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Bottle conditioning - sugar amounts for various bottle sizes (first brew)

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Narapoia

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Currently have my first ever batch of Morgan's Mountain Lager fermenting and have amassed a varied collection of bottles to contain it. I've been trying to get my head around the amount of sugar to use for the various bottle sizes based on the various bulk priming calculators & tables out there. I also have a bunch of Carbonation drops.
Would be great to hear from some more experienced brewers whether I'm way off the mark here. I also want to experiment with different sugar levels to see what I prefer in the end product. I don't have gear for bulk priming just yet - but might do so for the next batch.

From a fair bit of reading it seems to be fine to use 3g drops for 330 ml and 660 ml bottles (Have a bunch of these). I also have some 640 ml and 500 ml bottles.

Running with the following assumptions I've tried three different clalculators that have given me quite different outputs for the priming sugar level (And also seem wildly out of whack with the amount of sugar in a carbonation drop but will get to that).

Carbonation - 2.5 volumes (Mid range Euro lager recommendations)
Max temp during ferment - 25 degrees
23 litre batch.

Gives bulk priming rate of 6.97 g/L.
3.5g per 500 ml - basically one carb drop so surely this is a bit high for a 330ml bottle?
2.3g per 330 ml

Bulk Priming 6.39 g/L
3.2g per 500 ml - basically one carb drop so surely one drop is a bit high for a 330ml bottle?
2.1g per 330 ml

Bulk priming 6.73 g/L
3.37g per 500 ml - basically one carb drop so surely one drop is a bit high for a 330ml bottle?
2.2g per 330 ml

Does anyone have a recommendation on these? Or if there are any glaring mistakes I've made in the calcs? Seems like 2 drops 6g even in a 750 ml bottle is higher than the calcs?

I'm pretty sure I'm going to use the drops in the 330 and 660 ml bottles as it seems not to cause other people problems but keen to understand the apparent disparity between these tools and that dosage. (or if I am messing something up)
 
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Coalminer

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Bulk prime the brew then you can fill any size bottle or container without any hassle
Just need a second priming bucket/vessel to bottle from
 

MHB

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Your right to be a bit baffled.
The packets contain 60 drops, and 250g so 4.17g/drop
Ingredients are variously reported as being "Pure Sugar" and "27% glucose and 73% Sucrose. 250 grams or .55 lb per bag. Approximately 60 drops per bag."
Personally I suspect its hard crack candy which may have some water in it from the way candy is made, but not much, probably less than <2-3%

Its also worth noting that you are far from the first to ask this question, do a bit of searching there are plenty of other threads with lots of opinions.
They work and lots of people are happy to use them, even if they don't give fine control over your fizz.
It comes down to making a choice, I find drops are handy for doing a few bottles, if you have then left over from kegging a batch. But they are charging something like $14/kg for Sugar ($1/kg)
which is to me, having a bit of a lend!
Mark
 

Narapoia

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Your right to be a bit baffled.
The packets contain 60 drops, and 250g so 4.17g/drop
Ingredients are variously reported as being "Pure Sugar" and "27% glucose and 73% Sucrose. 250 grams or .55 lb per bag. Approximately 60 drops per bag."
Personally I suspect its hard crack candy which may have some water in it from the way candy is made, but not much, probably less than <2-3%

Its also worth noting that you are far from the first to ask this question, do a bit of searching there are plenty of other threads with lots of opinions.
They work and lots of people are happy to use them, even if they don't give fine control over your fizz.
It comes down to making a choice, I find drops are handy for doing a few bottles, if you have then left over from kegging a batch. But they are charging something like $14/kg for Sugar ($1/kg)
which is to me, having a bit of a lend!
Mark
Thanks Mark,
Appreciate the response and yes, you are right there are a ton of different threads out there - just not a lot of clarity hah! I think I'll definitely move to bulk priming for the next batch - if purely to cut down on the confusion.

I guess the worry for me is either under carbonated, over-carbonated or worst case exploding beer. My grandfather always used to condition in saved commercial beer bottles, which I have a bunch of so they aren't the thick walled homebrew bottles. Again people use them and they work, so I'm fine with giving it a crack. I guess I'll experiment and see how things come out, might try adding more precise doses by weight to a few bottles as well for comparison.

I've found getting firm answers on this really hard, despite a whole bunch of reading in threads like this - plus the fact that the online calculators produce different outputs does not induce confidence. My background is pharmaceuticals - things are usually precise to several decimal places. So there's a personal adjustment that needs to be made in my outlook I guess. 4g per drop, based on the calculators should be enough to carbonate 660 ml comfortably - so adding one to 330ml bottles seems like massive overkill - people use them though so it obviously works.


I'll use drops in some, measure some sugar into others, see what works best in the end result and go from there.Use that as the basis for dosing once I have gear for bulk priming.
 

Grmblz

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Me too ^ handy for the odds and sods, never used many so didn't really look at the price. Marks comment about $14 kg piqued my curiosity, surely not I thought, well bloody hell, Coopers drops are $18 per kg that's highway robbery for a kg of sugar, candied or not, then we have the "craft brewing" drops of Mr Beer, Jesus Christ $43 kg, for a kilo of SUGAR?
Then looking at the size of the drops, ^ 4.17g for Coopers and 3.3g for Mr Beer, and the recommended dosage rates there's further confusion.
4.17g for 350ml (Coopers) 3.3g for 500ml (Mr Beer) wt? Is Mr Beer using super sugar? And if 1 drop is for 500ml why 2 drops for 750mm surely it should be 1.5 drops? Think I might spend an hour making some hard crack candy, now where did I put those fishing sinker moulds.
https://www.diybeer.com/au/coopers-carbonation-drops.html Dosage: 1 drop per 345-375ml bottle or 2 drops per 740-750ml bottle.
https://www.diybeer.com/au/mr-beer-carbonation-drops.html Dosage: 1 drop per 500ml bottle, 2 drops per 750ml bottle, 2 and a half drops per 1 litre bottle
 

mje1980

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A sugar measure is about $4 and has 330ml,500ml,and 750ml measures.
 

