Champagne yeast to ensure carbonation on an aged beer?

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Bluebane

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I'm going to bottle a Belgian Quad later this week, and I need it to go perfectly (my fiancee and I brewed this beer to serve at our wedding!).

I've read a bit about adding some champagne yeast to ensure carbonation, since the yeast is probably dormant. I brewed the beer on 10/28, racked to secondary on 11/11, so by the time we bottle it will have been nearly three months in secondary. The OG was 1.094, FG 1.020.

I've also read that champagne yeast can dry out a beer, or can overcarbonate and cause bottle bombs.

Question #1: Should I use champagne yeast at all or is there another way to prime the bottles that will ensure carbonation?

Question #2: If so, how much champagne yeast should I add to 5 gallons of beer?

Thanks so much for the help!
 

imasickboy

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You can just add fresh beer yeast. For the Belgian strains, your 9.8% ABV beer is no big deal. WLP 500 or 530 will work fine. No danger of drying out your beer that way.
 

cegan09

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CBC-1, It's used specifically for bottle conditioning. I've used it a couple times when I did a very long secondary, and I knew the beer would be in bottles for years. Shouldn't affect the beer in terms of gravity or taste, but will carb it.
 

Kee

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Champagne yeast will not dry out or over-carb your beer, it works great with simple sugars (like priming sugar) but not maltose.
 

miteyjoe

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I have a similar issue as well. I have an Imperial Stout that doesn't seem to want to carbonate. I brewed on 11/5, it was a five-gallon extract batch. I pitched using two packets of Safale US-05. The OG was 1.088 and the FG was 1.022 on 11/23. I on 12/10 and used 6 ounces of cane sugar to prime. Six weeks later, I have a decent tasting beer with little to no carbonation. One suggestion was to open the bottles, add some dry champagne yeast to each bottle and then re-cap the bottles.

Has anyone had luck doing something similar? Any advice would be appreciated.
 

myndflyte

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I have a similar issue as well. I have an Imperial Stout that doesn't seem to want to carbonate. I brewed on 11/5, it was a five-gallon extract batch. I pitched using two packets of Safale US-05. The OG was 1.088 and the FG was 1.022 on 11/23. I on 12/10 and used 6 ounces of cane sugar to prime. Six weeks later, I have a decent tasting beer with little to no carbonation. One suggestion was to open the bottles, add some dry champagne yeast to each bottle and then re-cap the bottles.

Has anyone had luck doing something similar? Any advice would be appreciated.
Yes I've done exactly this with a barleywine. Although I just used regular dried beer yeast and I think you should as well. The alcohol isn't ridiculously high that it would need a champagne yeast. But yeah, I cracked them open, sprinkled a little yeast in there and sealed them back up. Worked like a charm.
 

miteyjoe

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Yes I've done exactly this with a barleywine. Although I just used regular dried beer yeast and I think you should as well. The alcohol isn't ridiculously high that it would need a champagne yeast. But yeah, I cracked them open, sprinkled a little yeast in there and sealed them back up. Worked like a charm.
Thanks, I do have another packet of the Safale US-05. How much would I add to each bottle. Should I just try to evenly distribute the packet over the batch? I was also thinking about rehydrating the yeast and using a syringe to add the liquid to each bottle.
 

myndflyte

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Thanks, I do have another packet of the Safale US-05. How much would I add to each bottle. Should I just try to evenly distribute the packet over the batch? I was also thinking about rehydrating the yeast and using a syringe to add the liquid to each bottle.
Rehydration would be easier to distribute equal amounts but when I did it, I just sprinkled a few yeast in. If you only got the one packet, maybe rehydration and using the syringe is best to make sure you can hit all the bottles.
 
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Bluebane

Bluebane

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I got hold of some CBC-1. Can I just rehydrate the whole 11g satchel and pour it into the bottling bucket with the priming sugar? Or should I use less than 11g? Or should I add it to the fermenter a day early?
 

cegan09

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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I got hold of some CBC-1. Can I just rehydrate the whole 11g satchel and pour it into the bottling bucket with the priming sugar? Or should I use less than 11g? Or should I add it to the fermenter a day early?
Whenever i've used it i've not even bothered re-hydrating. I put my priming sugar in the bottling bucket, siphoned on the beer, sprinkled the yeast on top while the beer was transferring. Everything mixed up and into the bottles it went. Every bottle so far has carbed up just fine.

If it makes you feel better to re-hydrate it I'm sure it won't hurt anything.
 
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