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Bottling day- priming sugar or tabs?

Hello all,

First ever brew currently in primary. I have been SO nervous about it for the past couple weeks hoping it’ll turn out drinkable and not a waste of money and time. The next hurdle is bottling, and was wondering if sticking with priming sugar or using the fizz tabs would result in a more consistent finish. I have read some poor reviews about the tabs leaving parts of undisolved casing in the bottom of bottles but I don’t think that’d be too big a nuisance. So for my purpose as a first timer, what would be recommended? Should I be worried about poor or inconsistent finishes using priming sugar?

Also I’ve read a couple people have had trouble with the gold bottle caps that come with the essential starter kit. Should I buy better caps or are they just fine for the most part?

Thank you!

The carbonation tablets might turn out alright, but personally I’d recommend ditching them and bulk priming with 2 tablespoons of table sugar per gallon, which is equal to 5/8 cup per 5 gallons. I have bottled over 300 gallons this way and it always turns out great. Dissolve the correct amount of sugar in 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cool, then add all at one time to your beer on bottling day. Your gold caps should work just fine. Allow about 2 weeks to carbonate at room temperature. Sometimes it only takes one week, sometimes 3 weeks – not to worry, it will carbonate in a few weeks for sure.

Is this a 1-gal kit that you’ll be bottling straight from the fermenter? Use the tabs.
Is this a batch that’s being racked to a bottling bucket first? Use sugar dissolved in water.

The trick with sugar is you need to gently mix it. Enough to distribute the sugar, without stirring in oxygen. With the 1-gal kits, my understanding is that there is no way to add the sugar without kicking up the sludge, hence the tabs.

Thanks for the help! This is a 5 gallon batch and I will be transferring to a bottling bucket to bottle. I’ll probably go with the priming sugar and stir it in as gently as possible.

Use the Priming Sugar Calculator found on this site:

Thanks so much, Ken!

With regards to the gold caps, will they be strong enough etc. for use on 22 oz bottles? Is it really just a matter of sealing them fully?

Seal the caps fully and you will be just fine. The 22-oz bottles really don’t act any differently than 12-oz, at least not with my capper.

Great! Thanks, Dave!

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