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Old 01-13-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default priming sugar mistake..should i worry?

Hello, all. Nice forum you've got here. My fiancee and I have successfully (we hope) bottled our first batch of homebrew, an all-malt amber, just a couple of days ago. I did some lurking on these forums for some advice on fermentation, which led to us waiting an extra week before bottling...it can only get better, right?

Anyway, here's the thing - once we got the beer flowing through the siphon, I misread the directions and poured the priming sugar mixture into the fermenting bucket instead of the bottling bucket. (Of course, once I realized my mistake and pointed it out, she gave me the old "I told you so!...) I stayed optimistic and told her that it wouldn't make a difference, but being a first-time brewer I can't help but wonder if this little mistake might in fact cause a problem with the carbonation process. It's only been two days since we bottled the batch, so I won't be cracking one open for at least a week.

So, there you have it... first post, first batch, first mistake. Should we worry, or relax? (I'd have a homebrew but I don't care much for flat beer...)

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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First I'll start off by saying I've done the same thing. The worst part for me was it happened after 10 years of homebrewing. I mostly keg and hadn't bottled in ages and was teaching a friend to homebrew. We were bottling a beer I made with him. I wish I can say we had a few before bottling, but nope, just me being an idiot. When I realized what I did I gently stirred the beer in with my racking cane making sure not to agitate things. Only one bottle failed to carbonate.

If you just dumped it in without any kind of stirring it is possible that you are going to have some bottle carbonate just fine. Some not carbonate, and some which may have gotten too much sugar and could turn in to bottle bombs. I'd make sure the lot of them were stored somewhere that if beer and glass stary flying nothing will get ruined. The couple times I've worried about bottle bombs I wrapped the boxes holding the beer in garbage bags. I'm not saying this will definitely happen to you. It is, however, a risk, so you should be aware.

What temperature are you storing them at? When I first have my beer in bottles I store it at room temperature (somewhere around 68 this time of the year). Conditioning them too warm and that will accelerate the production of CO2. Store it too cold and it could take forever to ferment.

Overall I'd bet more than half if not most of your bottles are going to be just fine.

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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I'm assuming all the beer and all the sugar ended up in the bottling bucket? Maybe some was left behind if it didn't dissolve completely in the primary vessel. Either way, as long as you stirred the mixture in the bottling bucket fairly well, you should be OK. How much sugar did you use? An amber may not fare too well with lower carbonation, but it's tough to know how much impact you'll see. My guess is you'll be fine. But it wouldn't hurt to throw them in a plastic tub or wrap them in trash bags, just in case you didn't get it well-mixed, and some of them decide to overcarb. If you're gonna have a mess, you might as well make it easier to clean up.

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Old 01-13-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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When I poured the sugar mixture in, I did it slowly and with a circular motion, as to try and distribute it evenly throughout the batch...but I know I didn't stir it. Maybe she did, I don't remember, probably not. But at the very least I didn't just dump it in without any sort of care or finesse, lol.

I've considered your warning of possible bottle-bombs and moved them safely away from appliances, furniture, etc.

The bottles are stored in our spare room, at a room temperature between 68-72. If there's any fluctuation in temperature, it's on the cooler side, but no cooler than 63-65.

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Old 01-13-2012, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djfriesen View Post
I'm assuming all the beer and all the sugar ended up in the bottling bucket? Maybe some was left behind if it didn't dissolve completely in the primary vessel. Either way, as long as you stirred the mixture in the bottling bucket fairly well, you should be OK. How much sugar did you use? An amber may not fare too well with lower carbonation, but it's tough to know how much impact you'll see. My guess is you'll be fine. But it wouldn't hurt to throw them in a plastic tub or wrap them in trash bags, just in case you didn't get it well-mixed, and some of them decide to overcarb. If you're gonna have a mess, you might as well make it easier to clean up.
Everything went into the bottling bucket, save for the last 1/2 inch of sediment (and possibly undissolved sugar) at the bottom of the fermenter. Unfortunately we did not think to stir the beer at all once it was in the bottling bucket. If anything, the siphoning process hopefully did some of the stirring for us...?

We followed the recipe using 5oz. sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water, for 5 gallons of beer.

I will certainly take precautions for an easier clean-up. Trash bags sound like a good idea at this rate. I'm just hoping that at least some of our first batch of homebrew is salvageable! We took a taste of the last few ounces left in the bottling bucket, and it is pretty delicious, as far as flat beer goes!
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:03 PM   #6
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At first I thought you just dumped the sugar in; but you premixed it with water. This would have kept it more suspended in the beer instead of going straight to the bottom. You should be fine, with a well carb'd amber in a couple weeks. Enjoy and cheers.

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BOBrob View Post
At first I thought you just dumped the sugar in; but you premixed it with water. This would have kept it more suspended in the beer instead of going straight to the bottom. You should be fine, with a well carb'd amber in a couple weeks. Enjoy and cheers.
What a relief!! I had a feeling I was worrying too much, that pouring a liquid into another liquid shouldn't result in any major 'suspension' issues. I guess it would have been wiser of me to refer to my priming sugar as a 'solution' in the original post. I can totally understand how dumping dry sugar into the fermenting bucket (especially without stirring it) could lead to inconsistent carbing, but thankfully that's a mistake for another day...

Regardless, I've already wrapped my boxes of bottled beer in garbage bags as suggested earlier, so I'm going to leave them that way for now, just in case.

We haven't even tasted our first batch of homemade beer (the suspense is almost painful!) and we're already talking about our next. We're leaning toward a nice stout for the winter season. Maybe a Rogue Chocolate or Shakespeare Stout clone?
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Old 01-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #8
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your fine. If you siphoned correctly the sugar was mixed pretty well and not oxidized.

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Old 01-13-2012, 11:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grouperdude View Post
your fine. If you siphoned correctly the sugar was mixed pretty well and not oxidized.
I have a pet turtle in a 55 gallon tank that needs monthly water changes, so I'm pretty sure I siphoned correctly! There was only a little bit of air in the hose when I first dropped it in the bottling bucket, but after that I had a nice clean flow to the end.
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