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Author Replies
DBear
02/09/09 10:21 AM  
Bottle condtioning questions
Need your advice

I neeed a soundness check on my bottle conditioning practices, they are inconsistent at hitting targeted carbonation and head formation/rertention. Some of these questions my look very basic but I need to put aside my assumtions. I know some of the issues may come from upsteam processes but I looking at one process at a time.

I brew belgians with avg OG of 1.065, single infusion mashes, yeasts mainly WLP530, 550, shooting carb. levels of 2.5-3, use corn sugar to prime measured from on-line calculators.

- If not cold crashed (CC), what temp do you prime and bottle at? ex. Ferment ramp from 66-79F with fermentation complete at 79F

- If (CC) what temp do you let rise (or not)for bottling

- When do you decide you need to reyeast for priming and bottling (including variables of gravity, ferm temps/time, and length of CC)

- Does reyeasting affect the priming sugar amount?

- How do you determine how much yeast you need to reyeast?

- After bottling do you warm for a couple of weeks in the low 70's

- When/what determins to cellar/refrigerate after bottling.

- Any links to a perfered priming calculator?

-Cheers

WitSok
02/09/09 01:19 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Normally I CC. I usually bottle at CC temperature. Of course it will warm up ever so slightly during bottling.

I had several batches a few years back that were nearly flat even with reyeasting (note, I wqsn't rehydrating the yeast for bottleing). Even at 1.60ish OG, I found that I'd need to reyeast. I've been using ~3g S-04 rehydrated at bottling for last 2-3 years and have eliminated the flat beer problem.

I have not made any adjustment to priming sugar calculations based upon reyeasting.

I just bottle condition at basement temerature. Can vary from low 60's in winter to low 80's in summer. Usually just drink them at room temperature too.

I use the calculator built into StrangeBrew.

Al B
02/09/09 01:45 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
I don't think I've ever CC a belgian. I bottle belgians at 70ish room temp. I always reyeast, sometimes with a different strain - a few ml of slurry (not something I measure), I'll add more if its higher gravity (>1070). For saisons and some others I will referment in the 80s if possible. But mostly at 70s for a few weeks before hitting the cellar.

<<Does reyeasting affect the priming sugar amount? >>

Provided you add a small volume (ml) of slurry - no.

ErikH
02/09/09 02:13 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
- If not cold crashed (CC), what temp do you prime and bottle at? ex. Ferment ramp from 66-79F with fermentation complete at 79F

I always bottle at room temp and try to let the beer sit at that ambient temp (usu. about 72) for a few hours beforehand if possible.

- If (CC) what temp do you let rise (or not)for bottling

I don't crash cool, generally.

- When do you decide you need to reyeast for priming and bottling (including variables of gravity, ferm temps/time, and length of CC)

I typically add yeast at bottling for beers of 8% ABV or more. I might also do so if something has been sitting around for over 2 mos. or so, but then it probably qualifies on the ABV basis too. . .

- Does reyeasting affect the priming sugar amount?

I do not make any changes based on this.

- How do you determine how much yeast you need to reyeast?

Rather arbitrarily! Depends on what I have available and how well I have planned. At minimum 1/2 sachet of dry yeast.

- After bottling do you warm for a couple of weeks in the low 70's

Yes, 2 weeks minimum. Helps the beer carb up very nicely.

- When/what determins to cellar/refrigerate after bottling.

Mostly I cellar/refrigerate beer I intend to hold onto for more than 6 months or so.

- Any links to a perfered priming calculator?

I have had excellent results by using the method laid out in this article "A Primer on Priming" by Mark Hibberd. It allows you to account for temperature, type of sugar used, desired vols CO2, etc. Just follow the steps he lays out and do the calcs yourself - they are not complicated.

http://brewery.org/library/YPrimerMH.html

DBear
02/10/09 07:29 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions

Thanks to all. Your advice is much appreciated and very helpful.

Witsok,

When you bottle at CC temps - say 35F - how long does it take rise to the basement ambient temps?

-Cheers

Tom from Raleigh
02/10/09 09:51 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
You may already be doing this, but it's more accurate to measure your priming sugar by weight than by volume.

Also, achieving consistent carbonation levels through bottle conditioning is a real challenge due to a whole host of mitigating factors. Additionally, you don't have the ability to make fine adjustments once the beer has been bottled. Have you considered kegging and carbing the beer to the appropriate level, then filling the bottles from a keg?

It may seem like an extra step, but the control and convenience is worth the expense. I bottled for 7 years before I started to keg my beer and I don't miss cleaning bottles or being irritated that a given beer didn't have the carb level I desired.

Cisco
02/10/09 10:21 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
- If not cold crashed (CC), what temp do you prime and bottle at? ex. Ferment ramp from 66-79F with fermentation complete at 79F

I prime and bottle at room temperature.

