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Old 03-16-2012, 01:01 PM   #1
Jsmith82
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Default Carbing an imperial IPA using yeast - help me out?

Happy Beer drinking MF'n Friday HBT!!

My 2011 batch of DFH120, I attempted to carb this up in bottles using a priming solution and it was that day I learned that uber-alcohol brew tends to wipe out the straggling yeast - I can't remember the % off the top of my head but it was right at or around 20. I was left with a slight "hss", but no bubbles, a tasty yet flat liquor.

My 2012 batch of DFH120, which I brewed using my own recipe this time around doubling the hops and lessening the sugar additions, is officially finished at 16% ABV and currently soaking in hops.

Having learned the hard way last year, it seems almost unanimous in the 120 topic I frequent that champagne yeast is going to be our option for bottle carbonation - no strange flavors, tolerance for the alcohol content. I've never used yeast to bottle carb so I'm looking for a walk through.

I'll be bottling a total of 4 gallons - how exactly does this process work? Priming solution + yeast, rack on top of?

Thank you for any help offered!

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Old 03-16-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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If your yeast fermented it, they can carb it.

At 16% ABV, however, you are probably looking at 3-6 months to carb this bad boy at room temp, no matter what yeast you use, so I hope you weren't expecting it to carb up in 2-3 weeks.

The alcohol doesn't "wipe out" the yeast, but it does make them very sluggish, so it just takes exponentially longer to carb the higher the ABV goes.

Seriously, 3-6 months to carb this one.

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Old 03-16-2012, 03:54 PM   #3
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Hey Topher - thanks for the response. So my 2011 DFH I tried to carb up using 1oz of dextrose per gallon of beer, it's been a year now (almost to the day) and it still has nothing, just a faint 'hss' but action is dead in the water. That's why I really feel confident champers can step up to the plate with this beer where the last one failed.

The yeasts are the same for each years version, I started with 1056AA, then plopped a big fatty starter of WLP 099 a few days later which is "super high" gravity yeast (love the name) while adding the sugar additions. I just can't feel confident that this will carb up with a priming solution after last years failed and I played it strict, text book bottle carbing.

I'm also hesitant to just rely on sugar again because as I'm sure you're aware this is an expensive beer to make, and I doubled the hops on it which didn't help cost much :P

*edit* - damn I wish I had a keg..............

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Old 03-16-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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That sucks, sorry I didn't know you had already had it sitting for a year.

At that point, I would probably add more yeast and a tad more sugar. I would get the same high-alcohol tolerant yeast, make a sort of priming starter with another 2-3oz of priming sugar, get an eye dropper, and put 3-4 drops of the yeast/sugar solution into each bottle making sure you are drawing from the sugar solution while the yeast are suspended, and not settled, and recap the bottles.

I've never experienced this, however, so you may want to get a second opinion from someone with this type of experience in the interest of saving this beer that you have alot of time invested in.

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Old 03-16-2012, 06:40 PM   #5
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I apologize (I'm terrible at explaining things), let me clarify - I only have a single bottle of my 2011 batch left, that ones done for and I'm not worried about it. Because that batch didn't carb up even after a year, my new 2012 batch that I have dry hopping right now, I figured champagne yeast would be able to succeed where a simple solution failed me last year - I know the yeast got it to that high alcohol content but once they fell out, they never woke up.

So at this point, 2012 is still in the bucket and not yet in the bottles but that time is coming near, when it does and if I choose to try and carb up with champ yeast I just need to know how to do it which is where I'm at now.

Still curious if anyone can fill me in..

P.S. Love "The DUDE" - seriously though, I just want my rug.

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Old 03-16-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
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Again, if the 099 was strong enough to ferment it, there really is no good reason they wouldn't carb it once your priming sugar was present.

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Old 03-16-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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Thanks Topher, I'll take this back to the 120 topic for discussion.

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:43 PM   #8
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Problem solved, just bought a kegging setup

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Old 03-16-2012, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TopherM View Post
Again, if the 099 was strong enough to ferment it, there really is no good reason they wouldn't carb it once your priming sugar was present.
Except that didn't work for him last time so that obviously isn't always the case....

OP, force carbing honestly is probably the best solution for that kind of beer. With that much of an investment I'd hate to risk it being more or less ruined because of no carbonation. That and you have to wait so much longer for it to carb up in the bottle. Hope it turns out great!
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