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Twice flat bourbon barrel porter

Twice I have made bourbon barrel porter and now twice it has been completely flat after use of priming sugar and using all ingredients to a tee. The first time NB said I added too much bourbon and it killed the yeast. This time there is no excuse. It has been 8 days since priming. I know it is early but after 8 days there should be some fizz when uncapping…no? There is absolutely no foam. Help.

OK. I got the answer from Steve at NB. Apparently high gravity beers need extra yeasty prior to bottling to reactivate the sugars in the bottle. I can uncap, put a few extra grains in each bottle, recap and then in a week or so VOILA I will have good beer. Now my question why is it not included in their instructions?

I’ve made 9% beers that I didn’t need to add yeast before bottling. 8 days is way too early to expect full carbonation. 3-4 weeks is what I have come to expect with bigger beers. What temperature are you storing the bottles at? Keeping bottles at around 70 and rousing the yeast daily helps if you have a higher flocculant yeast.

Thanks Matt. Bottling at 70. I never realized that you may have to go 3-4 weeks.

I’ve had it take 3-4 months for full carbonation on some big beers.

I’ve had some take as long as 6 weeks. The BVIP seems to be a very difficult beer to carb, even if you keg. I usually have to give the keg a little shaky shake to get whatever is on the surface away so the CO2 can permeate.

Thanks to all that helped. Uncapping, adding yeast and recapping is helping.

Out of curiosity, how can you tell it’s helping?

When I added yeast and recapped the bottles the air pocket from brew to mouth of bottle has been loaded with fresh carbonation. I opened one bottle with good pffft, poured with excellent foam head and it tastes wonderful already. Better than being flat.

After only 2-3 days?

After 3days.

That’s weird. I find it hard to believe that it can go from flat to fully carbed in 3 days. I’m wondering if the bottles you added yeast to weren’t already carbed and you didn’t know it maybe?

Here’s a little tip I never go without these days. Get yourself a used 12oz plastic soda bottle and fill it like all of your other bottles but squeeze it a bit leaving no head space. Just re-use the original cap. As the bottle carbs up it will expand to fill the head space and eventually get hard from the pressure (though not nearly as hard as when it had soda in it, they are carbonated to a much higher volume).

No more flat, wasted beer testing for full carbonation.

Blake

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