Another option is to start looking in to kegging your brew. You can then carbonate to whatever level you want with co2. It might seem daunting but its really quite simple and I bet you can find everything you need on craigslist. I see kegs/taps/co2 tanks/etc etc on the craigslist in my area constantly. That is where I got everything keg related actually.
Just a thought. Hope it helps.
Edit: forgot to mention that co2 is very cheap. Locally it is about $10 for 5 lbs. That should work for 20+ gallons at least. Probably much more really
Now I’m confused. I’ve heard people say you can leave beer in the secondary for quite a long time before bottling, but now others say if you wait too long the yeast can die…Was the first thing I read someone that uses a keg possibly??
You can leave your beer in secondary for quite a long time, but not forever. 6 months with standard brewer’s yeast is about the longest I would go. Beyond that, it may not wake up and bottle condition your beer. With brettanomyces, you can pretty much leave it in secondary forever, but otherwise plan on re-yeasting after 6 months.
I did bottle a cyser after a year in secondary. After another year in the bottle, it was finally carbonated. So you can wake up saccharomyces, but you will have to wait a really long time to see if it’s still viable.
Yeast doesn’t die unless you are thinking in terms of a year or so in the secondary. Yeast will lose viability over time. Viability loss is faster in high ABV beers than low ABV beers. High alcohol levels place more stress on the yeast cells. Long term bulk aging of high ABV beers will sometimes require adding yeast for bottle conditioning.
I just sent Northern Brewer an email about this same issue. I brewed two batches now, with my last batch being White House Honey porter using the fizz drops and the carbonation after two weeks is none. I am new and the room I have them conditioning in is too cold so i will move to warmer room and tray again later, but so far i am not impressed with my first two batches using the Fizz drops.
You might be better off to use sugar cubes for carbonation instead of the Fizz drops. Domino has sugar cube “Dots”. A one pound package contains 198 cubes or Dots. This would be equal to 2.29 grams. According to NB’s carbonation calculator one bottle of beer at 68°F would need 2.27 grams of sugar for 2.6 volumes of CO2.