Priming Syrup


Few questions;

I have recently noticed that I'm an absolute doofus; by putting waaay too much sugar in the barrel to prime it. I'm pretty sure I followed the same method the first 2 times, and it turned out OK. What are the possible problems here, other than an over-sweet beer?

Second question;

Normally, I get my fiance and my sister to help me in the bottling process, and we put the sugar in by hand (which works out about a teaspoon per bottle, I know this is perhaps too much as well) and can some times cause a bit of a mess.

I've been looking online for solutions to this and have came across priming with a syrup. My simple question here would be how many grams of sugar do I dissolve in X Mls of water for 20 litres of beer?

Many thanks :)



  • CJayCJay Member Posts: 10
    Im definitely no brewing expert but I hope this might help .

    Ive got a brewferm instruction leaflet in front of me and it states in the bottling section to -

    Transfer the beer into a clean container , dissolve 7grams per litre of sugar into a small amount of boiling water , pour this into the beer and stir , then bottle .

    So I assume the "small amount of boiling water" is the least you can get away with to make a syrup . I think the 7gr/l of sugar varies with different beers .
  • DrunkenMonkeyDrunkenMonkey Member Posts: 10
    Cheers that makes a lot of sense. I've went and put 500g of sugar in my barrel :neutral:

    No going back now... I'll drink it for my sins haha

  • CJayCJay Member Posts: 10
    I don't think you're far out at a teaspoon per 500ml bottle for ale , I think thats what i put in a bottle on a nelsons revenge , although it probably is a little gassy for an ale .
    A teaspoon is about 4g .
    Maybe try priming drops ?
  • DrunkenMonkeyDrunkenMonkey Member Posts: 10
    I hate the priming drops to be fair... I've used them once before and they're a bit rubbish IMO. Super easy don't get me wrong, but I just don't think the quality is as good.

    I did do a batch of lager where I didn't follow the instructions and I was adamant it was 2 teaspoon per bottle... That didn't taste very nice. Very gassy. Very sweet. Yak. Still drank it though!!

    Priming it with a syrup might be the solution to all my problems. Hopefully. Time will tell though!! I'll let you know on boxing day when I have family over and they can give me their verdict haha.

  • DrunkenMonkeyDrunkenMonkey Member Posts: 10
    Just so I do get this right though; I'm going to be using 140g of sugar for my 20L, according to what you've said.

    How much water should I use to dissolve it?

  • CJayCJay Member Posts: 10
    I would put the sugar into a sterile bowl and just keep adding a small amount of boiling water , a little at a time and stirring until it all dissolves into a syrup .
    If you're bottling it , you will have to use a second container to stir it into .
  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    edited December 2015
    Just be careful if you have over-primed, in a barrel it will be able to vent the excess pressure through the safety vent but in bottles it would build up too much pressure and may burst them. Keep an eye on the barrel and make sure it doesn't get too pressurised, and store out of the way where no damage could occur if it leaked. The sugar you added will ferment in the barrel, this will increase the strength and the sweetness too
  • DrunkenMonkeyDrunkenMonkey Member Posts: 10
    Thanks guys...

    I think I've made a little mistake trying to be clever getting as much sediment out of the beer as possible, as my father in law critiqued it the last time.

    To do this, I siphoned my brew into a second clean bucket and let it settle for a further 2 days so it had virtually no sediment when it came to bottling.

    But now I've noticed my beers are looking as flat as a fart because the sugar has nothing to react with :neutral:

    I've moved it to a warmer location and tried swirling the bottles to mix what little sediment remains and turning the bottles upside down every other day to see if that helps.

    I will get the hang of this one day...

  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Hi Zak, it can be an issue that there is less yeast suspended in the liquid and this will make it clearer with little to no sediment in the bottles, as you say though this will increase the carbonation time. Leave the bottles somewhere warm, around 20 degrees C or so, for at least a week, and then leave it to condition and clear. This may take a while but it will then carbonate. If you are using plastic bottles then you will notice the bottles will begin to feel firmer as pressure builds up, it may take longer but the brew should have less sediment
  • DrunkenMonkeyDrunkenMonkey Member Posts: 10
    Im using glass bottles. I've got 30 normal ones and 10 Grolsch style bottles...

    2 out of the lot looked fine, but the rest looked flat... so since remedying my mistakes I thought I'd have a little experiment and try out the bottles to see how they were getting on. The one in the swing top bottle that looked okay, was great! Had a nice pop and nicely carbonated. The second glass bottle was lovely too. They were my 'good ones'.

    So I thought I'd try one of the 'bad ones' and I was totally wrong!.. it fizzed up as soon as I opened it and ended up being just how I wanted (albeit a bit too much sugar).

    So now I have 35 bottles (yeah okay I had 2 more..) of perfectly drinkable beer. Il just have to be more careful next time!

  • DrunkenMonkeyDrunkenMonkey Member Posts: 10
    I was worrying for nothing... turned out great. I'm going to reduce the amount of sugary by 30g next time. Then I think it will be perfect. I've cracked it woohoo!

  • HBO_StaffHBO_Staff Administrator Posts: 2,115
    Hi Zak, fantastic news, looks great! If the flavour is lacking at all the just give it a bit longer in the bottles, keep away from UV light or covered over, and the flavours will usually continue to develop
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