Author Topic: adding sugar when bottling?  (Read 6605 times)

Offline h4brewing

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adding sugar when bottling?
« on: December 11, 2013, 07:44:10 AM »
I have heard of adding sugar for carbonation.  So all I have to do is add a small amount of sugar to each bottle before filling?

Offline philm63

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 08:16:02 AM »
There are a couple of ways this can be done; adding to the bottle directly, or adding to the bottling bucket, mix, and then dispense to the bottles. I've never added it to the bottle directly so I cannot speak to that method. I keg everything now, but have bottled in the past.

I've done this a couple of times and added the priming sugar to the bottling bucket and mixed well (slowly - you don't want to add oxygen at this stage) and then off to the bottles. Worked very well.

The amount of sugar will depend primarily on batch size and the level of carbonation desired. IIRC, 3.5 or 4 oz of priming sugar for a 5-gallon batch seems about the average dose. You'll want to double-check that to be sure, though.

The sugar is put in a pan with some water and heated until it just comes to a boil, then shut off and allowed to cool with the lid on for a while (at least until it is just warm to the touch). Then it may be poured into the sanitized bottling bucket (or other vessel of your choosing - whatever you'd normally use for bottling) and the beer racked onto it and stirred gently- again; slowly so as not to introduce any oxygen.

Bottle and cap and condition at normal fermentation temperatures for 2 or 3 weeks (or whatever is recommended for the style) and chill, open and enjoy!
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 09:13:42 AM by philm63 »
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Offline durrettd

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 08:46:42 AM »
If I have more beer than will fit in a keg, I often weigh out sugar for each bottle and dump it in. Use the Carbonation tool to calculate the sugar needed for each bottle. Caution: some arithmetic required!

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 03:32:59 PM »
Whenever I've added sugar without boiling it first, I've ended up with an infection.  Granted that was Munton's Carbonation tabs, but still.  Also, make sure to give the contents of the bottling bucket a good stir. If you don't then the heavy sugar might settle to the bottom, resulting in the first few bottles exploding with the rest being flat.
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Offline brewfun

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 04:12:06 PM »
Also, make sure to give the contents of the bottling bucket a good stir. If you don't then the heavy sugar might settle to the bottom, resulting in the first few bottles exploding with the rest being flat.

The technique I used was to boil the priming sugar, add gelatin when I shut off the heat.  When the gelatin was dissolved, pour the whole hot solution into the bottling bucket.  Then syphon onto the mixture. The syphoning evenly mixed everything.

I was minimizing what had to be sanitized and touch the beer.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Maine Homebrewer

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 06:41:58 PM »
Gelatin?
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Offline drb1215

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2013, 07:03:08 AM »
I can remember years ago (we're talking 50!) when my father would brew beer in the garage and add a "bit" of sugar to each bottle.  Granted I was way too young to experience the beer, but I do remember my mother going off on my dad for all of the exploding bottles that made quiet a mess!

When I bottle I add 4 to 5 oz. (depending on CO2 volume) corn sugar to 1 pint of boiling water. Let it cool and add it to the bottom of my bottling bucket.  By siphoning the beer on top of the mixture, it does a good job of blending it.  Have not had any issues with this method.

-Dan

Offline brewfun

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2013, 10:03:20 AM »
Gelatin?

Bottle fining. It attracts yeast and makes it stick to the bottom of the bottle better than withouth it.
Beer Appreciation is the space between pints.

Offline Scott Ickes

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Re: adding sugar when bottling?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2013, 12:06:46 PM »
I can remember years ago (we're talking 50!) when my father would brew beer in the garage and add a "bit" of sugar to each bottle.  Granted I was way too young to experience the beer, but I do remember my mother going off on my dad for all of the exploding bottles that made quiet a mess!

When I bottle I add 4 to 5 oz. (depending on CO2 volume) corn sugar to 1 pint of boiling water. Let it cool and add it to the bottom of my bottling bucket.  By siphoning the beer on top of the mixture, it does a good job of blending it.  Have not had any issues with this method.

-Dan

This is also my procedure.  I use the calculator for volumes of CO2 on beersmith and use that to determine the amount of DME that I boil in two cups of water.  The amount of DME that I use is based on style, the carbonation level I want within that style and the amount of beer being bottled.  Since I'm usually in a carboy that isn't as well marked for volume as my bottling buckets are marked, I really on good note taking  through the entire brewing/fermentation process (to know my volumes well) when using a glass carboy for secondary to know how much beer I'll actually be bottling.  On some of my big RIS's, I'll have more losses and may only be bottling 4.5 gallons, while on some other beers, I may actually be bottling 5+ gallons.  That difference in volume does make a difference.  It can make the difference between a beer with a one or half finger head and one that pours out way too much head.  I've actually never had a gusher or an exploding bottle yet.  Crosses my fingers.

As soon as my bottling water and DEM starts to boil, I gently pour it into the bottom of my bottling bucket and rack my beer on top of the bottling sugar solution.  I make sure that my racking hose is laying on the bottom and pointing so that the beer goes into my bottling bucket creating a gentle swirling motion (without splashing, to try and keep oxygenation to a minimum), so as to mix the bottling sugar solution evenly.  I don't stir the beer at all.  I've never had a problem with uneven carbonation from one bottle to the next using this method.  The hot bottling sugar solution tends to get cooled down very rapidly also.  I've never had it kill off enough yeast (I'm sure it kills off some at first when the beer first starts to mix with the hot bottling sugar) to affect my ability to bottle condition my beer.

Just my 2 cents.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 12:09:38 PM by Scott Ickes »
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