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Bulk Priming: Gosh I'm Crap At It

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Lurks

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It's not rocket science is it? Well apparently you can still cock it up royally because I have not one but two brews which have fire hydrant bottles and flat bottles in the same batch.

Obviously there's not enough stirring involved. I foolishly thought that if I left it for 20 min or so the reviving yeasties would churn up the tasty glucose tucker but I can only assume that in fact this stuff sinks, which results in a few bottles getting a 12-course banquet of haut-cuisine of the glucose variety - enough to excite them into distorting a plastic bottle as their swollen obese little bodies cram more yummy sweet cakes into their tiny little mouths.

So obviously we need to stir that shit good and proper, to quote the ghetto witch of harlem.

It looks like I've got most of a brew that's duff through this folly. Unless one finds a way to make flat beer palatable.

On a positive note, a later brew - a sort of variant on nelson sauvin summer ale with a tri-hop salad, is not only the best beer I've brewed but the finest beer I have tasted anywhere in the world in all my 41 years of thieving this planet's oxygen.

So I suppose on balance I could just tip the flat beer away and treat it as a lesson learned and I'm still up.

Glass is half full thinking is much easier after you've had a couple of glasses.
 

iralosavic

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It's not rocket science is it? Well apparently you can still cock it up royally because I have not one but two brews which have fire hydrant bottles and flat bottles in the same batch.

Obviously there's not enough stirring involved. I foolishly thought that if I left it for 20 min or so the reviving yeasties would churn up the tasty glucose tucker but I can only assume that in fact this stuff sinks, which results in a few bottles getting a 12-course banquet of haut-cuisine of the glucose variety - enough to excite them into distorting a plastic bottle as their swollen obese little bodies cram more yummy sweet cakes into their tiny little mouths.

So obviously we need to stir that shit good and proper, to quote the ghetto witch of harlem.

It looks like I've got most of a brew that's duff through this folly. Unless one finds a way to make flat beer palatable.

On a positive note, a later brew - a sort of variant on nelson sauvin summer ale with a tri-hop salad, is not only the best beer I've brewed but the finest beer I have tasted anywhere in the world in all my 41 years of thieving this planet's oxygen.

So I suppose on balance I could just tip the flat beer away and treat it as a lesson learned and I'm still up.

Glass is half full thinking is much easier after you've had a couple of glasses.

It's always hard to waste anything, even moreso liquid that could have been beer. You could, of course, try adding a measured amount of priming sugar and recapping the flat ones immediately after opening and discovering no carbonation...

You have said it yourself. Stir, stir, stir. I stir for 5 minutes (which feels like a very long time to stir). I assume you do a small boil of sugar and water and put it in the bottom of your racking vessle and then siphon the beer ontop? The movement of beer over the sugar does a decent job of mixing it, and then 5 mins of stirring makes sure of it.

Glad you've mad a winner and better luck next time with the carbing
 

bignath

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Stirring is the last thing i would do. It increases the risk of oxidising your beer.

Admittedly i tend to keg most of my beer, but every now and then i'll bottle a batch for takeaways..

I bulk prime and never have inconsistent carbonation.
Prepare sugar solution, completely dissolving the sugar, pour into bottling vessel. Transfer via hose from fermenter, straight onto sugar solution. I keep my hose pointing into a corner on an angle so it whirlpools as it mixes. Start bottling straight away. Perfect every time. Unless i have a dumbass moment and use the incorrect amount of sugar in the first place...

if you really were concerned about mixing, id seal the bottling vessel, and invert slowly a few times, but i would never stir it...
 

Lecterfan

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I've bulked prime hundreds of batches now. I never stir for 5 minutes. I usually rack onto the priming solution in a different vessel and that is more than enough. If I DO stir the liquid mixture into a full fermenter I will very gently swirl it for maybe 5 seconds to get some movement, pour the liquid in down the shaft of the sanitised spoon to minimise splashing, swirl for another 10 seconds to keep the movement going, let it settle, all good. No need to go too hard. You'll get there!
 

mosto

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A quick question: What sort of sugar to water ratio should you use for the priming solution?
 

Muscovy_333

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A quick question: What sort of sugar to water ratio should you use for the priming solution?

I use 9-10g of dextrose per litre of wort to prime stubbies. Hits the mark every single time.
If you know your fermented wort volume prior to racking, add your priming solution to your cube first and rack onto it.

I brew to my cube size (22 litres) and fill it right to the top and squeeze the air out.

After that i pick that cube up and give it a right old rogering including the electric boogaloo, mixed with a bit of latin hip movement, upside down, side on, round the bend...you name it. I finish off with a gyration to try to get a vortex happening in their and then i start bottling.

Nothing worse than fizzers and flatties in the same batch!

Good luck!
 

