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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Bottling/Kegging > Making priming solution ahead of time?
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Old 10-20-2010, 11:06 PM   #1
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Default Making priming solution ahead of time?

Any problem with making the priming solution ahead of time, and keeping it in the fridge in a sanitized mason jar?

It would just save having to cool it down, also being able to bottle on a whim.

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:41 PM   #2
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No problem with that so long as you observe good sanitation and a reasonably dense concentration of sugar. It wouldn't be my preferred method, but I'll explain it anyway.

Boil a clean mason jar for 10 minutes then keep it submerged in the hot water until you are ready to use it. You don't need to use a two-part canning lid. The white plastic lids sold by Jardin / Ball that are made to fit a canning jar are perfect. Wash the lid in hot soapy water, rinse well, spray some Star San inside, and set on a clean towel to dry.

Mix your solution in a 2 to 1 ratio of sugar to water. Two parts sugar to one part water. This concentration will keep better than a 1 to 1 mix. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Let cool a bit, then pour into the sterilized mason jar. Cap and refrigerate.

Example: Let's say you normally use 3/4 cup priming sugar for a 5 gallon batch of beer. To make a quadruple batch of thick simple syrup, mix 3 cups of sugar with 1.5 cups water. The final solution will fit in a quart mason jar. It'll last in the refrigerator for months. Use 1/4 of your total volume of solution per 5 gallon batch of beer to ensure you are getting the right amount. You'll need to adjust up or down according to the actual amount of beer you are priming.

You could make a 1:1 solution that will be thinner, but it won't keep as long. I'm not really sure how long it would be good for, but most recipes I've seen say 1:1 simple syrup is good for a month in the fridge. Personally, I've used 1:1 syrup in cocktails that was 9 months old, and it was fine. But I was mixing it with alcohol.

Overall, I'd say the approach you are suggesting is more trouble than it's worth, and you will have a hard time determining the optimum amount of solution to use for priming.

The best way to prime is to calculate the sugar addition by weight based on the BYO priming table, which considers volume, fermentation conditions, type of sugar you are using, and the volumes of CO2 you want in the finished beer. It really doesn't take that long to make the priming solution each time you go to bottle, so I don't see a big advantage in making it up in advance.

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:43 PM   #3
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You're probably right.. I was just wondering, thaks for the advice.
I was actually just thinking of using 500ml mason jars with 3/4 cup corn sugar in each.

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:58 PM   #4
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I wouldn't....That's another possible infection risk...how can you gaurentee that it is still sterile on bottling day, unless you boil it fresh.

Sorry but you really shouldn't try to cut corners in sanitiation to save time. That's playing Russian Roullette with your time and money.

I wouldn't do it....

Anything involving sanitization (which is the main reason you boil the stuff to begin with) should be done on the day....and as for cooling the solution, you really don't have to....2 cups of boiling liquid is going to be cooled almost immediately by the 5 gallons of room temp beer that will be soon mixed with it. It won't harm your beer to just put it in the bottom (which SHOULD be on top of a little cool starsan to begin with, which will already begin to cool it) besides the solution will be falling through space into the bucket anyway...THAT's going to go along way to cool it off as well.

Bottling doesn't take a heck of a long time, if you nail down your process...I can bottle a 5 gallon batch (including boiling priming solution and sanitizing my bottles) in under an hour. You just have to come up with a process that works for you (but that doesn't involve cutting any corners in your sanitization regimen.)

There's a bunch of tips and ideas to help you come up with a bottling process that works for you here Bottling tips for the homebrewer.

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Old 10-20-2010, 11:59 PM   #5
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I take mine off the stove, pour it in the bottling bucket and start racking. No need to wait for it to cool. Bacteria loves sugar water so making it ahead of time would not be a good idea.

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Old 10-21-2010, 12:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
... (which SHOULD be on top of a little cool starsan to begin with, ...
Bottling bucket should be sanitized, but it should also be well-drained afterward. There shouldn't be enough liquid of any kind sufficient to cool your priming sugar. Just how much Star San are you adding to your beer?
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk View Post
Bottling bucket should be sanitized, but it should also be well-drained afterward. There shouldn't be enough liquid of any kind sufficient to cool your priming sugar. Just how much Star San are you adding to your beer?
No it shouldn't be well drained after words, nor should it be dry...Most of the sanitzers we use, especially Starsan and iodophor are No rinse/wet contact sanitizers. They are literally double edged swords. They kill two ways. They kill everything on the object prior to sanitizing, and then as long as they are still wet they form a sanitizer barrier that kills everything that comes into contact with object.

If you let the sanitizer dry any micro organism that comes in contact with the sanitized object, rather than being killed by it, makes the object no longer sanitzed.

If you let it dry you are reducing it's efficacy by 50%

So there's going to be some foam and a few ounces of starsan in the bottom..which will be yeast food in scant minutes. It will be a good amount to start cooling down the solution.

If there's enough starsan remaining to do this (and do no harm) then there will be plenty to start cooling to measly cups of sugar water.



From here. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f85/stup...r-foam-127044/
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Old 10-21-2010, 07:22 AM   #8
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To be clear, I didn't say the item needed to be dry, just well-drained. Despite your conviction on the matter, leaving wet Sanitizer in the bottling bucket or in or on other equipment is unnecessary. In the case of Iodophor, it is also unwise.

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Old 10-21-2010, 10:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billtzk View Post
To be clear, I didn't say the item needed to be dry, just well-drained. Despite your conviction on the matter, leaving wet Sanitizer in the bottling bucket or in or on other equipment is unnecessary. In the case of Iodophor, it is also unwise.
My "conviction" is based on information. Both iodophor and starsan are at their most effective when wet. That information is public, and well documented. If you let the sanitizer dry any micro organism that comes in contact with the sanitized object, rather than being killed by it, makes the object no longer sanitzed.]

In fact I put a lot of that documentation together in one place years ago. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/sani...uestion-54932/ in their you will find basic brewing podcast interviews with both Charles Talley of 5 star and someone from BTF offering plenty of information on the most effective and the safe usage of their products. And BOTH talking about wet contact of their product and the beer/wine.

They even discuss the FDA requirements in terms of the labelling in terms of contact times listed, and the REAL contact times and other things and why they differ, and what's the best way to use them to get the most out of them,

We also have/had a member here who was an employee of 5 star, and he has corroborated what I've written about starsan as well.

And as long as iodophor or starsan are at the correct dillution, leaving remainders of BOTH on the surface are QUITE WISE.,,,and quite safe....and recommended.

But going back to the original question of the OP what does this have to do with it? It doesn't matter whether you think sanitizer should be gone or not....it still will be plenty cool when it comes in contact with the 5 gallons of beer it is about to meet.
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Old 10-21-2010, 12:49 PM   #10
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Its fine but it needs to be sterile, not sanitary. This means pressure canning (or alternately lowering the pH and canning in boiling water, but I wouldn't recommend that unless you are capable of accurately measuring pH and are fairly informed about canning in general).

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