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LorraineMontana

Odd Bottle Sizes -- How much sugar to use?

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I've been collecting 8.45 oz Pellegrino bottles to use for bottling a Czech Pilsner that I currently have fermenting. Can anyone recommend a priming scale to help me calculate how much sugar to put into these little bottles for conditioning/carbonating the beer?

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Welcome to the forum!

www.screwybrewer.com

Or, it's as simple as taking the level you use in other size bottles (i.e. your preferred level of carbonation), and pro-rating it.

For example, Mr. Beer recommends 3/4 teaspoon in a 12 oz bottle. 8.45/12 = 70%. 70% of .75 = .53 or 1/2 teaspoon.

I like around 65% of Mr. Beer levels, so I'd use about 1/3 teaspoon. Of course, teaspoons come in certain sizes (1/4, 1/2, 1) so measuring 1/3rd is difficult. That's where batch priming comes in, you prime the batch and use any size bottles, or any combination of sizes, without worrying about it.

Lots of posts on batch priming.

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You might consider batch priming. Then it doesnt matter what size your bottles are. Welcome to the forum.

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Since this is only my second batch of beer, I thought I would stick to the Mr. Beer recommended protocol for bottling since they discourage batch priming. Have you had good results with priming a batch all at once, and do you do it in a secondary container?

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I batch prime everything I bottle. A lot of people here use slimline containers. You transfer your beer to that to get it off of the yeast cake. Then mix in your sugar solution gently. Then bottle from that. I am typing on my phone which is difficult so hopefully someone will jump in with more details.

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"LorraineMontana" post=386230 said:

Since this is only my second batch of beer, I thought I would stick to the Mr. Beer recommended protocol for bottling since they discourage batch priming. Have you had good results with priming a batch all at once, and do you do it in a secondary container?

I don't know where you read that Mr. Beer "discourage batch priming", I've never seen that. I suspect you might have read not to add the sugar to your LBK, stir, then bottle, and that would be correct since you don't want to stir up the trub at the bottom. As Gymrat noted, you need a secondary container, either a 2nd LBK, a slimline, or a bottling bucket. A slimline is ~$8 at Walmart and holds 2.5 gallons.

Batch priming guarantees that every bottle comes out at the same level of carbonation regardless of the size. It also ensures you don't mismeasure a bottle, or two (of course you could mismeasure the whole batch but that's on you :laugh: ).

There are literally dozens of threads on this topic.

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:borg: Welcome to the BeerBorg Information Center LorraineMontana. You will be assimilated. Resistance is Quite Futile: WE have Beer.

As you are new to this forum, you may also not know that you should let your beer ferment for at least 3 weeks before bottling...unless you have tested the brew with a hydromentere OG-FG.
Batch priming is most likely your best route with variable sized bottles. The slimline from Wally World works pretty good for that. Additionally, you can transfer you beer to the slimline, set it in the fridge for a day or two and let it cold crash. That way, your beer will also be a little clearer in the bottle with less trub.

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Hey, RickBeer is a beer poet.... It also ensures you don't mismeasure a bottle, or two (of course you could mismeasure the whole batch but that's on you ).
Sounds kinda like Dr. Suess.... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


Welcome to the Borg. Lots of good people willing to help.... Enjoy the Ride

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Oh ho, Lorriane, I bet your head is just spinning about now. You're thinking, "What in the heck did I get myself into?"

Well, welcome to the most simply complicated hobby you've quite possibly been into.

And, with that being said, let me tell you that this hobby - we all know it as more of an obsession - can be enjoyed just as simply as you want (think, making Campbell's soup) or as complicated as you want (think, making rocket fuel) or anywhere in between.

And, in addition, welcome to the Borg (the name we all gave to this forum - you'll understand eventually). This is quite possibly the most knowledgeable accumulation of home-brewers anywhere in the world. There isn't a beer-brewing-related question that can't be answered by the members of this forum. Of course, more than likely, what ever question you ask has been asked - and answered - a thousand times already. But that doesn't mean we aren't going to answer it again for you. We all love making beer and we want you to love making it too. No matter your process or your skill level.

So don't be afraid to ask questions. There are no stupid questions on this forum. Just stupid answers (of which I am the King :P ).

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Rule #1 - Toss the Mr. Beer instructions in the trash.

