apologies for the somewhat newbie question (I can't hide it, this is my first batch and I'm hoping to get it right)!

I have started the Bulldog Evil Dog double IPA kit and although I am still some way off bottling, I would like to get all my queries answered before bottling.

My main lack of knowledge is in priming (I hope I'm using this term correctly) the instructions with the brewing kit suggest 1 carbonation drop or 1 teaspoon of sugar per 500 ml of product.

First of all are there any great differences in these two?

Second - if I were to use sugar, is this just your standard off the shelf granulated white sugar?

Third - should this be added in bulk to the entire batch before bottling and mixed thoroughly?

Fourth - if yes to above, should I then bottle straight away or should that be left to prime for a while longer in the fermenter? I believe the kit mentions this at the bottling stage but wanted to get others experiences!

Please note I don't have a secondary fermenter!

Once again apologies for the newbie questions! Just want to stay this right and tasting great.

Thanks in advance! Gary


3 Answers 3


Gratz on your first brew!

When bottle conditioning you want to make sure you have an even mix of suspended yeast and priming sugar. Having a secondary vessel makes this easier usually a bottling bucket is preferred. Bottle conditioning is simply feeding the yeast a little more to get some fermentation in the bottle to produce carbonation.

Carbonation drops are simply a dosed amount of sugar for one 12oz bottle, use two drops for 22oz.

Cane sugar (table sugar) can be used but corn sugar is preferred, as it's a simpler form of sugar and is easier for tired yeast to consume.

The beer needs to be bottled right after priming sugar is added.

If you don't have a vessel to mix everything into you can dose each bottle. Carb drops make this easy.

If you have cold crashed the beer or it is brilliantly clear when bottling, thier may not be enough suspened yeast. You can use an eye dropper to put one drop of the yeast trub in each bottle.

Once bottled store at 70-75°F for two weeks before refridgerating.

  • The only thing I would add to this is that I usually use 3/4 cup corn sugar boiled briefly with 1 cup of water per 5 gallons. After the sugar is dissolved and boiled let it cool a little and then mix with your beer in a bottling bucket just before bottling.
    – Gremwatch
    Apr 18, 2016 at 0:29

I don't think you can mess up priming that easily as long as you don't massively over-prime. I think standard rule of thumb is 3/4 cup of corn sugar or 2/3 cup of cane sugar per 5 gallon batch. But those aren't perfect equivalents; if you use cane sugar, use about 90-95% of what you would use for corn sugar. Personally I tend to carbonate with closer to 2/3 of a cup of corn sugar for ales, for a gentle chill carbonation, so I'd use even less cane sugar. You could even use honey, I think at 70-75% the quantity of corn sugar you'd typically use. Point is, you probably can't mess stuff up disastrously unless you totally ignore consequences. :-D

That said, I always avoided droppers because the quantity of a drop is a bit subjective. I suggest boiling your sugar, whichever you choose, in a cup of water. Pour the still-hot water into a bottling bucket and siphon your beer over it. It will mix into the beer fairly evenly. Bottle, prime for a few weeks at room temperature, chill, and drink.


I always just boiled some sugar and water and dumped that straight into my bottling bucket and then siphoned the beer over it — since the tube is just hanging into the bucket at an angle it will swirl and mix the beer with your priming solution that you just boiled. Now you have an even amount of parking solution for each bottle and don't have to worry about any drops and can just rack the beer into bottles and wait your two weeks to enjoy it.

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