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Repitching at bottling

I have brewed almost 200 batches so far and still make some mistakes. I had several batches that took as long as 2 months to carbonate (bottle condition…I don’t keg) So then I started adding extra yeast at bottling. This has worked some time and other times they have been over carbonated or even gushers. I made the mistake a month ago of putting a tiny amount of champagne yeast in bottling a stout and of corurse it turned out too dry. Are there any guidlines regarding adding extra yeast at bottling and what kind of yeast. I have done the same with Saisons and it worked out fantastic. I just need to be more consistant. This is driving me crazy.

Sugar, not yeast, will determine the level of carbonation. If you are getting gushers and low or no carbonation after adding yeast at bottling, you should revisit the way you add your sugar. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but champagne yeast will not consume any more sugar than beer yeast but perform better than beer yeast at higher alcohol concentrations.

So, how are you adding priming sugar at bottling?

I use table sugar at the amount based on a primimg sugar calculator. I add it to a few cups of water, bring to a boil for a few minutes, cover it and let it boil a few more minutes. I let it cool, add to sanatized bottling bucket, rack the beer on top of it, gently stir then bottled in well sanatized bottles.

For some beers that I want to have more mouthfeel, I have added lactose at bottling by boiling it with the priming sugar.

Are you accounting for dissolved CO2 absorbed during fermentation? If you ferment at 60, you will have more residual CO2 in the beer than if you fermented at 65.

Are your batches consistent from bottle to bottle? In other words, are all the bottles of a particular batch overcarbed/undercarbed?

Your process for adding sugar seems fine. I don’t normally cool the sugar water down. I dump it in after boiling, and stir constantly while siphoning. After filling 6-12 bottles I will stir again. This process would help if you are getting inconsistent results in one batch.

To answer one of your original questions, add a few grams of dry yeast to the bottling bucket. S-04 or T-58 are good ones to use and I think you can go up to 11%ABV with these.

Champagne yeast will not lower the FG beyond what a healthy ale yeast can achieve.

You know…the more you learn about something…the more you realize that there is so much more to learn. I have never considered the CO2 left in the beer from fermenting. I guess that is why all the priming sugar calculators ask the temp of the beer. I do wonder if there is a good rule of thumb regarding how long a beer is in a secondary to need additional yeast at bottling. I bottled a Helles Lager that was in the secondary for 8 weeks so at bottling I added about an 1/8" cup of California Ale Yeast I had harvested from an earlier batch. I have not checked this beer yet to see what it is doing.

Sorry fella’s your both off here. Most ale/ lager yeast in its optimal form will ferment down to “maybe” 1.006 If mashed really low/ long even then I have never seen under 1.007 myself and 90% of the time you will hit 1.008-1.012 depending on mashing, yeast choice etc…

Wine yeast will ferment all the way down to nothing and lower. IE: 1.000 - 0.990
You are right Sawyer your train of thinking is on regarding one of the characteristic of high ethanol toleration with that strain even in the wine world and thus the reason some use it to bottle BW etc…But the high toleration is not why it ferments that low it does consume other sugars beer yeasts do not. Speaking about a BW for example also due to the fact wine yeast will ferment to dryness* there are more optimal ways about this process too such as initial beer yeast choice that will have a higher ceiling threshold of ethanol and cell counts or secondary-tertiary sugar feedings that will keep the yeast in primo shape overall.

Which brings me to maybe the main topic here even if your always making beers that hover around 1.070 or other. If you are pitching the correct rates and observing sound ferment conditions thus keeping all additional yeast stressors to a minimum you should never need to reyeast during bottling unless you aged in vessel for like 3-6+ months before bottling.
Speaking about optimal ferments: two good practices for any beer, but especially high SG is a small addition of yeast hulls/nutrients to the starter yeast to boost performance and starter O2 can also be a huge performance factor as well.

*Dryness is subjective and becomes a winemakers discussion alone as some wine yeasts are designed to terminate early such as a specific dessert strain that leaves the wine with higher final SG, but the majority of wine yeast can be counted on to ferment to 1.000

[quote=“ITsPossible”]Wine yeast will ferment all the way down to nothing and lower. IE: 1.000 - 0.990[/quote]Grape juice maybe, not wort - champagne yeast is just high-ABV tolerant, not super yeast, and it’ll terminate at the same point as any of the attenuative ale yeasts (or else you couldn’t use it for bottling).

The final gravity is determined more by the unfermentables in the wort than the yeast themselves. The stuff like caramels, complex starches, and burnt stuff drive up the final gravity (and the original too). Things like oatmeal, or lactose for example will increase the gravity but are unfermentable.

