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Old 01-24-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
BrianDorry55
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So I was hoping someone could help me with this...

I bottled this beer a few months ago and it did not carbonate at all...

The batch was a barleywine (about 9% abv) that we brewed at a friends house. Well, said friend transferred it to secondary after a few weeks and it stayed there for almost a year until I got the carboy over to my place. Unfortunately I was being impatient and just went ahead and bottled it like any other beer when I probably should have re-pitched some yeast to get it active again. Now the "finished product" is completely undrinkable thanks to the fact that it's uncarbed but it has some great qualities...it smells absolutely perfect and looks pretty good as well. I'd like to find some way to salvage this beer.

My guess is that carbonation drops won't do the trick in this case...so I was wondering if I could just go bottle by bottle and siphon it all back into a carboy and repitch it. There is still plenty of residual sweetness in the beer...so I don't see any reason why the yeast wouldn't go right back to work. I was thinking of using champagne yeast because it can handle a high abv and would hopefully clean it up a bit.

Also, since I'm adding more yeast, won't the abv get higher?

Opinions are appreciated! Thanks!

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #2
homebrewdad
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Don't siphon the beer back out. No need to oxidize it.

Are you POSITIVE that you added priming sugar?

If so, open your bottles. Go get yourself a pack of neutral dry yeast. Drop a couple grains in every bottle. Recap. They will carb.

This is all assuming that the beer is at a decent temp for bottle carbing. If it is cold (less than 60 degrees F), carbonation can take longer... or with some yeasts, maybe never.

Also, the ABV change will be negligible. You're only talking about a very small amount of sugar per bottle to be converted to CO2/alcohol.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #3
reverendj1
 
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How long have they been in bottles? Sometimes for big beers it can just take a really long time to carb, I've seen people say they had beers that took up to 2+ months. If you primed them with sugar, no the carbonation drops won't do anything. You could sprinkle a few yeasties from a dry packet in each bottle and recap. I have heard that works too, although never tried myself. It would be much safer than transferring it all back to a bottling bucket. The added yeast will up the abv, but only because they will eat your priming sugar. You can add as much yeast as you want, they won't make any more alcohol if they don't have anything to eat.

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:03 PM   #4
BrianDorry55
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Okay. Yeah I was just considering siphoning it because it can't really get any worse than it already is.

Yes I'm 100% positive that I added priming sugar.

Just so I'm sure and I don't end up with bottle bombs, what should I consider "a couple grains" of yeast? A small pinch? And yes they are at about 72 degrees so temp shouldn't be an issue. Thank you.

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:04 PM   #5
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Looks like homebrewdad and I are on the same page. I'm just a little slow.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:04 PM   #6
BrianDorry55
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They've been in the bottle about 6 months...so I don't think they're going to carbonate on their own at this point.

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:05 PM   #7
reverendj1
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianDorry55 View Post
They've been in the bottle about 6 months...so I don't think they're going to carbonate on their own at this point.
Safe assumption.

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Old 01-24-2013, 05:07 PM   #8
BrianDorry55
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Alright cool I guess it's an easy fix then...I'll just grab some dry yeast. Thanks for the help guys!

 
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:10 PM   #9
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Yep, a tiny pinch. If you add too much, you'll just have a fuzz more sediment in the bottom of the bottle. No bottle bomb risk from doing this.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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