Showing posts with label carbonation drops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carbonation drops. Show all posts

Guide to Using Carbonation Drops for Sugaring Beer

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Carbonation drops are a convenient and precise way to add sugar to your beer bottles before capping, ensuring proper carbonation during the bottle-conditioning phase. These drops eliminate the need for measuring out priming sugar and mixing it with the beer before bottling.

What are Carbonation Drops?

Carbonation drops are pre-measured pellets or tablets made from sugar, typically dextrose or a blend of sugars. They dissolve in the beer during the conditioning phase, providing the necessary sugars for the residual yeast to consume and produce carbon dioxide, which carbonates the beer.

how to use carbonation drops when bottling homebrew beer

Benefits of Using Carbonation Drops

  1. Consistency: Every bottle gets the exact amount of sugar it needs.
  2. Convenience: Eliminates the process of boiling and cooling priming sugar.
  3. Reduced Risk of Oxidation: Minimizes the disturbance of the beer during bottling.

How to Use Carbonation Drops

  1. Clean and Sanitize: Always ensure that your bottles and caps are clean and sanitized before bottling.

  2. Add the Drop: Place one carbonation drop into each bottle. The standard recommendation is:

    • One drop for a 12 oz (355 ml) bottle.
    • Two drops for a 22 oz (650 ml) or 750 ml bottle.

  3. Fill Your Bottles: Using a bottle filler, fill your beer bottles, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top.

  4. Cap the Bottles: Seal the bottles using a bottle capper.

  5. Condition: Store the bottles in a dark, cool place for at least two weeks. The yeast will consume the sugar from the carbonation drops and produce CO2, carbonating the beer.

  6. Test Carbonation: After two weeks, open a bottle to test the carbonation level. If it's to your liking, you can start chilling and enjoying your beer. If not, allow it to condition for another week and test again.

Tips and Considerations

  • Storage: Store carbonation drops in a cool, dry place to prevent them from sticking together or melting.

  • Alternative Sugars: While dextrose is the most common sugar used in carbonation drops, some drops might contain a blend of sugars. Always check the ingredients if you have specific preferences.

  • Over-carbonation: Be cautious not to use more drops than recommended, as this can lead to over-carbonation and potentially burst bottles.

  • Beer Styles: The amount of carbonation desired can vary based on beer style. For example, IPAs and stouts might require different carbonation levels. Adjust the number of drops accordingly, but always ensure you're within safe limits to avoid over-carbonation.

carbonation drops


Carbonation drops offer homebrewers an easy and consistent method for priming beer bottles. They ensure that each bottle gets the right amount of sugar, leading to consistent carbonation across the batch. As with any brewing process, cleanliness and attention to detail are crucial.

Enjoy the fizz and sparkle that these drops bring to your homebrewed creations!

How to use carbonation drops for brewing beer and cider

Monday, October 23, 2023

Using Carbonation Drops for Efficient Beer Brewing

Carbonation drops have become a popular choice among brewers for secondary fermentation during the beer bottling process. Traditionally, brewers would add sugar to each beer or cider bottle using a spoon, or they would opt for batch priming.

In contrast, carbonation drops offer a quick, error-free alternative. By placing a carbonation drop inside each bottle before sealing, secondary fermentation is initiated. This occurs as the yeast consumes the sugar present in the drop.

One well-recognized brand in this domain is Coopers Carbonation Drops. Another commendable brand is Mangrove Jacks. Both have garnered popularity and trust in the brewing community.

Ingredients of Carbonation Drops

The primary ingredient in carbonation drops is sugar, specifically sucrose. Thus, fundamentally, there's no stark difference between using a carbonation drop and adding sugar. The key advantage of using these drops is their convenience, ensuring consistency in the sugar dosage for each bottle. This uniformity is pivotal in achieving a consistent brew and preventing 'gushers', which are over-carbonated beers that overflow upon opening.

using carbonation drops for bottle conditioning

How to use Carbonation Drops for secondary fermentation

The procedure to use these drops is straightforward. Once the beer is transferred to sanitized bottles, a carbonation drop is added to each. The bottle is then sealed, allowing carbonation to commence as the CO2 remains trapped.

The number of drops per bottle varies with the bottle size. Here are some general guidelines:
  • 1 drop for a 350 to 375 ml or 12 OZ bottle. This also covers bottles up to 500 ml.
  • 2 drops for a 750 ml bottle or 25 OZ.
  • For bottles larger than 1 liter, 2.5 to 3 drops are recommended. 
However, caution is advised to prevent over-carbonation.

Carbonation Tablets as an Alternative

Carbonation tablets, or conditioning tablets, serve as another route to achieve carbonation. Unlike carbonation drops which primarily contain sucrose, these tablets comprise dextrose, dry malt extract, and heading powder. They introduce additional flavor and body to the beer. The application depends on the desired carbonation level; for a 12-ounce bottle (350 ml), 3, 4, or 5 tablets are used for low, medium, or high carbonation, respectively.

carbonation drops

Valuable Insights for Using Carbonation Drops

  • Carbonation drops can be employed to carbonate apple cider, adhering to the same measurements as beer.
  • Over-priming should be avoided. Excessive sugar can result in over-carbonation, leading to 'gushers' upon opening the bottle.
  • The brewing environment, especially temperature, influences the carbonation process.
  • For those who prefer adding granulated sugar, using a kitchen funnel can be efficient and less messy.
  • Carbonation drops can also be used for ginger beer and possibly hard seltzer.
  • When purchasing drops online, consider buying in bulk to optimize delivery costs.
  • A Soda Stream machine can be used for carbonation, albeit with caution.

How do carbonation drops actually work?

Carbonation drops operate on the principle of priming sugar. During secondary fermentation, the yeast metabolizes the sugar, releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) as a byproduct. This CO2 dissolves in the beer, inducing carbonation. Each carbonation drop contains a calibrated amount of sugar that yields a specific carbonation level. As the yeast processes this sugar, it releases a predetermined volume of CO2, ensuring the desired level of carbonation in the beer.

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