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Imperial farmhouse ale won't carbonate

I bottled the Storm the Bastille kit exactly 4 weeks ago.

3 week primary
1 week cold crash at 34°
Transferred to secondary
2 weeks rest (really busy at work)
1 week dry hop

Turned out with 11.8% ABV. So when it came time to bottle I used the priming sugar calculator and added enough corn sugar for 3.2 volumes. Made the priming solution, cooled it, and added over half a packet of Danstar CBC yeast to the sugar solution. Added the solution to the beer and gently stirred every six bottles. One HUGE mistake I made was not depressing the bottle filler before opening the spigot to bottle. All the air from the line went back up into the bucket and bubbled to the top.

4 weeks after bottling and the beer is flat as can be. What are you all’s thoughts? Flat from ABV? Is it possible for oxidation to interfere with carbonation?

What temperature are you conditioning? I don’t think that little blowback will do anything to affect the beer. That’s a big beer may take awhile.


It’s conditioning at 68 - 70° air temperature. We live in Iowa and highest we go is 70 during the winter

Do you get any hiss at all when you open one? Even the slightest hiss? A 12% beer is going to take many many weeks to bottle condition. And oxygen exposure won’t affect it at all, so no harm done as far as carbonation goes.

Yes, there’s some hiss. But even when I pour in the center of the glass there is no head. What’s a normal amount of time for a high ABV beer to carbonate?

I’ve had it take a couple of months. Once you start getting upwards of 12%, it starts taking a looooong time. But the good news is that the hiss is almost a sure sign that the yeast are working, and it will carbonate given enough time.

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What yeast did you choose and did you make a stater? Big beers need lots of yeast so it may have been stressed without a starter not leaving a lot for the priming sugar to work with. It will still carb with time though.

Also, did you follow the recipe without changes? The kit states 1.088 OG and they are usually on the mark. Assuming a 1.010 FG that would put it a closer to 10% ABV.

He reyeasted at bottling though.

I used the Brew United yeast calculator for calculating the starter with Wyeast 3711. It was a 2.5 gallon boil/extract. The only deviation from the recipe was the top off. I came up short of the 5 gallon mark. Didn’t add more because I dechlorinate my tap water with campden tabs and I ran out.

My numbers were:
OG: 1.101
FG: 1.013

I must have missed that.

Sounds like you did your homework in this. Not topping up to 5 gallons would explain the higher than expected ABV.

I would say get the bottles to somewhere warm, middle 70s is good and wait it out. I found that to get smack packs warm so they expand, the top of the fridge is a good spot. Not sure if my wife would allow 2 cases of beer up there though :innocent:

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