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Bottle condition barrel aged beer?


read 1144 times • 6 replies • posted 10/1/2012 1:05:34 PM

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thetomG 246:1
About a month ago I bottled a barleywine that Iíd aged in a small 5 gallon bourbon barrel. Decided to crack one open the other day to see how it was coming along only to notice that there was very little carbonation - the beer smelled and tasted great, but it was almost totally flat. I guess it might be possible thatís its just moving along slowly and could yet gain a bit more carbonation, but after speaking with some friends Iím thinking I might have needed to add more yeast in at bottling time in order for it to carbonate - it was suggested that most of the yeast likely died off/settled into the wood so when I transferred from barrel to the bottling bucket, virtually no viable yeast was brought over to bottle condition the beer with.

I donít yet have any kegging equipment (but I am looking) so what might I be able to do in the meantime to alleviate this issue on future barrel aged batches?

Iím wondering if it might work to sort of rouse whatís in the barrel a bit before transferring into the bottling bucket... would that do the trick? Would I be better served just adding fresh yeast into the beer at bottling time, or maybe using a krausening method like the one mentioned here: http://www.winning-homebrew.com/krausening.html

thanks in advance for any input you might be able to provide...

cheers!
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elkhunter36 10
I had the same problem and received lots of help here:

http://www.ratebeer.com/forums/barrel-aging--yeast--bottling-question_203508.htm
10/1/2012 1:23:43 PM

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elkhunter36 10
Should also mention that I have since bottled 2 different batches, one a stout (11% abv) and one a barleywine (13% abv) and by repitching the yeast both have carbed nicely.
10/1/2012 1:26:03 PM

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pellegjr 395:16
Style guidelines dicate low-to-moderate carbonation anyway, so you may just want to let it do itís thing for awhile: http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style19.php
10/1/2012 1:46:05 PM

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Danko
If thereís booze left in a barrel it can kill off the yeast over time. Priming your bottles with a little sugars and yeast should do the trick, otherwise itís more common to do force carbonation post longer barrel aging.

For a pretty neutral yeast Iíd recommend Fermentis SAF-05 (California), itís a dry yeast so itís easy to pour some into the bottles.
10/1/2012 2:16:44 PM

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NobleSquirrel 3437:209
Originally posted by pellegjr
Style guidelines dicate low-to-moderate carbonation anyway, so you may just want to let it do itís thing for awhile: http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/style19.php


While true, there a strong bias for the beer to be at least petillant, if not medium-low carbonation. Bring some to a CBS meeting and see what peopleís thoughts are.
10/1/2012 2:49:23 PM

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thetomG 246:1
@elkhunter - thanks for the link - will check it out...

@pellegjr - yeah low carb for the style is ok, but this is not even at the "low" level yet IMO - if it stays like this its not ruined, just would prefer there to be a bit more carbonation

@NobleSquirrel - Iíll def bring a bottle to the CBS meeting - but maybe not until next month in the hopes that it improves a bit :)

additional info for those that are interested:

OG: 1.106
FG: 1.012

Used two packets of re-hydrated Safale S-04
10/1/2012 3:00:33 PM

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