Bottling without sugar

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Bottling without sugar

Postby Emerican » Tue Dec 16, 2003 3:09 pm

I have sortof a problem. I was caught up in bottling one batch while making another batch and forgot to add the sugar to the beer before bottling the one. Do you still think that this batch will carbonate itself, or do I need to open each bottle and add some sugar to get the carbonation. The beer tasted pretty good and I don't want to loose the whole batch.
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Re-Dose It

Postby BillyBock » Tue Dec 16, 2003 8:27 pm

Assuming your batch reached terminal gravity, it won't carbonate itself unless it has an infection. You'll need to open each bottle, dose the sugar into each bottle, and recap. However, getting a consistent level of carbonation this way is difficult--some may be under-primed, some may get overprimed.

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Help is here ...

Postby Azorean Brewer » Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:21 pm

Billy is right your beer will not carbonate without help.

I once added only 1/2 cup of corn sugar instead of 3/4 cup and it was almost flat. But don't fret. I saw something really cool ... I recently saw this really cool new ingredient, they are lozenges that you add to the bottle to achieve carbonation. They are called "Cooper's Carbonation drops" 1 drop for 12 oz. and 2 drops for 22-24 oz. Search around, you'll find them and be "Saved
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It should be noted, though...

Postby Gmku » Sun Nov 14, 2004 1:48 am

...that 3/4 cup of corn sugar is not a strict rule, and that 1/2 cup can give perfectly fine carbonation appropriate for many styles of beer. It's a bit subjective. I also firmly believe you should measure your priming sugar by weight not volume. Why? Measure out a half cup of sugar and then shake it. See it settle? Shake it some more. Is it really 1/2 cup or something less?

Buy a small food scale--I found one for only 5 bucks. For my alt, I wanted a kind of cask ale feel to the carbonation, something fairly low and soft. I used a priming calculator, basing my calculations on the parameters given for the style, and came up with a required priming weight of 2.75 oz of corn sugar. This is a bit under 1/2 cup by volume, and it seems to have hit the target.

You also have to calculate for bottling volume. Usually you'll end up with less than your 5 gallon starting volume. I usually end up with about 4.75 gallons from a 5 gallon batch.
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