When I bottle, I follow the typical step of boiling some water, adding bottling sugar, letting it cool, and adding it to the beer that's done fermenting (but still of course has live yeast floating around). Those little beasties probably would like a sip of O2 to grow better and carbonate the bottle better/faster, but I'm as careful not to add oxygen to the priming solution as I am to keep oxygen out of the beer. But I got to wondering, does anyone have any data or experience on aerating the priming solution? Seems like it would be an easy experiment that might have been tried, or maybe some author commented on it.

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    I am sure there is data out there. The American Society of Brewing Chemists have been publishing data for decades. If you want some real data on it, start there. But every professional brewery I know of works extremely hard at limiting O2 during packaging, even the guys that bottle condition. I am sure there are other German and Belgian tomes of brewing science too.
    – brewchez
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


As far as I understand things, the yeast won't go through a serious growth phase in the bottle. The pressure and alcohol make for a harsh environment, and you shouldn't be using enough yeast to really consume any oxygen that you would add. At this point, you really want to avoid oxygenation, so that you limit oxidation flavors in the beer. Thus, you boil out the oxygen in your priming solution and prevent stirring air into the beer.

More oxygen might carbonate faster, but it would probably do so at the expense of cardboard flavored beer.

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    Good answer, there is no yeast growth in the bottle. Add to that that fermentation is an anaerobic process, the presence of O2 might lead to some growth, but the CO2 generation happens anaerobically, presumably post the small amount of O2 scrubbing that happens.
    – brewchez
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:18
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    Thanks guys. Confirmed my suspicions. Sticking to the minimal O2 after fermentation kicks off.
    – Dale
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 1:31

I have "aerated" the priming solution by cooling the sugar solution and shaking the bottle that the priming solution is made up in. Adding such a solution to the beer before bottle or keg conditioning caused no real problems that I could notice.

However I now as (a matter of course) pour the beer from the 25 lt. settling vessel into another similar vessel that contains the made up dextrose priming solution. This "wholesale" pouring produces a lot of foam (de-gassing) and presumably oxygenation of the young beer. After a short while to allow the foam to settle, I put the beer into bottles and leave them for a month. Never had a failure yet (touch wood)!

Other brewers have commented on the "novelty" of this mixing method and most say they would never do it themselves. But it works for me and has produced many hundreds of litres of excellent beer in many styles.

The point being that "oxidation" is not a guaranteed and universal phenomenon - however one wishes to describe it. Some say their beer tastes like cardboard due to "oxidation". IMHO I have never suffered from that problem, yet I have given my beers ample opportunity to "oxidise".

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