Priming Solution: To Cool or Not To Cool

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Pelikan

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I've gotten into the habit of cooling my priming solution each and every time. But last night's bottling session was a nightmare for more reasons than one; suffice it to say, I couldn't cool the sugar down to "normal" temps. As such, it was added to the bottling bucket hot.

Can anyone see potential problems as a result?
 

Pappers_

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I always cool the solution. I suppose the problem with using hot solution is you would kill the yeast in the first portion of beer that you rack into the hot priming solution.

Jim
 

Hammy71

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I let my priming sugar/water solution cool on the stove while I'm getting everything else ready. I stopped checking the temp on it long ago... so while I'm racking to the bottling bucket I pour some in after the first gallon..and the rest after about 1/2 full. I've never had a problem. My logic is that the small volume of the priming sugar solution really isn't going to impact 5 gallons of beer that much. May not be the 'right' way...but one less thing to worry about IMHO.
 

rico567

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I turn the solution off when it boils, but it goes into the bottling bucket as soon as I start racking the beer. Does it kill any yeast? Probably. Enough out of the 5 gallons to matter? Doesn't taste like it to me......
 

Coastarine

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It might hurt the yeast in a half gallon of beer at worst before it gets cooled by the rest of the beer. There were enough yeast in that half gallon alone to carbonate the bottles.
 

menschmaschine

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Pouring beer onto a hot priming solution won't make a big difference in yeast count for carbonation purposes on the average beer. However, if I were priming a lager that I lagered for 6 weeks (and not adding new yeast), I'd be sure to cool the priming solution since I would want every bit of viable yeast I could get.

The other thing not mentioned yet is that dead yeast cells can result in a "dustiness" in the beer. However, again since the amount would be so miniscule from hot priming solution, I don't think it's much of an issue.
 

Coastarine

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Just curious, what do you mean by dustiness? Appearance or taste? I know that when rinsing yeast for repitching, dead cells fall out of suspension before the viable ones, along with the break/hop mat'l. I've just never heard of the dustiness.
 

SumnerH

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Heat the water to 170F, turn off heat, add sugar and mix (and take it off the burner if it's electric). 161F for 15 seconds is enough to pasteurize.

Sanitize the bottling bucket _first_, then pour in the priming sugar, and then do the rest of your prep. Sitting in the bucket (bigger exposed surface area) will cool it down faster, and coming from 170 instead of 212 will help tremendously.
 

menschmaschine

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Just curious, what do you mean by dustiness? Appearance or taste? I know that when rinsing yeast for repitching, dead cells fall out of suspension before the viable ones, along with the break/hop mat'l. I've just never heard of the dustiness.
Dead/decaying yeast cells don't fall out of suspension as readily as viable ones. So if a bottle of beer has a significant amount of dead yeast, they get "kicked up" easier (put back into suspension). This can result in a yeast "dustiness" (appearance) in your glass despite leaving a little beer and the sediment in the bottle.

It's no big deal and again, with hot priming solution, it shouldn't be noticeable. But it's worth mentioning, perhaps for competition beers and such.
 

Nurmey

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As a beginner I always cooled but gave that up years ago. Now I boil it up and toss it in the bottling bucket. I've never had an issue using it hot.

I've never had the "dustiness" mentioned above but then I'm notorious for very long primary/secondary times so my beer is pretty much crystal clear before I containerize it.
 

Malticulous

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I used too cool it but now I've just been tossing it in right off the stove. I figure just the bucket sitting on a cool tile floor absorbs a bunch of the heat and before there is a quart or so racked into it it is at yeast friendly temps.
 

brewt00l

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My process:
boil water, take off heat and add sugar
stir until dissolved
pour into bottling bucket
rack 5 gallons of 65-70 degree beer on top
bottle 5 gallons of 65-70 degree beer
 

DBbrewing

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Never have cooled it before adding it to the bottling bucket, just heat to boiling and add to bucket and rack beer on top, and never had any problems.
 
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Pelikan

Pelikan

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Heat the water to 170F, turn off heat, add sugar and mix (and take it off the burner if it's electric). 161F for 15 seconds is enough to pasteurize.

Sanitize the bottling bucket _first_, then pour in the priming sugar, and then do the rest of your prep. Sitting in the bucket (bigger exposed surface area) will cool it down faster, and coming from 170 instead of 212 will help tremendously.
This is the very first time I've heard of this...
 

SumnerH

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This is the very first time I've heard of this...
Note that when I say "pour in the sugar" into the bucket, I mean the previously heated sugar/water mixture.

It's the same procedure everyone uses, but:
a) heat first, let it cool while you sanitize, and transfer into the sanitized bottling bucket as early as possible and;
b) 170F is already a pretty wide margin of error over what the FDA requires for sanitization,l heat-wise. The people pasteurizing your milk or orange juice get it just about exactly to 161F for 15-30 seconds. I certainly wouldn't try to cut it too close to 161, since home setups are much less precise. Giving a good 5-10F buffer is worth it. Going to 212F is just overkill on top of overkill on top of overkill.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_pasteurization
 
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Pelikan

Pelikan

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True, but we're not bottling milk (naturally anti-fungal) or OJ (naturally anti-everything), nor are we using sodium benzoate, which is an almost omnipresent food additive/preservative these days.

Overkill is my middle name with things like this, especially because it's incredibly simple to bring the solution up to 212 and hold it there for a few minutes. This has the added benefit of boiling off some of the unneeded water.

But hey, if your process works, all the power to ya.

EDIT: My father's a VP at a bottling plant. Gave him a call to see what the story is with pasteurization. The very first thing he said: The temperature you use is based upon the ingredients in your product. The philosophy is, the temp needs to be high enough, and the exposure long enough, to kill everything that might be in there. Milk and OJ, given their natural properties, can be pasteurized at 161*F. But straight sugar water and pineapple juice (two of the worst offenders, in his experience), are zapped at 195-215*F, again depending upon the exact makeup of ingredients. He also mentioned that they're able to get away with a 17 second zap time because everything is enclosed. But for just cooking it on the stove, he said at least a minute (longer won't hurt), and put the lid on during the last minute so nothing floats into it, and so that the lid and the walls of the pot are steam sterilized.
 
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