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I'm brewing my first beer, in a few days the primary fermentation will be complete.

On completion I'll rack it into another bucket, but I'm a bit confused about where to put the required amount of sugar before bottling. As I'm a beginner, I don't want to do secondary fermentation, just bottle the whole thing after primary fermentation is done.

My question is: should I put the required amount (6g/litre for my beer as the beerkit manual says, so 3 grams) to the bottle and then fill it up, or should I put 120 grams (for 20 litres of beer) to the brewing bucket, stir it and then do the bottling?

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Even if you're not planning on transferring the beer to a carboy for secondary, make sure you give the beer enough time to truly finish. For regular strength (e.g. up to 1.060 starting gravity), two or three weeks is good assuming you're fermenting at close to room temperature. –  Tobias Patton Sep 5 '13 at 14:07

2 Answers 2

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Adding sugar to individual bottles isn't recommended:

  • it's inaccurate - it's quite hard to measure 3 grams - you can approximate it as a fraction of a teaspoon, but still inaccurate
  • pouring the sugar in to the bottle from a teaspoon requires diligence
  • the sugar isn't sterile

It's easier and more accurate to add all the sugar to the bottling bucket, boiled in a little water to make a syrup - the syrup will be sanitary, and resulting carbonation will then be more consistent with little variation between bottles.

If the syrup is quite thick (viscous) then add the sugar solution once there is some beer in the bucket, otherwise you can add it initially.

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Here are the steps I use: Dissolve the sugar in about a cup of boiling water to both speed up the dissolving of the sugar into the beer and sterilize the sugar itself. Give that water time to cool first so that you don't kill a bunch of yeast when you add it. Begin siphoning your beer into the bottling bucket, then add the sugar water to the bottling bucket after it is about 1/4 transferred. The remaining beer will stir in the sugar for you as it fills the bucket.

As for the amount of sugar to add, I recommend using one of the many calculators available.

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If you put the hot sugar water in your bottling bucket before you xfer the beer to it, it cools so fast when the beer hits it that there is no appreciable loss of yeast. I've successfully done it that way for years. –  Denny Conn Sep 5 '13 at 15:01

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