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Old 07-26-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
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Default Should I Use These Bottles for This Beer, And Priming Solution Question.

Click I am about to bottle 5 gallons of Belgian brothers golden strong ale, and would like a bit of reassures about the correct volume of priming sugar for this beer.

I am using old (more than 20 years old and possibly European pilsener bottles) glass pint bottles, and was wondering whether they will be able to withstand the pressure of a strong Belgian beer?

As I cannot take hydrometer reading, I'm bottling a bit blind (first all grain brew, and second brew I have ever done). Unfortunately I need to roll my production on and the beer needs to get bottle, so I have little choice.

I would think that fermentation is almost completely finished, as the beer has been used secondary for 3 to 4 weeks. If I take hydrometer reading while the beer is in my bottling bucket, before adding priming sugar, then vary the amount of sugar I add to the primer solution to compensate. Is it a good idea?

Thanks for your help.


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Old 07-26-2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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Why not get a hydrometer? I am guessing you don't have a close lhbs? Why not order one, you'll get it in a few days, then you can bottle if the FG is on target. You can find out the correct priming amount by looking on mr.malty I believe. You don't want to mess up this great sounding batch.


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Old 07-26-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Did you take a gravity reading when you went to secondary? Why can't you take a gravity reading now? If it's in a carboy use a racking cane or turkey baster to grab a sample, etc.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:13 PM   #4
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You are concerned about the bottles handling pressure and asking about priming sugar quantities to not over carb but you are neglecting a verification of complete fermentation before bottling? Not a good course of action. While 3-4 weeks in secondary would assume completion for a normal beer, some Belgians take longer to get those last few points.

Get or borrow a hydrometer from somewhere. Then go to a priming calculator site and plug in numbers to confirm the amount you need, just because they are old bottles doesn't mean anything, if they held beer before they should hold beer now
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sweed View Post
Why not get a hydrometer? I am guessing you don't have a close lhbs? Why not order one, you'll get it in a few days, then you can bottle if the FG is on target. You can find out the correct priming amount by looking on mr.malty I believe. You don't want to mess up this great sounding batch.
I have one I was just a bit cautious about taking the airlocked of my demijohns.

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Did you take a gravity reading when you went to secondary? Why can't you take a gravity reading now? If it's in a carboy use a racking cane or turkey baster to grab a sample, etc.
The gravity reading I took when I transferred the beer was,1.017 68F. Since then there have been fermenting 3 to 4 weeks between 72F and 64F. I have had a bit of suck back in the airlocked, no bubbling, the beer is pretty much cleared.

Okay from what you've said I'm just going to have to stop prevaricating and taken a reading with my siphon.

Again thanks for all your help, this website is ace.

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just because they are old bottles doesn't mean anything, if they held beer before they should hold beer now
Thanks for the information. I will do a gravity reading tonight and if all is okay use my old bottles. I've inherited 100 of my parents and it's going to save me some fair money.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:20 PM   #6
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Ya take a reading. Just be clean and sanitize and you won't have any problems, esp. with a strong Ale.
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Old 07-26-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Don't prime it for too low a carbonation rate. I brewed a Burton ale from the 1890's & the carb at 1.8 volumes turned out a bit low. 2.0 volumes would be better in my experience. And once you have a stable FG,give it time to clear well if it isn't already.
Use a cheap digital scale to weigh out the priming sugar,since amounts in calculators are given by weight,not volume. Even though carb levels are described in volumes of co2. Try this calculator for the strong ale category; http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html
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Old 07-27-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
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Just to let you know I took the gravity reading last night, and the reading was 1.010 so my beer is ready to bottle, as per the instructions.

I also got to taste the beer for the first time, and what it is carbonated I will have some very nice beer.

Just another quick question about bottles.

I have quite a few 500 mL European bottles and have tested them to see if my capping unit and caps will fit the bottles properly.

To do this I filled one of the bottles up, about three quarters full, with carbonated soft drink. I then capped the bottle and gave it a good shake and then held it upside down. No liquid leaked and I couldn't hear any gas escaping, so I gave it another quick shake and submerge the bottle cap in water for a minute or two and saw no bubbles coming from it.

From this test are these bottle still suitable for my beer?

Thanks again for your help.
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Old 07-27-2012, 10:34 AM   #9
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If they were made to hold carbonation and you have caps that fit there should not be any problems using them.
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Old 07-27-2012, 03:50 PM   #10
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Just to give you numbers so you can check your own use of the CO2 calculators, from BeerSmith:

2 vol CO2 = 3 oz corn sugar or 2.8 oz table sugar

2.5 vol CO2 (my favorite) = 4.5 oz corn sugar or 4 oz table sugar

These numbers are for 5 gallon batches.


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