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Old 11-01-2010, 06:19 PM   #1
damnyankee
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Default Bottling question...

Hi Guys,

Next Monday, I'll be bottling my first batch of homebrew (extract; 5 gallons).

My directions say to take the priming sugar, boil it, cool it down, and then add to the bottling pail/carboy. My question is, won't the priming sugar be more concentrated on the bottom and ultimately the first bottles to be filled get more priming sugar than the last ones to be filled?

In my mind, I would think each bottle should get injected with the same amount of priming sugar (calculate how many teaspoon(s) of priming sugar/water should go in each bottle), put that amount in the bottle, add the beer, cap, then set aside to condition.

Can you provide some guidance?

Thanks in advance!

DY

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Old 11-01-2010, 06:29 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by damnyankee View Post
My question is, won't the priming sugar be more concentrated on the bottom and ultimately the first bottles to be filled get more priming sugar than the last ones to be filled?
It is possible, but you have 2 options:

1) When you transfer from carboy to bottling bucket, given a long enough piece of siphon tubing it will spiral around the bottom of the BB. Done like this, the beer will form a gentle whirpool / circular motion as it's transferred, gently stirring the sugar solution into the flat beer. This is what I do.
2) Gently stir the beer / priming sugar solution once in the bottling bucket with long, sanitized spoon or the like.

I guess option 3 would be using carb tabs or carbonation drops in each bottle. Putting a little bit of priming sugar solution in each of 48-52 bottles sounds much too labor intensive for my liking. I've never tried it, and I don't believe it's recommended.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by damnyankee View Post
Hi Guys,

Next Monday, I'll be bottling my first batch of homebrew (extract; 5 gallons).

My directions say to take the priming sugar, boil it, cool it down, and then add to the bottling pail/carboy. My question is, won't the priming sugar be more concentrated on the bottom and ultimately the first bottles to be filled get more priming sugar than the last ones to be filled?

In my mind, I would think each bottle should get injected with the same amount of priming sugar (calculate how many teaspoon(s) of priming sugar/water should go in each bottle), put that amount in the bottle, add the beer, cap, then set aside to condition.

Can you provide some guidance?

Thanks in advance!

DY

First and foremost - congrats on your first brew.

Now, I have heard of the "little in each bottle method" - but never done it myself. I have a fear of bottle bombs from not getting the solution dissolved in the beer.

I do the boil and cool. Then put 1/2 in the bottling bucket, and start transferring beer on top. When beer half way in bucket, I add the rest. Then I GENTLY, SLOWLY stir - no major waves here - and let it rest, covered with a sanitized lid for 1 minutes.

The only bottling problem I ever had was due to my over sugaring a smaller sized batch - else wise this method has worked wonderfully.

You need not worry too much about "concentrated sugar" if you follow these step - thanks to a little science called " Brownian Motion "

Also, if you have not yet, Revvy has an awesome bottling thread...

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Old 11-01-2010, 06:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by damnyankee View Post
Hi Guys,

Next Monday, I'll be bottling my first batch of homebrew (extract; 5 gallons).

My directions say to take the priming sugar, boil it, cool it down, and then add to the bottling pail/carboy. My question is, won't the priming sugar be more concentrated on the bottom and ultimately the first bottles to be filled get more priming sugar than the last ones to be filled?

In my mind, I would think each bottle should get injected with the same amount of priming sugar (calculate how many teaspoon(s) of priming sugar/water should go in each bottle), put that amount in the bottle, add the beer, cap, then set aside to condition.

Can you provide some guidance?

Thanks in advance!

DY
A lot of new brewers think so, but realistically you have 2 cups of sugar water being dilluted by 5 gallons of beer. As the beer rises and swirls into your bottling bucket it is going to mix just fine. I've never had an issue. The other possibility that I recomemend if you are really paranoid, is to put half of your solution in the bottom, then rack on top til you get halfway racked then add the rest. But honestly that's just overkill. It mixes just fine.

Read this, it contains some info for you...

Quote:
Uneven carbonation is simply a matter of not enough time. The sugar solution integrates itself pretty well when you rack (despite what many new brewers may believe)
BUT, just a tiny difference in temps between bottles in storage can affect the yeasties, speed them up or slow them down. Like if you store them in a closet against a warm wall, the beers closest to the heat source may be a tad warmer than those further way, so thy may carb/condition at slightly different rates. I usually store a batch in 2 seperate locations in my loft 1 case in my bedroom which is a little warmer, and the other in the closet in the lving room, which being in a larger space is a tad cooler, at least according to the thermostat next to that closet. It can be 5-10 degrees warmer in my bedroom. So I usually start with that case at three weeks. Giving the other half a little more time.

Each little bottle is a seperate microcosm, so they will react slightly different to each other. But usually they all will balance out given enough time.

But really with time all the bottles in a batch will carb up...

The 3 weeks at 70 degrees, that 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.

I explain this and more, in my blog, here Revvy's Blog, Of Patience and Bottle Conditioning.

Uneven carbonation is simply a matter of not enough time. The sugar solution integrates itself pretty well when you rack (despite what many new brewers may believe)

If a beer isn't carbed by "x number of weeks" you just have to give them ore 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.
Also there is some good info on bottling here Bottling tips for the homebrewer.
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Old 11-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #5
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Except for me being "paranoid", it seems great minds think alike .. lol :P

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Old 11-01-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your help!

I work at a hospital with patients so I can purchase 30cc or even 60cc sterile syringes for cheap (they can probably be purchased at an area home healthcare store as well). Drawing up the priming sugar solution and injecting "x" cc(s) into each bottle would be a piece of cake. Come to think of it, I could use my surgical stainless steel hemostats for my clamping needs - and they're a piece of cake to sterilize.

DY

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Old 11-02-2010, 11:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by damnyankee View Post
Thanks for all your help!

I work at a hospital with patients so I can purchase 30cc or even 60cc sterile syringes for cheap (they can probably be purchased at an area home healthcare store as well). Drawing up the priming sugar solution and injecting "x" cc(s) into each bottle would be a piece of cake. Come to think of it, I could use my surgical stainless steel hemostats for my clamping needs - and they're a piece of cake to sterilize.

DY
I don't understand why you'd go through the trouble. Not to mention the potential for error goes up substantially when dealing with smaller volumes.
It's better in all respects to add the priming sugar solution to a bottling bucket & then rack all the beer into it.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:12 AM   #8
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for what its worth, when i bottled my first batch I didnt stir, just poured all the priming solution into the bottling bucket and whirlpooled in my beer (as mentioned earlier). I feel that this method gave me uneaven mix based on the fact that when I drank the leftover beer in the bucket and it was suuuuupppper sweet. I havent had bottle bombs, but i did have had all over the place carbonation.

Needless to say, I stirred 2 days ago when I bottled my 2nd batch. well see how it turns out.

The way I see it, if you sanitize your spoon and dont make any splashy, whats the problem with stirring.... and if it cant hurt, Im gonna do it every time.

thats another newbie's $0.02 (for what its worth).

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