Author Topic: high alcohol bottling  (Read 4201 times)

Offline hoppilot

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high alcohol bottling
« on: October 07, 2011, 12:07:03 PM »
Hey everybody, I've got an oak aged cherry stout thats sitting at 11.5% that I'm planning on bottling soon. I usually keg all my beers, but having an 11.5% beer on tap seems like a bad idea  ;). After reading some post's it sounds like I should add some yeast before bottling. What exactly is the procedure for this? Should I make my priming sugar solution add the beer to my racking bucket and pitch half a packet of yeast (05) and give it a light stir? Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks.

Offline tygo

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2011, 12:08:14 PM »
I suggest you rehydrate the dry yeast first but yeah that's pretty much it.
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Offline hoppilot

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2011, 12:09:29 PM »
Can I rehydrate in the priming solution, or pitch it in separate warm water?

Offline hokerer

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 12:12:10 PM »
Can I rehydrate in the priming solution, or pitch it in separate warm water?

Rehydrating in plain water is best.  The point of rehydrating is to get the dried out cell walls functioning properly so that they can keep out what needs to be kept out and what needs to be kept in in.  One of the things you don't want overwhelming the inside of the yeast cells is sugars - hence, the recommendation to not rehydrate in wort.  Seems the same thing would apply to your priming solution which is basically sugar water
« Last Edit: October 07, 2011, 05:25:35 PM by hokerer »
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Offline hoppilot

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2011, 12:14:06 PM »
Great, thanks for the help guys!

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2011, 02:45:29 PM »
Why not force carb in a keg and then fill the bottles?
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Offline snowtiger87

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 06:06:03 AM »
I do this with most of my Belgian beers. I use 1 packet of Red Star Premier Cuvee yeast for 10 gallons of beer. I boil 1/2 cup of water, then let it cool down to 95 - 100 degrees and pitch the yeast to rehydrate. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so. Cover with plastic wrap or tin foil sprayed with sanitizer. I will stir it up with a sanitized spoon to make sure I get it mixed well. I then boil about 1/4 cup of water and add the priming sugar (amount depends on how much carbonation you want).

When racking the beer out of the fermentor into the bottling bucket I start the siphon, pour in the priming sugar solution, wait a minute, then pour in half the yeast solution. Bottle as normal.

I usually bottle 10 gallons at once, so I repeat the process with the other half of the rehydrated yeast.
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Offline andyi

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2011, 09:16:16 AM »
I usually bottle 10 gallons at once, so I repeat the process with the other half of the rehydrated yeast.

10 gallons  :o ...A Man Among Men ;D

What size bottles?

Cheers

Offline snowtiger87

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2011, 02:30:58 AM »
Normally I bottle my Belgians so I use the 750ml Ommengang-type cork and cage bottles for the Abbeys and 750ml champagne-style capable bottles for Saisons as they can handle higher pressures. When I get home I intend to teach a class on this for my homebrew club because the one person who has watched me do it was amazed at how smooth my process went.

Of course the right tools help, such as a Champagne floor corker, a masonry tool to twist the cages, and the larger capping bell for Euro caps.

I use a few 375ml or 12oz bottles for each batch in case I want to enter competitions.
Brewing since 1989 - BJCP National Rank

Fermenting: McChouffe clone, Samiclaus clone
Conditioning: Belgian Tripel, Barrel Aged Baltic Porter - in sherry barrel, Belgain Easter Ale
On tap: CAP, Dortmunder Export, IIPA, Dubbel Chocolate Stout, Wee Heavy, Whiskey barrel aged Wee Heavy, Baltic Porter
Newly Bottled:

Offline DW

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2011, 07:52:14 AM »
Just the topic that's on my mind.... I just made a Belgian Quad for the first time.  I figured after secondaring it down for a month, I'd try to put it in bottles.  First question: do I need to leave it in the secondary for a longer time to allow more sugars to be used up so as not to create overcarbed bottles?  Next question:  I used Wyeast Belgian Abbey 1762, are you saying I need to add additional yeast for priming/carbonation?  The original yeast is not sufficient? 

