I used white labs abbey ale yeast - fermentation went well and flocculated quite a bit. I then bottled straight from primary. I noticed that not a lot of yeast went into the bottles which hasn't really happened before (usually there's a visible layer or sediment. Also doesn't help that it's quiet dark brown in a brown bottle.

Anyway, the bottles have been sitting for about 10 days now, so I cracked one open to see how carbonation was going and nothing...completely flat. Tried another bottle same thing - bottles are near new and were sanitised so that's not the issue.

If only a small amount of yeast got in the bottles - should they still carbonate ok given more time or am I destined for a flat batch?


Update: It is carbonating, just very slowly. They needed some rotation, a warmer room + time. 4 weeks and beer has low levels of carbonation

Update 2: Most bottles have carbonated at 7-8weeks. I noticed some do not have a fine yeast layer on the bottom so could have somehow not gotten much. Another thought for the overall slow carbonation, is that I didn't mix/turn the bottles an hour+ after bottling when the sugar had dissolved. Other than that, it may be but down to super malty beers?

  • Did you add priming sugar at bottling time? – chthon Sep 23 at 10:10
  • yeah - sugar drops – W4K1NG Sep 23 at 10:15
  • I can't give an answer. What I do know from experience is that even after a couple of weeks in a fresh place (not cold), there is normally enough yeast to carbonate, let alone from bottling straight from primary. Did you put your bottles in a warm place? – chthon Sep 23 at 11:42
up vote 4 down vote accepted

This is a high gravity beer right? Just wait, it will get there.

Ensure they are stored somewhere good for ale temperatures (> 15C / 60F). If you're really worried, give them a gentle shake every day for a few days. Just enough to rouse the yeast.

  • 1
    Had pretty poor efficiency, so ended up about 6%. Yeah the room is about 15c. I think they do need a bit of a roll and another week. – W4K1NG Sep 25 at 11:44
  • 2
    I've had a high gravity Belgian ale take ~ 5 weeks to carbonate fully. The yeast was hampered by the relatively high amount of alcohol I would suspect. – Kingsley Sep 26 at 1:58

The simple plan for bottle conditioning beer is to add sugar in some form to a bottle of beer, cap it and wait. Is the temperature in the active range for the yeast? I think you probably have plenty of yeast, I would roll the bottles a bit to insure a good mix and wait a bit longer in a good temperature environment.
The fuzzy science on adding more sugar at this point (usually in a simple syrup solution) is a crap shoot to get carbonation or bottle bombs. Higher ABV beers will take longer to carb, not sure what your beer’s ABV.

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