Bulk priming high(er) gravity beers

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Chris79

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Hi all,

I've been enjoying bulk priming my beers, for say the last 5 brews I've done. Previously I was over-carbonating them. I can taste they are better from transferring to a secondary fermentor to add my bulk priming sugar.

My questions is, do people approach bulk priming differently, when they're doing a higher gravity beer?

My last two beers had an OG of 1070-1072. For my first one, I checked out Brewers Friend, checked out the recommended carbonation based on the style, and the volume I had to ferment.

The last beer I bottled was a Belgian Dubbel, I made 22 litres. I transferred to secondary, made my bulk priming sugar. I can see in the secondary fermentor, some of the yeast transfers across.

So my question is, do people do anything different, when they bulk prime beers above, say 1060 and up?

Cheers
Chris
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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As long as you are sure that the primary is finished, no change required.

If you use a different yeast for conditioning, you need to make sure it won't eat anything the primary yeast left behind.

The amount of CO2 produced depends on the amount of sugar consumed. More (or better) yeast will just make it happen faster.
 

manticle

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No.

Only time I ever worry about changing anything is my Belgian dark strong beer - that gets a small reseed of high abv tolerant yeast at bottling. Keep in mind the beer has already sat for 12 months before bottling.

That's around 11% abv, OG somewhere around 1.092
 

Chris79

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Lyrebird_Cycles said:
As long as you are sure that the primary is finished, no change required.

If you use a different yeast for conditioning, you need to make sure it won't eat anything the primary yeast left behind.

The amount of CO2 produced depends on the amount of sugar consumed. More (or better) yeast will just make it happen faster.
Yes, cheers Lyrebird. I had checked at least two days in arrow after around two weeks in this case, and fermentation was complete.

How and when would you use a yeast for conditioning? I assume you add this to a secondary fermentor?
 

Chris79

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thanks Manticle.

So what are the steps you go through for bottling/bulk priming a beer with a gravity like that?
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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Chris79 said:
How and when would you use a yeast for conditioning? I assume you add this to a secondary fermentor?
I have a bad habit of using wine yeast for bottle conditioning, it started out as a bit of a belt and braces approach; the yeast is a PDM isolated from Champagne ferments, a tough environment compared to beer.

I rack to a secondary, warm it to 18 or so, add yeast and priming, mix then bottle from secondary.

I'm currently playing with lager yeast for conditioning, no results yet.
 

manticle

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They are pretty identical to usual - just I will make a small active starter* with my bulk priming solution and dex, add that to bottling bucket and bottle/cap as normal. 1060 - 1070 doesn't warrant it.

*under normal circumstances my starters are all malt but this has a different purpose.
 

peteru

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I've had about a 75% carbonation failure on a strong (12%) beer, where the yeast has settled out really well in the primary. About 1/4 of the bottles have achieved proper carbonation. Another 25% or so were very undercarbonated and about 50% have not carbonated at all.

Next time I'll do a strong beer like this, I'll make up a small starter and mix it with the priming sugar in the bottling bucket to seed the bottles when the starter hits vigorous activity. I'll probably use something like the San Diego super yeast, which should be good to go with high alcohol beers, yet have a fairly neutral flavour. Or maybe culture up something from a Belgian bottle, if the recipe appears compatible.
 
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Would you say it would be best to rack to the bottling bucket to get the beer volume then use the math to work out the sugar rate for a desired CO2 level?

Cheers
 

manticle

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Pretty confident you should be able to work it out prior. If your yeast is settled, you shouldn't lose more than a litre.
If it isn't settled, it's probably too early to bottle. If you must bottle regardless, probably little point racking.
 

manticle

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When you transfer, it is customary to leave behind some of the heavily sedimented crap. If you have given your brew adequate time for the majority of yeast to drop, I would estimate 1-2 litres would be the maximum sedimented crap you'd need to leave and get fairly clearish beer into the bottling bucket.

I assume your question was based on calculating priming amount after accounting for transfer losses and I'm suggesting that a litre won't make a huge difference.
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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I just weigh the priming vessel after racking then do the priming calc off that. All my vessels have their tare weights written on them to make things like this easier.
 

manticle

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captsensible23 said:
Not sure I understand what you mean about a litre?
Just realise I initially wrote 'use' rather than 'lose'. No wonder it was confusing.
Edited.
 
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Thanks. My fermenter isn't a see through plastic one. And in the past have had both over and under carbed bottles. I like the idea of taring the receiving vessel and adding my sugar solution based off that.

Another question most calculators have a temperature input. Would that be the his best temp the fermenter got to during fermentation? Thanks.
 

Chris79

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Lyrebird_Cycles said:
I have a bad habit of using wine yeast for bottle conditioning, it started out as a bit of a belt and braces approach; the yeast is a PDM isolated from Champagne ferments, a tough environment compared to beer.

I rack to a secondary, warm it to 18 or so, add yeast and priming, mix then bottle from secondary.

I'm currently playing with lager yeast for conditioning, no results yet.
Thanks Lyrebird. What is PDM?

Re the lager yeast, and conditioning, is that beer kept at lagering temps? Are you using a lager strain for flavour? Or just your ambient room temp or where ever you store your beers?
 

Chris79

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manticle said:
When you transfer, it is customary to leave behind some of the heavily sedimented crap. If you have given your brew adequate time for the majority of yeast to drop, I would estimate 1-2 litres would be the maximum sedimented crap you'd need to leave and get fairly clearish beer into the bottling bucket.

I assume your question was based on calculating priming amount after accounting for transfer losses and I'm suggesting that a litre won't make a huge difference.
Most of my beers thus far had maybe a litre to a litre and a half of trub.

My American Red IPA, has about 2 1/4 litres of trub, maybe almost 2 1/2! More than I expected.

Cheers on how to determine what temp to input when factoring in desired CO2 levels :)
 

Lyrebird_Cycles

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Chris79 said:
Thanks Lyrebird. What is PDM?
PDM = prise de mousse, roughly translates as "taking to foam", it's a champenois term for the yeast that is used to carbonate sparkling wine.

The most commonly used strain is EC1118 but I don't like it much, my preferred strain is DV10 as it has less flavour impact.

They will ferment to 16% ABV, work at 10 oC and pH below 3 (but not all at the same time). Since these are wine yeasts they won't touch maltotriose, so they won't cause excess carbonation if a low attenuation ale yeast was used for the primary.
 

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