You may want to do more research here Shade not trying to put you on a spot here or prove anybody wrong it is a fact though. That is precisely why it shouldn’t be used for bottling as I described earlier because it will consume beer yeast unfermentables. I dont care who you are but adding champagne yeast to a beer for any purpose other than engineering a 22% BW like Sam Adams is unwarranted and in fact a long held “blind” fix. But that is a thread/ rant all on its own.

Grapes contain glucose and fructose, and a small amount of sucrose, Shadetree is correct that wine yeast is more alcohol tolerant, but not better at metabolizing the complex sugars and starches found in wort. The reason some wines have very low final gravities is because grapes have a lot of simple sugars that the yeast can metabolize completely, and the high alcohol level without any residual sugars brings the gravity way down. Alcohol is less dense than water and a wine with just some flavonoids from the grapes and 12% alcohol with very little residual sugar will be less than 1.000 SG. Pure Ethanol is 0.785 SG. Really nothing to do with anything special about wine yeast.
Some wild yeast like Brettanomyces on the other hand, can slowly metabolize complex sugars, which can result in long slow changes in gravity in wood-aged beers, or overcarbonation if they are in bottled beers, but not regular wine yeast.

I dont have the white papers at my side right now, But I have shot off an email to Greg at Wyeast to bring clarity here for my own research needs as everything I have ever read leads me to believe. The strains themselves could become its own topic alone but the majority of “working” wine yeasts will indeed metabolize the complex sugars beer yeast will not.

Edit* here is a glance at just one “experts” hints towards where I am driving today and this goes back into the beer yeast family and was one thing I was not aware of before a quick search today:

http://www.byo.com/stories/article/indi ... bout-yeast

“but lager yeast can also metabolize certain sugars that ale yeast cannot”
This was written by Chris from White labs.

http://www.nthba.org/www/docs/Fermentat ... 202008.ppt

“All things being equal, lager yeast ferment more completely than ale yeast. Yeast appropriate for brewing can metabolize single and double sugars but the amount of fermentation of triple sugars depends on the yeast strain.”

So just these two sources show that “yeast is all yeast” or “beer yeast and wine yeast ferment or metabolize the same” as theories at play here is flawed. This shows without a doubt that within the beer yeast family alone lager strains can metabolize raffinose whereas ale strains cannot. Continuing this thought then what keeps wine strains from exhibiting similar traits to metabolize complex sugars that either an ale or lager may/ may not?. “common knowledge” only? Quote me something other than opinion or anecdotal “information”
Facts mean alot in this type of discussion. I didn’t post an initial reply because this was my opinion. I posted it because these were facts that I read from white papers on the subjects years ago.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]You may want to do more research here Shade not trying to put you on a spot here or prove anybody wrong it is a fact though. That is precisely why it shouldn’t be used for bottling as I described earlier because it will consume beer yeast unfermentables.[/quote]I have successfully used Champagne yeast for bottling big beers with no change in the FG, so I know that the yeast will not ferment anything more than the already highly-attenuative ale yeasts that I use in the highly-fermentable worts that I produce.

Maybe that’s why some people have different results - either they are not letting the beer fully ferment before using the champagne yeast (or are using the champagne yeast to try and fix a stuck fermentation), or their ale yeast wasn’t that strong to start with and left fermentables in the bottle, or their wort has some complex sugars in it from a higher-temp mash or from extract.

[quote]

“All things being equal, lager yeast ferment more completely than ale yeast. Yeast appropriate for brewing can metabolize single and double sugars but the amount of fermentation of triple sugars depends on the yeast strain.”

So just these two sources show that “yeast is all yeast” or “beer yeast and wine yeast ferment or metabolize the same” as theories at play here is flawed. This shows without a doubt that within the beer yeast family alone lager strains can metabolize raffinose whereas ale strains cannot. Continuing this thought then what keeps wine strains from exhibiting similar traits to metabolize complex sugars that either an ale or lager may/ may not?. “common knowledge” only? Quote me something other than opinion or anecdotal “information”
Facts mean alot in this type of discussion. I didn’t post an initial reply because this was my opinion. I posted it because these were facts that I read from white papers on the subjects years ago.[/quote]

