Hi guys I'm new to home brewing I've brewed 3 ales so far but always used coopers carbonation drops, I've looked through lots of forums and most say to buy another bucket. I do not have the room for another bucket so I have to bottle straight from fermenting bucket.I have 1 pint spring top bottles so I'm asking how much table sugar to use per bottle ?. I'm brewing Geordie winter warmer @ 22 degrees and short brewed to 20 liters. I know I've got a tedious task of bottling but I have to do it, any suggestions welcome.

4 Answers 4


Using an online calculator I assumed a vol of CO2 of 2.4 (similar to Pale Ale), at 22C for 20L. You need ~110-112grams of table sugar total.

You can try and divide that per the number of bottles if you want, but that is super tedious. I'd recommend dissolving that sugar in a set amount of preboiled water, then transferring the proper fraction of water into each bottle prior filling each bottle with the beer. For example, if you were going to fill 40 bottles, I'd dissolve the sugar in 400ml of water and then add 10ml of sugar solution to each bottle. (Not to totally geek out but if you add 110grams of sugar to 400ml of water you'll have more than 400ml, so you need to first dilute in say 300ml then add water to 400ml to be accurate).

If you can't do 10mls accurately then do #bottles * tables spoons or something you can measure. Then its 1 TBSP per bottle.


The amount of sugar you need for carbonation depends a lot on what style of beer you are trying to make. In general, lighter, fresher beer styles like pilsner or wit needs more carbonation than more heavy styles like stout and strong ale. Most recipes will usually give you a prescription, but in my opinion, these often underestimate the amount you need.

What i usually prefer is adding around 4.1 - 4.5 g/L (grams per liter) of table sugar for heavier ales, and around 5 g/L for lighter types.

Lastly, when adding sugar to the beer for carbonation, you should always sterilize it by dissolving the sugar in boiling water or similar. I would highly recommend going for the second bucket, and putting the sugar in the bucket before adding the beer, but if this is not possible, I would pour it into the fermentation bucket. Be very careful as to not stirring in too much oxygen when you do it, as this can really risk ruining your beer.

  • Thank you for your suggestions will certainly have a go at adding into fermenting bucket.
    – Budge Brew
    Feb 23, 2016 at 15:22
  • To DJ Hellduck would you also dissolve sugar in 400ml of boiled water as in first answer before adding to fermenting bucket ??
    – Budge Brew
    Feb 23, 2016 at 17:01
  • Knowing the sugar/water ratio should be less important when you are pitching into the bucket, than if you prime each bottle. You have gotten two different solutions to your problem here: brewchez' method will probably be a lower risk to your beer, but requires very high accuracy to yeald a consistent result; my method is the quick and easy way, but probably entails a higher risk of infusing oxygen into your brew.
    – FredrikH-R
    Feb 23, 2016 at 18:00
  • All things being equal, I agree with getting a bottling bucket. I simply provided my answer based on the OPs desire to not purchase a new bucket and how to go about it under conditions presented. For the record, I have a buddy that has done it this way using a small syringe to dose bottles with sugar solution. It works well and is accurate enough for the beers carbonate with consistency across the whole lot. I recommended a tablespoon as it pretty common for people to have one.
    – brewchez
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:33
  • @brewchez Syringing it is a good idea, you should add that to your answer (using a pipette could possibly be even easier, though). Priming fifty or so bottles by table spoon would probably drive me mad, but it might work for some i guess. Just to reiterate: secondary bucket is definitely the easy, risk-free way. ;)
    – FredrikH-R
    Mar 1, 2016 at 10:17

The short answer: none. Why? Because table sugar will impart off flavors and the granules are too big to dissolve in your beer. At your LBS, you should be able to find priming sugar in 2 ounce bags. This is the correct about to use with a 5 gallon (19 liter) batch. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the priming sugar and stir to dissolve. Most folks add it to their bottling bucket and syphon the beer on top of it.

You said that you don't have room for a bottling bucket? The take up a circle about 12 inches in diameter and you attach your hose and bottling wand to the spigot at the bottom. I think it might make your life easier if you found the room for a bottling bucket. The way I did it when I was bottling was I would sanitize my bottles, and set them on the open door of my dishwasher, put the full bottling on the counter above it and fill the bottles. For clean up, close the door of the dishwasher and push the go button. Done.

  • Thanks guys for your answers I will have a think on it for a few days. Thanks again.
    – Budge Brew
    Feb 23, 2016 at 19:04
  • Table sugar has off flavors? What are those flavors? I have never noticed it when I switched from 'priming sugar' to table sugar. I think many would agree with me. I know many people who prime with table sugar.
    – brewchez
    Feb 25, 2016 at 13:07
  • Table sugar is sucrose, which is glucose and fructose bound together. This requires the yeast to use Invertase to separate them into fermentables, leaving a bit of a "cider" flavor. Priming sugar is normally dextrose or glucose (depending on the source. When you boil your table sugar for more than it takes to just dissolve it, you're breaking that bond (it would be better to add a touch of citric acid and invert it). Feb 25, 2016 at 14:47

Using a beer priming calculator, you need about 110g of table sugar for 20l. Boil the sugar for 10mins with a 3:1 proportion of water (110g sugar, 330ml water. Gets rid of the oxygen and sterilizes the sugar). You'll also need a 10ml syringe. You can get them at the drugstore. Using the same calculator, you'll need 3.1g of sugar per pint bottle, so use the syringe to put 9.3ml of the solution into each bottle prior to bottling.

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