I bottled and capped my second batch of beer in 12 oz glass bottles and realized afterward I'd added far too little priming sugar. Recipe called for 3/4 teaspoon per bottle, and I only used heaping 1/8 teaspoons.

Is this batch a lost cause, or can it be salvaged?

  • 2
    How long ago did you bottle?
    – GHP
    Commented Nov 8, 2012 at 12:56
  • +1 to Graham's comment. If it were me, I'd chill a bottle after 3 weeks and see how the carbonation is before going to the effort of cracking 50 bottles and re-priming them.
    – JoeFish
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 17:11
  • Also, since you're new: when I say "chill", I mean put a bottle in the fridge overnight, then open it and pour into a glass to evaluate the carbonation. If you don't give it a long chill, the CO2 will not properly dissolve into the beer and the beer may seem flatter than it actually is.
    – JoeFish
    Commented Nov 9, 2012 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


Well, since you know how much sugar you added at first, you can add enough to cover the rest. I'd just take them out, uncap, add 5/8 teaspoons of sugar, recap, and let carb up again. You might even be alright to add the full 3/4 teaspoons since you will lose a little co2 from opening the bottles up. I don't know if adding the sugar will cause it to foam at all, either. It's better to give it a try and hope for the best than to dump it and never know.


If it is all bottled then it may well be worth leaving the bottles for some months and see how the secondary fermentation progresses. There may have been an incomplete primary fermentation that may add to the carbonation.

However if this is the only brew in town and every bottle opened is flat then it might be worth reopening and adding sugar. That is probably best done in solution and measured into the bottles with a syringe. Make up the weighed sugar with a known volume of boiled water (do the math!). Have the bottle caper and a supply of caps handy!

IMHO an easier method to prime beer for bottles is to mix it all in one go into the beer. Rather than spooning an approximate volume into each bottle, dissolve all the sugar in a minimal amount boiling water and then dilute with some cold water and add to the beer to be bottled. If the beer is over the trub then it is best to pour (or sip[hon if cautious) the beer off the trub and onto the priming solution. A quick mix will mean the beer has been uniformly dosed with dextrose and there is no variation from bottle to bottle.

As a guide I use 150g of dextrose in 24 lt (approx 5.5 gal.) of beer.

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