I’m planning on skipping secondary fermenter and want to bottle directly from my primary. I have a bucket with a spigot as well as a bottling wand and it all works very nicely. Here’s my question. How do I add priming sugar to the primary fermenter and get it distributed without stirring up the yeast cake? I don’t want to have to prime each bottle.
You really can’t properly mix the priming sugar in without seriously disturbing the yeast cake. How come you don’t want to rack it to your bottling bucket?
Best is to add the priming sugar to the bottling bucket. Dissolve the amount of priming sugar you want to use in boiled water. Let it cool slightly and gently pour into the bottling bucket. Have the outflow end of the siphon tube flat on the bottom of the bucket with a curl. The curl will keep the beer moving and mix the priming solution evenly into the beer.
Do you have a scale to weigh the amount of priming sugar to use? Going by weight is more accurate than volume measures.
If you haven’t already found this priming sugar calculator it is a good one to use.
Don’t forget to take good notes for when you brew this beer again in 6 months.
For equipment, I currently have a 6.5 gallon primary bucket with a spigot. The last time around, I used the bucket for the primary, racked it to a 6.0 gallon glass carboy for secondary (whole bunch of head space) and left it for 2 weeks, moved it back to the re-sanitized primary bucket with the priming solution in it.
If I skip the secondary this time around, I was thinking of just buying another 6.5 gallon bucket and bottling it from there, unless I used the carboy for the primary and moving it the bucket for bottling? Basically reversing the order.
I don’t have a scale at this time.
I didn’t want to buy another bucket. I currently have a 6.5 gallon bucket and a 6.0 gallon carboy. What if I used the carboy for the primary and moved it to the bucket for priming solution and bottling? It’s kind of the reverse order of what my kit says to do. Maybe I’m overthinking it.
That would work, it’s just kind of a PITA to clean a krausen ring from a carboy from primary fermentation. You probably would not regret buying a 6.5-gallon bucket without the spigot to use as your primary fermentor - those spigots get pretty nasty and can be a little tricky to clean. This way you could use it for a dedicated bottling bucket.
6-gallon glass carboys are not all that useful IMHO. I have one and hardly ever use it, just because of the headspace issue. And it sucks to clean.
I forgot about the krausen ring and you’re right, that would be problematic to clean in a carboy. Good advice, thanks.
It isn’t to difficult to clean a glass carboy. Rinse with some warm water. Don’t fill it, just a gallon to slosh around and dump. Add a tablespoon of PBW plus 2 gallons of water. Slosh the solution to dissolve the PBW. Plug with a solid bung and lean in a sink or bucket. The PBW solution will cover the krausen ring to remove it. Light brushing with a carboy brush and inspection for spots of crud.
Some cautions though:
Never hit a glass carboy with hot water. This will stress the glass.
Never set a plastic or glass carboy on concrete.
Don’t use glass if you can’t avoid knocking it around.
Thanks. Your comment about not putting a carboy or, more specifically a plastic fermenter, on concrete got my attention. What’s the rationale? For my last two brews, I kept both on my basement floor (bare concrete).
It is just risky trying to set the fermentor on a hard surface. A little to hard, or a slip,and you’ll have five gallons of beer spreading over the floor. The concrete may look and feel smooth but a piece of grit, with the weight of the beer, can start a stress fracture in the carboy. A piece of plywood or pine board makes a good soft pad.
I set my glass carboy on its side, on top of the wash machine, with a gallon of cleaning solution. There I then use my CARBOY brush and git to the ring. And roll it a bit and repeat…. My carboy is over 10 years old. BUT, when it breaks, I will not replace it with glass…. Sneezles61
I’ve got a couple older ones, too, and they’re definitely made a lot better than the ones you can get today. I don’t think I’d be comfortable sitting a newer carboy on its side and rolling it… Don’t think it would survive long. The older ones? Heck, I could probably roll it down my gravel driveway and it would be fine.
I have never had to deal with the regular small necked carboys. I have 2 6 gal big mouth (one plastic, one glass) and 2 5 gal. When I was first learning to brew, I watched my buddy struggle to clean his small necked ones with a carboy brush and decided to get the big mouth. They make life so much easier from what I saw in the beginning. No worrying about leaving anything behind. You can get your whole arm in there to scrub everything out. If you are looking to get new carboys, I would highly suggest upgrading to the big mouth. Just make sure you get the correct lids for whichever version you get. The new lids that just slip in do not work on the older ones due to how it is curved where the seal would normally sit. Goes the same way for the newer ones, the old lids are difficult to get to seal due to how the very top seal is ground flat. The good thing with the new lids is you can put your siphon straight through the hole in the lid without having to remove the lid, minimizing your potential exposure to contamination.