Author Topic: Bottle conditioned lager  (Read 1011 times)

Offline Herminator

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Bottle conditioned lager
« on: April 17, 2014, 05:58:34 PM »
So I bottled a lager about 3 weeks ago. Lagered at 35 for 1.5 months. Wanted to see how it was coming so cracked one open and nothing. Flat as the day I bottled it.

Anything I can do? Really bummed as most of what I read only suggested new yeast after 2 months.

Thanks.
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Offline theoman

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2014, 02:11:14 AM »
Bummer. That hurts. I would've went with the better-safe-than-sorry solution. Adding a bit of yeast at bottling won't hurt anything. Now, either drink it flat, cook with it or re-bottle with yeast (oxidation pretty much guaranteed). Maybe if you really want to save it, dump the bottles into a fermenter, cook up some DME or make a little mash, include some sugar, add yeast, mix it all up, hope that the yeast will take care of the oxygen and rebottle as an imperial pils.

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2014, 04:13:43 AM »
You could try making a thin slurry of yeast to add to each bottles.

Offline theoman

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2014, 04:19:19 AM »
You could try making a thin slurry of yeast to add to each bottles.

You and your simple solutions...

Offline Brewtweak

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2014, 05:14:12 AM »
You could try making a thin slurry of yeast to add to each bottles.
Try using a sanitized or sterile syringe to add the yeast. have some caps sanitized and ready, pop it open add the yeast and recap. ;D
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 05:40:54 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I think I will try to make a slurry and save the batch.  I am hoping to avoid oxidation....so quick hands...quick hands. ha.

So two additional questions. 

1. Could I just pick up a vial of whitelabs and and pipette from the vial into the bottles?  I'm thinking I will try to use the same yeast as I don't want any additional yeast flavors.
2. How much yeast are we talking?  1 ml per bottle? 

Thanks for the suggestions.  Live and learn, I guess.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 06:36:50 AM by hd3 »
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2014, 07:45:17 AM »
Thanks for the suggestions.  I think I will try to make a slurry and save the batch.  I am hoping to avoid oxidation....so quick hands...quick hands. ha.

So two additional questions. 

1. Could I just pick up a vial of whitelabs and and pipette from the vial into the bottles?  I'm thinking I will try to use the same yeast as I don't want any additional yeast flavors.
2. How much yeast are we talking?  1 ml per bottle? 

Thanks for the suggestions.  Live and learn, I guess.

Cheers!

sure a white labs vial will work but you won't use the whole thing. maybe have a starter ready to pitch the rest into. grow it up and stick in the fridge for the next brew day.

I think the proper amount will turn out to be, just some. doesn't really matter how much. it can likely be a vanishingly small amount and still work. 1 ml sounds about right, maybe even more than you need.

by the way, what temp did you condition the bottles at?
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Offline Herminator

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2014, 12:42:19 PM »
Thanks Jonathan.  They were stored for about 3 weeks at around 65-70.  A little cooler than ideal, but I would have expected something at those temps. 

Thanks again for the suggestions.  Headed to the LHBS today. 
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2014, 08:24:54 PM »
Thanks Jonathan.  They were stored for about 3 weeks at around 65-70.  A little cooler than ideal, but I would have expected something at those temps. 

Thanks again for the suggestions.  Headed to the LHBS today.

yeah, 65-70 should have gotten you some sparkle.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2014, 10:04:19 AM »
Important lesson - always do a carb-check on bottle-conditioned beers BEFORE moving them to cold-storage.
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Offline sbruening

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2014, 10:58:03 AM »
If your ready to bottle your beer for the first time, can you add a small amount of re-hydrated dry yeast to the sugar mixture.  Mix it together really well then add a dose to each bottle before bottling?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2014, 11:14:45 AM »
If your ready to bottle your beer for the first time, can you add a small amount of re-hydrated dry yeast to the sugar mixture.  Mix it together really well then add a dose to each bottle before bottling?

you can but it is a) not usually needed and b) not the easiest way to go about it.

it some situations it may be advisable to add a little yeast at bottling time. mostly these situations are when you have aged a beer prior to bottling for a significant amount of time (months or even years) or when the beer is so high in alcohol that the strain you fermented with it not going to be able to (or will have a hard time) getting back to work on the added priming sugar. However in the vast majority of situations you do not need to add extra yeast.

If you decide that you want to add yeast at bottling time you can just mix it in the bottling bucket with the priming sugar solution and rack the beer on top of it all to mix. if you want to be extra sure of mixing you can stir GENTLY with a SANITIZED spoon.

Getting dosage right bottle by bottle is a PITA and if possible it's better to mix the whole volume up and then just bottle as normal.
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Offline sbruening

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2014, 11:23:26 AM »
If your ready to bottle your beer for the first time, can you add a small amount of re-hydrated dry yeast to the sugar mixture.  Mix it together really well then add a dose to each bottle before bottling?

you can but it is a) not usually needed and b) not the easiest way to go about it.

it some situations it may be advisable to add a little yeast at bottling time. mostly these situations are when you have aged a beer prior to bottling for a significant amount of time (months or even years) or when the beer is so high in alcohol that the strain you fermented with it not going to be able to (or will have a hard time) getting back to work on the added priming sugar. However in the vast majority of situations you do not need to add extra yeast.

If you decide that you want to add yeast at bottling time you can just mix it in the bottling bucket with the priming sugar solution and rack the beer on top of it all to mix. if you want to be extra sure of mixing you can stir GENTLY with a SANITIZED spoon.

Getting dosage right bottle by bottle is a PITA and if possible it's better to mix the whole volume up and then just bottle as normal.

Okay, the reason I ask is because of the brew that did 3 months ago.  It was a stout that I let sit in a primary for 2 weeks and then moved it to a secondary for another 2 weeks.  Primed with sugar, capped and let sit for another 2 weeks in my basement that holds temperature from 60-70 throughout the entire year.  Opened a bottle and nothing.  Even flat, the beer was still good so I still drank the 5 gallons, except for a lone six pack.  Every bottle was dead, not a hint of carbonation.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2014, 12:32:05 PM »
did it taste as all sweet? if the yeast were unable to deal with the sugar then the sugar would still be there and it's just about enough to taste. it's possible you got bad seals, although that seems unlikely on an entire batch. That time line does not seem long enough to have caused any problems with the yeast unless you cold conditioned in secondary and dropped all the yeast out which is unlikely. How much priming sugar did you use?
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Offline beersk

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Re: Bottle conditioned lager
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2014, 12:54:41 PM »
I think 3 weeks is still pretty soon for a beer that lagered for 6 weeks. It may take longer to carbonate. But 6 weeks is pushing it, I think. To be safe, I wouldn't lager for more than 4 weeks at 35F without adding more yeast at bottling. You probably don't need to even lager that long. You need to drop some of the yeast out, then you can carbonate and lager in the bottles more. So 2 weeks would likely be adequate.

Was there a hiss at all when you opened the bottle? If so, it could mean that it's working, but just taking longer than normal.
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