Bottle early and skip priming sugar?

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Certainteed

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Is it possible to do this and still get a decent amount of carbonation? Can anyone help determine how to do this?
 

NorCalAngler

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Is it possible to do this and still get a decent amount of carbonation? Can anyone help determine how to do this?
Unless you have the ability to see into the future in order to know the finishing gravity of your beer then it's not possible. I imagine if you were able to see into the future you would already know the answer to this question. You actually already knew I would reply. You're freaking me out!

Seriously though, wait until the beer is done with fermentation and then prime with a measured amount of sugar or DME to hit the right carbonation level.
 

buzzkill

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do you like to live on the edge? bottle bombs,over carbed beer, or just right. lets roll them dice. Damn,crapped out.
 

Zamial

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This is just asking to have a batch of bottle bombs...As the previous poster eluded to fermentation ends when it is done, not after x days. The possibility of kegging and force carbonating, will reduce the conditioning time. The best thing to do is build your pipeline up and relax...
 
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no please stop assuming and jumping to conclusions. in the wayback olden days this was common practice.
 

Revvy

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do you like to live on the edge? bottle bombs,over carbed beer, or just right. lets roll them dice. Damn,crapped out.
Just like the baad old days of open crock fermenters, crappy yeast cakes, and recipes calling for 5 pounds of sugar/ 3.3 pounds of hopped liquid malt extract....Welcome to pre-prohibition brewing.;)

Seriously though, it can be done. And maybe a couple folks on here can talk about it, but it seems like playing Russian Roulette to me.
 

BioBeing

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I think that breweries used to do a quick "satellite" fermentation to find out what the FG was going to be, then stopped the main batch a few points shy of that. So - if you have the ability to do a reliable satellite, then yes it can be done. If not - adding sugar isn't hard.
 
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adding sugar isn't hard its just not true to old styles
 

ChshreCat

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While possible, I'd think without time to clarify you'd also have a ton of sediment in the bottles. It'd be fun to try just for the sake of doing something the old fashioned way (can you say vintage baseball? ;)) but i wouldn't want to make a standard practice of it.

If I were to try it, I'd do it with a recipe I'd brewed many times and was able to hit my OG and FG somewhat consistently with. Calculate at what SG you would want to bottle and be ready to go when you hit that point.

Certainly possible, but I'd rather let it ferment out, clarify for a while, bulk age a bit and then bottle. I'm not in that much of a hurry or in debt enough that I need to save on 4 or 5 ounces of corn sugar.
 
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you got no information so you try to be cute?

no problem i'll figure it out myself. thanks for nothing.
 

Revvy

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Noone's trying to be cute, it's just NOT a common way for people to do it anymore. And it was and still is risky to attempt. But it's like using bleach to sanitize, YES it was popular at one time, YES some folks still sanitize with bleach, but there are much better products/ways to do things currently in use.

That WAS a complaint of the early brewers up until the 70's when homebrewing was legalized in the states- Bottle Bombs or inconsistant carbonation.

The problem is in knowing when enough sugar is still present to produce to enough co2 in the confined headspace of a bottle without exceeding the co2 limits of the bottles. And that is very difficult to do.

Most of the people who did it counted airlock bubbles, but guess what sometimes beers don't bubble an airlock one bit during normal fermentations, or they go on forever, or the airlock bubbles for a couple days and stops even though you have way more fermentation that needs to be done. It's imprecise...and that's precisely way so many brewers failed at carbonation and gave up homebrewing altogether.

That's the truth of brewing in the "wayback olden days" that you seem to nostalgic pine for...people's bottles more often than not went ballistic.

Best of luck if you want to attempt it. But you'll more than likely find very little practical information. It really came from a time where people didn't really use hydrometers to figure things out. It was hit or miss...and it still will be hit or mis today.

TO do it right, you're going to have to know the attenuation of that particular strain of yeast (since all are different) in THAT particular recipe (since all are different), how much fermentable sugar is present at whatever point you are trying to figure out. And how much co2 will be produced in the bottle at that point on...

I wouldn't even begin to know how to calculate it in a safe way. And I've been brewing for quite some time.
 

the_bird

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As someone who has seen countless threads from new brewers wondering why their final gravity landed at 1.006, when they were expecting 1.008, or it landed at 1.012.... knowing exactly how much fermentable sugar is left in the beer is very difficult. The yeast's attenuation is not a constant, certainly not on the homebrew scale. Any calculation of how much fermentable sugar is left is dependent on knowing this.

