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Did I kill my yeast?

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slymaster

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I made a 5 imperial gallon batch of the White House honey Ale using Windsor Dry Ale yeast as prescribed. Added a bit of corn sugar to the recipe to dry it out a bit as the extract I used leaves a lot of residual sugars. Final gravity was 1.018, alcool at 6.2%, and seemed not so clear at the end of fermentation. So I put it in the cold in the basement of the house for 2 days and went super clear. I was happy. I made a newbie mistake by not checking the temperature. At the time of bottling, it was 45 Farenheit. I adjusted the amount of priming sugar according to the temperature and bottled using granulated beet sugar, which is super-fermentable.

I opened a bottle today and it's barely carbed. A slight «tshhhhit» at the opening. Almost no traces of bubbles. I feel a bit of carbonation on the tongue and the beer is quite sweet. Good, but uncarbed and sweet.

My question:
Did I kill the yeast by putting it in a too cold environment?
or
Did the cold made the yeast go so much to the bottom of the fermenter that I barely have enough viable cells in every bottle to carb the bear?
 

brewboy04

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How long has it been in the bottle and at what temp?


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ColoHox

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There should be plenty of viable cells left to carbonate your beer, the are probably just dormant due to the temperature. Warming the bottles as near to 70F as you can get will speed the process along.
 

Yooper

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Your mistake was using 45 degrees as a temperature. You probably used far less than the 4-5 ounces of corn sugar needed to carbonate a 5 gallon batch.

How much sugar did you actually use?
 
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slymaster

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It's been in the bottles for a week at 70 degrees. I have read pros and cons for adjusting priming sugar, and using different calculators gave me different recommendations. So I went in-between for about 1/2 cup of sugar.
 

Yooper

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It's been in the bottles for a week at 70 degrees. I have read pros and cons for adjusting priming sugar, and using different calculators gave me different recommendations. So I went in-between for about 1/2 cup of sugar.
I don't know how much 1/2 cup of sugar weighs, but it sure seems like far less than you'd need to carb up a 5 gallon batch of beer.

I hate those priming calculators, by the way!
 
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slymaster

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It's the 2nd time I follow what those calculators say and started hate them as well. It's a beer style that requires low carbonation, so not a lot of priming sugar but it might be way too low.

Maybe the low amount of priming sugar causes the carbonation to start slow? There is a small deposit and a very thin carb feel on the tongue. But it's not finished as the beer is still sweeter than it was before I added priming sugar.

Should I wait?
Should I uncap, add sugar and recap?
 

BigFloyd

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There was nothing at all wrong with bottling at the 45*F temp. Heck , I cold crash everything to 35-36*F for nearly a week, pull it out of the cold crash freezer, prime and bottle immediately. All of my bottles carb up just fine.

The issue, as Yooper already noted, was inputting the incorrect temp. When using those calcs, you enter the highest temp that the beer saw during the fermentation process. If you shoot for a typical 2.4-2.6 volumes of CO2, the amount of corn sugar will probably come in at somewhere around 4.25-4.5 ounces (weighed on a scale, only truly accurate way).

If it hasn't yet been at least three week at 70-75*F, wait and see what happens. If you have to re-prime with drops, at least the yeast will have eaten the initial priming sugar by then. Be aware that they may foam up a bunch when you try to re-prime them. Get them as cold as possible before doing so.
 

jjw5015

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If would just give it some time. Those yeasties should wake up in a few weeks
 
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slymaster

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Thank you guys, that's very helpful.
Lots of people we're posting on the internet that you have to put in the calculators the temp at bottling, which can cut the sugar in half and more.

I'll wait another week to open and and re-prime them. I've got 34 of these 22 oz bottles with a very good but flat liquid in them, I want them to get as good as possible! It's better to trash 2$ worth of caps than this 70$ batch...
 
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