple of hours before bottling. You want to add the yeast right before bottling, so that the fermentation produces co2 for you.

If you don't stick the bottles in the fridge when you have carbonation, they will blow up. The yeast will NOT "stall out" before that.

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Old 02-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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Sounds like I WAAAAY over-pitched then. 0.5 tsp for 3 gallons would be 2.5g....corrected for my 2 gallon batch size would be 1.7g. And I pitched an entire packet of US05, which was 11.5g! Trying one out tonight sounds like a good idea!

This was my first go at this, so I didn't buy much in the way of gear, to include plastic soda bottles. I used glass beer bottles because that is what I had. In the future, plastic may be worth a few bucks.

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Old 02-13-2012, 04:01 PM   #9
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Sounds like I WAAAAY over-pitched then. 0.5 tsp for 3 gallons would be 2.5g....corrected for my 2 gallon batch size would be 1.7g. And I pitched an entire packet of US05, which was 11.5g! Trying one out tonight sounds like a good idea!

This was my first go at this, so I didn't buy much in the way of gear, to include plastic soda bottles. I used glass beer bottles because that is what I had. In the future, plastic may be worth a few bucks.
I would recommend never putting soda in glass bottles. Bottle bombs are more than messy- they are very dangerous. If you have kids, it's especially a bad idea.

You can use commercial soda bottles. I like the 16 oz size. Just rinse, sanitize, and you're all set. You can make up the soda in a pitcher, and just pour it into your bottles. When the bottles are hard, they go into the fridge.
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Old 02-13-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
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Thanks for the advice. After I read your message and realized I'd pitched 7x the amount of yeast you use (at least - since I let it sit for a bit after pitching and before bottling) I ran home to check things out. I had put the soda in a tub in case I had some bursting, but hadn't put the lid on the tub, so if I had severe gushing, I would've had a giant mess to contend with in my basement.

I tried the one I stuck in the fridge this morning and it was very carbonated, but didn't gush. Realizing this, I moved the batch of bottles into extra space in my kegerator in the garage. If I have any blasts, they should be contained.

The soda tasted good. My only complaint is that they do have a substantial amount of yeast at the bottom, but I think with cold-conditioning for a few days this will condense and not as much will come out with the pour.

So, these two gallons of soda have taught me a lot. But I think I go with plastic in the future....



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