If you don't want to add sugar for some "purity" reason, look into "krausening" beer - adding a certain amount of an actively fermenting beer to a finished beer that's ready for bottling (and at its FG). Not necessary to do, but it's a classic German technique that could be interesting to experiment with
 

Revvy

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If you want to hear about how it was in the "wayback oldays" you might want to listen to this...I think they even wax "nostalgically" about infections, AND bottle bombs...

February 14, 2008 - Homebrew History
Charlie Papazian shares a bit of homebrew history 30 years after legislation legalizing home brewing passed Congress. Also, home brewer Robb Holmes talks about brewing when it was breaking the law.

Click to play Mp-3
Like Pol said, it ain't as easy as deciding to just go ahead and bottle whenever...and even krausening takes a certain level of skill and some calculations to figure out.
 

NorCalAngler

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you got no information so you try to be cute?

no problem i'll figure it out myself. thanks for nothing.
Since Revvy is being awfully PC in this thread I will be the first to turn it right back on you. You came in here and asked a question without giving any additional information into your process or your intent behind trying this. Is it experimental or are you a beginner looking for shortcuts?

So without this information people gave you the appropriate response, which is there are inherent dangers from the benign (ruined batch) to the serious (bottle bombs) so don't be a jackass and everybody is more than willing to help you.
 

Revvy

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You are welcome.
Oh god, not satellite fermenters...A satellite fermenter is just as bad a "sign of fermentation" as counting bubbles in an airlock.

That "satellite fermenter" idea will only tell you WHAT YOUR BEER WILL FINISH AT, NOT when your 5 gallon batch of beer will be done.

It's used to measure attenuation of the yeast, not rate of fermentation.

It will take yeast a lot less time to chew through 12 ounces of wort than it will 5 gallons.....so don't trust that silly thing that someone came up with because they are too afraid to take samples from their beer as being accurate.

If you do take that as "gospel" you more than likely are rushing your beer off the yeast way to soon. You know "bottle Bombs" or suddenly posting an "is my beer in secondary ruined?" thread because now that you moved it to secondary because the "satellite" said it was done, you now have this scary looking growth that you have never seen in your bucket (because the lid is one) that suddenly grew on top of your wort and is ugly as sin....which we of course will tell you to rdwhahb because that is just krausen and it formed because you racked too soon and the yeast is still trying to work to make beer for you.

The idea came from commercial breweries, but you have to realize when they are using in it a 3 or 7 or 10bbl fermentaion setup, that their sattelite looks like this.



And they are drawing off hydro sample out of that bucket just like we do.

And they are STILL going to be taking readings and tasting the REAL beer in the ACTUAL FERMENTER, before making any determination.

It's been adopted by some home brewers, and unfortunately gets perpetuated by people (mostly noobs scared of taking real hydro readings) but it's about as accurate as airlock bubbling, (and you know where I count that in terms of fermentation gauges- slightly below the astrological calender :D)

Please don't fear taking a real hydro sample of your beer, don't ever go by a satellite grav reading.....Or an airlock....
 

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you got no information so you try to be cute?

no problem i'll figure it out myself. thanks for nothing.
I thought I gave you some useful information.

And i don't have to try to be cute. I AM cute. My mom always told me so.
 

BioBeing

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Oh god, not satellite fermenters...A satellite fermenter is just as bad a "sign of fermentation" as counting bubbles in an airlock.

That "satellite fermenter" idea will only tell you WHAT YOUR BEER WILL FINISH AT, NOT when your 5 gallon batch of beer will be done.

It's used to measure attenuation of the yeast, not rate of fermentation.

<snip>
I know. And this is exactly the information he needs if he is going to try to skip adding sugar, isn't it? I never said he shouldn't use a hydrometer.
 
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ugh shoot me

i have a hydrometer. i can manipulate maths. no sweat guys i'll work it out myself.
 

AnOldUR

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ugh shoot me

i have a hydrometer. i can manipulate maths. no sweat guys i'll work it out myself.
The young Jedi learns quick. From earlier this year . .
i'll do grain someday. for now i'm a dumb noob and need to produce something drinkable to boost my confidence and help keep the interest up.
Now he has his procedure down to where he hits his final gravity every time and only needs to "manipulate maths."
:drunk:







Edit:
and yes, most cats are cute!
 

DrinkinSurfer

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Don't listen to them. They all forget about the guts and glory in home brewing. But, you should definitely try it on a huge barley wine that cost like 100$ a batch to brew. That way you know you have plenty of sugars to manipulate your maths with and get plenty of bubbly, fizzy carbonation. And also, as we all know for fact, huge beers have the most consistent FGs to work with to make your arithmetics more simple.

Attitude is a SOB that goes both ways. Asking for knowledge is much different than asking for the answer you want to hear. That is what moms are for. These kind folks were trying to save you a wasted batch of beer and a nasty mess.
 
