I am about to bottle my first cider, and i have a 500g bag of priming sugar, from what i have read, i can either prime each bottle, or i can pour the sugar into the brewing vessel and stir it in if i am immediately bottling after adding the sugar.

Is there an advantage/disadvantage to either method?

(Note: i cannot use a 2nd vessel as i have only just started and do not have a 2nd vessel yet)

3 Answers 3


Based upon what you said, namely that you only have the one container and it is currently filled with your cider, here are what I see for the pros/cons:

Adding it directly to the bucket will give you a consistent carbonation because, as has been mentioned, you can make sure it is uniformly mixed. The downside to this is that you'll stir up the junk that is at the bottom of the bucket too, which you can end up putting into your bottles. If you go this route, I would gently stir the sugar solution in, then I would let it sit for an hour or two before bottling to let the sediment fall back to the bottom.

Adding sugar directly to the bottle is perfectly fine, but it is pretty tedious. If you go this route, use a scale if you have one to be consistent in how much you put in each bottle.

Another option that you might have available is if you have a big pot, you can bottle in batches. If your pot holds a gallon and you have five gallons of cider, then split up your sugar in five portions and do it that way.

If this is the first time you've ever bottled, make sure you are confident that your cider is done fermenting. An early mistake is to rush your product into the bottle and find that it keeps fermenting in the bottle and you end up with bottle grenades.

  • I ended up putting it directly into the container, waited just over a hour and started bottling. The fermenting was done, the cider had completely cleared on top, no bubbles, no "gunk" nothing. Got all 48 bottles sat waiting now. Thank you
    – bizzehdee
    Nov 17, 2015 at 23:39
  • 1
    Glad to hear, and thanks for the follow-up. Another option I didn't mention is that Coopers (and there's another company too) that makes "carb tabs", which is basically pre-measured sugar that you drop into the bottles. The ones made by Coopers look exactly like unflavored throat lozenges. They are really convenient if you like to dose your bottles instead of mixing up priming sugar.
    – Dave
    Nov 18, 2015 at 0:26
  • Yeah, i saw those, but the kit came with priming sugar, so i decided to go with exactly what was in the kit for the first try. Going to do some more reading on different techniques before i think about my next batch.
    – bizzehdee
    Nov 18, 2015 at 8:50

The process used by many home brewers is roughly this:

  1. Boil the priming sugar with enough water to make a syrup.
  2. Cool the sugar solution and transfer to a clean, sterilized bucket
  3. Transfer the finished beer to the bucket, mixing with the sugar syrup
  4. Stir gently so the sugar is evenly distributed. Be careful not to splash as this will introduce oxygen and accelerate staling.
  5. Fill and cap the bottles.

Priming the bottles individually is tedious, and no matter how careful you are with measuring, it's impossible to get a consistent level of CO2 in each bottles.

  • That is pretty much what I do. Number 4 is important, stir it well, otherwise the bottles won't be equally primed...
    – Philippe
    Nov 17, 2015 at 20:49
  • Adding the beer to the sugar solution, rather than the other way around, helps with equally distributing the sugar. Nov 17, 2015 at 23:12

Especially for cases like yours, there is this device:


Each "cup" is scaled to hold pre-set weight of table sugar, so you do not need to use scales yourself, and you can get pretty good consistency with sugar added directly to bottles. And it makes this task pretty fast, too.

2, 4 and 6g is usually pretty good for medium carbonation in 0.33, 0.5 and 0.75 liter bottles. Or to get low, medium or high carbonation in most common 0.5l bottles.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.