- If (CC) what temp do you let rise (or not)for bottling

I cold crash, actually cold condition for several weeks at 36F to allow suspended material to settle to the bottom of the keg and help the beer flavores to mature. I take the keg out of CC the night before and let it warm up for bottling the next day.

- When do you decide you need to reyeast for priming and bottling (including variables of gravity, ferm temps/time, and length of CC)

I always re-yeast at bottling time, especially after weeks of cold conditioning. I find that if you don't cold condition the beer then the bottle will have too much sediment in it. I like to see an almost non existant sediment layer in my bottles.

- Does reyeasting affect the priming sugar amount?

No.

- How do you determine how much yeast you need to reyeast?

I just add some, not a lot. Maybe as much as you get in a fresh White Labs tube.

- After bottling do you warm for a couple of weeks in the low 70's

I keep all bottled beer at room temperature - 74F year round.

- When/what determins to cellar/refrigerate after bottling.

My bottles remain at room temperature (sometimes for years) and they go in the frig at the beginning of the week that I intend to drink them.

- Any links to a perfered priming calculator?

I use ProMash.

OldTree
02/10/09 08:23 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Here is the link to a priming sugar calculator which is hosted on the hbd.org site. It's probably based off of the above referenced information.

http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator/carbonation.html

This is what I use, because it is the only one I can find that lets you use plain ole sugar.

ErikH
02/11/09 10:05 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
That's nice, OT! I have often used their recipe spreadsheet, but for some reason never looked at this. Good way to avoid post-RDWHAHB math errors on bottling day. . .
DBear
02/11/09 11:03 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
OT,

This is the priming sugar calculator that I have been using...

http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

..and here is the output

Recommended Priming Sugar:

Sugar Type Weight

Glucose (dextrose or corn sugar) 5.7 oz

Sucrose (table sugar) 5.5 oz

DME 55% AA (eg: Laaglander) 13.2 oz

DME 70% AA (eg: Northwestern) 10.4 oz

DME 75% AA (eg: Munton & Fison) 9.7 oz

I like that the hbd.org calculator provides the pre-priming amount of CO2 in solution.

-Cheers

WitSok
02/11/09 07:41 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
CC probably isn't really the correct term. What I have been doing is lagering in secondary. If there is space in the frig, then I'd be lagering in the low 40's. If in the garage, it will vary (may even freeze).

When I decide to bottle, I add the yeast and sugar and bottle immediately. There is very little warm up. If I had to guess, it probably take 1-2 days to go from 35F to 65F. It nothing I ever tried, so I can't say for sure.

ChadYak
02/12/09 11:12 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
For re-yeasting:

I've talked to several brewers bottle conditioning commercial beers and they aim to get about 1,000,000 cells or 10^6 cells per 500mL... Sounds about right to bring up a beer to around 1.9-2.2 vol range?

If you cold crash is there enough yeast left in the beer to be able to have re-fermentation introduced in the bottle with out re-yeasting?

Cisco
02/12/09 12:31 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
"If you cold crash is there enough yeast left in the beer to be able to have re-fermentation introduced in the bottle with out re-yeasting?"

That depends on how long and hard you cold conditioned. Normally no, you need to add fresh yeast.

OldTree
02/12/09 07:56 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
On a homebrew scale I have heard Jamil state to use 1g of dried yeast or 1/2 tube/smack pack to re-yeast 5gal of beer. Apparently this gives a dosing similar to what Sierra Nevada uses.
B-Dub
02/13/09 12:05 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
If I remember right Sierra Nevada carbs the beer up to 2.4 Vols CO2 and only ferments a few Vols worth to bring it into the 2.6-2.7 range.

ChadYak
02/13/09 12:06 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
So how about this...

I have an IPA I made two weeks back and cold conditioning for a week. It was dry hopped with 150g (5 oz) pellets a week ago so all the muck dropped to the bottom and is resting above the yeast cake. The beer has been cold conditioning for a week at about 45 degrees F or less, and appears to be pretty bright.

You suggest I re-hydrate about a gram of dry yeast in some of the beer, then add the proper sugar amounts to 500mL hot water, then add all that into the bottling bucket before bottling the whole batch?

tankdeer
02/13/09 12:50 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
I could be wrong, but I believe rehydrating the yeast in beer defeats the purpose. In their dried state the yeast's cell walls are very permeable to liquids. The point of rehydrating is to allow water to pass through the cell walls into the yeast and allow the walls to strengthen. If you rehydrate in beer (or wort for that matter) you are allowing things other than water into the cells (alcohol and/or sugar) which can be detrimental to their health. FWIW, I always rehydrate in warm water. ~100
ChadYak
02/13/09 01:15 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
yeah that sounds right. ehtyl alcohol is permeable to the cell of yeast so it would fill with alcohol due to osmosis and not re-hydrate properly.
jaymo
09/01/10 02:29 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but it seemed appropriate to the question I've got.