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Bottle early and skip priming sugar? Is it possible to do this and still get a decent amount of carbonation? Can anyone help determine how to do this?
no please stop assuming and jumping to conclusions. in the wayback olden days this was common practice.
you got no information so you try to be cute?

no problem i'll figure it out myself. thanks for nothing.
ugh shoot me

i have a hydrometer. i can manipulate maths. no sweat guys i'll work it out myself.
Perhaps the written form is not for you. Exactly how are we to know your level of brewing comprehension and process based upon you question? Just who is assuming and jumping to conclusions?

Since you bowed out so elegantly from the discussion, I'll ask that the rest of the answers be done for any other more patient brewers that would like to know the answer and just forget the OP.

I'll start.

Some brewpubs do this all the time, but they have dozens of replications and 24 hour monitoring and little danger of over-carbing because of temperature control and they don't use bottles. I know some cask ale brewers do this too.
 
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Is it possible to do this and still get a decent amount of carbonation? Can anyone help determine how to do this?
It is possible to do it, but it's not worth the trouble for an ordinary beer. I am guessing this is just for fun or for an experiment? You are more likely to get over-carbonation than under-carbonation. The reason it's so dangerous is that it's unreliable. If you want to try it, you can predict what your gravity will end at and add about 0.003 to the gravity (what I figured for roughly 5oz of dextrose on 5 gallons). So if you think your beer will end at about 1.008 you can shoot for about 1.011 or a little less. Be very careful when doing this as you know temperature can offset hydrometer readings, and not all of them are calibrated perfectly. Also the human eye is imperfect. Is this an experiment you are doing, just for fun, speculation, etc.?
 
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It is possible to do it, but it's not worth the trouble for an ordinary beer. I am guessing this is just for fun or for an experiment? You are more likely to get over-carbonation than under-carbonation. The reason it's so dangerous is that it's unreliable. If you want to try it, you can predict what your gravity will end at and add about 0.003 to the gravity (what I figured for roughly 5oz of dextrose on 5 gallons). So if you think your beer will end at about 1.008 you can shoot for about 1.011 or a little less. Be very careful when doing this as you know temperature can offset hydrometer readings, and not all of them are calibrated perfectly. Also the human eye is imperfect. Is this an experiment you are doing, just for fun, speculation, etc.?
thanks for your time. you are tremendously helpful.

i'm exploring old brewing techniques for berliners and commons. ky common was supposed to be a fast beer made from hard local water, grains, and lacto. i think i've got the recipe right so now i'm working on technique. i don't want to dry it out and then add adjunct for bottling. its seems like a waste if they could get it right 200 years ago so can i.
 

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1. I would not do this with glass bottles,
2. I would not even do this with plastic bottles,
3. I would do this in a corny keg, that way you have the assurance of a PR valve to eliminate anything exploding and you can let it sit to carb and condition, then chill it down till it's ready to serve, then connect your gas in QD (connected to your [closed] regulator), check the pressure and back check your carb level.
 

soundsandsuds

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Try krausening. Same end. More predictable. (and since you can manipulate the maths it shouldn't be a problem.)
And (more importantly) quit spitting in the face of people who are answering your question. Just because you didn't like their answer doesn't mean they're not right.
Also, generally most breweries that do bottle conditioning will krausen. Not bottle early.
 

Rothman

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I think that if you are set on doing this it would be a good idea to do a satellite fermentation rather than relying on the gravity of a previous batch. One of the homebrew heroes on this forum runs this site which would be my go to resource:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php/Fast_Ferment_Test

This would let you know where your beer will finish a few days before it does.

Good Luck
 

SwampassJ

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thanks for your time. you are tremendously helpful.

its seems like a waste if they could get it right 200 years ago so can i.
Are you confusing bottling early with krausening? Krausening you take off a pre measure amount of wort and store it/freeze it. At bottling time you boil it, cool it and reintroduce it to the wort.
 

EoinMag

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I think that breweries used to do a quick "satellite" fermentation to find out what the FG was going to be, then stopped the main batch a few points shy of that. So - if you have the ability to do a reliable satellite, then yes it can be done. If not - adding sugar isn't hard.
I asked one of the recent Irish Craft Brewers who has gone pro how he does this.
The answer was, take a small amount of the wort and ferment it a lot warmer than the main batch so that it finishes out faster and then you know what the FG will be of the main batch and then bottle it a few points shy of that as said.


It is possible, it is standard technique in pro breweries, the main problem is that for a hobby brewer, the chances that you will be able to catch the beer at the exact point, with having work and daily life going on, where it is not your primary professional focus is difficult and the sweet spot is easy to miss as those last few points can be eaten up in a matter of hours.
 
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