Almost no carbonation in Imperial Stout

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NaymzJaymz

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The beer in question is an imperial stout with an OG of 1.099. Everything went fine and I hit all my numbers, including a FG of 1.018, at which time I transferred this 5 gallon batch to a bourbon barrel. After four months I bottled with one cup of corn sugar and Lallemand CBC-1 yeast(rehydrated). After 1 month I have almost no carbonation. The beer is excellent, and the low carbonation isn't bad for the style, but I would've liked a bit more bubbles. Any thoughts on what I did wrong? Thanks
 

Comfort_Zone

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With those numbers you're at around 11% abv. Doesn't surprise me at all that it's taking time. The bigger the beer the longer it takes to carb. Just be patient.
 
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I assume you had the bottles at a nice warm temp for a while? I keep my bottles in a closet at about 72 degrees for a couple weeks, my dragons milk clone is close to fully carbonated after about 10 days, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes closer to a month for full carbonation, and it’s a bit lighter in ABV than your imperial. So if you have some carbonation you know yeast is active, and if your sugar calculation is correct you will end with correct carbonation, the only other variable is time, which you can control to some small extent with temperature. I wouldn’t suggest getting too warm, but you could certainly try keeping them in the mid 70s for a week to boost fermentation speed and get to final carbonation faster. Just depends on your priorities, some might suggest the warmth isn’t great for the beer, but I highly doubt a week or two of warmer conditions hurts anything, and might speed up the aging process a bit to get where you want to be flavor wise. In all, it’s an art not a science. :)
 

deadwolfbones

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Bear in mind that the residual CO2 after barrel aging is much lower than with a typical fermentation schedule. You need to add more sugar when bottling to compensate.
 

SpeedYellow

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Imperial Stouts just take a long time to carbonate. While most of my beers force carb in two weeks (12 psi), big stouts take more like four. Weird, yes.
 

domdom

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i've had this issue with a 12% ABV barley wine i made in november 2018. i bottled and underprimed a little becase my total end volume was around 4.25-4.5 gallons. after no carbonation by March 2019, i opened the bottles, added 1/2 carbonation tab and a pinch of bottles yeast (https://www.northernbrewer.com/products/danstar-cask-and-bottle-conditioning-ale-yeast) to each bottle before recapping. tried a 12 oz bottle tonight and there is a little more carbonation but not much and no head whatsoever. gonna give it till next winter, but feel like it i should have added another pound of flaked oats.
 
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