Priming and Carbonation

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Pugh

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to homebrewing and even newer to the forum!

I've bottled a couple of brews and made sure ~3g of priming sugar was in each bottle and I've been a bit underwhelmed by the carbonation. I've been opening a bottle every 3 days since bottling to see how it's going on and I'm a bit underwhelmed. (I know that it develops over a couple of weeks, but, still...). I know that when you keg you generally use less sugar.

I recently got a corney keg and all the associated bits in part to be able to control the carbonation of my brews. My question is: do I need to prime the brew for kegging into a corney, or just keg the beer and set the CO2 pressure?

Thanks in advance!
 

Horners

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to homebrewing and even newer to the forum!

I've bottled a couple of brews and made sure ~3g of priming sugar was in each bottle and I've been a bit underwhelmed by the carbonation. I've been opening a bottle every 3 days since bottling to see how it's going on and I'm a bit underwhelmed. (I know that it develops over a couple of weeks, but, still...). I know that when you keg you generally use less sugar.

I recently got a corney keg and all the associated bits in part to be able to control the carbonation of my brews. My question is: do I need to prime the brew for kegging into a corney, or just keg the beer and set the CO2 pressure?

Thanks in advance!
With the corney, no need to prime. You simply decide what temperature the beer is going to be stored at and then using a carbonation chart determine what pressure to set regulator to to achieve desired level of carbonation. Then just'set and forget' for a week or so. There are methods to achieve desired carbonation levels more quickly but as the beer needs a couple of weeks in keg anyway I don't bother.

One of advantages of not priming is you don't get left with the additional yeast sediment from the secondary fermentation.
 
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Ben034

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to homebrewing and even newer to the forum!

I've bottled a couple of brews and made sure ~3g of priming sugar was in each bottle and I've been a bit underwhelmed by the carbonation. I've been opening a bottle every 3 days since bottling to see how it's going on and I'm a bit underwhelmed. (I know that it develops over a couple of weeks, but, still...). I know that when you keg you generally use less sugar.

I recently got a corney keg and all the associated bits in part to be able to control the carbonation of my brews. My question is: do I need to prime the brew for kegging into a corney, or just keg the beer and set the CO2 pressure?

Thanks in advance!
What temperature are the primed bottles being stored at? If the bottles are 500ml and you have used 3g sugar per bottle they should end up a fizzy 2.5 vols (assuming your measurements are correct with the sugar). After this keeping them somewhere warm and patience are key.
 

terrym

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+1 on temperature. Even with only a smidgin of yeast in the bottle it should fully carb up in 7-10 days if held at 19/20*C
 

Pugh

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Thank you all for your input!

The bottles are stored at 20C-22C, I'm now thinking that too much of the yeast dropped out of the beer before bottling meaning there's not much to work with the priming sugar... Does that sound like it might have been the issue?

Thanks for the feedback on the corney, too. Much appreciated.
 

xozzx

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I'm now thinking that too much of the yeast dropped out of the beer before bottling
Very unlikely. Unless you left the beer for a few months in the fermenter you will have enough yeast in the bottles to carbonate, tho it might take a couple of weeks. If you just added the sugar directly to the bottles you might need to swirl them a bit to get it to dissolve into the beer. When I bottled I would batch prime by dissolving 100g sugar into the bottling bucket and gently swirling to mix it in.
 

the baron

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Agree the yeast will not have dropped enough to stop it fermenting as long as you are not leaving it in the FV for a lengthy time. Regards teaspoon I use a plastic one from the baking sets and put a knife over it to make it level and by the way I use 1/2 of a teaspoon and never had a problem which is about 2.5g I believe. I never batch prime as I think it is just another chance of oxidising the beer by transferring it into another bucket and then having to transfer it to the bottles from their( I generally corny my beers and have to bottle 4 or 5 from a batch) also the sugar will dissolve on its own and shaking or swirling further risks oxidising the beer
Ps do you know your capper/caps are sealing properly?
 

Pugh

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Thanks again all.

I'll keep fingers crossed for the next couple of weeks!
 