Lecterfan

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I don't know about others but I use a small amount of water...bring about 150mls to the boil and by the time I've organised myself its evaporated down to about 100mls. I use plain/raw sugar and personally prefer it over dextrose or any other suitable candidates. Stir it in well so there are no chunks, bring to the boil, off you go. Finding priming rates that suit your beer and your palate can be more challenging although there are endless calculators to be found for those that way inclined (and you should use them for a start to get your head around the theory). Far easier and more consistent (for my way of being-in-the-world) than priming bottles. :icon_cheers:


edit: anecdotally, the discrepancy between me and Muscovy (for instance) is a good reason to head for 'objective' tools like calculators to begin to find what is right for you and your beer. I prime using raw sugar and use half those rates per L and much prefer the resultant beer (not right or wrong, just preference). 'Carbonic bite' is a pernicious creeper that bottled beer can't recover from properly, thus I err on the lower side.
 

Crusty

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Stirring is the last thing i would do. It increases the risk of oxidising your beer.

Admittedly i tend to keg most of my beer, but every now and then i'll bottle a batch for takeaways..

I bulk prime and never have inconsistent carbonation.
Prepare sugar solution, completely dissolving the sugar, pour into bottling vessel. Transfer via hose from fermenter, straight onto sugar solution. I keep my hose pointing into a corner on an angle so it whirlpools as it mixes. Start bottling straight away. Perfect every time. Unless i have a dumbass moment and use the incorrect amount of sugar in the first place...

if you really were concerned about mixing, id seal the bottling vessel, and invert slowly a few times, but i would never stir it...
I've never struck a problem either. Always the same carbonation for each bottle. I do it the same way as Big Nath but last batch had a dumbass moment & bulk primed for 23lt instead of the 19lt I was bottling.


A quick question: What sort of sugar to water ratio should you use for the priming solution?
I use 1.5ml for each gram of sugar. Boil, add priming sugar to dissolve, cool & add to bottling bucket. Transfer beer on top of sugar solution in a whirlpooling action. I followed the wiki example for bulk priming, works perfectly.

here

here too
 

tiprya

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I prime with a syringe, so I get the correct amount of sugar in each bottle - I get consistent carbonation across my whole batch.

Essentially I make up around 200ml of boiled water and the correct sugar amount, and squirt 10ml of the solution into my bottles before I fill them.

This link describes the process further:
https://sites.google.com/site/goatherder/bulkpriming

This process is so much easier and more accurate than bulk priming.
 

warra48

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Bulk Priming seems like a lot of trouble to go to, at least to my way of thinking. That's not to say I discourage anyone else from doing what suits them.

I think I'll continue to use my sugar measures. I have consistent carbonation in each bottle, and no bombs in 5 years of bottling. I've cut my measures down to about 2/3rds standard, and it does just fine for me.
OK, I did have some bombs back in 1973, but I had no idea what I was doing at the time. After all, we didn't have AHB back then.
 

AndrewQLD

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I prime with a syringe, so I get the correct amount of sugar in each bottle - I get consistent carbonation across my whole batch.

Essentially I make up around 200ml of boiled water and the correct sugar amount, and squirt 10ml of the solution into my bottles before I fill them.

This link describes the process further:
https://sites.google.com/site/goatherder/bulkpriming

This process is so much easier and more accurate than bulk priming.
To add to this I downloaded this priming calculator in excel format that does it all for you, I got it from Goatherder and it works very well. Many thanks to Goatherder.

View attachment PseudoBulkPriming1.xls

Also to calculate co2 volumes Beerisgood has made a top little program here beerisgood
 

Muscovy_333

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I don't know about others but I use a small amount of water...bring about 150mls to the boil and by the time I've organised myself its evaporated down to about 100mls. I use plain/raw sugar and personally prefer it over dextrose or any other suitable candidates. Stir it in well so there are no chunks, bring to the boil, off you go. Finding priming rates that suit your beer and your palate can be more challenging although there are endless calculators to be found for those that way inclined (and you should use them for a start to get your head around the theory). Far easier and more consistent (for my way of being-in-the-world) than priming bottles. :icon_cheers:


edit: anecdotally, the discrepancy between me and Muscovy (for instance) is a good reason to head for 'objective' tools like calculators to begin to find what is right for you and your beer. I prime using raw sugar and use half those rates per L and much prefer the resultant beer (not right or wrong, just preference). 'Carbonic bite' is a pernicious creeper that bottled beer can't recover from properly, thus I err on the lower side.



Im going to give your method a go Lecterfan.
I have been happy with my method consistently, but am due to try something new. I love the flavour of raw sugar!!!
 

Steve@PMF82

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To add to this I downloaded this priming calculator in excel format that does it all for you, I don't know where I got it from and I have no details on the author either but it works very well. Many thanks to the Author.

