What is priming beer? Well, when you make real ale, the chances are that you'll either keg it, or more likely, bottle it. It's easier to bottle as when starting off as it allows you to drink the beer in your own time, and it's easy to keep some for the future. When you bottle the beer, prime it by adding a teaspoon of sugar. Some people use dextrose/glucose, but like many, I use muscovado sugar. Never use white sugar - it may ruin the flavour of your beer. Add the sugar into the beer, then cap it.

As long as you've not put too much sugar in, and you're using beer bottles (never lager bottles, they're too thin!) you should be fine - in about two or three weeks, you'll have nicer tasting beer which may be ever so slightly stronger, but also lightly carbonated.

This is of course a personal preference, some people like fizzy beer more than others, personally I only like it if it's been in a bottle! How it works is that when your real-ale-in-a-bottle ('bottle conditioned' ale) is primed with sugar, the remaining yeast that's suspended in the beer is fed by the sugar, which adds the fizz and adds to the flavour.

So, would you prime it, or just bottle it?