How much priming sugar when bottling?

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

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  1. newk340

    newk340 Initiate (0) May 29, 2010 Wisconsin

    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. emilystrikesagai

    emilystrikesagai Initiate (0) Dec 20, 2011 Illinois

    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. humanjoe

    humanjoe Devotee (414) Aug 26, 2004 Connecticut
    Premium Member

    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. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,451) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Here is a handy priming sugar calculator:

    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.

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  5. newk340

    newk340 Initiate (0) May 29, 2010 Wisconsin

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

    VikeMan Meyvn (1,382) Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    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 Initiate (0) May 29, 2010 Wisconsin

    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 Disciple (384) May 2, 2006 Utah

    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 Initiate (0) Jul 4, 2006 Connecticut

    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 Aspirant (283) May 31, 2011 Colorado

    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.
  11. Fciavarra

    Fciavarra Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2014

    I know this an old blog but for anyone that stumbles upon this and doesn't keep a digital scale in their back pocket, the amount of "priming sugar" aka corn sugar is at a ratio of 1 Tbsp. = 10.4 grams of corn sugar. 28 grams = 1oz. So you take 5oz.x28g. =140g. Total. Therefore use about 13.5 Tbsp of corn sugar in each 5 gallon batch. If you come up shy of a true 5 gallons reduce it to 10 - 12 Tbsp.
  12. Fciavarra

    Fciavarra Initiate (0) Sep 20, 2014

    BTY I typically use only 10 - 12 Tbsp just in case there is still some fermenting taking place.
  13. epic1856

    epic1856 Initiate (0) Aug 11, 2006 California
    Beer Trader

    Another culprit is having less than 5 gallons of beer when you bottled thereby using more sugar than needed. If you started with 5 gal after fermentation you will have less due to fermentation byproducts (yeast sediment, trub, etc). Depending on your vessel you could lose up to .5 gallon.
  14. langdonk1

    langdonk1 Initiate (0) May 16, 2014 South Carolina

    Download Beersmith 2.0 software and all of your questions will be answered. 2.3 volumes is the average carb level desire. For my IPA'S I use 3.95 ounces of priming sugar boiled in 3/4 cup water for 10 minutes. Pour in bottling bucket and rack finished beer on it. Stites gently and the rest is history. I found 3.95 oz for 5 gallons to be the sweet spot. Condition for 2 weeks and you have perfectly carbed beer
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