Here's the deal with batch priming - most homebrewers do it when bottling an entire batch. I only bottle prime if I'm pulling a few bottles out of a batch that's going into a keg. It's easy and inexpensive to get set up to do batch priming for a more consistent (and adjustable) carbonation with less effort.

You can buy a bottling bucket at your LHBS for not much $$. Or, get a 5-gallon food grade bucket at Lowes for $3.97. Add an "Italian spigot" ($3 at my LHBS). Snag a few feet of 3/8" tubing (35-40 cents/ft). If you really want to make bottling day easier, get a spring-loaded bottling wand (cost about $3-4).

When it's time to prime and bottle, sanitize the bucket, wand and all hoses. I really like StarSan for all of my sanitizing. Prep your priming solution by boiling a cup (2 cups for 5-gallon batch) of water in the microwave for 5 minutes. Add your measured amount (by weight is most accurate) of priming agent (sugar) to the water and boil for another few minutes. Cover with a sanitized piece of foil and set it aside to cool.

Here's a batch primer calc I often use - Batch Priming Calculator For a typical ale, 2.4-2.5 volumes is fine. Entire the highest temp the beer has seen prior to bottling in the fermentation temp space.

Set up your LBK on the kitchen counter and place the bucket on the floor on top of something so that the top of the bucket is about 4-6" below your LBK . Put a section of 3/8" tube on the LBK spigot that’s long enough to reach to the bottom of the bucket and curl a bit. You want the beer to flow smoothly into the bucket and not splash.

As the beer flows out of the LBK, prime it by slowly pouring your calculated (sterilized by boiling and cooled) sugar solution into the stream of beer. Stop draining the LBK before you get into the trub layer. Very gently stir the beer with a sanitized spoon to get a nice, consistent distribution of the sugar. Cover the top of the bucket with sanitized foil or, if you have a lid, place it on top without pressing it down.

I like to do the next step at the dishwasher with the bottles having been sanitized and placed on the lower rack (also sanitized). Place the bucket on the counter above the open dishwasher. Attach the wand to the spigot using a 3" piece of tubing. This allows it to flex a little, but not flop around when you fill each bottle. Crack open the spigot. As you fill each bottle by pressing the wand button against the bottom of the bottle, let it get all the way full. When you withdraw the wand, you'll create just the right amount of headspace each time.

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I'm likin' the Borg! I'm a bit of a culinary science freak, so this has been a fun experiment. I can see it becoming addictive.

Thanks for the welcome -- and for not laughing at stupid questions.

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LOL -- I can see that it would be quite easy to be assimilated...and completely consumed!

I waited 20days for my first batch (Ale) to ferment before bottling, but did not measure its relative density before bottling. It came out so great that I was immediately hooked. I am seven days in to fermenting my second batch (Pilsner), and did take an initial gravity reading, so this will be an interesting experiment. I really like the idea of clearing sediment with a cold phase. Thanks so much!

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"LorraineMontana" post=386339 said:

I'm likin' the Borg! I'm a bit of a culinary science freak, so this has been a fun experiment. I can see it becoming addictive.

Thanks for the welcome -- and for not laughing at stupid questions.

Yup, super addictive. We here try not to be like other forums, we don't laugh at questions, just try to answer them and understand that sometimes brewing can be intimidating.

Welcome!

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I'm a big advocate of batch priming. I've done it from the very beginning, and can't imagine priming each individual bottle. But some folks swear by bottle priming. To each his own, said the old lady as she kissed her cow.

Whatever method you use, you'll find yourself refining your process so that it works for you. The basic idea will be the same, but your methods will become individualized. It's important to work in a manner that's comfortable for you.

Welcome to the Borg, and read a lot, ask questions a lot, learn a lot, and enjoy this crazy bunch of misfits united by a love of brewing good beer.

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Got it.  That's what I thought.  But I also thought everything need to be in a dark container. Do you just keep the  slimline in a dark place or cover it until bottling?

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jastew said:Got it.  That's what I thought.  But I also thought everything need to be in a dark container. Do you just keep the  slimline in a dark place or cover it until bottling?

I'm just a newbie around here so somebody correct me if I'm wrong but...

Once you transfer to the slimline or 2nd LBK (w/ the mixed in sugar) you bottle right away. There's no waiting.

That slimline or 2nd LBK is just a temporary 2nd container for mixing, then bottling I believe.

Weird because this is exactly where I'm at in my "beer life" and I couldn't remember where I saw this info and started another thread to cover my ass this weekend.

Somebody check my work....  

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