I brewed the stout of my dreams back on Monday the 7th of August. It's a 9.5% imperial which hits all my buttons. I then bottled it on the 24th of August, adding the appropriate amount of sugar to the priming vessel before filling the bottles.

Unfortunately it transpired that I made the sugar paste too thick, and as I got to the last few bottles I could see way too much sugar sitting on the bottom of the vessel, meaning it hadn't made its way into the bottles! Pushed for time I had to cut my losses and see what happened.

Here we are now on the 12th of September, and despite being held at 18 degrees c, the carb level on the stout of my dreams is miserable. I want to save this batch, and I'm considering one of three options:

  1. Open the bottle, add brewing sugar, recap the bottle, move on to the next bottle.

  2. Open the bottle, add a mixture of brewing sugar and yeast cake, recap the bottle, move on to the next bottle.

  3. Open the bottle, add a mixture of high krausen yeast starter and sugar, recap the bottle, move on to the next bottle.

What would you do, and why?

1 Answer 1


I would do #1

Because, if you used sufficient and healthy yeast during fermentation, there is no need to add more. I would try one bottle and if one week later the result is satisfactory, then I would do the rest of the batch (if not then adjust the sugar quantity). Make the sure to store at ideal temperature for bottle conditioning.

I would add more yeast only if the yeast used was old (one year or more) and less effective.

Note: make sure the yeast you used can handle 10% ABV, otherwise add some that will.

  • 1
    Ditto to the above, plus 2 extra notes: 1. Don't add dry sugar, but make a syrup, otherwise sugar will form bubbling centers and you'll get a gusher. 2. it seems that the beer spent only 17 days in the fermenter. My experience shows that for an imperial stout it's not enough even with huge yeast starters, so it is possible that if you leave it to age for another 6 months, yeast will slowly ferment residual sugars and you'll get proper carbonation level.
    – Roman
    Sep 13, 2017 at 4:47
  • One probably wont get a "gusher" adding granules of sugar to an uncarbonated beer. That usually only happens with higher carbonated beers. I do agree that leaving the beer in the bottle to age is a good course of action. However the best course of action IMHO is to add the sugar in solution to the brew before bottling. Adding syrup might not be useful as there may be no space in the bottle for enough syrup. YMMV Sep 13, 2017 at 12:35
  • @barking.pete agree: my protocol is always adding syrup, not dry sugar, at bottling time. I wrote about "gusher" thing because it's what I experienced with a beer that didn't seem carbonated to me, but apparently was. A usual 0.5 bottle still has a neck space of approx 15 ml after bottling, which is enough to put some extra 5g of sugar in the form of syrup.
    – Roman
    Sep 14, 2017 at 3:09

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