Author Topic: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?  (Read 2984 times)

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
    • View Profile
I seem to get inconsistent carbonation in every batch.

I usually bottle by  myself and it usually seems to take about 90 minutes or a bit more for me to finish once the first beer goes into the first bottle. 

My routine is as follows:  After I put the calculated amount of boiled priming sugar in the bottom of the bottling bucket and siphon the beer from the fermenter, I batch sanitize 6 bottles at a time.  Then I fill each of the 6 with a bottling wand and cap them with a wing capper.  Then transfer them to a holding area. Then repeat the process. I stir the beer very gently after each 12 bottles that I have filled (just a swirl or two with a sanitized spoon).

But since the yeast should scavenge some oxygen while bottle carbonating, can I stir the remaining beer more vigorously and with more frequency (say every six bottles ) without incurring oxidation issues?

How much stirring is too much?

Thanks in advance for your advice.

It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3185
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 03:41:53 PM »
That seems like a very laborious way to bottle. If you're having problems with inconsistency it might be cured by using more water with the priming sugar so it doesn't clump as easily at the bottom of the bottling bucket or increase the distance between fermenter and bottling bucket so the beer swirls a little more in the bottling bucket during racking. You don't want a violent bubbling but a constant swirl during racking will do the work of stirring without introducing another object into the beer.
Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 04:15:53 PM »
Any suggestions for reducing the labor  that don't include a keg or CO2 ?

Thanks
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline dls5492

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 319
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2017, 04:23:33 PM »
When I bottle, I put my bottles (about 52) in the dishwasher with pbw. I put it on the sanitize cycle. During that time, I prepare to priming solutions and do my set up. When the dishwasher is done, I would have the bucket of beer with priming solution ready to go. I remove the bottles, fill them all up, then cap. I haven't noticed any issues doing it this way. Hope this helps.
David S.
Cedar Falls, IA
Club: Cedar River Association of Zymurgy Enthusiasts (CRAZE)

And the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Cor. 3:17

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2017, 06:47:08 PM »
Unfortunately I don't have a dishwasher, but thanks for the tip anyway. 
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline brew inspector01

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2017, 07:31:49 PM »
I don't see why you only do 6 bottles at a time.  There would be no discernable additional risk in sanitizing the entire number of bottles needed and filling them continuously then capping. Filling them in sequence will allow you to avoid delay reducing the time from mixing your priming sugar and filling.

90 minutes to bottle a batch is way to much time to spend.

If you are concerned about having the bottles exposed to infection,  consider that you are exposing the beer in the bottling bucket for a longer time than  necessary as well as potential contamination from repeatedly stirring.

Sent from my SM-J327P using Tapatalk


Offline coolman26

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 799
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2017, 11:16:47 PM »
I used to bottle an absolute chit ton of beer. I never put the priming sugar in the bucket first. I would transfer to the bucket, get an accurate volume reading, then weigh and make my primer. I never cooled my sugar, always dextrose, and dumped it into the beer. I would gently stir with my sanitized spoon. I stirred it to be fast enough to make good movement in a circular up and down motion with the spoon. I then would lid the bucket and let it sit while I would sanitize all bottles with my Vinator. I had my wand attached to my bucket w a 2" piece of tubing and it was on the base cabinet. I would then fill 12 and cap. I never had an issue once. I'm guessing I bottled well over a 100 cases like this. Maybe more detailed than you wanted, but it worked for me. I think the time between the stir and StarSan might help with primer distribution.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Jeff B

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2422
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2017, 11:34:58 PM »
When I did a lot of bottling I would sanitize all my bottles and hang them on a bottle tree to drain.
Then I would mix my priming sugar with about a cup of water and boil it.  I would boil the caps at the same time since I was at the stove anyway (in  a different pan of course, for the pedantic among us 8^) ).
I would add the sugar water to my bottling bucket and then rack the beer out of the fermenter.
I gave the beer a few up-down stirs and set all the bottles out in a tight grid pattern.
Then I'd start filling bottles, adding a cap on top of the foam.
When all the beer was in bottles I'd cap them all.

It may not be "right" but it always worked for me.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline erockrph

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6228
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • The Hop WHisperer
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2017, 11:53:49 PM »
When I batch-bottled in a bucket (try saying that 5 times fast), I would leave my racking tubing long and curl it around the inner wall of the bottling bucket. This way, when I racked over the beer would be swiring. After I had about an inch of beer in the bottom of the bucket, I drizzled in my hot priming solution. It seemed to mix in pretty well that way.

And +1 to the recommendation to use more water to dissolve your priming sugar. If it is really thick like a syrup it will not mix too easily.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline santoch

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
  • North Bend, WA
    • View Profile
    • WAHA
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 01:45:32 AM »
I always do the "add primer to bucket, aim siphon hose along wall to cause a swirling motion" procedure.  That way, the priming sugar gets mixed in uniformly with no stirring required. My guess is as the others point out, you need more water in your priming sugar solution.  It definitely should not be thick.

HTH-
Mt. Si Brewing Society
Washington Homebrewer's Association (WAHA)
BJCP GM2/Mead Judge

Offline Ale Farmer

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 132
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 02:30:20 AM »
I too let the racked beer swirl the priming sugar--although stirring it would be fine, it seems like an unnecessary step. And as others do, I clean and sanitize my bottles before I rack and add priming sugar; my bottles are upside down until I fill them--as a precaution. I put the cap on right away after filling and then--when all the bottles are filled--I crimp them with a capper.
George

Brew and grow...

Bottled:Spruce Ale, Wit, Vienna Lager, Nut Brown Ale, Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale, Mild Ale, Brown Porter, Spruce Porter.

Fermenting: APA

Next Brews: English Bitter, Wee Heavy, Marzen, California Common

Offline Lazy Ant Brewing

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 440
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2017, 11:59:26 AM »
Next time I'll sanitize all the bottles at one time, and use more water with the sugar.

Thanks to everyone for their advice.
It's easier to read brewing books and get information from the forum than to sacrifice virgins to appease the brewing gods when bad beer happens!

Offline Nathan

  • Cellarman
  • **
  • Posts: 89
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2017, 07:19:16 PM »
Dishwasher racks from old dishwashers are Free way to drain sanitized bottles be sure to spray them with StarSan first


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline charles1968

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 533
    • View Profile
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2017, 12:45:46 PM »
Making a priming solution has always struck me as a laborious way of bottling as you have to rack the whole volume, santize and extra bucket, and boil & chill the sugar solution. You also disturb the beer and introduce oxygen when racking.

I find it much quick to add dry sugar directly to the bottles with a dry funnel and a measuring spoon. No need to dissolve the sugars as it will dissolve of its own accord after a few hours in the bottle.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19771
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: How much stirring is too much for priming sugar when bottle carbonating?
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2017, 03:40:52 PM »
Making a priming solution has always struck me as a laborious way of bottling as you have to rack the whole volume, santize and extra bucket, and boil & chill the sugar solution. You also disturb the beer and introduce oxygen when racking.

I find it much quick to add dry sugar directly to the bottles with a dry funnel and a measuring spoon. No need to dissolve the sugars as it will dissolve of its own accord after a few hours in the bottle.

To each their own.  Personally, I find that method much more tedious.  And BTW, you don't have to cool the priming solution.  Just put it in your bottling bucket hot and the beer will cool it the instant it touches it.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell