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Author Topic: Bottle conditioning  (Read 2248 times)

Offline Jake

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Bottle conditioning
« on: December 23, 2015, 10:36:15 PM »
Kind of random question, but don't bottle condition beers often

I'm drinking a red ale that has been in bottles for a couple weeks now. I had the same red last week at an Xmas party I hosted and was happy how it turned out - don't believe there were any off flavours detectable. Just cracked my first bottle of it, and I notice some strange off flavours. For some reason the flavour screams stressed yeast to me, but could be me in denial.

I secondaried the beer for couple weeks and it was crystal clear when I bottled. I batch primed the entire thing in a bottling bucket. I know, from what I read, that commercial breweries often add yeast and priming sugar when they bottle (yeast added because they often filter). Now, what are chances that I'm getting some off flavours due to lack of yeast in bottle due to length of time it had to secondary? COULD be infection of some sort, but for some reason thinking not because I took ultra caution bottling this red - and soaked bottles in PBW to clean overnight. Best indicator could be next bottle but drunk and thought I'd post now instead.  Haven't looked into this but has anyone ever heard of anything like this? I'm sure there's a reason why the commercial breweries add small amount of yeast to each bottle when carbing
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Offline feldmann

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Re: Bottle conditioning
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2015, 10:42:34 PM »
I've only heard of this being a problem for beers that are aged for a very long time (8-15 months) before bottling. I've personally had beers that I've had sitting in bottles for over a year and I've never had any off flavours.

Offline Roger

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Re: Bottle conditioning
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 05:30:19 PM »
I wouldn't worry about not having enough yeast if it's carbonated it's done what it was supposed to do. The priming sugar used will sometimes change the flavor some people claim that using table sugar will cause a "cidery" flavor also I don't usually enjoy my bottle conditioned beers until they have been hiding in a dark warm place for at least a month. They might be carbonated after a couple weeks but just need a bit of time for the last bit of yeast to clean up after themselves. You may just be overly critical I know I get accused of that often.  :cheers:

Offline Jake

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Re: Bottle conditioning
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2015, 03:47:05 PM »
they've been over  3 weeks and all seem under carbbed a bit. Maybe they just need some more time ... I'll bring to an upcoming beer meeting and get some opinions on it. The beer is probably the clearest I've ever done ... there's hardly any sediment on the bottom of the bottles and not very good carbonation for having around 120g of priming sugar (table sugar) ... my stout has around 80g of priming sugar and the perceived carbonation is much higher to me in the stout.  ... which is why I'm thinking it could be lack of yeast in each bottle.

I've been doing some reading and I'm thinking I may add a little yeast when I bottle next time ... guy on HBT uses around 1/4 of a yeast packet in his bottling bucket (approx 2.5 grams of dry yeast) - makes a little dry yeast starter 20 or so mins before bottling and pitches it all in the bottling bucket and mixes thoroughly . I have another 40L of this stuff to bottle thats been in secondary for 5 or so weeks, and I think i'm going to take this route on the next 20L to see if it makes difference.
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Offline robcoombs

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Re: Bottle conditioning
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2015, 05:51:11 PM »
The yeast at bottling will definitely do the trick. It's still odd though I generally only use yeast at bottling for high abv beers or ones that have been in secondary for a few months or more. I've never had carbonation issues with moderate abv beer. Having said that the few times I tried table sugar I had problems with under carbed beer. So I switched back to corn sugar and have had no issues since.

Offline Jake

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Re: Bottle conditioning
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 09:16:42 PM »
As an update, I bottled the 2nd carboy of red and this time around I primed it with similar amount of priming sugar, but this time I used corn sugar and I added about 2 grams of yeast to the bottling bucket at bottling. It's only been a week since bottling and there is noticeably more sediment on the bottom of bottle and I cracked one tonight and it's wayyyy more carbonated then my first batch. Tasted very good compared to the first.

I also drank one from the first batch tonight as well and I find it "cidery" is the best way to put it. No off flavours with this batch so going forward I think I'll use corn sugar to bottle, and anytime I secondary a beer, I'll add a little yeast at bottling. This second carboy is a huge improvement over the first.

It's difficult to conclude on what the problem was with the first but I'm pretty convinced it was due to a long secondary and most the yeast dropping out of suspension. Off flavours I'm thinking caused by lack of (or stressed) yeast.  Could also be table sugar instead of corn sugar, but hard to say since I made two changes in my bottling technique.  :cheers:
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Offline Evil Jalapeno

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Re: Bottle conditioning
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2016, 10:12:34 AM »
Unless your beer had a really high ABV, I strongly doubt that the yeast was the problem. There is usually more than enough "invisible" yeast in suspension to eat the priming sugar in 2-4 weeks. I would suspect the type of sugar more than the yeast.

ABV, type and amount of sugar used, volume of beer and temperature of beer at time of bottling are all factors your can look into.