Re-fermenting a finished beer

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Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby MikeB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:44 am

Has anyone ever tried to re-ferment a beer that has already been force carbonated? The last beer I made finished out at 1.022 and I kegged it, but it just seems way too sweet. Would I be able to sour it or hit it with Brett or another yeast at this point if I racked it back into a fermenter or would the CO2 screw it up?


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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby andrewmaixner » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:52 am

More info would be useful: style, strength, IBU, current yeast, hopping level, Cl/SO4 ratio?

The straight-up answer would be "yes, you can" by warming to room temp, mostly degassing, and pitching (or reverse pitching) with an actively fermenting culture of an attenuative yeast. But more information might get you better suggestions.
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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby DrPaulsen » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:26 am

I had to re-ferment a stout that gained 40 gravity points from a maple syrup bourbon barrel. I added a ton of yeast (~1 gal) and it worked great.

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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby MikeB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:57 pm

andrewmaixner wrote:More info would be useful: style, strength, IBU, current yeast, hopping level, Cl/SO4 ratio?

The straight-up answer would be "yes, you can" by warming to room temp, mostly degassing, and pitching (or reverse pitching) with an actively fermenting culture of an attenuative yeast. But more information might get you better suggestions.

It is an IPA sitting at about 6.7%, went from 1.074 to 1.022 using wlp028 Edinburgh ale yeast. It is about 52 IBUs, but has very little hop character in my opinion


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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby DrPaulsen » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:04 pm

Re-hydrate a few packs of dried US-05 yeast & dump it in if you're worried about the high FG. Shouldn't hurt the beer, but I doubt it'll help bring out hop character. You could try adding a tiny bit of phosphoric acid to a pint of the beer to see if it sharpens the finish at all. That tends to help bring out hop character.
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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby andrewmaixner » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:03 pm

DrPaulsen wrote:Re-hydrate a few packs of dried US-05 yeast & dump it in if you're worried about the high FG. Shouldn't hurt the beer, but I doubt it'll help bring out hop character. You could try adding a tiny bit of phosphoric acid to a pint of the beer to see if it sharpens the finish at all. That tends to help bring out hop character.

Yup. You could also try adding 100 or 200 PPM of sulfate, which will also accentuate bitterness. You got 70% apparent attenuation, which is within the .70-.75 expected range of your yeast -- (.074-.022)/.074 = .703

Adding simple sugar can also make it taste drier, but then you would boost your current batch into imperial ABV range. If you keep using this yeast and grist, you could cut back 15 gravity points of malt and add sugar for that portion.
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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby whitedj » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:20 pm

Ive used Nottingham yeast to push a barley wine with good results.
...For bitterness do a bittered starter or isomerized hop extract? I did this once and missed a decmal point when i doped a glass. (Adding 100 ibu as opposed to 10!) That phosphoric acid trick may work as well.
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Re: Re-fermenting a finished beer

Postby MikeB » Mon Jun 19, 2017 9:56 pm

Thanks for the ideas everyone. I will mess with it and see what happens. This was one of my two wort rally beers so I don't think I'll be turning it in. The other one is tasting great though.


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