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Old 01-27-2012, 02:23 PM   #1
Mrakis
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Default brewers best conditioning tabs

Does anyone have any experience with this priming sugar? I purchased from northern brewer. It seemed like a simple way of adding priming sugar to each bottle. Also, it seemed like a way of getting accurate carbonation.

I just searched online, and it seems like a lot of people have complaints about this product. I don't want to waste the $6 that i spent on it, but i will if it means destroying my beer. Thoughts?

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Old 01-27-2012, 02:38 PM   #2
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Not being able to read the reviews I can still bet that the majority of "complaints" are going to be of the same type we get on here about ANY kind of priming. People expecting perfectly carbed beer much earlier than it actually takes- people thinking there beer is going to be carbed after a week, and blaming the product rather than just realizing that beer takes as long to carb as it needs to regardless of the sugar.

The one thing that folks don't realize is that MOST carb tabs take longer to dissolve and therefore take longer than bulked primed beer to carb.

But sugar is sugar, and if you add sugar, the yeast will do their job and carb eventually.

It won't "destroy" your beer.

Do I think it's worth it? No, I think bulk priming is the best way to go, especially if you are trying to carb to style. It's easier just to use a calculator and adjust the amount of sugar for the carb level you are shooting for....but if someone is only bottling a few bottles and kegging the rest or something, then they're fine.

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Old 01-30-2012, 02:08 PM   #3
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I've used the tabs from Northern Brewer before and I'm not a fan. They will add a couple weeks to your conditioning time because they take awhile to dissolve. I also think its easier to mix a sugar solution into the bottling bucket compared to dropping the taps into 40-55 individual bottles. They work well but I prefer bulk priming; especially if I'm bottling the whole batch. That's just my preference though.

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Old 01-30-2012, 04:19 PM   #4
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I agree with Revvy and aryoung comments. I can't speak for the brewers best drops, but I used the coopers drops a few weeks ago in a batch that I wanted to keg and bottle. At 3 weeks I tested the first bottle and I got a decent pffft when opening, but it was still way under-carbed. It is now 5 weeks and I put a bottle in the fridge a couple of days ago and I plan on testing it tonight. I'll report back and let you know.

IMHO, I think it is best to bulk prime beer and reserve the drops/tabs for unique situations like bottling a few from a kegged batch or fixing a priming screw-up, etc.

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Old 01-31-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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OK, I tried my beer at 5 weeks in the bottle and it still isn't carbed yet. It is getting there and it has more carbonation than it did at 3 weeks, but still not where I want it. I'll try it again in another 2 weeks.

It could be the lack of warmth in my bottle conditioning area right now, so I'm not ready to write of the tabs, but my impression right now is, they are definitely taking longer...

Once I get my keg pipeline up, I plan on bulk priming and then bottleing what I want and then putting the rest in the keg to keg-condition.

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Old 01-31-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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I've got a beginner brewer question along these lines - I brewed a DIPA and bottled almost a month ago using Cooper's drops. The recipe says it'll be best at six weeks so I pulled a bottle yesterday just to see where the carb process was at. I got an incredibly flat beer last night.

I know there's at least two more weeks of recommended time, but should I be worried? I figured there would be some hint of carbonation by now. Could my caps be a problem? The bottle I pulled had a cap that looked fine to me...

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Old 01-31-2012, 03:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingbryan View Post
I've got a beginner brewer question along these lines - I brewed a DIPA and bottled almost a month ago using Cooper's drops. The recipe says it'll be best at six weeks so I pulled a bottle yesterday just to see where the carb process was at. I got an incredibly flat beer last night.

I know there's at least two more weeks of recommended time, but should I be worried? I figured there would be some hint of carbonation by now. Could my caps be a problem? The bottle I pulled had a cap that looked fine to me...
How long was it in the fridge before you opened it?
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Old 01-31-2012, 06:37 PM   #8
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How long was it in the fridge before you opened it?
I had the bottles sitting in a closet for 25 days then this particular one I tried sat in the fridge for one day before opening.
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Old 02-01-2012, 01:08 PM   #9
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One day isn't too bad, but give it 2 or 3 for the next one and see if it's better. I'm not sure what the temp is where you are bottle conditioning, but if it's too cool, it will take longer and I also believe that is part of my problem. Trying putting it somewhere around 72F for about a week and see what that does...

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Old 02-01-2012, 03:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewingbryan View Post
I've got a beginner brewer question along these lines - I brewed a DIPA and bottled almost a month ago using Cooper's drops. The recipe says it'll be best at six weeks so I pulled a bottle yesterday just to see where the carb process was at. I got an incredibly flat beer last night.

I know there's at least two more weeks of recommended time, but should I be worried? I figured there would be some hint of carbonation by now. Could my caps be a problem? The bottle I pulled had a cap that looked fine to me...
Never "figure" anything in terms of time or beer behavior and then you won't be concerned, and also ignore any kit instructions that may tell you when something will be ready, 99% of the time it is wrong, and just causes worry like it is now for you. It's a big beer, it may take 6-8 weeks MINIMUM before it carbs, it make take 6 MONTHS (though that's really rare.)

If you added sugar, which you did, a beer will be carbed, when it's ready. It's a fool proof process, but it is bound by several factors, including gravity of the beer, temp the beer is stored at, relative tiredness of the yeast, type of sugar used (like we have said, drops, being harder to "chew" by the yeast take longer.)

The big factors for you, are that it's a big beer, and you used drops...which means it's going to take awhile....how long? There never is a real way to tell, EVERYTHING is just a guestimate, or an average.

But there's no point in worrying. It's a yeast's nature to eat sugar...So if you did, eventually it will be consumed.

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that we recommend is the minimum time it takes for average gravity beers to carbonate and condition. Higher grav beers take longer.

Stouts and porters have taken me between 6 and 8 weeks to carb up..I have a 1.090 Belgian strong that took three months to carb up. If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them more time. If you added your sugar, then the beer will carb up eventually, it's really a foolroof process. All beers will carb up eventually. A lot of new brewers think they have to "troubleshoot" a bottling issue, when there really is none, the beer knows how to carb itself. In fact if you run beersmiths carbing calculator, some lower grav beers don't even require additional sugar to reach their minimum level of carbonation. Just time.

I've carbed hundreds of gallons of beer, and never had a beer that wasn't carbed, or under carbed or anything of the sort (Except for a batch where I accidently mixed up lactose or Maltodextrine for priming sugar). Some took awhile, (as I said up to six months) but they ALL eventually carbed.

Just make sure it is above 70 and walk away......
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