Narapoia

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Thanks Grmblz, yeah cost aside the fixed dose nature of the drops means I'll prob not use them. (I have Morgan's rather than Coopers or Mr. Beer.) I think they are somewhere in-between

I'm rethinking using them in the 330 ml bottles - will be over-carbonated I think. Will use 1 per 500 ml bottle. Going to weigh out the dose for 330ml bottles - or get one of the scoops suggested by mje1980. Use two doses for the 660 ml bottles.

Then do bulk priming from the next batch for more control and consistent carbonation.
 

philrob

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I've been bottling my beers now for the last 13 or so years. I use those little measures, and they are spot on for dextrose, although I use exclusively Coopers 750 mil longnecks. I don't use sugar, as it packs down differently in the measure depending on the type of sugar you use.
 

Vini2ton

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Go to a shop and buy a suitably sized container and tubing for racking. Bulk prime. Trust me, I havn't individually primed bottles for years because it's a pain in the freckle. You know it makes sense and you won't look back.
 

mje1980

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Meh, a measured scoop in each bottle for the few batches I bottle every year isn’t exactly rocket science or hard work
 

Grmblz

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A sugar measure is about $4 and has 330ml,500ml,and 750ml measures.
True, but it's a bit of faffing around compared to grabbing a jar of drops and just chucking one in. The funny thing is if I'm bottling a batch it's not such a big deal because I'm set up to do it, but those 3 or 4 bottles after the keg is full, it's a pain to get the measure, get the sugar, frick around, and then put it all away again when chucking in a drop is so easy. Dunno maybe getting lazy in my old age.
 

MHB

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Narapoia
Given your background I would defiantly read Braukaiser, the whole section on Carbonation which is a part of and a continuation of Fermentation will make sense.
If you have a reasonable set of scales, making a stock sugar solution and using a syringe is another way to get very precise control. Knew one guy who did this and used an adjustable Drenching gun to dose each bottle... Lots of options out there.
Once you work through the maths you will see why outside the US everyone is using g/L to express dissolved CO2, except the Germans who are mostly using %W/V these days. Users of Volumes need to do their calculations in g/L them convert to Volz.
Mark

PS
In fact all of Braukaiser is a good read.
M
 

Narapoia

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Thanks Mark,
I've had a quick look at Braukaiser - appreciate the recommendation. I have a bit to learn to get up to his speed for sure but will definitely use that as a resource.

I think I'm going to use the syringe method if I can get hold of one for this batch - then get gear for bulk priming.

Lots to learn.

P.S. Big fan of the Moynihan quote.
 

Hangover68

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Just dissolve the required amount of sugar in 200ml of boiled water and once cooled mixed into the wort just before cold crashing, let sit overnight then bottle.
 

rakijaipivo

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The carb drops from coopers will do the trick for most bottles except the 500ml.


330/375 ml bottles go with one
750ml (or anything close to that) its safe to go with two.

I did a bit of an experiment with the 500ml a while back - 1 coopers drop and 30 grams of sugar. Simply it didnt work. It didnt carbonate very well but made the brew go sweet.

You can always cut a heap of the carb tabs in half. It doesnt have to be too precise but it gets the job done.


while we are on the topic of carbonation (and I dont want to start a new thread) has anyone tried (naturally) carbonating in a stainless steel tank (or other)

I have heard that you cant carbonate in plastic due to the fact that it cant contain the pressure - however I was thinking if you did it in a staineless steel container surely that would work?

Anyone got any cheaper ideas than stainless? aside from bottling?
 

Grmblz

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Narapoia

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Narapoia
Given your background I would defiantly read Braukaiser, the whole section on Carbonation which is a part of and a continuation of Fermentation will make sense.
If you have a reasonable set of scales, making a stock sugar solution and using a syringe is another way to get very precise control. Knew one guy who did this and used an adjustable Drenching gun to dose each bottle... Lots of options out there.
Once you work through the maths you will see why outside the US everyone is using g/L to express dissolved CO2, except the Germans who are mostly using %W/V these days. Users of Volumes need to do their calculations in g/L them convert to Volz.
Mark

PS
In fact all of Braukaiser is a good read.
M
Follow up message from my previous one. I got my head around the Brewkaiser spreadsheets and docs and ran the numbers for the batch based on what should be the final SG reading for the kit I have. Came out at bang on the same result as the Northern Brewer calculator 155g of priming sugar, 6.4g/L of beer.
So 2.1 g in 330 ml
3.2 g in 500ml (About 1 carb drop based on weight)

So I think what I might do is try 1 carb drop in some of the 330 ml bottles and syringe a sugar solution to the above doses into a few other bottles.

Will try 1 carb drop in some of the 500 ml bottles and a slightly higher dose of sugar via syringe in some of the others.

2 Carb Drops in a couple of the 750 ml bottles and dose the rest.

Probably just syringe dose all the 660 ml bottles I have rather than using a couple of drops. This is the bulk of the bottles I have for this batch.

Will report back.

Thanks everyone for your replies and recommendations.
 

Hangover68

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Why wouldn't you just bulk prime ? , so much easier and you'll get more consistent results.
You don't need a 2nd fermenter or bucket to do it.
 

MaggieO

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I made a Cooper's Real Ale kit for the heck of it. Haven't made a canned kit in over twenty years.

Bottled today and measured out priming sugar with measuring spoons. Hadn't done this for many years. Really wasn't a big deal.
 

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