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Thread: Bottle Conditioning/Priming

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    Israel
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    51

    Bottle Conditioning/Priming

    I have an experimental batch of an Etrog (Citron) Wheat that I am thinking of bottle conditioning. I fermented with Danstar Windsor dry yeast which attenuates only to about 68% - leaving me with a FG of 1.018 (SG was 1.063). Am I correct in assuming that by just adding priming sugar without adding fresh yeast I will not get any CO2 in the bottle since the yeast has already fully attenuated? If so (that I have to add yeast at bottling), any recommendations on type of yeast and volume? Lastly, do I have to add any priming sugar if I still have a gravity of 1.018 at bottling?

    Thx

    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
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    hi,

    the "homebrew" way of adding primings and no extra yeast seems to work. however, this is not the best for repeatable bottle conditioning performance. if you want to always guarantee a timely and consist bottle conditioning, you should add a fresh batch of yeast.

    do you have access to a microscope? if so, do a yeast count and see where you sit prior to bottling (i.e. make sure there is some viable yeast still floating around). you should get CO2 developed from your primings as long as you still have viable yeast cells in suspension. the attenuation limit of your yeast (stopping at 1.018) just means that it cannot consume the remaining sugars in your fermenter beer, so give it more food and (in theory) it should produce CO2.

    alex

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
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    304

    Just some thoughts...........

    Hi, Dave.............

    If you have a copy or can buy/borrow a copy of "German Wheat Beer" by Eric Warner, #7 in the Classic Beer Style Series. Eric worked in a classic German Hefe-Weizen Brewery and wrote a quite detailed description of the bottle conditioning process. I'm not familiar with that style of wheat beer, so I don't know if an Etrog is hazey or clear. I'm a Hefe guy, myself. I met Eric many yarn ago........a nice guy.........and his eye for detail comes through in this book.

    There's a good equation on pg. 78 to predict what percentage of speise (or post kettle wort) you need to get the desired carbonation. It is always best to use kreausen beer (beer just starting fermentation) as it is already working and is less prone to be shocked by the mixing with finished beer. We cask with that kreausen beer in our Brewery and it comes out wonderfully.
    Post lauter wort can be used if it is sterilized, but it may dilute your bottle IBUs, just as you can over hop a beer by adding post kettle wort if its IBUs are significantly higher than your bottle product.

    As one would expect, you probably should keep an eye on the carbonation levels, and some bottle condition wheat beer Breweries use a dial manometer/pressure gage to determine the carbonation level. You might have to rig one up yourself that fits into a sample bottle you set aside as a tester that is representative of the whole batch. Where you're at geographically, I would think you'ld have no problems at all hitting the 66F - 77F degrees it would take to bottle condition, which should take 2 - 5 days. When there is no more pressure build-up (increase) for 1 day, load the beer to a walk-in for a 2 - 6 week cold storage (depends on how big the beer is and what flavor you're after).

    Feel free to write me direct for specifics, Dave, but there are a few things to consider when doing this:

    1.) Try to use kreausen beer when possible.

    2.) Try to use beer of the same type when using the kreasen beer or color/bitterness/malt profile might fall out of teh parameter for the the style.

    3.) If you are looking for a clearer finished beer in teh bottle, use a lager yeast. Beers conditioned with lager yeasts tend to have more sediment and floculation that ale yeasts. It really depends on the look you're trying to achieve.

    4.) Minimize all oxygen exposure as much as possible for taste and yeast performance reasons. However, the limited oxygen exposure will be taken up by the bottle conditioning.

    5.) Sterility requirements go up with this method since the beer sits in warm conditioning so long.

    6.) Until you get this all dialed in, it is very much a "black art", and batch-to-batch consitency comes with practice and experience.

    7.) Hopefully, you won't have to resort to pasteurization to stop the process. If the original beer is terminal and clear when you pitch the kreasen beer, you should be OK if it's kept cold.