I certainly don’t disagree that there are lots of small variations in yeast strains, and some attenuate more than others, as well as some have higher alcohol tolerance than others. I do wonder though, why wine yeast, which should be adapted to be good at fully utilizing the simple sugars found in fruit would also be good at breaking down more complex sugars that are found in wort. I think Shadetree has a point that there may be other factors causing “gushers”-stuck fermentations, contamination with wild yeasts or bacteria, etc. I am a bit skeptical of the attenuation numbers published with yeast strains-there is not that much reason for those yeast not to be able to ferment simple sugars completely to the limits of their alcohol tolerance. Most of the white labs wine yeasts list >80% attenuation, while the ale yeasts are lower, but I suspect they could ferment grape juice to a higher attenuation level than wort just due to the differences in sugars and starches present.
Again, another confounding factor may be wild yeast-things like Brettanomyces do indeed posses the enzymes that enable them to break down complex sugars to a much greater degree than any strain of Saccaromyces cervesiae does. These wild yeast are commonly present on the surface of fruit and in oak barrels, so someone using a mixed culture of yeast from wine years ago could indeed have gotten interesting results. I’m a bit skeptical that a pure culture of saccharomyces wine yeast is a lot better at metabolizing the complex sugars in a full bodies beer than an attenuative strain of beer saccharomyces would be though. A yeast strain that has had many generations to adapt to fermenting wort would be more likely to be able to ferment complex sugars slightly better. If you find the papers, I’d be interested to see them, but relying on memory from years ago without the references to hand is a bit unreliable.

I was recently shown an old rasputin clone recipe that bottles with champagne yeast. As i understand it has been homebrewed before without issue

ProMash Recipe Printout
Recipe : Rootin’ Tootin’ Rasputin (IS)
BJCP Style and Style Guidelines

12-C Barleywine & Imperial Stout, Russian Imperial Stout
Min OG: 1.075 Max OG: 1.095
Min IBU: 50 Max IBU: 90
Min Clr: 20 Max Clr: 40 Color in SRM, Lovibond

Recipe Specifics

Batch Size (GAL): 5.25 Wort Size (GAL): 5.25
Total Grain (LBS): 17.38
Anticipated OG: 1.088 Plato: 21.04
Anticipated SRM: 51.9
Anticipated IBU: 81.8
System Efficiency: 75
Wort Boil Time: 120 Minutes

Formulas Used

Color Formula Used: Morey
Hop IBU Formula Used: Tinseth
Tinseth Concentration Factor: 1.19
Additional Utilization Used For Pellet Hops: 5

Grain/Extract/Sugar
% Amount Name Origin Gravity SRM

74.8 13.00 lbs. Pale Malt(2-row) America 1.036 2
8.6 1.50 lbs. Brown Malt Great Britain 1.032 70
4.3 0.75 lbs. Crystal 120L America 1.032 120
3.6 0.63 lbs. Chocolate Malt America 1.029 350
3.6 0.63 lbs. Roasted Barley America 1.028 450
2.9 0.50 lbs. Victory Malt America 1.034 25
2.2 0.38 lbs. Black Patent Malt America 1.028 525

Hops
Amount Name Form Alpha IBU Boil Time

1.38 oz. Cluster Pellet 7.00 28.7 105 min.
0.75 oz. Centennial Pellet 10.50 23.5 105 min.
1.50 oz. Liberty Pellet 4.00 12.7 30 min.
1.00 oz. Northern Brewer Pellet 8.00 16.9 30 min.
1.00 oz. Liberty Pellet 4.00 0.0 Dry Hop

Extras
Amount Name Type Time

1.00 Tsp Irish Moss Fining 15 Min.(boil)

Yeast

WYeast 1272 American Ale II (primary yeast cake from previous batch)
Red Star Dry Champagne Yeast (bottling)

Mash Schedule

Mash Type: Single Step
Qts Water Per LBS Grain: 1.25 Total Qts: 21.73
Saccharification Rest Temp : 152 Time: 90
Mash-out Rest Temp : 168 Time: 10
Sparge Temp : 170 Time: 45

Fermentation Schedule

Primary Fermentation: 14 days at 65 F
Secondary Fermentation: 28 days at 65 F
Bottle Conditioning: 120 days at 60 F

Yup, I know it is used for the purpose and as a quick fix for stuck ferments both in the beer making and wine making world and has been a long held “way” to do this process. There is a few better “natural” ways to prepare a BW w/o this process. If you-others are cool w/ status quo and find this is a method you enjoy then by all means continue the “practice”

Again if I ever feel I have to be passionate about the subject I will start a thread/ rant about the topic, for now though if any/ everybody is content doing it I will not try to change your mind.( although a little suggestive banter doesnt hurt :mrgreen: ) I will just produce mine with correct methods. Nuff said.

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