Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Barley Wine not carbonating

I have a barley that was bottled over a month ago and never carbonated, it just has enough pressure to make a little pssh when opened. The batch was 5 gallons that started at 1.105 and finished at 1.028. It was pitched on top of a yeast cake of S-05 from a pale ale so I’m sure there was enough yeast to start. They have been stored at 70F. I used 3/4 cup corn sugar for priming. Could it be that because it was such i high gravity that there is no more yeast left to carbonate? I’m thinking of making a starter adding a little to each bottle and recapping, but not sure how much. Any ideas?
thanks, Bryan

you are thinking along the correct lines. there may be very little yeast left. it may just take longer for whatever yeast is left to eat up the priming sugar. i’d let it sit another month, then try a bottle to see if the carb has increased. a barleywine doesn’t need much carbonation. aging will generally make that beer better anyhow.

if you want to go through with reopening and adding yeast it may be easiest to use some dry yeast as opposed to making a starter. a pinch of dry yeast per bottle should do it. whatever you do, be careful because you are running the risk of contamination.

I had this same issue from a 9%abv holiday brew i made that sat in a carboy for 6 months. after 3 months in the bottle i had zero carbonation.

I sanitized the bejeezus out of everything i was going to use, made a rehydrated dry-yeast solution and used an eye dropper purchased fresh for this purpose. add about 5-6 drops of yeasty water to each bottle adn re-capped with 02 abzorbing caps. waited 3 weeks and perfection. Hope this helps.

BTW. after looking all over for a plain small eye dropper I finally gave up and asked the pharmacist at the local grocery store where they were kept, she just gave me one for free, a really really nice big graduated glass one too. It never hurts to ask!

+1 to above. Before you reyeast, you could try gently inverting to rouse the sediment, then keep at room temp for another week or two. Reyeasting does work, keep everything sanitary. When I bottled, I got into the habit of adding a small amount of yeast with the priming sugar.

Rehydrate 2g of yeast in 50ml of sterile water and add 1ml to each bottle using a medicine dropper.
In the future, it is always a good idea to add some bottling yeast at bottling time for beers that have gone through an extended secondary.

I definitely agree with the others that more yeast is a good idea. However, only waiting a month for barleywine is too soon to be opening one. You should do as the others suggested, and forget about them. To forget about them, you should brew at least two more batches to take care of and finsih drinking those before cracking into one of those barleywines. You’ll be glad you did.

I agree with Adam20. Not enough time for a BW. I would invert each bottle and swirl enough to roush the yeast off the bottom and then put in the warmest room in the house (80F). Give it another 4 weeks. It is hard to bottle condition a big beer and that is why I keg it and carb to the appropriate level, then bottle from the keg.

It took my BW 6 months to carbonate in the bottle. Just be patient.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com