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Pittsburgh, PA
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    407
    A little off topic here, but still in the bottle conditioning/priming arena:

    I'm planning to hand-bottle a 7bbl batch of Barleywine (ahem...excuse me, that's "Barleywine Style Ale") into 750ml bottles, and here's my plan:
    - bottle conditioned
    - capped, not corked
    - primed w/ corn sugar
    - adding "some" fresh live yeast

    Here's where I'm looking for some feedback:
    1. What should the priming rate be for this batch - in lbs of corn sugar per bbl? I suppose I can extrapolate up from the homebrew guideline of 3/4cup per 5 gallon batch, but I was hoping for some empirical help.
    2. Priming Yeast choice: some have recommended champagne yeast, but I'm thinking that it might ferment more sugars than my "base" yeast strain can convert, and I'd be risking some overcarbonation, so I plan to use the same strain as went into the unitank.
    3. How much yeast should I be adding? Now, before you answer, know that I typically pitch by volume (no, not even by weight), and I don't have access to a microscope in my little shop here. I'm thinking about a liter or two of very thick slurry (pre mixed w/ a few gallons of beer) into the serving tank.

    Hand washing, hand filling, hand capping, and hand labeling... I may have bitten off quite a bit here.

    Thanks folks.
    Scott

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Israel
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    Brian - a great treatise on bottle conditioning. Unfortunately, I did not set aside any gyle when I brewed and seeing as this is a once-a-year brew, krausening with the same wort is impossible. I do not have convenient access to Eric Warners book, a microscope or a manometer. (Didn't you know I brew by candlelight in a bedouin tent in the middle of the desert? )

    Alex, now that I'm reading your post it seems to make perfect sense. It shouldn't matter whether a particular yeast attenuates to 65% or 85% - add more food and they'll get back to work. Just to be completely neurotic though - at 6% alcohol I shouldn't have to worry about the yeast not being alcohol tolerant enough to bottle condition. Right?

    David

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Chicago, IL
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    185
    I am thinking about building a few such clip-on manometers for bottle conditioning, if not purchase some. (don't exactly know where to look for these guys either)

    how much a head pressure should I expect (and therefore the proper pressure gauge?)

    at 68F, I take that it will take 27 psi of CO2 head pressure for 2.5 v/v... Am I correct to just assume the head pressure be the same as the equilibrium pressure?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    49
    Quote Originally Posted by Dancing Camel
    Brian - a great treatise on bottle conditioning. Unfortunately, I did not set aside any gyle when I brewed and seeing as this is a once-a-year brew, krausening with the same wort is impossible. I do not have convenient access to Eric Warners book, a microscope or a manometer. (Didn't you know I brew by candlelight in a bedouin tent in the middle of the desert? )

    Alex, now that I'm reading your post it seems to make perfect sense. It shouldn't matter whether a particular yeast attenuates to 65% or 85% - add more food and they'll get back to work. Just to be completely neurotic though - at 6% alcohol I shouldn't have to worry about the yeast not being alcohol tolerant enough to bottle condition. Right?

    David
    How long has the beer been sitting and at what temps?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Odessa, FL USA
    Posts
    158
    David,

    After much experimentation.....
    For 7 bbl, I dose with 10 lb dextrose, 10 lb sucrose and 500 gm dry yeast (PDM). Overkill, but I'm looking for serious head and carbonation for a saison.
    Dry yeast has the distinct advantage of carrying it's own
    nutrient and O2 supply with it. It isn't afraid of a harsh environment.
    I end up with 4.5 volumes of CO2 for a bright saison. I'd back off the dextrose
    and sucrose to about 7 lb each for a barley wine of 2.5 vol. I use half sucrose to speed-up the process. I get 2 volumes of CO2 after only 24 hours. Carbonation is harsh and drastic for the first couple of weeks, then comes into it's own after that. Nice fine bubbles and lacing.

    Bob
    Saint Somewhere Brewing
    Tarpon Springs FL

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    258

    bottle conditioning hefeweizen

    HI Dancing Camel

    Here is the measurements I got by bottle conditioning a Hefe

    * endfermentation degree of Hefeweizen used 1.008
    * at bottling 1.008

    as you see, no extract left for hefeweizen yeast

    Now, I added 1 cup cornsugar into 5 gallon Hefeweizen
    and added a vial of LAGER YEAST for bottle conditioning.

    10 days at 65*F; than 3 weeks at 32*F; than ready..............

    BTW: Erdinger and some of the famous Hefeweizen (in Bottles..)
    are bottle conditioned with "Speise" fermented to a certain degree
    with Lager Yeast.

    I hope this helps.................

    Fred

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