General Category > Kegging and Bottling

Bottling after extended secondary fermentation


I have a five gallon batch that has been in secondary fermentation for about three weeks now. I was hoping to keg but was unable to get an appropriate setup in a timely fashion. I need to get the beer into bottles but I'm not sure if the yeast is still viable for carbonation.

Would I need to pitch additional yeast or is there still enough life left in the yeast that's in suspension? If I did pitched additional yeast, would that be catastrophic?

3 weeks,  should be no problem.


I agree with Fred. I recently bottled some Imp. Stout after letting it age on some vanilla beans and Bourboun soaked oak chips for 7 weeks (10 gallons). After bottling 100 bottles, I realized that I forgot to add a little fresh yeast in my bottling bucket. I usually do these for extended aged larger beers, as I am concerned that the yeast could be popped out.

Well, I am happy to report that three weeks in the bottle, they are now correctly carbonated. Still, for insurance sake, I would typically add a little fresh yeast into the bottling bucket for aged beers with graviities exceeding 1.065 - 1.075. I usually add 1056 (tablespoon) to each 5 gallon batch that I am bottling and swirl it together with the priming sugars. However, you can use virtually any yeast, as the wort is effectively fully fermented. The only caveat I have to that is that I would avoid adding a significantly higher attenuating yeast to a bottling bucket full of a brew that had a lower attenuating yeast, for obvious reasons.


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