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2011, 08:52:02 AM »
Just the topic that's on my mind.... I just made a Belgian Quad for the first time.  I figured after secondaring it down for a month, I'd try to put it in bottles.  First question: do I need to leave it in the secondary for a longer time to allow more sugars to be used up so as not to create overcarbed bottles?  Next question:  I used Wyeast Belgian Abbey 1762, are you saying I need to add additional yeast for priming/carbonation?  The original yeast is not sufficient? 

You want to leave that beer in primary on the whole yeast cake until it is completly attenuated. This means when you have hit a stable gravity for at least 3 days. So no secondary, generally once you transfer to secondary you have removed so much yeast that it has a hard time finishing up any remaining sugar. If you make sure the gravity is stable you can add your priming sugar and be confident that it will not over carb. In terms of adding yeast at bottling it is not absoutley necesary but it is 'cheap insurance'. You might well have plenty of remaining yeast but is is very stressed by the high alcahol environment and half packet of dry yeast is pretty cheap so why chance it?
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Offline DW

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 12:28:30 PM »
[You want to leave that beer in primary on the whole yeast cake until it is completly attenuated. This means when you have hit a stable gravity for at least 3 days. So no secondary, generally once you transfer to secondary you have removed so much yeast that it has a hard time finishing up any remaining sugar. If you make sure the gravity is stable you can add your priming sugar and be confident that it will not over carb. In terms of adding yeast at bottling it is not absoutley necesary but it is 'cheap insurance'. You might well have plenty of remaining yeast but is is very stressed by the high alcahol environment and half packet of dry yeast is pretty cheap so why chance it? ]
[/quote]

So you go straight from primary to bottles once the final gravity is stable for 3 days?  I assume this means less than 2 weeks?  Aren't you worried it could blow bottles?

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 01:45:06 PM »
[You want to leave that beer in primary on the whole yeast cake until it is completly attenuated. This means when you have hit a stable gravity for at least 3 days. So no secondary, generally once you transfer to secondary you have removed so much yeast that it has a hard time finishing up any remaining sugar. If you make sure the gravity is stable you can add your priming sugar and be confident that it will not over carb. In terms of adding yeast at bottling it is not absoutley necesary but it is 'cheap insurance'. You might well have plenty of remaining yeast but is is very stressed by the high alcahol environment and half packet of dry yeast is pretty cheap so why chance it? ]

So you go straight from primary to bottles once the final gravity is stable for 3 days?  I assume this means less than 2 weeks?  Aren't you worried it could blow bottles?
[/quote]

It doesn't necesary mean less than two weeks. I have had big beers take 3 or more weeks to finish. The thing to remember is that there is no set schedule here. The beer will tell you when it's done. The reason I recomend against secondary is that you are introducing an oportunity for oxidation and infection and it doesn't really buy you any benefit. If you were adding a new fermentable, say fruit, then that is a different story.

If you are worried that there is still some room for further attenuation you can wait longer than 3 days. That is just a basic rule of thumb.

To take your example of a belgian quad;

if you started with an OG of say 1.100 with a low mash temp and added simple sugars let's say you expect an FG of 1.010 or so. When you get three or four stable readings a few days apart, unless it is way above your expected FG there is not much chance of bottle bombs. There was only so much fermentable sugars in the wort originally and when the yeast stop, unless something else happens to them, it is because they have used up all they can. The priming sugar you add is more or less the only remaining fermentable sugars
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Offline weithman5

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2011, 02:00:50 PM »
Why not force carb in a keg and then fill the bottles?

+1 or condition in the keg and then transfer to bottles with co2

Hey everybody, I've got an oak aged cherry stout thats sitting at 11.5% that I'm planning on bottling soon. I usually keg all my beers, but having an 11.5% beer on tap seems like a bad idea  ;).

why bad idea?, keg, serve, enjoy
Don AHA member

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: high alcohol bottling
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2011, 03:05:22 PM »
Why not force carb in a keg and then fill the bottles?

I have to imagine though that for long term aging you are better off conditioning in the bottle as the yeast activity will scavenge any new o2 introduced during bottling.

On the one hand I imagine it is impossible to avoid at least a little o2 getting into each bottle when bottling from keg, even with the beer gun this would be true cause you are displacing a gas with a gas and there will be mixing.

On the other hand I worry about the SA trible bock issue and tamari flavoured beer.

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