Carbonation techniques

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Well-Known Member
Dec 6, 2008
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London Ontario
Okay, here is a question for the bottlers....

I sell a small amount of my homebrew to my friends, one of the biggest complaints is "I hate having to pour my beer into a glass with the crud at the bottom of the beer blah blah blah"

I was doing some searching online and I was wondering if there are actually any home brewers out there that add carbon dioxide to their beer?

It would be pretty sweet if they made carbon dioxide pills or something that dissolve into a beer without any trub in the beer. I know that kegging is the way to go but if it's safe and somewhat cheap I wouldn't mind looking into it.


The Blow Leprechaun

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Jun 16, 2008
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Rockville, MD
Can you legally sell homebrew in Canadia? If so, neat!

I don't know about pills, but I saw online a guy hooked up some little rig that mixed baking soda and vinegar to produce CO2 and then piped it into bottles... essentially, a single-bottle keg. He published an e-book with the instructions, but it was like $15 to download it and, well, I'm cheap and figured if I really wanted to investigate it, I could work out the mechanics myself.

Seems pretty much you just need a way of keeping the chemicals separate until the system is closed, and a hose with a clamp so you can regulate the flow. You'd probably have to do it with the bottles already chilled, too, to get proper CO2 absorption.

They also sell some fancy bottle that separates the yeast and you don't have to decant, forget what they're called, not sure they're worth stocking.

I'd probably just tell my friends to suck it up and deal with it - plenty of commercial beers have yeast sediment, too, and nobody ever complains about Chimay.


Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2009
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Is it legal to sell home brew in canada? Tell them that it is good for them.


Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2007
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East Dundee, Illinois
Edit: I do not think it is legal to sell homebrew in Canada, so... don't do that, but back to the question....

I don't think there is an affordable way without a kegging setup to do what you want. I love being able to fill bottles from my kegs with no sediment. The bottles that allow the yeast to settle down require you to leave part of the expensive cap on the bottle (It was like $200 for a batch's worth of bottles).

Carb drops are just sugar that is premeasured, you still get sediment.


Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT Supporter
Dec 11, 2007
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"Detroitish" Michigan
You could always edumacte them on learning to love the yeast, and pour to the shoulder...

Well I might as well post my obligatary rant on this subject...CTRL-V

Dont fear the yeast! The yeast is your friend, and really isnt a big deal.

This comes up a lot from new brewers, especially since we in the states have grown up with fizzy yellow DEAD BEER as opposed beer cultures where living beers (such as homebrew) are consumed...

Here's a rant I wrote on this subject, don't take it personal I'm not ranting at you....It just contains some info you might be able to use in your edumacation of you, your friends and family about "living beers."

Some homebrewers on here who make labels for the beers they give away usually have a note on it about living yeasts and pouring properly. IIRC, someone on here has a logo with a graphic on one of the side panels showing how to pour. If you are giving your beers away you might want to consider doing the same.

I wish I could recall who did it for the label.

Anyway here's the "rant." (like I said it was to someone else.)

Drink bud....otherwise get used to it.

It's a fact of life when you make living beers. Unless you keg or force carb there needs to be living yeast in your beer to carb and conditiion.

Rather than try to avoid it you should relish in the fact that you have made REAL LIVING BEER as opposed to tasteless and processed commercial crap...It's not to be dreaded it's to be celebrated.

Learn to pour homebrew properly and get over it...


The Belgians practically worship it, for all it's healthful benefits...


Think of carbing/conditioning as another (but tiny) fermentation, in a small (12, 16, or 22 ounce) carboy. The yeast converts the sugar (priming solution) to a miniscule amount of alcohol (not really enough to change the abv of the beer) and CO2...The CO2 builds up in the headspace, is trapped and is reabsorbed in the solution...

Most of the time we don't notice this, (except for new brewers who stare at their bottles then start a "wtf" thread) but depending on the yeast, a mini krauzen forms on top of the bottle, then it falls, like in your fermenter and that becomes the "sludge" at the bottom of the bottles. As it falls it also scrubs the beer clean of many off flavors on the way down.

This is very similar to the trub at the bottom of your fermenter, only obvioulsy much much smaller.

Now some yeast are more flocculant then others, also depending on some brewing things one may do, some beers have very little noticeable yeast at the bottom, either because it just din't form that much OR it wasn't very flocculant and it is still in solution.