PerthRod

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Top tip....................when bottling, use some plastic bottles as well as the usual glass ones(I use the 500ml ones that sparkling water comes in).
This enables you to check how carbonation is progressing by feeling how hard the bottles are getting - saves opening bottles and wasting beer !
 

martin1256

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Hi,
Just joined & looking for a comment from Graham’s book that talks about bottling, but not using priming sugar, which I’ve done with kits. Do I take it that after leaving the brew to mature before bottling there is still enough activation in the liquor to prime to bottles itself?
 

Ben034

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Hi,
Just joined & looking for a comment from Graham’s book that talks about bottling, but not using priming sugar, which I’ve done with kits. Do I take it that after leaving the brew to mature before bottling there is still enough activation in the liquor to prime to bottles itself?
I've heard of people adding no priming sugar at all but usually it's with high OG, high FG beers like a Russian Imperial Stout where it's likely that over a year in the bottle to condition, the bottle may over carbonate.

For things like an English bitter or similar styles 1.5 vols carbonation is good. You can use an online calculator to determine the amount needed. Lagers, IPAs etc you'll need more for around 2.5vols.
 

terrym

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Hi,
Just joined & looking for a comment from Graham’s book that talks about bottling, but not using priming sugar, which I’ve done with kits. Do I take it that after leaving the brew to mature before bottling there is still enough activation in the liquor to prime to bottles itself?
In my view one of primary considerations making good beer is predictability, although that's not to say you shouldn't try new things.
But in the case of allowing beers to carb up with the residual sugars from the primary my view is it's best avoided unless you absolutely know what you are doing.
Also in the majority of cases it must surely be better to allow the primary to finish, let the beer clear, package and then add the correct amount of priming sugar to give the carbonation level you are looking for. That also means the chances of bottle bombs or flat beer are significantly reduced. I'm sure there are homebrewers who have gained considerable experience in the art of getting things to the point of knowing exactly how a particular beer will perform if they allow the residual sugars to carb up their beer, but for the majority of us that's something that is just simply an unnecessary risk, and for little actual benefit and value added.
 

martin1256

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Thanks for the answers, I’ll think I’ll err on the side of caution & put sugar in till I become more confidence. Cheers
 

dad_of_jon

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In my view one of primary considerations making good beer is predictability, although that's not to say you shouldn't try new things.
But in the case of allowing beers to carb up with the residual sugars from the primary my view is it's best avoided unless you absolutely know what you are doing.
Also in the majority of cases it must surely be better to allow the primary to finish, let the beer clear, package and then add the correct amount of priming sugar to give the carbonation level you are looking for. That also means the chances of bottle bombs or flat beer are significantly reduced. I'm sure there are homebrewers who have gained considerable experience in the art of getting things to the point of knowing exactly how a particular beer will perform if they allow the residual sugars to carb up their beer, but for the majority of us that's something that is just simply an unnecessary risk, and for little actual benefit and value added.
Agreed.

I leave my beers ferment from 10 - 21 days depending on strength. Then I bottle, if they are a few points higher than they should be I reduce the amount of priming sugar to compensate. Only ever had an issue with one bottle in over 50 brews. The difficulty as Terry has hinted at is the carbonation level over time. Ideally I would carb a batch at different rates depending on how long the beer would be aged e.g less for those bottles I intend to keep longer and a bit more for those I want to drink in the first month. Note that summer temps (I have no temp control in my shed) can over carbonate the beer I age. :confused.:
 

parpot

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to homebrewing and even newer to the forum!

I've bottled a couple of brews and made sure ~3g of priming sugar was in each bottle and I've been a bit underwhelmed by the carbonation. I've been opening a bottle every 3 days since bottling to see how it's going on and I'm a bit underwhelmed. (I know that it develops over a couple of weeks, but, still...). I know that when you keg you generally use less sugar.

I recently got a corney keg and all the associated bits in part to be able to control the carbonation of my brews. My question is: do I need to prime the brew for kegging into a corney, or just keg the beer and set the CO2 pressure?

Thanks in advance!
I always use at least one PET bottle so you can feel the carbonation, if the bottle goes rock hard you are carbonated if not wait until it does!
 
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