Adding yeast to lager at bottling?

Discussion in 'General Beer Brewing Discussion' started by matt76, Oct 18, 2019.

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  1. Oct 18, 2019 #1

    matt76

    matt76

    matt76

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    Hi all,

    Have I made a booboo?

    I bottled my Vienna Lager last night (see here)..... (All glass bottles, no PET to indicate carbonation...)

    I batch primed as normal but I'm worried there isn't enough yeast in there to carbonate.

    I've never had carbonation trouble before with lagers or ales, but I've never had anything this clear.

    Previously my lagers have been a bit cloudy at bottling and ended up with plenty of sediment, including yeast, so they carbed up fine.....

    But owing to recent process changes this batch is crystal clear. Also I cold crashed it in the fridge for 2 days at about 5degC before bottling.

    So what do we think? Might there be enough "invisible" yeast in there still to carbonate given time?

    Or do I pop all the caps off now and add a little yeast?

    Or do I leave it a week or two and then pop the cap on one or two bottles to see if there's any sign of fizz?

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Cheers,

    Matt
     
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  2. Oct 18, 2019 #2

    Cheshire Cat

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    It should be fine I only bottle when the beer is clear and never had a problem. Something I learned on hear was to fill one PET bottle that's used for fizzy drink with your brew and test it is hard after a couple of weeks.
     
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  3. Oct 18, 2019 #3

    JonBrew

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    There should be enough yeast still in beer to carbonate but it might take a while. The one and only lager I've brewed to date - a Marzen - took 3 months to carbonate to what I considered to be an acceptable level for the style. After fermentation I 'lagered' in a seconardy FV for 3 weeks at 2-3 degrees C. It was a shame because by the time the beer was carbonated I felt the beer had passed it's peak.
     
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  4. Oct 18, 2019 #4

    foxy

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    What are your process changes ? What is your MO on brewing a lager? Even though it may look clear there should still be enough yeast to carbonate.
     
  5. Oct 18, 2019 #5

    matt76

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    Basically I used to tip the entire contents of the boil kettle into the FV (after cooling!!!). The beer was generally fine but I had several issues:
    • You lose a fair bit of beer (1-2L) soaked into all that trub - when you only do 10L batches that matters!
    • Yeast was harder to harvest because it's mixed in with hops and trub etc.
    • Chill haze - probably because I was tipping all the cold break material into the FV.

    Now, after cooling I leave the brew kettle to stand a few hours - this let's all the hops, trub and other crud/sludge sink to the bottom.
    Then I carefully syphon the crystal clear wort into the FV, leaving the crud behind.

    The result is I get much less trub and sludge on the bottom of the FV, mainly just a nice clean(ish) yeast cake.

    But, this has an effect at bottling - I always batch prime, but previously when I syphoned to the bottling bucket I'd end up sucking up a load of trub from the bottom of the FV. Inevitably this probably had some yeast mixed in with it (I assume!).

    Now on my more recent ale brews since this process change I notice the beer is still cloudy immediately after bottling - but this quickly settles out (overnight, maybe 1-2 days at most) leaving clear beer and significantly less sediment than before - just a thin layer of what I assume is pretty much pure yeast, none of the sludge I used to get.

    But when I bottled my Vienna lager I noticed that the beer already looked very clear, and no sign overnight of anything settling out. Hence my concern that there may not be enough yeast in suspension to carbonate.

    I guess when you've just bottled and see it's cloudy it's easy to say, yup, there'll be yeast in there somewhere - seeing is believing! But much harder to know there's sufficient yeast there when the beer is already clear - except from experience, which is what I lack in this particular regard.
     
  6. Oct 18, 2019 #6

    foxy

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    My beers look clear going into the bottles but still carbonate fine and I end up with just a thin film of yeast on the bottom of the bottle when conditioning has fished.
     
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  7. Oct 19, 2019 #7

    MrRook

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    I've lagered at just above freezing for three months and had no problem bottle carbing.
     
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  8. Oct 21, 2019 #8

    matt76

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    Little update on this.....

    Thanks all for your inputs. A few days have passed since packaging and somewhat to my surprise the bottles now have a very thin layer of yeasty-looking fuzz on the bottom. Absolutely minimal but if seeing is believing then that's enough to convince me there's sufficient yeast in there to carbonate.

    (Now whether all of it was already in suspension, or if an even tinier amount has fed off the sugar and multiplied - well that's another question. I'm curious but not picky!)

    Cheers,

    Matt athumb..
     

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