I have an imperial stout in a corny keg, and I'm just not happy with how sweet it is. It's already been carbonated. Can I let it go flat, rack it to a carboy, and throw in some high-gravity or champagne yeast to dry it up?

  • So did you repitch and re-aerate or what? – brewchez Aug 10 '10 at 23:56
  • I repitched with Red Star dry champagne yeast. There's been absolutely no movement whatsoever. – Rich Armstrong Aug 13 '10 at 1:11
  • I might try pitching some Brettanomyces next. I think the extracts I used were not particularly fermentable. – Rich Armstrong Aug 13 '10 at 1:13

I don't see why not. The only issue is how much lactose or dextrin you used. If it sweet due to those sugars, then you're kind of screwed because the high gravity or champagne yeast won't eat those, if it is not from these then you should be fine. The only way to get rid of the lactose or the dextrin is to pitch some brettanomyces, pediococcus or lactobacillus, which would give you a farmyard or sour flavor depending on which one you use. Who knows though, it might be delicious. Guiness sours a portion of their stout and then mixes it back in to give it it's unique flavor. I might even aerate the beer when transferring it to a carboy since it is going to referment anyway, this way the yeast will have a better environment to do their wonderful work.

  • Good point about re-aerating. Will do. – Rich Armstrong Aug 6 '10 at 20:36
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    Down voted because of the aeration comment. You will oxidize the beer prior to the yeast using it up. BAD BAD idea. The lactose and residual dextrine is a on spot though. – brewchez Aug 6 '10 at 22:33
  • Have to agree with brewchez - great info on the sugars, but I would definitely not aerate fermented beer. For this reason, not sure how effective re-pitching would be, since the yeast will have no oxygen to use. – Jim Aug 13 '10 at 15:08
  • Can't you oxygenate the yeast starter before pitching? – Dustin Rasener Sep 1 '11 at 15:39

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