Question about Bottle Conditioning a Beer

Reads 1789 • Replies 14 • Started Sunday, November 4, 2012 11:24:28 AM CT

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beers 1826 º places 120 º 11:24 Sun 11/4/2012

I am preparing to bottle condition our Christmas ale this coming weekend, and need to make sure the carbonation is spot on given that we brewed this beer with a bunch of friends and they all will be receiving bottles of it. I have bottle conditioned beers off and on for the past three years, and sometimes the carb levels are perfect and other times the beer turns out over/under carbonated. I just read the thread on Gravity Points for Priming and used the calculator referenced there -- which says that I need to use about 4oz of corn sugar to hit the correct CO2 levels. My question is this -- do I need to add any additional yeast? The beer we are making is a belgian style quad that spent two weeks in primary (OG 1090) and then has been aged on 8oz of cacoa nibs soaked in vodka and 4 vanilla beans soaked in vodka. We will then blend two 750mls of kriek at bottling. I’m just wondering if there will be enough yeast in suspension to carbonate the bottles by using 4 oz of corn sugar. Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome! Thanks!

beers 3436 º places 21 º 14:04 Sun 11/4/2012

There will be enough yeast. It may take a while to carbonate though. When you bottle and prime, be sure to rouse some sediment into to the beer.

beers 2287 º places 71 º 16:14 Sun 11/4/2012

what kriek do you plan on blending in?

beers 2451 º places 57 º 16:35 Sun 11/4/2012

Originally posted by BenH
There will be enough yeast. It may take a while to carbonate though. When you bottle and prime, be sure to rouse some sediment into to the beer.

Also, make sure to condition at slightly elevated temps.

beers 7930 º places 424 º 10:02 Tue 11/6/2012

Originally posted by matt7215
what kriek do you plan on blending in?

+1 ...that might cause a problem

beers 3438 º places 209 º 11:30 Tue 11/6/2012

how long has it been aging? Adding add’l yeast shouldn’t negatively impact the beer, fwiw.

beers 217 º 17:17 Wed 11/7/2012

We need to know the total volume of beer you plan to carbonate including the kriek. There will be plenty of yeast left in suspension, but you might not be using enough sugar. Since the kriek is already carbonated, you may want to let it sit in the fermenter for a few days to de-carbonate before you bottle.

beers 1826 º places 120 º 18:03 Wed 11/7/2012

I plan to blend in some Lindemans Kriek at bottling -- probably 750ml to 1.5L depending on the taste profile (we did some taste tests earlier with a similar tasting quad to get the ratio we wanted). I can appreciate the need to add the Kriek early to secondary to decarbonate the beer. I am intrigued, however, by Quasimodo’s comment about not having enough priming sugar to get the job done. TastyBrew calculator says to use 4 ounces for this beer style (5 gallon batch) and I should be close to 5.5 gallons after after the Kriek addition. Should I add some additional priming sugar? I am shying away from adding more yeast, as the last time I added rehydrated dry yeast and sugar at priming (for a golden ale that spent 2 months in a whiskey barrel) the beer came out way overcarbonated. Thanks for any further thoughts! Cheers!

beers 217 º 09:42 Thu 11/8/2012

I said 4oz of priming sugar might not be enough because the bottling volume and storage temperature were unknown values. 4oz of corn sugar in a 5.5gal batch stored at 70F should yield 2.2 volumes of CO2 which is fine. It should produce a medium level of carbonation. You definitely don’t need to add more yeast. However, you intend to add Lindemans which complicates the equation quite a bit. I think it is pastuerized and back sweetened, so it may contain additional fermentables which would produce more CO2 in your beer, unless they use an artificial sweetener or lactose. When you consider this plus an unknown quantity of CO2 from the kriek will remain in your beer, it makes it difficult to determine the anticipated level of carbonation of your beer. It will be higher than 2.2, but how much higher is a mystery until you do it. Instead of adding a kriek, you might want to consider using pure cherry juice, letting it ferment for another week or two and then bottle it.

beers 12 º places 3 º 10:10 Thu 11/8/2012

Use tart cherry juice concentrate. One quart in five gallons gives a real nice cherry flavor.

beers 217 º 12:17 Thu 11/8/2012

Agreed. Cherry concentrate works well, if you can find it. If you add un-concentrated cherry juice at this point, it will dilute the beer with some water which is less present in the concentrate, but it will add about the same amount of water as adding kriek. Since this sounds like a big, malty beer, I don’t think it will dilute it too much. When I use cherry juice, I’ll use less water in the primary. For example, if I intend to add a half gallon of juice to the secondary, I’ll use a half a gallon less water in the primary and that has produced good results.

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