And Now I Breathe a Big Sigh of Relief...

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Evan!

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Back in December, I attempted my hoppiest beer to date---an IIPA I called The Destroyer of Worlds. It had 12.5oz of hops in the recipe, which, given hop prices, makes this one expensive brew (theoretically at least; I actually stocked up on hops @ $11/lb before the explosion). After primary, I racked to secondary and dry-hopped per recipe. Given the problems I've had with bottle carbing in the past, I decided to get this one into bottle relatively quickly, so I think it was 2 weeks after primary fermentation had ended that it was in bottle.

As usual, I put the bottles in my "warm room", a guest BR with a space heater that stays in the upper 70's. Usually, after a week, my beers are fully carbonated. This one, I tried at 10 days and it was flat. Puzzled, I left it in there for awhile longer, then took them downstairs. I tried another one a couple weeks later, and it was also flat. So I brought them back to the warm room. Waited another week, tried another one. There was a very, very slight level of carbonation, but I couldn't be sure whether this was progress or just bottle variation. So I went guerrilla on 'em: I took out each bottle (including two 1-liter growlers) and shook them up. I proceeded to do this every other day over the course of the last two weeks. I figured, if there's any viable yeast in there (which there should be), then it'll have no opportunity to fall alseep on the job if I keep waking it up.

So I tried another bottle yesterday. Success! Hearing that loud hiss at uncapping was like the clouds opening up and the angels singing. I mean, it's bad enough to lose a typical ale to bottle carbing issues, but to lose a pile of hops like this? It's enough to make you pull your hair out. I don't know what happened with this beer, maybe all those dryhops had the yeast cells cling to them and thus left me with fewer cells to bottle carbonate...that's my guess though.

So, here's to my shaking technique actually, finally, working!
The beer itself is astoundingly good, too---if you like hops, that is. And who doesn't? :cross:
 

ohiobrewtus

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I may have to give that a shot with a batch that I have in bottles right now. I tried one yesterday at 1 week and there was no carbonation. I haven't bottled for a while, but in the past I usually had at least some carbonation at 1 week.

Glad to hear that all those hops didn't go to waste!
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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Heh, yeah, OB, you SHOULD be glad, considering that a bottle is bound for your gullet :D
 
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Evan!

Evan!

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Revvy said:
Yeah...but we're still alive...so you're evil brew didn't work! Nyah Nyah :D

So how'd it taste?
heh, you're alive, but methinks your taste buds might not fare so well after trying it. ;)

It tastes really hoppy (duh), with lot of woody spice from the Willamette---and plenty of citrus from the Cascade. The mash hopping really adds a nice mellow hop flavor to complement the explosive hops in the foreground. I'm glad it finished somewhat high, because it needs that little bit of residual sugar to balance out the IBU's. It's great, there's really plenty of delineation between the bittering hops and the flavor/aroma hops.
 
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