Bottling the Full Malt Chilli Lager

Last weekend was bottling day for the full malt chilli lager.  Normally when bottling, you add some “priming sugar” to each bottle.  This is a small amount of extra food that the residual yeast will consume.  Yeast produces two important by-products in fermentation – alcohol and carbon dioxide.  The former is the goal during primary fermentation, but the latter is the goal when adding priming sugar to the bottle. That’s what makes homebrew fizzy!

However, I have a fantastic homebrew book from CAMRA which contains an intriguing suggestion. It says (p142) that “the priming of beers made from the 3kg kits is optional”, because there will be more residual dextrins than a brew made with cane sugar. It notes that there is a tradeoff – “the best beers, particularly bottled beers, are usually not primed”, but that to bring the beer “into drinkale condition in the shortest possible time” priming sugar is required.

I am using a 3kg kit this time, so it’s an interesting idea not to add priming sugar.  But if I tried it and didn’t pan out, I’d be left with 20 litres of flat lager!  So I’ve tried an experiment – some bottles with priming sugar, and some without.  I’ll let you know how it goes…