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Re-yeasting for bottling

I’ve been having an issue with slow/poor carbonation when fermenting with highly flocculant yeast. In my most recent batch, I used Wyeast 1968 (which has been, by far, the most flocculant yeast I’ve ever used) for an English style beer to approximate (I know, not a “clone”) a long gone great beer, Double Diamond based on a recipe in the book “Clone Brews.”

When I bottled it, I didn’t use any additional yeast and went on faith that there would be enough mutant yeast that was less than super flocculant. After about a week, there is no cloudiness in the bottles and some balled up (I assume) yeast colonies on the bottom of the bottles. So far, there’s little in terms of carbonation. This stuff on the bottom of the bottles was not there right after bottling.

So, for this particular batch, would people suggest I just wait, shake the bottles regularly to get yeast into solution as best possible, or take the caps off and use something like CBC-1 to re-yeast?

For future beers with flocculant yeast, would people recommend just going ahead and re-yeasting at the time of bottling? If so, what yeast would you recommend?


Hmmm, I’m wondering what temperatures you’re conditioning at? If you haven’t had your bottles conditioning somewhere up in the seventies, it wouldn’t hurt to warm them up, rouse the yeast every two or three days or so for a week or two, and see what happens.
As far as future batches,(or this batch, if you want to try more yeast), It doesn’t really make any difference what yeast you use for conditioning, it really won’t change the character of your beer. I would probably try a few granules of CBC-1 as you indicate, or even US-05 or some similar dry yeast, in each bottle.

That is not mutant yeast in the bottle. It is the same yeast you fermented with.

Problems with carbonation are usually due to not using enough priming sugar, bottle conditioning below 70°, or being to impatient.

Unless you bulk aged a beer for over 8 months there will be sufficient yeast in suspension to carbonate the beer. Bottle condition at room temperature. Allow at least three weeks conditioning time. Chill the bottles several days before opening. Chilling forces the CO2 produced during conditioning into solution. Moderate to high OG beers will require extra conditioning time because the yeast is stressed at higher alcohol concentrations.

1968 is great yeast for brewing English styles. It is probably the yeast I use most throughout the year. My English ales always finish nice and dry. A couple of things may have happened. Did you make a syrup with your yeast or just pour it in dry/rack the beer onto the sugar? The sugar may not have mixed in well and some of your bottles will be over carbonated while others may not have enough. You also may be conditioning too cold. I usually keep my bottles at 68 in the winter and warmer for a few days in the summer before I move them into a 60 degree environment. I think it is almost pointless to taste a beer before 10 days. I am always disappointed when I do and then I worry about it until I try the next bottle at 10 days/2 weeks. I don’t bottle a lot of beer anymore, but I usually bottle some from each batch for contests and club meetings. I bottle most of my Belgian styles and the occasional barley wine. If it is a strong beer or a saison that has been through a long primary, I use 1968 to reyeast the batch to make sure it carbonates. I don’t add but a tea spoon of fresh yeast to the bottling bucket, but it always seems to carbonate the beer much faster than just letting the tired old yeast try to do it. I also make a simple syrup with my sugar. This also keeps it from foaming if there is any carbonation still in suspension.

In my experience with highly flocculant yeast, you really need to continuously rouse it almost daily to get it to finish in a reasonable amount of time. Any English strain is going to be a highly flocculant yeast. I made an IPA with WLP007. After bottling I had two 6-packs that I would rouse daily and the rest I didn’t touch. The theory was that by the time I got through the 12 beers I roused daily, the rest should be done conditioning. Well after 2 weeks the two 6-packs i roused daily were perfectly carbed. I went through those in about 2 weeks and went to grab another 6 from unroused bottles. Even after 5 weeks in bottle they were flat. It didn’t help that they were stored in my 62* basement either. I started rousing the rest of them every other day to help them along.

There is rarely a need to re-yeast unless as said before you have been bulk aging the beer for a year.

Years back I too had prime problems. Rather than try to figure it out, I take a little water and boil and cool it to 90 deg. and pour into a 1/3 cup and sprinkle the surface with Nottingham dry yeast. I let it sit for 15 min then stir and add it to bottling bucket along with the sugar prime which I dissolved and boiled 15 min in a cup of water. Since then for many years now that’s been my method and all my prime problems went away. And it doesn’t matter what the gravity of the beer is. Just me.

Thanks to all for your feedback!

From my experience and now reports back of yours, I think what it comes down to is that some unknown conditions create the situation I had with WY1968. I’ve used it before and it worked fine (signs of yeast growth within a couple of days and then good carbonation) and then the last beer where it has grown into clumps of yeast colonies only after a longer time.

I used to re-yeast nearly all my beers with T-58 since I brewed almost exclusively Belgian ales, but then I used it on an English style beer (apparently with a fair amount of fermentables left) and got foaming like I’d never seen and also a couple of exploded bottles. I stopped re-yeasting after a supply store employee convinced me it wasn’t necessary and I found that, until this last batch, he was right and I was relieved of one less thing to do.

I carbonate above 70F and stir the sugar in well (learned that lesson the hard way as well), so the thing I’m taking away from this thread is to swirl if I don’t see evidence of growth (beer gets cloudy) and develop the capacity to leave them alone at least three weeks. I’m sure I’ll violate the second rule a few times, but at this stage in my brewing, I’m curious about the results and am willing to sacrifice a bottle or two.

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