A long primary helps tighten the cake in primary, as does crash cooling...Racking to a secondary, adding finings and crash cooling all affect how much yeast is in suspension in the beer to help carb it...Also the type of yeast will change the amount of apparant yeast in the bottom, or in solution...

Also chilling the bottles down for at least a week after the 3 weeks @ 70 will help make the beer clearer and pull the yeast down to the bottom.

When I bottle I always run the autosiphon once across the bottom of the fermenter to make sure I DO kick up enough yeast for carbonation.

A lot of my beers have very little yeast at the bottom of the bottle, some appear to not have any at all, even though they seem to carb up fine.

also remember SOME beers, like Hefes are supposed to be cloudy with suspended yeasts.

For me personally, sometimes I intentionally dump the yeast in my glass, other times I do the "pour to the shoulder" method, where you watch the yeast mover up to the shoulder of the beer, and stop pouring just as the yeast is about to come out...

Now as opposed to the OP that thinks filtered dead beers are better than real beers, here's a pretty comrehensive list of all the commercial beers that are bottle's not too up to date though...but it is impressive...this is what a lot of us who ACTUALLY BOTTLE HARVEST THE GLORIOUS YEASTS from beers to capture the strains, use as a rough reference...

Yeasts from Bottle Conditioned Beers

Now if you look at this list, and then compare it to the "clear beers" (meaning BMC) you will quickly see that the kind of beer the OP is referring to is actually in the minority..

See there are actually more commercial bottle conditioned WITH YEAST SEDIMENT in stores, in bottleshops, and in most of our fridges than there are dead and filtered beers...

I enter contests...and placed decently last fact the biggest comments I got this summer was on the CLARITY of my of my beers was describes as being jewell like...and ruby like...I believe it comes from the fact that I leave it in primary for a month..use finings to clear it, and give it a nice period of bottle conditioning, make sure I cool the wort quicky and chill long enough to eliminate haze..... In other words brew properly....

If you work on you beer process, AND pour properly yeast sediment is not really an's a tiny bit of beer left behind in the bottle where there is a glass of uber clear beer. There's no yeast in this beerglass of mine, what little there is is still in the bottle.


Even if you do decide to go the expensive route of some sort of filter setup, you are going to do what the BMC manufacturers end up doing, sacrificing flavor for the sake of comsetic can't really filter the yeast out in such a way that lets all the complex flavors of your beers come of those
proteins and other things that give you beer a freshness get filtered out too.

Hope this helps you be a better beer advocate!!!

We even had the telling your friends disccusion before...

FWIW I completely agree that educating people about bottle conditioned beers is a good thing, and have no qualms about doing that to my friends. But on the other hand, if a friend of a friend (or someone I didn't know but wanted to welcome to my house as a guest) came round, and the first conversation we had was me lecturing them on how to drink a beer, I would feel a bit of an uptight wanker. And much as I know that bottle-conditioned beer kicks ass, I'd still much rather not have to stand by the fridge checking that everyone was capable of operating a bottle of beer safely.

Who said you have to be an "uptight wanker" to educate?

I present to you;

Yeastie Boyz

A one act play by Revvy

HB) = Homebrewer
G) = Guest.

Scene, a living room, G and HB are hanging out watching the game.

HB) Hey you wanna try one of my beers?

G) Sure

HB grabs bottle, glass and bottle opener. Proceeds to open and pour beer properly.

HB) I dunno if you know this, but as opposed to BMC's this beer and most micro brews are alive?

G)Huh? Wha?

HB) They're still alive. See the macroswill makers pretty much kill their beers so they last on the shelf. They pasturize them and filter out the yeast, and to me, most of the flavor...that's why I like to brew, and like to go to brewpubs and stuff.

But these beers, and ones like Rogue, and Bell's don't filter, in fact the yeast is still in the bottle and that's how the beer gets carbonated.

B) Really?

HB holds up bottle to the light, showing the dregs.

HB) Yeah, see this stuff at the bottom? That's the yeast....notice how clear your beer is? If I had poured it in you beer it would have been cloudy, but I poured the beer til this stuff got to the shoulder of the bottle, leaving it behind.

HB knocks back the yeast dregs.

