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Old 03-13-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
uglygoat
 
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i've been reading abit about not priming the batch and allowing the residual sugars to carbonate the beer. most of what i've read is about casked ales.

question is, can i do this with individual bottles? i'd just as soon skip a step if this is possible, ie no exploding bottles.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:14 PM   #2
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The two options I'm aware of are both a bit iffy for homebrewers (as we don't achieve commercial consistency), but may be done (there are probably others, as well):

1) Bottle the batch before primary fermentation has completed. You have to calculate where this point should be to make sure there's enough fermentation left, but not too much (your exploding bottles). It's difficult, maybe more so for AG brewers I suppose, because it's hard to say exactly where a homebrew is going to finish up in terms of FG.

2) Ferment and secondary as usual, but prime the batch with a calculated amount of wort (preferably of the same type of beer), then bottle. Same general problems as above, but probably a bit more repeatable (you know where the beer finished, and you know the SG of the wort, so...).

I've thought about it, but corn sugar and CO2 tanks are my guilty pleasures.

 
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:17 PM   #3
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The major problem would be in knowing EXACTLY how much fermentables are left. But then, cask ales are pretty flat, and so would the bottles be.

If you let it ferment out totally, then add prime to the bottling bucket, you will have scientific precision. Even bottle priming is not precise, leading to erratic carbonation- some bombs, some flat.

You wouldn't really be skipping a step, since you ought to transfer it out of the fermenter just to make sure you don't get lots of sediment into the last bottles.

T1master, I see by your post number that you already know most of this, but I answered for the lurkers too.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:23 PM   #4
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Given the choice of adding a primer after fermentation is done, and trying to estimate how much sugar is left and available and bottling "pure", I think that I will stay with the primer. Seems to be less overall work to let fermentation go, and then prime and forget about it for a couple weeks knowing that you have 'set your beer up for success".

just my .02, FWIW
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:33 PM   #5
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i've never done anything other than the corn sugar or dme, and was just wondering if anyone's tried.

i prefer my ales to be much flatter than what i get with .75 cups of corn sugar and usually only do .5 cups to prime with... so knowing that there was some sugar left would prolly get me where i want to go... it's the unknown factors you mention that are holding me back.

i just need some oak casks, one or two gallons would do...
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:53 PM   #6
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There's a technique used by some German brewers where a certain percentage of the wort is put aside and not allowed to ferment through refrigeration. It's then added at bottling time, allowed to rise to room temp and voila! Self priming beer.

Look up 'speise' in beer making guides.

http://www.schneider-weisse.de/index...erei.rohstoffe

 
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Old 03-14-2006, 03:19 AM   #7
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Yes, this is a German technique and I'm happy to explain:

1st: Gruenschlauchen (lit. green racking) - using remaining extract to carbonate the beer

The idea is to bottle or rack to pressure fermentation when about 1.5 P fermentable extract is left. The remaining sugar will provide sufficient carbonation. As pointed out, how do you know when only 1.5P are left. The answer is a forced ferment test. When you done filling your primary leave some yeast in the starter vessel and fill it with some of the wort that went into the primary. Keep this warm in order to accelerate the fermentation. Once the fermentation is done you can measure the FG of the particular batch of beer you just brewed. I'm always looking forward to this point as it will tell me how well I did in the mash in hitting the desired FG. As you may have noted already, this works best for lagers, as the main fermentation will take much longer than the fast ferment test. Now you can attend your primary fermentation. After a few days, take a gravity reading. And after 2 more days take another. Now you can determine the rate of fermentation and know when to expect to be 1.5P above FG.

Sounds complicated. It is. It is made easier by racking the green beer to a corny and doing the pressure fermentation there. I rack when the batch is between 1.5 and 2.0 P above FG. This gives me some flexibility. In order to achieve the desired carbonation I use a pressure gauge to monitor the pressure inside the corny. Depending on the beer temp, I have a target pressure. When the pressure goes above the target pressure I relieve the pressure a little bit to keep it there. This is called "spunden" in German brewing. Once the beer has been fermented out (D-rest helps with this as well) I lager the keg for about a month and then I rack it off the yeast to another keg. This has to happen under pressure. It's ready to drink or for some more lagering now. I'm doing my Maibock with this method.

2. Kraeusen - Using Speise to prime the beer.

This is much better for carbonating bottles. You can be more precise and will get much less yeast in your bottle.

You will have to save some wort from from the brew day (freezer works well). Since you know the OG and FG of this batch (you will have to ferment it out completely) you can calculate the amount of fermentable sugar in your Speise. Now you should also make a starter with the measured Speise and some yeast from the primary. Once this starter is at hight Kraeusen you can bottle with it. Just mix it with the beer in the bottling bucket and fill your bottles. The active yeast will give you a fast carbonation and it may also correct some off-flavors. It will also work w/o the yeast. In this case carbonation will be as slow as using DME.

I plan to use this method with my Chubby Angel APA.

So far I don't plan to go back to priming with DME or corn sugar. I always have some wort left over from the brew day.

Kai

 
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