Bottle conditioning beer using champagne yeast

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.

z-bob

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Oct 2, 2014
Messages
4,298
Reaction score
2,343
Location
Rochester, MN
A month or so ago I bottled a kind-of strong amber beer (about 7% ABV) made with LalBrew Köln yeast. The one bottle that I put in a PET plastic bottle for a "tester" carbonated, but so far all the 22oz glass bottles have been flat, or almost flat. And they taste sweet. Perhaps the plastic bottle only carbonated because it wasn't sanitized well enough; they are very hard to clean thoroughly.

I'm thinking of opening each of the glass bottles and adding a little fresh yeast and recapping. Can EC-1118 or Red Star Premier Cuvee ferment complex sugars like maltotriose? I want a powerful yeast but one that only metabolizes simple sugars, otherwise they will overcarb. I'm going to rehydrate the yeast and then use a pipette or dropper to add just a CC or two to each bottle.

The other thing I'm going to try when I get back home (I'm out of town for a while) is using this as a top-up to add flavor to Hamm's or Natural Ice (etc)
 
I believe that the only commonly used wine yeast that can ferment maltotriose is K1-V1116.
Thanks. I've used K1-V1116 to ferment beer a few times (with mixed results) because it can ferment 'triose. I'm pretty sure champagne yeasts cannot, plus they won't add any character of their own to the beer. I just asked because I've seen them recommended for high-gravity beers before. I suspect those making the recommendation didn't know what they're talking about and just recommended champagne yeast for its ridiculously-high alcohol tolerance. I know there are microbiologists here (not sure whether amateurs or pros) and thought I'd get a second opinion before potentially making 2 dozen 22oz bottle bombs 😉
 
Recently, I did some split packaging batches (CBC-1 & EC-1118) on a couple of hoppy/hazy ales. At about a month after bottling, I didn't notice any meaningful performance differences in carbonation and didn't notice any obvious off flavors. I've settled in on CBC-1 for a while (mostly personal preference) as I was able to get a number of sachets on deep discount to "street price".
 
I just asked because I've seen them recommended for high-gravity beers before. I suspect those making the recommendation didn't know what they're talking about and just recommended champagne yeast for its ridiculously-high alcohol tolerance.
Outside of forum discussion, I've seen (older but) well documented processes for high gravity fermentations that would co-pitch a couple of higher gravity ale yeasts with wine yeast when adding additional fermentables. More recently, the recommendation has been liquid strains like WLP099 that have a very high tolerance.
 
I know there are microbiologists here (not sure whether amateurs or pros) and thought I'd get a second opinion before potentially making 2 dozen 22oz bottle bombs
Well, I am a microbiologist, but that doesn't mean that I have an encyclopedic knowledge of the metabolic capabilities of all commercially available wine yeasts. I have, however, read several claims of good (and safe) bottle conditioning with EC-1118 for whatever that is worth. I have yet to try it myself because I have plenty of CBC-1 on hand.
 
Maybe
  1. take a hydrometer sample (measure SG)
  2. pitch some wine yeast into the sample
  3. watch for yeast activity
  4. take initial SG measurement in a couple of days
A second option (looking for off flavors)
  1. take a hydrometer sample (measure SG)
  2. pitch some sugar and some wine yeast into the sample
  3. watch for yeast activity & measure SG in a couple of days
  4. taste the sample for yeast generated off flavors
    • note that the beer may have some 'young' flavors as well
I'm aware that many people only have tilts and/or refractometers.

Maybe there's a way to make this work with those devices as well.
 
If you're not sure, you could always go with the cbc1 or the fermentis bottling yeast. The wine yeasts could theoretically create a bit of flavour or clean up esters that shouldn't be cleaned up.

I hadn't thought of that part. I may have a packet of CBC-1; if I do I will use that, otherwise I will use EC-1118 and see what I get.
 
Back
Top