Are carbonation drops a good idea or not?

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Jonny the Brewer, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Jonny the Brewer

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    Hi there, I'm just starting out. I've seen various carbonation drops on the market and wondered if any of you experienced brewers had an opinion on them? I'd like to start using them if possible as it makes things a bit simpler when bottling.

    Thanks
     
  2. ^Tony^

    ^Tony^ Active Member

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    I have never used them but my understanding is they are basically sugar pills you drop in the bottle then fill the bottle with beer. Different number of tabs (even a half tab on occasion) per bottle depending on the bottle size. I imagine they are way easier and faster to use than a more traditional priming sugar addition method.

    I considered it but I prefer the carbonation volume control I can have using regular table sugar or malt extract. Besides, the carb drops are crazy expensive in my neck of the world and I am cheap like Ebenezer Scrooge.

    The Beer Friend phone app has a priming sugar calculator app. Easy peasy.
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Are you bottling into 16 ounce PET (plastic) bottles? If so, I've done the math: Use a standard (about 3 gram) sugar cube. It'll do the same thing as the carbonation drops at a lot lower price. A one-gallon batch will give at most 8 of these bottles so you should be able to consume them before any microbes on the sugar cubes could cause any problems. Fill the bottle, drop in a sugar cube, seal and drink two weeks later.
     
  4. Blackmuse

    Blackmuse Well-Known Member

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    I don't bottle much anymore but when I do I use the Cooper's carb drops and like the results well enough. It certainly does make bottling a bit less bothersome.
     
  5. Bubba Wade

    Bubba Wade Well-Known Member

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    When I bottle, I use sugar cubes from the grocery store. I just calculate how much sugar is needed and add the sugar cubes accordingly. Cheaper than the carbonation drops. And I have not had any issues with off flavors.
     
  6. rolandblais

    rolandblais Member

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    I've used them in the past and have had good and bad results. The bad results came from me miscalculating how many I had left (not enough) and how many bottles I had. Full carbonation is 4 tabs, barely carbonated is two. So some bottles got 4, a few got 3, and several got two... I also lost count of what bottle got how many tabs - lucky I didn't overcarb and get a bottle bomb. Looking back it would have been easier to wait a day, get my bottling bucket (I didn't have it when I wanted to bottle), 4 oz of dextrose, and just bottle as per normal (I dissolve it in some boiled water, let cool, add it to my sanitized bottling bucket).
     
  7. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    If used properly, they work well. Be aware that there are 2 basic types. The carb tabs contain less sugar per tablet and allow more control over carbonation level depending on the bottle size. The carbonation drops contain a lot more sugar and offer much less control. If you want to bottle directly from your fermenter, carb tabs or drops are almost a must.
     
  8. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I just use table sugar and the smallest of the volume spoon (think it is 1/8 teaspoon). The little thing fits through the bottle opening, so no spilling.
    I calculate the amount I want per bottle. Check the weight per 10 or 20 spoons to calculate weight per spoon and use accordingly (generally 2 or 3 spoons per 500 ml bottle).
    I add sugar to bottle and then fill and close (easy as I use 500 ml pet sprite bottles).
    We got no sugar cubes here, otherwise I would probably go that route
     
  9. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    After using the calculator here, I just use table sugar turbinado sugar actually. Cheaper than cheap, and easier than easy. Boil some water for 5 minutes, mix it in, add to bottling bucket, then rack from fermenter to bottling bucket. I ALWAYS forget to stir, but it mixes with the action of the transfer. I have always had consistent results. I don't bottle that often, but when I do...
     
  10. Herm_brews

    Herm_brews Well-Known Member

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    #10 Herm_brews, Jun 13, 2020
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2020
    I have bottled all of my brews, and follow the same procedure as @Craigerrr. Instead of stirring, I let the action of the transfer from fermenter to bottling bucket mix the liquids. It really is easy, and my results have been consistent.
     
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  11. Zambezi Special

    Zambezi Special Well-Known Member

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    I've done the same as described above, but the sugar solution didn't mix properly. I ended up with over, under and properly carbonated bottles.
    Hence the move to sugar per bottle
     
  12. Josh Hughes

    Josh Hughes Well-Known Member

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    I use 1 per 12 Oz. Bottle and 2 per 22 ounce bottles. Carbed right each time for me in 2 weeks and 3 was better. I “tip” my bottles each day so make sure anything that settles does it’s job. I didn’t have better results with corn sugar mixtures but for my bitters I use the corn sugar since it want less carbonation
     
  13. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    We keep some around just in case the fermenter doesn't fit in the keg. Hate to pour a couple of pints down the drain. Pretty much keg but for a few pints it is a sure way of being consistent. If doing full batch bottling bucket is the way to go. As stated, there is more control over exact carbonation and it's much cheaper.
     
  14. ihideinyoursocks

    ihideinyoursocks New Member

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    Thanks for the tip.
     
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