Poll

What is the best yeast to add to a ~9% abv Imperial Stout when priming the bottles?

Champagne Yeast
1 (14.3%)
Nottingham
1 (14.3%)
US-05/BRY-97
5 (71.4%)

Total Members Voted: 7

Author Topic: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout  (Read 2244 times)

Offline skyler

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Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« on: April 22, 2013, 11:31:13 AM »
Sorry for the newbesque question, but I haven't bottle-conditioned a high gravity beer in 4+ years. I have a 1.086 OG imperial stout fermenting that was specifically brewed with bottle conditioning in mind (the idea is to bottle them in pretty champagne bottles or something, then give most of them to friends/family as presents).

My plan has been to ferment it to completion, then rack it to secondary and bulk age for a month or two (maybe with oak or something) before bottling it with champagne yeast and priming sugar to ensure carbonation. The primary yeast is BRY-97 (Danstar's American Ale yeast), fwiw. As I understood it, the champagne yeast would survive the ~9% alcohol, eat the priming sugar, and not continue to eat anything else in the beer. But my brewing partner is concerned that champagne yeast would continue to ferment other sugars in the beer, resulting in a bottle bomb. Should I be concerned?

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2013, 11:44:32 AM »
It's not so strong that you need to worry about the yeast.  Use the BRY-97, it will carb fine.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2013, 12:10:08 PM »
I agree that the primary yeast is fine. However I recently went with champagne yeast on a barley wine and it worked really well. first time in a while I got really consistent carbonation on a strong beer. but that one was ~13% so slightly different.

I have heard and read in several places that champagne yeast has less ability to ferment maltose and other malt sugars than most ale yeast so on that front I think that you are right. I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?
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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2013, 12:14:14 PM »
It's not so strong that you need to worry about the yeast.

+1. I voted Nottingham for the high flocculation. From what I hear BRY-97 is more flocculent than US-05 (what isn't?!) so if you have that handy go that route.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2013, 03:04:09 PM »
I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?

I've read that champagne bottles hold up to 12 volumes. I think that depends on how thick the bottle really is. I have some champagne bottles that held wine and they are a heck of a lot thicker than the champagne bottles they put beer in. I do have some of the champagne bottles that once held beer with mead that I carbonated to six volumes, just to see what it was like. The last few bottles are about three years old and haven't blown up yet.

I believe the weizen bottles and stubby Belgian 330ml bottles will hold up to five volumes. I am not sure what the corked Belgian 750ml bottles are rated to hold but I would imagine it is at least five volumes. Probably more given how thick the glass is.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2013, 03:10:13 PM »
I also agree you should be fine bottling with fresh ale yeast but using a wine/champagne yeast would not be a wrong idea since they are good into the double digits. It may be worth the added insurance to use wine yeast.

I've used EC-1118 champagne yeast to bottle several sours. It works well although it sometimes leaves behind a biscuit flavor the first few weeks. It does go away eventually. Once I run out of my EC-1118 supply I plan on switching to the rockpile strain. It is more neutral, hence why it is used at Russian River and other breweries for bottling. I'd suggest using that strain if you decide to use a wine strain.

Also keep in mind that while that stout has aged it will lose some dissolved CO2, especially if it was kept at warmer temperatures. If you have only aged it for a couple of months I would add just a touch extra priming sugar to make up for the lost dissolved CO2. I don't know of a priming calculator that calculates lost CO2 from aging and I don't know exactly how much is lost over what time at what temperature. For a couple of months of aging I would calculate priming sugar based on an extra 1-2 tenths of volume depending on how warm it aged. (So if you're carbing to 2.5 plug 2.6 or 2.7 into the calculator to find how much priming sugar to use.)
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2013, 03:13:27 PM »
I also agree you should be fine bottling with fresh ale yeast but using a wine/champagne yeast would not be a wrong idea since they are good into the double digits. It may be worth the added insurance to use wine yeast.

