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06/21/11 10:46 PM  
Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
So I have a funky belgian strong golden that was bottled on 05/11/11. It's 11.7% with brett B and the cake from a previous sour along with some of Vinnie's oak chips (along with all the dregs over that time). It aged for 14 months in the carboy. I used 4.5oz of table sugar along with 1/2 pack of rehydrated T-58 to carbonate to about 3 vols of CO2. The problem is that it's now 06/21 and there is just a slight carbonation to the 2 bottles i've cracked. I even placed them in a bathroom with the a/c cut off where it stayed in the mid to upper 80s for 3 weeks to condition.

I've never had issues with my beers carbonating in the past, but i've never brewed a sour this big either. I'm thinking about adding some munton's carb tabs I have left over to try and boost it up, but I don't want to jump the gun on that if it may continue to go.

Any ideas/advice?

06/22/11 09:45 AM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
Sounds like your yeasties are not doing well. T-58 is only rated up to 11.5 ABV% and you dumped it into 11.7% ABV.

I would use EC-1118 champagne yeast for carbing strong beers. It ferments clean and can handle up to 18% ABV.

If the yeast are struggling the Munton's caps won't help, you'll need to add more yeast.

06/22/11 11:14 AM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
Vinnie uses a wine yeast called Rockpile. I have used it a few times with good luck in very low pH beers; although the ABV was only 5%. The top range for this yeast is 16% and I would think you would have good luck with it.


I would either swirl the bottles gently to rouse the yeast and see if that helps. With some of my Belgians T-58 was slow to carb, but I roused the yeast every few days and kept the bottles at 75 deg and they finally came around.

Should that not work maybe try the Rockpile yeast hydrated in some water and injected into the bottle with a sterile syringe. In the past I have used this method for adding brett to a few bottles in a batch for testing.

Good luck,


tom sawyer
06/22/11 03:26 PM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
Any wine yeast will work at this ABV. I don't think you need to use something fancy for priming.
06/22/11 05:07 PM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
You might be surprised how much priming yeast can influence the flavor of your beer.


06/22/11 10:50 PM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
I've used the T-58 for bigger beers than this, but not with such a low PH. Each bottle has been turned over at least 2 times to keep the yeast in suspension (in the 1st 2 weeks or so). I'm going to try it again and wait a few more weeks before doing anything else. The one thing I'm wondering is if the bugs in the beer wouldn't eventually eat the priming sugar by itself. It's not totally flat, just barely carbed.
06/23/11 11:52 AM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
I've had some big beers that weren't sours take over 2 months to fully carb. No experience with big sour beers, but I'd definitely give them some more time before you do anything.
07/16/11 10:57 PM  
Re: Carbonation issues w/big wild beer
Well, I cracked another bottle last night for the 1st time since I started this thread. Fully carbonated! Just took 2 months. Had about a finger and a half of head. I didn't do anything else to the bottles, just left them in the closet in a box.
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