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No Carbonation?

Hello Brewers, Was wondering if any of you might have a suggestion for now carbonation in a high acholol (8.1%) beer. Bottled a batch of “Dead Ringer” 2 months ago and it is still flat. I am 100% sure I put 3/4 cup of corn sugar boiled in 2 cups of water, into the bottling bucket and stirred adequately before bottling. Stored bottles at approx. 70 degrees for 2 weeks then moved to basement at about 65 degrees. Sampled after 4 weeks in bottle = flat. Sample every week since and still flat. Taste good but FLAT! = no carbonation! I did modify from the original kit, adding extra DME and hops in a ratio I thought would keep the balance of Dead Ringer. Primary fermenter for 9 days then secondary for 3 weeks with a 1oz dry hop for 5 days. UHM? OH yeah, I did turn the bottles upside down and redistribute yeast after one month in the bottle. Would any of you suggest adding a pinch of extra yeast (say Safle us 05?) to the bottling bucket (or the secondary fermenter) when you have a beer that is over 7.5%??? I remember some time ago when I brewed an Imperial stout at 9%, the instructions said to add some extra yeast at bottling time OR was it at secondary racking??? This is only the 2 time in about 100+ batches that I have not had a batch carbonate and wondering WHY? Any helpful suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

I usually add a little yeast to strong beers like you suggested. The reason is that after fermenting a very strong beer, the yeast is very tired and not consistent in finishing the job of carbonation in the bottles. Sometimes you’ll get carbonation right away, but sometimes not at all as you have experienced. A little yeast at the end is a good idea. I just did that for my Russian imperial stout and it was carbonated in under a week. If I hadn’t added a little yeast after 6 weeks in the fermenter (and at like 9% alcohol), then who knows if I would have been successful.

Hi Dave (dmtaylo2), Thanks for the confirmation of adding a little yeast to make sure of carbonation. Question? Would you suggest adding extra yeast into the secondary fermenter or into the bottling bucket? If into the secondary, when? a week or two before end of secondary fermentation? And how much? say, 1/2 package or a little less? Very much appreciate your help. Best of brewing to you! Russian Imperial Stout sounds great! haven’t done that one for awhile now. I should do that one, being that winter is coming on. Thanks again. Greg

I add the fresh yeast on bottling day. I use very small amounts. I either use just a small sprinkle of dry yeast (like 1/10 of a packet) or when I am planning a new batch and make a yeast starter, I’ll steal just a couple milliliters of yeast starter. That’s what I did with the Russian – I had made a vigorous yeast starter for a new batch of pale ale, and I stole just a few drops of fresh vigorous yeast from the starter to add to the old Russian imperial stout at bottling time. Worked great. Maybe I didn’t need it… but maybe I did. We’re all better off with a little insurance.

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