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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2003 * December 2, 2003 * Coopers "Carbonation Drops" < Previous Next >

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Johnson Controls A419 - HelpBill Pierce11-05-03  04:34 pm
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Paul Edwards (65.42.230.24)
Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 04:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I picked up a bag of these at my LHBS, and am going to try them out in a Barleywine I'm getting ready to bottle.

Anybody else tried these? If so, did you notice any huge difference in taste of finished beer over using corn sugar, or did the bottle condtioning take longer than what you normally experience?

They were $1.50 or $2.00 for the bag (250 g), but I figure they'll save me a few steps that offsets the price:

1. I won't need to boil up priming suagr solution.

2. I can bottle directly from secondary, and won't have to sanitize a bottling carboy or transfer the green beer over to mix with the priming sugar solution.
 

Jeremy S (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 07:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Are they liquid or tablet form?
 

Paul Edwards (65.42.230.24)
Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 07:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually they look like cough drops. Translucent amber in color. A mix of 27 percent glucose and 73 percent sucrose.

Recommended dosage is one "drop" per 375 ml bottle and two per 750 ml bottle.

I just finished bottling. I used sanitized tweezers to grab a drop from the pacakage and insert it into the bottle. Then using my Phil's Philler, I siphoned beer into each bottle and capped as usual.
 

Bob McCouch (68.32.206.76)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 01:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Is that really faster than traditional priming? I always have my doubts when I see products like those or the Prime Tabs. Sanitizing my bottling bucket just takes a few sprays of Star San, and once the beer is siphoned in and mixed with the priming solution, I hook up my bottling wands. I have 2 of them with a "T" fitting, and once I'm cranking, I can fill a case in about 5 minutes.

It just seems like it would be much slower to put a cough drop in each bottle and then siphon into it. Let us know how they carbonate.
 

Bill Tobler (204.136.184.34)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 04:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul,
Did you get any foaming caused by the sugar drops? Prime tabs tend to foam pretty good, which is actually a good thing, as it pushes out any oxygen in the bottle. I think it's called FOB or Fobbing. I like the idea of just one drop per bottle instead of 3 or four. I pretty much just keg and counter pressure fill these days, but I think for barley wine or old ale; they really need to be bottled with priming sugar. My next beer is going to be a barley wine, and I think I'll give the new drops a try.

There has been some buzz on the HBD in the past that for Homebrewers, the bottling process is one of the big culprits in oxidizing your beer. It's probably not an issue at all if the beers are bottled and drank in a short time. If you want to age a barley wine for a year or two, you might want to look for a better way than the bottling bucket method. I'm working on a method using a 5-gallon keg with just a few pounds of CO2 to push the beer out into the bottle.

Now, after saying all that, I've never made a barley wine or an old ale, and the only thing I've ever kept for any length of time is a mead, which went south after 2 years. I take that back, I kept a scotch ale (3 bottles) for a year and a half, because I had the bottles put up and I forget about them. They were still very good; maybe a slight oxidized note.

I'm not sure if this issue is worth all the trouble, but, this is a hobby, and I usually strive to make better beer, and not worry about the time too much. Anyway, it's fun trying different ways of doing regular stuff.

Bill
 

Jeremy S (205.188.208.75)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 07:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well If you don't have a bottling bucket the drops or tabs work great. I use the prime-tabs and about 4 of them for a 12 oz bottle give me about a medium carb level. The tabs are 500 mg of dextrose. I don't use tweezers, I just dip my hands into the sanitizer and shake my hand off, seems it would be easier that way.
 

Bill Tobler (204.136.184.34)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Jeremy, I'm with you on the prime tabs. I used to just wash my hands real good and put 3 or 4 in each bottle. These days, I keep a bottle of Purell in the brewery. Whenever I have to handle something that has been sanitized, I'll use the Purell first.

Bill
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.199.232)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 12:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I added the drops to each bottle before filling with beer. No foaming at all.

I don't have a bottling bucket. I use a carboy (usually a 25 liter one). To sanitize, I fill it with a stan san soluntion, then empty by siphoning.

That takes 15-20 minutes. Boiling up the priming sugar adds a few more. I let the solution boil while I'm santizing the carboy, then let it cool while the carboy is emptying. This also serves to sanitize the siphon wand and hose.

When using the drops, I just filled the hose with sanitizer in a carboy of it I keep around.

Putting a drop into each bottle only takes a couple of seconds.

I only use one bottling wand. I'm not sure my feeble mind and dexterity level could handle two ;-)
 

Paul Edwards (199.46.199.232)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill,

I forgot to add:

Since the beer will be conditioning in the bottle, I don't think oxygen is that much of a concern. I've read that the yeast will consume the oxygen in short order.

I think oxygen pickup is more of a problem caused by bad siphoning technique, air leaking into the hose at the junction of the siphon arm and the hose or a lousy bottling wand.

And since I save a siphoning step (from secondary to bottling carboy), there's one less place for oxidation to occur.

We'll see in a few weeks how well these drops carbonate...
 

Bob McCouch (68.32.206.76)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 01:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well, as usual, everyone does things differently around here -- which is a good thing! I will admit my two-fisted filling apparatus was sucking major air until I got hoseclamps on every joint. I shoulda marked those bottles so I could drink 'em first and not give them out...

Let us know how the drops work. I'm curious how quickly the drop itself gets consumed.

Hrm, maybe Fredrick could rig up a drop monitoring sensor to look through the bottom of the bottle, and predict the date of perfect carbonation using a log function based on the observed consumption rate of the yeast and the known growth rate of that same strain in a similar environment.

Bleh...I thought way too hard about that.
 

Bill Tobler (65.64.228.59)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 02:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, you have a strong point there about losing a racking step. I think every time you rack the beer you put it at risk.

I follow Dave Burley's method of racking and removing O2 from Kegs. I make 10 gallon batches, and use 10 gallon kegs as secondary's. I use a 15 gallon SS pot as the primary fermenter. To prepare a keg, I make sure it's clean, then fill it with tap water to the very top, and push the water out with CO2. That gets all the O2 out of the keg. I keep a 3 gallon keg in the brewery full of StarSan all the time. I push some StarSan into the 10 gallon keg and sanitize it. Push the StarSan out and then rack the fermented beer into the keg. I do the same procedure for filling 5 gallon serving kegs from the 10 gallon secondary.

I haven't read that the yeast will consume all the O2 in a bottle of Homebrew. If you have a reference, I'd like to read that.

Please, keep us posted on the results of the drops.

Building and Brewing in Texas
Bill Tobler
My Brewery
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.63.119)
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 02:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

My thoughts are the yeast will consume much of the oxygen in the bottle when carbonating the priming sugar. This makes bottle carbonated beers more resistant (but not immune) to oxidation than commercial beers that are force carbonated and bottled. It is still a good idea to minimize splashing and introduction of O2 during bottling.
 

big earl (209.222.26.27)
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 08:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

the owner of the Local HBS, gave me a hand full of these Carb. Drops the other day I tried them in a couple bottles of a IPA i was kegging,,,

I ate one, it tasted good, like caramel or toffee, i don't think they'll impart any flavor (especially in my Hopped up creation)

i'll post the results once i give them a couple weeks to work

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