I've used EC-1118 champagne yeast to bottle several sours. It works well although it sometimes leaves behind a biscuit flavor the first few weeks. It does go away eventually. Once I run out of my EC-1118 supply I plan on switching to the rockpile strain. It is more neutral, hence why it is used at Russian River and other breweries for bottling. I'd suggest using that strain if you decide to use a wine strain.

Also keep in mind that while that stout has aged it will lose some dissolved CO2, especially if it was kept at warmer temperatures. If you have only aged it for a couple of months I would add just a touch extra priming sugar to make up for the lost dissolved CO2. I don't know of a priming calculator that calculates lost CO2 from aging and I don't know exactly how much is lost over what time at what temperature. For a couple of months of aging I would calculate priming sugar based on an extra 1-2 tenths of volume depending on how warm it aged. (So if you're carbing to 2.5 plug 2.6 or 2.7 into the calculator to find how much priming sugar to use.)

most of the priming calculators I know of take beer temp into consideration if you enter it accurately.
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Offline skyler

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2013, 03:28:32 PM »
I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?

The "bombs" I was referring to were the bombs of messiness when you open a bottle and it foams all over the counter, not the actual glass-breaking kind of bottle bomb, which I have never encountered and consider to be a "homebrew myth." I think I may just go with the Champagne yeast due to its known consistency and the fact that it is 50¢. IME, if I use no additional yeast, it may take months to carbonate (this if from 4+ years ago when I tried to bottle-condition a ~1.070 chocolate stout that I had put considerable effort and expense into). I would rather use something that costs 50¢ and works than something that costs $4 and works.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2013, 03:44:25 PM »
I would not worry about bottle bombs with the champagne yeast. particularly with champagne bottles. those bottles can hold like 5 volumes can't they?

The "bombs" I was referring to were the bombs of messiness when you open a bottle and it foams all over the counter, not the actual glass-breaking kind of bottle bomb, which I have never encountered and consider to be a "homebrew myth." I think I may just go with the Champagne yeast due to its known consistency and the fact that it is 50¢. IME, if I use no additional yeast, it may take months to carbonate (this if from 4+ years ago when I tried to bottle-condition a ~1.070 chocolate stout that I had put considerable effort and expense into). I would rather use something that costs 50¢ and works than something that costs $4 and works.

Gotcha,

But gotta say. it is no myth. I have had several bottles explode and while I was not there it witness the violence of the explosion I have heard it happen (a soft pop from a closed cooler on the porch while I was on the other side of the house wall.) and seen the bottle that failed and the three bottles near it that were also broken by the shrapnel.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 11:13:47 AM »
I've heard T-58 recommended for bottle carbing before because it leaves a fine, compact sediment in the bottle. I've used US-05 in the past, but I think I'm going to use S-04 in the future if needed, since it works fast and forms a solid cake on the bottom of the bottle.
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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2013, 12:22:18 PM »
Yeah, Boulevard (IIRC) as well as a number of other commercial breweries use T-58 for bottling.  There's also this, which is specifically for bottling...

http://www.fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/SFB_F2_EN.pdf
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2013, 10:25:36 AM »
most of the priming calculators I know of take beer temp into consideration if you enter it accurately.

Temperature, yes, but not time.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2013, 10:27:23 AM »
most of the priming calculators I know of take beer temp into consideration if you enter it accurately.

Temperature, yes, but not time.

True,

I always assumed that the temp calculations are based one the assumption that the beer has been at that temp long enough to reach equilibrium with the ambient atmosphere at which point more time shouldn't make any difference given that the headspace of your fermenter should be pretty much full of co2 that whole time.
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Bottling Yeast Choice for Imperial Stout
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2013, 11:34:21 PM »
most of the priming calculators I know of take beer temp into consideration if you enter it accurately.

Temperature, yes, but not time.

True,

I always assumed that the temp calculations are based one the assumption that the beer has been at that temp long enough to reach equilibrium with the ambient atmosphere at which point more time shouldn't make any difference given that the headspace of your fermenter should be pretty much full of co2 that whole time.

I believe the OP is worried about the amount of CO2 which escapes the crown cap over time after a beer reaches carbonation.

I don't know if there is a formula, and I don't know that it is worth adjusting your priming sugar for it.
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