View attachment 53254

Also to calculate co2 volumes Beerisgood has made a top little program here beerisgood
Pretty sure it was goatherder that came up with that. I used to have the page saved somewhere...
Its a great method which i find is more accurate than bulk priming.

I still use both methods depends on how many bottles to fill and whether or not its being filtered.
 

Greg.L

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I bulk prime my cider, often 50L at a time. Once I tasted the stuff at the bottom, was much too sweet. The swirling action as I racked onto the sugar solution had left a little region where the sugar failed to mix. The sugar solution (syrup) is much denser than your beer so if it doesn't get mixed properly it will just sit at the bottom. All you need to do is give it a little stir about 1/3 of the way through filling your bottling bucket, mixing for 5 minutes is way overkill. If you don't give it a bit of a stir there is a danger of stratification.
 

stux

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When I bulk primed I always used about 150-250mls of water with the 150-180g or so of sugar. Just enough to get it to dissolve under heat really
 

AndrewQLD

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Pretty sure it was goatherder that came up with that. I used to have the page saved somewhere...
Its a great method which i find is more accurate than bulk priming.

I still use both methods depends on how many bottles to fill and whether or not its being filtered.
Thanks beer4u, I've just searched up the link and updated my post linking to Goatherders site, credit where credit is due.

Cheers
Andrew
 

MaltyHops

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... I usually rack onto the priming solution in a different vessel and that is more ...
I don't do this as I like to know how much beer I need to prime so I can add
the right amount of sugar (can't accurately tell from my fermenter how much
beer there is).

...
I foolishly thought that if I left it for 20 min or so the reviving yeasties would churn
up the tasty glucose tucker but I can only assume that in fact this stuff sinks,
...
So obviously we need to stir that shit good and proper, ...
Well, there's stirring and then there's stirring ... stirring fermented beer with
too much splashing about risks too much oxygen getting into the beer and
lead to oxidation of the beer in medium to long term.

After gently drizzling priming solution all over the surface of the beer in the
priming container as much as possible (as opposed to just letting it pour
onto one spot) I use the bottling wand to stir the beer in little circles with the
wand making kind of an hour glass shape as it rotates - it is possible this way
to rotate the wand so that the part of the wand near the beer surface doesn't
splash too much.

If I'm still worried about the priming solution not mixing enough, I would fill
bottles in groups of 6 or so - half fill each one, then go back to the first of the
sub-group to top up fully.
 

iralosavic

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I usually have my beer in a glass carboy when it's time to rack, so I dont already know the final volume, (due to losses via the transfer to secondary, so I either have to guess how much to subtract and siphon ontop of sugar solution in my coopers fermenter (with measuring marks) OR transfer first to know for sure then drizzle solution ontop. I stir gently and slowly TP avoid oxidation and I've never had a problem with it. 5 minutes is an exaggeration to be honest, but I do give it 1-2 minutes since I was experiencing uneven carbing when not stirring at all or only briefly.

I like the syringe idea, although it is moving back towards traditional methods (a little extra time consuming, albeit more accurate).
 

Lecterfan

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Fair enough y'all...I rack from a fermenter with litre increments marked on it into another so I know how many litres need to be primed (including the minimal loss from racking). I egocentrically forgot to mention that aspect...
 

Lurks

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Wow, mucho great stuff here.

A few had asked whether I boil up the dex before hand. Yes, but there's plenty of weak spots it seems based on the comments.

Others had recommended putting the sugar into the vessel before siphoning the wort onto it. I haven't been doing that. One of the reasons is because I basically bulk prime in a secondary vessel that the wort has been in for over a week or so. One of the reasons is because I like to have some yeast stirred up into the brew when I bottle. Experience tells me this is useful for S-04 in particular.

That said, this is a better way to add the dex to the solution:

After gently drizzling priming solution all over the surface of the beer in the
priming container as much as possible (as opposed to just letting it pour
onto one spot)
I gave really just a swirl big spoon, rather than stirring repeatedly, because I'm mindful to avoid oxidisation. Then the 20 min rest before I bottle. This obviously isn't enough but it sort of has been with some brews. So I guess I just need to stir it properly.

Other than that lots of good suggestions, like half filling bottles if in doubt, then there's the crazy ass idea of using a sugar solution with a syringe into each bottle. That's awesome too although I would debate that being actually easier than bulk priming, it might be worth the effort anyway. I'm minded to give it a go.

One of the reasons I like bulk priming is that I can ensure there's a decent bit of yeast in the bottle. If there's one thing I've learned through experience it's that more yeast the better, and not getting enough yeast in the bottle in bottle conditioning has been a real problem which is neatly solved by bulk priming in a secondary that has a stirred up thin yeast cake of it's own.

Thanks fellas, I've got a Belgian Ale to bottle tomorrow so I come up with something better based on this discussion.
 

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