To stir or not to stir...that is the question

I’m bottling today and I’ve read differing opinions on stirring the beer after adding bottling primer.

I’m using corn sugar and after boiling/cooling will put it in the bottling bucket then rack the beer onto it.

Seems to me it will mix just fine as the 5 gallons of beer get racked in.

I feel like stirring it after every 6 bottles are filled will only serve to oxygenate the beer but I’m a newb so I’m curious what you guys think/do.

Stirring is not really necessary but in my book it is an easy step that I always do. You do not stir vigorously, just enough to give it a swirl and keep everything mixed well. The priming sugar solution is much thicker than the finished beer and if you take too long it will settle to the bottom. You will end up with a dozen super carbed/bottle bombs & a bunch of beer that is totally uncarbed.

This is a somewhat exaggerated scenario to make a point but in my opinion 3-5 gentle swirls every 10-12 beers will give you consistent carbonation through the entire batch.

I typically just add the priming solution to the bucket, then rack the beer in. If you make sure that the beer is gently swirling in a circular direction, it should mix in. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to do a gentle stir, if it makes you feel better. I’ve never stirred, and there has only been one time when I felt that the last few bottles were getting an extra dose of sugar.

You’ll USUALLY be okay without stirring. But I had uneven carb issues a couple times, and got in the habit of always giving a gentle stir. There’s really no reason not to, and if nothing else it makes me feel better.

I’ve never stirred and never had a problem with uneven carbonation. It may be a solution in search of problem.

It has been a long time since I have bottled from a bottling bucket, but I do seem to read lots of posts about uneven carbonation based on what might be a sugar priming solution that is unevenly mixed.

I use a method like the one linked below.

Making sure the bottling spigot is closed, I add the priming sugar solution to the empty bottling bucket, then prop the bucket so the sugar solution pools over the spigot entry into the bucket.

Attach one end of vinyl tubing to my autosiphon, and the other to the spigot.

Open the spigot. Rack the beer from the fermenter through the bottling spigot in the bucket. When the transfer is done, disconnect the autosiphon, connect the bottling wand, and bottle.

This way, all the beer entering the bucket passes through the pool of sugar solution. No stirring, minimal aeration. I do identify the first bottle or two to see if they may be undercarbonated - some beer may have remained in the tubing and missed out on the sugar.

Thanks for all your input guys!

I did stir a few times very gently.

I like the process tallcoldone recommends and will likely use it my next bottling day. I wouldn’t have thought of racking through the spiggot.

My first bottling experience wasn’t TOO messy or frustrating but kegging still looks like the way to go. Just have to convince SWMBO to get me one for the birthday coming up in a few weeks.

Empty carboys…better get cookin’!

Slainte! :cheers:


I like the process tallcoldone recommends and will likely use it my next bottling day. I wouldn’t have thought of racking through the spiggot.

Slainte! :cheers: [/quote]

Looks like a solution looking for a problem. After the 1st .5 gallons of beer passes through the spigot, there is not sugar sitting there.

By pouring the sugar water into the bucket, then siphoning on top with the hose lying on the bottom of the buck, you will create a small whirlpool. That should mix everything up.

But it doesn’t hurt, and I do it, to give the beer a gentle stir after every 10-12 bottles filled.

Like so many things, it’s what works for you.