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Old 07-07-2011, 01:06 AM   #1
knifey_spoony
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Default Barley Wine did not carbonate

Hi all,

I brewed a barley wine in December, and bottled in May. Just popped one and there's no carbonation. Not faint carbonation, none. It's like coffee. Taste is excellent though! I'm guessing the high alcohol content killed the yeast during fermentation (this thing was big). I don't want to pour these bottles back into my priming bucket and pour more yeast, so what do you recommend, if anything?

In advance, I did prime properly (not my first batch). Not puffing my chest, but just filtering out the most obvious problems like forgetting to prime.

Thanks!

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:10 AM   #2
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The chances are is that you are going to have a relatively still beer. I'm guessing your guess is right: the alcohol killed the yeast. However, you've only been in bottles for a month or two; give it some more time and you may get some carbonation. Otherwise, serve it like a port wine and enjoy.

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:11 AM   #3
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the yeast may just be pooped out after sitting around that long, with the high alcohol like you said. I've poured bottles into a keg before, when they wouldn't carb, but I haven't tried bottle to bucket back to bottle. obviously you run the risk of oxidation, if they are drinkable flat then you may want to consider drinking them as is.

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:13 AM   #4
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sorry, also it can take a while longer for a really big beer to carbonate. maybe some more time will help.

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:15 AM   #5
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Just wondering how you primed ive read to cut back because it can ferment more with time.So my question is how much would be safe/good if i bottled mine @5-6 weeks.1.09 OG. It was kinda a strong ale/scottish old but i didnt intend on that high a gravity.Any suggestions? Never brewed one this big.Its only a 2 gal batch also
Also, Knifey spoony- what was your receipe or what did you make?

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:15 AM   #6
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I had a strong ale that took 6 months to carb. It's not too much of a surprise. The higher the grav the longer it takes,

Lazy Llama came up with a handy dandy chart to determine how long something takes in brewing, whether it's fermentation, carbonation, bottle conditioning....




In the future you might want to sprinkle fresh yeast along with your priming sugar when you bottle a high grav beer.

If your feeling adventurous you might want to take some dry yeast, open a bottle or two and sprinkle a few granules into the bottle and then re-cap, and check on them in 2-4 weeks. If they pop you might then want to open the rest of them and do the same thing.

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:42 AM   #7
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I love that diagram revvy, very scientific.

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Old 07-07-2011, 01:52 AM   #8
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lmao at that chart, revvy... very true, though

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Old 07-07-2011, 02:01 AM   #9
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This happened to me on a Barleywine a couple years ago. I ended up drinking some of it non-carbed, then I started kegging, bought a carb cap & used a 1L bottle to carb them one by one.

Each time I wanted to drink one I'd chill it then pour it in the 1L bottle, pressurize & shake until I got the carb level I wanted.

If you know anyone that kegs you can just get a carb cap & 1L PET bottle and do the same. Barleywine should age nicely by the time you get around to them all.

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Old 07-07-2011, 02:10 AM   #10
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I've had an identical experience. I poured all the bottles back into a bucket, stirred in a half packet of dry yeast, then rebottled. Worked like a charm.

Now, I know the oxygenation flags are getting unfurled right about now, but that beer has won awards in barleywine competitions. I don't like barleywine, and I don't drink it, so I keep entering the same beer every year into the comps, and it always does well.

FYI, I also added some boiled and strained hops when I added the yeast to bring up the IBUs a bit.

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