I brewed an all-brett L beer last year, then later added 4 lbs of dried cherries & a bottle of pinot noir wine, followed by a WLP tube of brett brux. The beer got pulled off the cherries over last winter and has been aging in a carboy. It is quite acidic, although not quite as tart as something like La Folie. At this point it is ready to bottle and I'd like to reyeast it with EC-1118.

For those of you that reyeast sour/brett beers after long term aging, do you add your yeast ahead of time to the carboy, or directly to the bottling bucket? If ahead of time, how far?

Thanks!

Rob B
09/01/10 05:36 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
I just add it to the bottling bucket.
Cisco
09/01/10 06:41 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
In the bottling bucket.
brewinhard
09/02/10 02:38 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Here is my tried and true way of bottle conditioning. After having several high ABV% brews (years back) not carbonate in the bottle I quickly made adjustments so I wouldn't have that happen anymore.

If beer is cold crashed/aged for lengthy period/lagered/or stronger than 7.5-8% ABV I will add fresh yeast at bottling. I choose Lalvin EC-1118 dry champagne yeast for this process for several reasons:

1. costs $1 vs. 3-4$ for fermentis or something like it. PS-save your good dry yeast/liquid yeast for fermentation.

2. EC-1118 is very alchohol tolerant and resistant to low pH environments. Perfect for a strongly fermented beer.

3. EC-1118 is a very clean, neutral yeast and will not impart any flavor into the beer simply b/c of the low priming sugar amounts.

4. It is a strong, quick fermenter and even your strongest barleywine will be carbonated in 7-10 days at room temps (I call it turbo carbing!)

Process-

Allow your fermenter to come to room temps if it isn't already. Get a good temperature of your finished beer. This temperature is used to calculate priming sugar amounts. I use the nomograph in Palmer's How to brew or Jamil's BCS (works everytime). Boil proper amount of priming sugar to reach desired CO2 volumes using nomograph and finished beer temperature at bottling time in 1 cup water. Boil 5 min and cool with sanitized lid on. At same time prepare dry yeast by boiling 1 cup water for 5 min. and cool with sanitized lid to about 100 degrees F. Add packet of dry champagne yeast and let sit for 15 min. without stirring. After 15 min., swirl the yeast into suspension and carefully pour into bottling bucket on top of cooled priming sugar solution. Rack beer ontop of rehydrated yeast and sugar solution and BOTTLE AWAY!!!

Or...buy a beer gun and lots of kegs...he he he....

tom sawyer
09/02/10 03:11 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Isn't the temperature supposed to be that which you will serve your beer at? Not the temp you bottle condition?
Jaymo
09/02/10 03:45 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Brewinhard-

Sounds like what I'm already doing for my beers, minus the re-yeasting part! Thanks for the input, all.

Cisco
09/02/10 04:52 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
The temperature is the beer at bottling time because the colder it is the more residual CO2 will be held in solution at bottling time and therefore you could over prime. Warmer temps let the CO2 dissolve into the air and the beer is more still.
DBear
09/02/10 07:00 PM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions

I have been priming with cane sugar for the last 15 batches and get consistent results.

I use the same calculator that OldTree referenced

http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator/carbonation.html

jaymo
09/04/10 12:40 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Tom brought up a point I hadn't considered. Is the temperature on the priming sugar nomograph in Palmer's book referring to the temperature during bottle conditioning or the serving temperature?

I always assumed it was the temp during conditioning, but considering the serving temp affects how much CO2 is held in suspension, serving temp would make more sense. I doubled checked tonight and the book, only saying "beer temperature" does not specify.

brewinhard
09/04/10 08:55 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
Jaymo-

The " beer temperature" indicated simply means the exact temperature of the beer at packaging (bottling) time. The temperarute of the beer is proportional to the amount of CO2 still dissolved within the beer itself which will affect carbonation volumes when using the nomograph properly.

jaymo
09/04/10 11:58 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
That makes sense. Thanks!
manticle
09/05/10 09:46 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
As far as I'm aware, priming temperature should be the highest temperature the brew reached for any significant period (so spikes don't count if minimal)after primary fermentation completed.

Possibly difficult to work out for sours that have been sitting at ambient temps for months.

yes CO2 will stay in solution if the beer is kept cool but if allowed to warm at any point, it will have already come out. Once the yeast has finished it's thing the CO2 that has dissipated won't return.

jaymo
09/06/10 12:21 AM  
Re: Bottle condtioning questions
<<Once the yeast has finished it's thing the CO2 that has dissipated won't return.>>

I'm assuming you mean in the carboy.

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