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Old 12-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #1
dougdecinces
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I brewed a big (9.5% ABV) barleywine in April. I bottled in September after bulk aging about 3 months. I checked on a bottle after 40 days to see how it was progressing and there was no carbonation whatsoever. Not even a hiss from the bottle. My assumption at the time was that the yeast had all died/settled out and, of course, I forgot to repitch. I uncapped all my bottles, added 1/8 t Nottingham to each and recapped.

It has been another 40-something days, so I cracked another bottle and got the same problem. Now here is where I really feel like an idiot. In my notes I usually include how much I carbonate each batch to. And, of course, I fail to do this for my barleywine. So it could be that I completely forgot to add priming sugar, or that I merely forgot to document it. It's been so long that I can't remember. So I guess I want to know if,

1) 40-odd days with no sign of carbonation is normal and I should give more time.

2) I should add carbonation drops and recap, assuming I forgot to add priming sugar. I'm leaning towards this option as the complete lack of carbonation here is worrisome.

 
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Old 12-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #2
WHYB
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What temperature are your bottles at?

I'd uncap one bottle, add some carb tabs, recap and gently swirl the bottle.
To be safe I'd put the bottle in a sealed bucket or other container and keep the beer above 70 for 2-3 weeks.

 
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:43 PM   #3
dcp27
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any chance you took down your FG before bottling? if theres zero carb, then it should be slightly higher if you did actually prime.

 
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:19 AM   #4
dougdecinces
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dcp27 View Post
any chance you took down your FG before bottling? if theres zero carb, then it should be slightly higher if you did actually prime.

Good call. I bottled a gallon of it that I aged on oak, so I know the FG of the whole batch. I will try that. and see how it does.

 
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:12 PM   #5
zepolmot
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Keeping an eye on this, I'm about to bottle a barleywine myself

 
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
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My guess is that you forgot to prime. I did that once...embarrassing. I just opened my 1st 9.5% IIPA to find it nicely carbed after 35 days in bottle.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
ILBMF
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I'd add the sugar and recap, stir and put the bottles in a safe, warm place. Check in a few weeks.
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Old 12-18-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
hercher
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Also remember that high alcohol beers will take longer to carb. What yeast did you use -- be sure it is tolerant of that high alcohol. Otherwise, I like the idea of adding a carb tab to one or two bottles only, to see the effect, before doing it to the entire batch.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:07 PM   #9
kjung
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougdecinces View Post
I brewed a big (9.5% ABV) barleywine in April. I bottled in September after bulk aging about 3 months. I checked on a bottle after 40 days to see how it was progressing and there was no carbonation whatsoever. Not even a hiss from the bottle. My assumption at the time was that the yeast had all died/settled out and, of course, I forgot to repitch. I uncapped all my bottles, added 1/8 t Nottingham to each and recapped.

It has been another 40-something days, so I cracked another bottle and got the same problem. Now here is where I really feel like an idiot. In my notes I usually include how much I carbonate each batch to. And, of course, I fail to do this for my barleywine. So it could be that I completely forgot to add priming sugar, or that I merely forgot to document it. It's been so long that I can't remember. So I guess I want to know if,

1) 40-odd days with no sign of carbonation is normal and I should give more time.

2) I should add carbonation drops and recap, assuming I forgot to add priming sugar. I'm leaning towards this option as the complete lack of carbonation here is worrisome.
I've done a few big beers, and only once have I repitched a yeast before bottling, and that was for a Belgian Dark Strong, trying to stay true to style. That also includes one beer (at about 9%) that sat in the secondary for almost a year. My bet was that you forgot to prime before you bottled. Transferring from the secondary to the bottling bucket will rouse enough dormant yeast to carbonate the brew.


After making a couple of critical mistakes (All errors of omission. I once forgot to pitch the yeast!) I have learned, as sacrilegious as it may be, to wait until I'm completely done with my brew-related task before I start drinking!
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Old 12-18-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
ILBMF
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Kjung, I concur, I wait until I'm coming down the home stretch before hitting the liquid bread.
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