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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Bottling high gravity--need extra yeast?
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Old 08-13-2009, 01:14 AM   #1
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Default Bottling high gravity--need extra yeast?

Evening, all

I currently have an imperial brown (or old ale, if you prefer) in the primary, fermenting with Nottingham ale yeast (dry yeast, but made a 1-pint starter anyway.) After post-pitching sugar additions, the OG would be around 1.090, and expected ABV around 9%. Given the high ABV, would I be best served adding some champagne yeast or other extra yeast at bottling to assure carbonation?

I know perfectly well that high gravity beers take longer to carbonate, it's just that I'm tired of having carbonation issues with my strong beers. I just had a double IPA that had zero carbonation after 4 months in bottles. I opened all bottles, added champagne yeast, and had perfect carbonation in 2 wks. Suggestions? Thx.


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Old 08-13-2009, 01:16 AM   #2
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I don't have a lot of experience with Notty, but I haven't had any trouble at all carbonating beers in that range with other ale yeast strains.


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Old 08-13-2009, 01:42 AM   #3
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id be careful with wine/champagne yeast...

the Montrachet i used took it from 1.082 to .996..

with your brew at 9% from a OG of 1.09 your final must be at something like 1.02 ... thats still a long way to go if the new yeast takes it down to under 1.0 .. I defer to a more knowledgeable member, but id be wary of bottle bombs =/
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
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Some do add yeast at bottling. I added a bit after about 6 months in secondary for my 1.100 barleywine. I would not use champagne yeast though. Just a bit of beer yeast the can adjust well to high alcohol would be fine. People who don't let their beer sit in the secondary probably won't have to worry about it.
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Old 08-13-2009, 08:27 PM   #5
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I always do it for the high gravity beers, especially after an extended secondary (which is normal around here- I hate bottling), and I always recommend it it to folks.

It's really just cheap insurance. No need to use expensive liquid, just rehydrate (that's important) a sachet of a neutral dry yeast like US 05 and add to the bottling bucket with the beer and priming sugar.
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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I am sitting on a high gravity IIPA right now, been in the bottle for about 6 weeks, opened one yesterday and there is absolutely no carbonation. I added a few grains of dry Coopers yeast at about 3 weeks, and that seems to have done nothing, I think the high alcohol just killed it. How much extra yeast, and what one, would you suggest. Sorry for the hijacking.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:03 PM   #7
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I'm in the same boat with a IIPA that has been in the bottles at approx. 70 deg. for going on 10 weeks now with no carb. I was considering dumping and re-bottling with fresh yeast. Rehydrated neutral yeast is best? A full packet?
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:14 PM   #8
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Seeing as my issue is resolved, no hijacking has occurred. When I re-primed my IIPA, I took a packet of champagne yeast, rehydrated with 1/4 cup of water (boiled and cooled, of course), and added 1/4 tsp of the liquid to each bottle before re-capping. The beer had already aged 3-4 months with no carbonation. After 2 weeks, carbonation was perfect.

Many people on this board voice concern about champagne yeast fermenting extra sugars in the beer and leading to bottle bombs. A fair concern, but every HB store owner I have talked to told me that in the case of my IIPA, all sugars that could be fermented were likely already fermented, and that bottle bombs wouldn't be a concern. And they were right.
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:21 PM   #9
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Thanks, I am ging to give it a couple more weeks (but I don't know why) and try something like that. Using the champagne yeast is supposed to dry it out, right. That might be a good thing for what I have, as it is a hop bomb, but very thick mouthfeel.
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Old 09-22-2009, 03:56 PM   #10
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I have used champagne yeast several times, and haven't noticed any obvious drying effects. Of course, the two times that jump immediately to mind are the aforementioned IIPA and a barleywine, where it wouldn't be as noticeable. I'm considering using champagne yeast to kickstart the fermentation on my Belgian Christmas ale which may have stalled, but I am DEFINITELY concerned about drying in that batch.


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