HOMEBREW Digest #5874 Tue 27 September 2011

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  Re: bottle conditioning/refermentation (Fred L Johnson)
  bottle conditioning/refermentation (Scott Birdwell)

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 07:35:48 -0400 From: Fred L Johnson <FLJohnson52 at nc.rr.com> Subject: Re: bottle conditioning/refermentation Keith Busby asks how much yeast to add to his five-gallon batches to bottle condition his beers. I heard (indirectly from Sierra Nevada) that you should add yeast to achieve one million cells per milliliter. A Wyeast Propagator pack supposedly provides about 30 billion cells. (I'm not even sure one can still purchase a Propagator pack. It doesn't show up as a product on the Wyeast web site. Can someone confirm whether or not these are still available?) Pitched into a 5 gallon batch, this pack would provide about 1.6 million cells/mL--more than you need (especially since the unfiltered beer is unlikely to be free of living cells), but easy to perform. The Wyeast Activator pack supposedly contains about 100 billion cells--many more cells than you need. To achieve one million cells/mL, you would only need to pitch 19 percent of the pack. If one goes this route, I recommend pouring the contents into a sterilized or sanitized graduated cylinder and pitching about 20 percent of that volume. (Make a starter for your next batch with the remainder.) Alternatively, if you don't have a graduated cylinder, you could pour the contents of the pack into a larger known volume of boiled and cooled water and then pitch about 20 percent of that larger volume. Of course, you can make a small starter from stored yeast, count the cells in the starter, and pitch the appropriate volume of that. And you may be able to get by without adding any fresh yeast. If you can stir up a small amount of the yeast from the bottom of your carboy, that will probably be plenty, assuming it is still viable. With this method you won't know exactly how many viable cells you are transferring unless you count them--use a hemocytometer and a stain such as methylene blue that is excluded by the viable cells. I personally always pitch fresh yeast when bottle conditioning to ensure consistent results. I do this by counting the cells in my starter and pipetting an appropriate volume of cells into each bottle. I also add the sugar to each bottle in the same manner after making up a solution of a known concentration. Fred L Johnson Apex, North Carolina, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:25:37 -0500 From: Scott Birdwell <defalcos at sbcglobal.net> Subject: bottle conditioning/refermentation > Keith Busby <kbusby at wisc.edu> wrote: > Subject: bottle conditioning/refermentation > > 1) I have a tripel in a 5-gal carboy that has been in secondary for about 5 > weeks now and would like to bottle condition it as per Westmalle procedures. > Assuming the normal amount of priming sugar, how much yeast do I add? I am > going to use Wyeast 3787. One swollen smack pack? Half? Stepped up? Like most homebrew shop owners, I would love to sell you another pack of Wyeast for this purpose, but frankly, I think it's a waste of money. You've already obtained the flavor profile with your original yeast and switching yeast strains or even adding more of the same for bottling will have little impact on flavor IMHO. All you need at this point is a yeast that will tolerate higher alcohol levels, eat sugar, produce carbon dioxide, and then settle out and pack down when it's done. I would contend that a decent quality dried yeast will do nicely for this purpose. Nottingham, Safale US-05, etc. should do the trick. Keep in mind that the typical amount of priming sugar will only raise the gravity maybe two points, so that's all you're really fermenting at this stage. Other folks may have different opinions, but that's the way I see it. Scott Birdwell DeFalco's Home Wine & Beer Supplies sales at defalcos.com www.defalcos.com P.S. After "only" five weeks in the secondary, I'd be willing to bet that there is still enough viable yeast left suspended in the beer to carbonate without the assistance of an additional yeast charge. Return to table of contents
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