Actually the stuffs really good for you it's full of vitamin b and stuff. Sometimes I don't bother leaving it behind and just dump it in the bottle. And some beers like Wheats are meant to be cloudy with suspended yeast. There's different types of beer yeasts, and they give beers different tastes. Some yeast give the beer the flavor of Banana, or cloves.

Or like this beer here the yeast gives it this quality (Hb describes the yeast in the beer guest is drinking.) Can you taste it?

Some of us homebrewers actually capture the yeast from some of the beers, and grow our own cultures with them. Some are really awesome and hard to get.

G)Wow, I didn't know you knew so much about this

HB) Thanks, didja know that the yeasts are so important to the Belgian brewers that guard their yeast like it was fort knox? Some of them take it so seriously that they actually filter out the strain they fermented with, and then replace it with a different one to bottle carb and condition them? They actually take out one strain (like the BMC'ers do) BUT they still add yeast at bottling's that important to them.

G) What?

HB) Yeah and brewers and even some homebrewers who go to Belgian, actually try to steal samples of the yeast.

G) No ****?

HB) Yeah it's pretty wild, huh? Hey you wanna try another of my beers, maybe a wheat or a belgian that has a really yeasty character?

G) Yeah sure.

HB hands G a bottle, class and bottle openner

HB)Ok dude, I showed you how to pour to the shoulder of the bottle, so why don't you give it a try?

G) Cool! So will you teach me how to brew sometime?

HB) Yeah, I'm brewing this weekend, come on by Sat. Morning.
Smiles knowing he's converted another one to the 'darkside.'

G) SO can I make a beer like bud lite?

HB smacks G over the head with beer bottle

The End

(Just kidding about the last part) :D

I have very, very very little sediment in the bottom of mine, using the methods I mentioned above.

Remember Yeast is your friend! :mug:


Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2009
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Salt Lake City, Utah
Thanks for that post Revvy! I am tagging this page just so I can refer people to it. I loved the dialogue at the end, lol.

I left all of my first batches in primary for about a month, per your instructions. I just tried my first test bottle last night (after 2 weeks + 3 days in the fridge) and was very impressed with how clear it came out -- but after a few sips I went ahead and dumped the last 1/2 inch in. I was very happy with it!


New Member
Apr 18, 2009
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If you use a primary fermenter(bucket), a secondary fermenter(carboy) and then mix 3/4 cup corn sugar /5gallons with your brew back into the primary fermenter and then bottle out of that, these extra steps leave you with a filtration that leaves a small amount of corn sugar residue and no yeast yet there is enough yeast to carbonate. When I started brewing I kept on leaving a bit in the bottle cause folks said to, and then I realized there was nothing in there. Only after I finish my beverage and I look at the bottom of the bottle do I see a faint white residue. I have had no complaints from anyone who has drank my beer from the bottle. However I don't bottle anymore cause I hate cleaning 65 bottles when I could clean one keg and a growler when necessary.


Beer is a food group
Mar 15, 2009
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Hooterville, NC
Edit: I do not think it is legal to sell homebrew in Canada, so... don't do that, but back to the question....

I don't think there is an affordable way without a kegging setup to do what you want. I love being able to fill bottles from my kegs with no sediment. The bottles that allow the yeast to settle down require you to leave part of the expensive cap on the bottle (It was like $200 for a batch's worth of bottles).

Carb drops are just sugar that is premeasured, you still get sediment.

Hmmm so you can bottle from your keg and you have no sediment, Awesome. I just got into kegging so this is great news.


Apr 7, 2009
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I really like the cloudy, yeasty beers. However, I would like to force carbonate with my kegs. Is there a way getting the best of both worlds?


Well-Known Member
Jun 6, 2007
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Here's a thought...

When I used to bottle-carb and lagered my lagers for 6 weeks and didn't add any yeast to the bottling bucket, the beer still carbed up fine and there was hardly any yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottles. In other words, there was just enough yeast still in suspension to ferment the sugars for carbonation.

So what I'm saying is, if you use a "secondary" (really a clearing or "bright" vessel) and crash chill it (in the case of ales) before bottling AND be careful not to pick up sediment when racking to the bottling bucket, you can greatly reduce the amount of sediment in the bottles, while still keeping enough yeast for carbonation.


Well-Known Member
Dec 5, 2011
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what do you mean by finings to clear it? how long is a nice period of bottle conditioning? what do you mean chill long enough to eliminate haze?