Bottle condition barrel aged beer?

Reads 2866 • Replies 6 • Started Monday, October 1, 2012 1:05:34 PM CT

Thread Frozen

beers 246 º places 1 º 13:05 Mon 10/1/2012

About a month ago I bottled a barleywine that I’d 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 that’s its just moving along slowly and could yet gain a bit more carbonation, but after speaking with some friends I’m 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 don’t 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?

I’m wondering if it might work to sort of rouse what’s 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:

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


places 10 º 13:23 Mon 10/1/2012

I had the same problem and received lots of help here:

places 10 º 13:26 Mon 10/1/2012

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.

beers 396 º places 16 º 13:46 Mon 10/1/2012

Style guidelines dicate low-to-moderate carbonation anyway, so you may just want to let it do it’s thing for awhile:

14:16 Mon 10/1/2012

If there’s 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 it’s more common to do force carbonation post longer barrel aging.

For a pretty neutral yeast I’d recommend Fermentis SAF-05 (California), it’s a dry yeast so it’s easy to pour some into the bottles.

beers 3438 º places 209 º 14:49 Mon 10/1/2012

Originally posted by pellegjr
Style guidelines dicate low-to-moderate carbonation anyway, so you may just want to let it do it’s thing for awhile:

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 people’s thoughts are.

beers 246 º places 1 º 15:00 Mon 10/1/2012

@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 - I’ll 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

Homebrew Shops - A collection of homebrew shops and supply houses submitted by RateBeer readers

Homebrewing Articles - RateBeer Magazine's homebrewing department

Homebrew Recipes - Experiment, share and post your own homebrew recipes

Until we can make beer come out of your monitor...

Send Beer Over The Net

Free signup now. Even out a trade, keep good vibes alive, say hi with a beer