Author Topic: carbonization issues with high ABV brews  (Read 667 times)

Offline saintjimmy

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carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« on: March 05, 2017, 04:55:41 PM »
My last 3 brews have all been above 7.5%, and I'm having issues with carbonization.  I'm still bottling with sugar, and they don't seem to be carbonating too well.

My first mistake was bottling them, and then putting the beers into an area that is 15c (59F).  I have since moved the beer to 20c (68c).  But they are all seeming finicky.  My lowers 5% Saison turned out perfectly.

I know most will say "Start Kegging" but that is not really an option at this point.  I just have to work with what I got.

Any advise?  The last one I bottled, was 2 weeks ago, and is an 8% Wee Heavy.

Offline denny

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Re: carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 04:59:37 PM »
Sometimes the yeast can be worn out in a hbigh gravity beer, making carbonation uncertain.  7.5% isn't all that high and I've never had any problems at that level, but it's all I can think of.  You might add about 1/3 pack of dry yeast next time you bottle and see if that helps.
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Offline santoch

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Re: carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 06:32:07 PM »
The best bet is to rouse up the yeast by swirling all the bottles and get them warm.
A lot of time, folks leave the bottles on the concrete floor in the basement.  This sucks all the heat out of the bottles, even when the air is warmer.
Make sure the bottles are off the floor and nice and warm.  At this point, what would be considered too warm for fermenting is ok for carbonating (even up to ~75 or 80F). You won't develop off flavors from that.


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Offline saintjimmy

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Re: carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2017, 09:16:16 PM »
Would the yeast be worn out, even if I used a yeast starter (the ones in the can from Northern Brewer).  I do a yeast starter for 24hrs before doing beer like this.

Also, my beers aren't kept on the floor, I have some home made crates I use.

Thanks for the info, I've swirled the beer

Offline denny

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Re: carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2017, 09:28:16 PM »
Would the yeast be worn out, even if I used a yeast starter (the ones in the can from Northern Brewer).  I do a yeast starter for 24hrs before doing beer like this.

Also, my beers aren't kept on the floor, I have some home made crates I use.

Thanks for the info, I've swirled the beer

It is highly unlikely that the yeast is worn out.  Can you move them to someplace warmer?
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Offline saintjimmy

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Re: carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2017, 11:37:36 PM »
they are at 20c (68F) right now.  Warmer yet?

Offline brewinhard

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Re: carbonization issues with high ABV brews
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2017, 11:51:37 PM »
they are at 20c (68F) right now.  Warmer yet?

You can easily get them into the mid 70's with no problems at this point. That will help to speed up carbonation process.

And when I used to bottle, I also had issues with higher ABV beers (usually over 8%) not carbonating properly either. It led me to always add a small amount of rehydrated dry yeast along with my priming sugar into the bottling bucket to ensure a timely carbonation period. Worked every time.