I have been extract brewing off and on for a few years now. I started out using Mr Beer kits which brew in 2 gallon fermenters. I had developed a nice oatmeal stout recipe with lots of fermentables, and I would use two packets of yeast in the fermenter per batch. My ABV usually ended up around 8% or so (I think). I would add sugar to each bottle and almost never had carbonation problems.
I recently switched to a 5 gallon kit through Northern Brewer. I did my first batch of Caribou slobber and had trouble with inconsistent carbonation.
For my next batch, my wife wanted a Christmas beer, so I googled recipes and decided to add some spices and extra fermentibles to a Caribou slobber kit. I added a crazy amount of things, including extra DME, a pound of Honey, a pound of brown sugar and a Can of cherry puree purchased from Northern Brewer. I added two packets of yeast and off we went.
This time when I bottled, I decided to add measured sugar to each bottle individually, as I used to when brewing the 2 gallon batches. Unfortunately, even though I bottled the beer back the first weekend in November, the bottles are still coming out flat. They are delicious, and I'm drinking my way through the batch by mixing each bottle with a bottle of Nut Brown Ale to give it some carbination, but
I'm afraid that my problem is that I had too many fermentables and that it overwhelmed the yeast, and that I will have to try using a yeast starter going forwards.
While I was waiting on those bottles to age (before I found out they were all essentially flat), I brewed another batch of Carribou Slobber. I upped if from 1 lb of DME to 3 lbs of DME, but didn't make other changes. I used two packets of yeast.
Now I'm worried that, no matter how I put sugar in the bottles (either batch priming or individually), this batch will also turn out flat.
The batch was in the primary fermenter for 3 weeks and has been in the secondary for 2 weeks.
I guess my question is, would it be possible to add more yeast to the batch before going into bottling, or should I just cross my fingers and hope for the best?
I have many packets of the standard brewing yeast that I got from Mr. Beer kits, and I was thinking about pitching a couple in and giving them a stir a few days before bottling.
I know that I'm frankensteining this thing all up.