1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

How much priming sugar when bottling?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by newk340, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. newk340

    newk340 Savant (260) Wisconsin May 29, 2010

    This is definitely a noob question, but I have 5oz of priming sugar for a 5gal batch. Last batch I did I used all 5oz and had bottles that enjoyed foaming over upon opening. Just curious as to how much I should use and if I should partition it out into the bottles or just pour it into the batch, stir it, then bottle? Thanks for the helpful comments!
  2. I'm a novice with only 3 brews under my belt but I've always used 5oz. for 5 gallon batches (except when I used honey for a 1 gallon batch). I never had a problem with over carbonation, but I brewed stouts so maybe the heaviness worked well with the amounts?

    I wouldn't put it directly into the bottles. You should have some kind of bottling bucket to dissolve the sugar into with some hot water (make sure the bucket is sanitized), and then bring the beer from the fermenter into the bucket. Then siphon into bottles.
  3. Here's a great chart for figuring out how much priming sugar.


    As for method, when I used to use priming sugar I always boiled the sugar with a little water, poured it into the bottom of a bottling bucket and then racked the beer on top. I then would give it a real gentle stir and then bottle. Now when I bottle I use prime tabs which puts a little priming sugar into each bottle.
  4. Here is a handy priming sugar calculator: http://tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

    The concept is that different beer styles ‘benefit’ from differing carbonation levels.

    I personally stick to using 4 ounces (by weight) for bottle conditioning the vast majority of my homebrew beers (regardless of style). Having stated that, I do use less sugar for my English Bitter Ales (I use 2.5 ounces) since I want those beers to be less carbonated to ‘mimic’ a cask ale.

    The bottom line though: 5 ounces of corn sugar is too much.

  5. newk340

    newk340 Savant (260) Wisconsin May 29, 2010

    Thanks for all the help guys! Definitely didn't want more gushers!
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    5 ounces of corn sugar into 5 gallons (assuming beer was at 70F before priming) should make about 2.7 volumes of CO2. That's a little high for most styles, but it certainly shouldn't have caused gushers. I've gone as high as 3.5 volumes without gushers. Some possibilities...

    - The sugar wasn't evenly mixed/distributed among the bottles. If only some bottles gushed, this is likely the cuplrit.
    - The beer was not done fermenting before bottling.
    - Infection (not likely if flavor and aroma were fine).
  7. newk340

    newk340 Savant (260) Wisconsin May 29, 2010

    This is my guess for my first batch... I haven't made it through all the bottles of my first batch, but some were super gushers, some were moderate, and I think only one so far hasn't gushed... pretty sure it wasn't infected as it was a lambic. I guess time will tell, but I should do a little better with this batch. You live and learn I guess. Thanks for the insight!
  8. utahbeerdude

    utahbeerdude Savant (415) Utah May 2, 2006

    I'm personally a fan of 116 gm = 4.1 oz as a starting point. In fact, I use this for nearly all of my 5 to 5.5 gallon batches.
  9. FatSean

    FatSean Savant (255) Connecticut Jul 4, 2006

    I use online calculators. I take the highest temp that the beer ever reached at to determine residual CO2 and use style guides to determine the volumes of CO2 that is the best fit.

    Pour the cooled sugar-water into the bottling bucket, rack the beer over it. I find that I need to stir as it racks else I'll get a variety of carbonation levels.
  10. FarmerTed

    FarmerTed Savant (310) Colorado May 31, 2011

    The tricky part (for me) is estimating how much CO2 is left over in the beer from the fermentation. If you bottle relatively quickly, there can be quite a lot, which can throw you off.

Share This Page