Batch Priming: Yes or No?

Batch priming refers to the process of adding your priming sugar (sugar which creates carbonation) to the entire "batch" of beer, instead of the individual bottles. Fans of batch priming list simplicity and consistent carbonation from bottle to bottle as the primary benefits. Bottling 54 separate bottles (as you would with a 5-gallon batch & 12 oz bottles) and measuring the proper amount of priming sugar for each is a particularly daunting task, we'd agree. When beer styles call for very precise levels of sugar, for example 1 5/6 tsp for each bottle, we can also see why priming the whole batch sounds much less tedious. However, with Mr. Beer kits and equipment, this never has to be the case, so we aren't big advocates for batch priming.

Our Case for No:

  • If you are brewing a small batch, as is the case with our Little Brown Keg, 2-Gallon BrewMax, 3G FastFerment (brews 2G), and 1 Gallon Fermenters – you will likely be bottling around 10 bottles. Just 10. Surely, that won't be too large a task.
  • If your concern is consistent carbonation from bottle to bottle, this is easy with our Carbonation Drops. No measuring will be required, just add the drops to each bottle according to bottle size.
  • To batch prime, you would need a second fermenter to rack to, tubing with which to rack, and sanitizer for both. These added expenses seem unnecessary when all that is required is a bag of Carbonation Drops.
  • Batch priming allows for possible oxidation. All this movement – getting the beer from one fermenter to another, then to the bottles – means exposing your beer to oxygen.If instead you've got a bottling wand handy, as we suggest to all our brewers, this would mean your beer isn't exposed to oxygen until you open it. [Closed fermenter during fermentation, carbonation drops in each bottle before bottling, bottling wand for bottling/conditioning – your beer can completely avoid exposure to oxygen!] Also, bottling wands allow you to fill all beers to the same level, for complete consistency. If you press and open the valve until the bottle is full, then pull away, closing the valve, the liquid level will drop slightly, leaving the right amount of head space.

We are all about keeping things simple here at Mr. Beer, but in this case, batch priming is more of a challenge than bottle priming and conditioning. Even if you are brewing with our larger 6 Gallon BrewMax or 7.9G FastFerment fermenters, carbonation drops and a bottling wand will ensure a consistent and easy priming process.