Priming sugar 101

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Priming sugar 101

Postby czubak » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:44 am

Seriously would like to know what calculator you use and if it has worked well for you. I haven't bottled more than a couple batches and most were overcarbed if left out at room temp for more than a few weeks. Anymore I just put them all in the fridge to avoid things going to far, but I want to avoid that from here on out as I want to bottle condition a lot more often

I have used this one in the past https://www.brewunited.com/priming_sugar_calculator.php

For the temperature box, it's generally best to enter the beer's actual temperature at bottling time. The only exception to this would be if the beer reached a higher temperature after fermentation was complete. The point of this temperature is to judge how much dissolved CO2 is already in solution; rises in temperature cause degassing, which mean that you have to add more sugar to compensate. We don't care about the highest temperature during fermentation, since that process creates CO2: but if the beer was heated after final gravity was reached, there would be no way for it to replace the CO2 lost by the degassing.

If you cold crash at bottling time, that's fine - but again, enter the highest temperature that the beer has been sitting at once fermentation was complete. If you enter the cold temp, you may undercarb your beer.


It's confusing to me. I cold crash, so for example 6 gallons shooting for 2.4 vols if I enter in 35 degrees it states 82 grams of dextrose, 70 degrees it's up to 143 grams. If you enter in the highest temp you will overcarb, try that on a saison that was in the 80's :shock:
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby tony b » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:23 am

I use the one in Beer Smith to naturally carb in the keg. I've had mixed results, not too many overcarbed, but a few under. In bottles, I go with the standard carb tabs - one per 12oz, two per bomber.
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby czubak » Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:37 am

tony b wrote:I use the one in Beer Smith to naturally carb in the keg. I've had mixed results, not too many overcarbed, but a few under. In bottles, I go with the standard carb tabs - one per 12oz, two per bomber.

I don't have retirement monies to just spend all willy nilly on carb tabs :lol:
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby tony b » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:21 pm

You ain't that broke, given all the equipment you've been upgrading lately :lol: !

Plus, a box of 60 carb tabs is only $3.99 at Midwest - http://www.midwestsupplies.com/fermenters-favorites-fizz-drops-8-oz.html
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby czubak » Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:56 pm

I bought a used pump. Woot!

I'd rather learn what the right way to do it is with stuff I already have on hand before taking the easy way out


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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby tony b » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:39 am

You can just dump simple syrup into the bottling bucket and stir like mad, hoping you get a fairly uniform distribution in each bottle. OR, you can simply drop a carb tab in each bottle and KNOW that you've gotten an even distribution. :wink:
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby whitedj » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:53 am

I trust these guys: http://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/

the note at the bottom sums it up fairly well.

There is a lot of online debate about this and the internet is thin on concrete answers backed by research. We are open to improving the calculator so please let us know of any sources that clarify this point.
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby whitedj » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:57 am

When I bottle I tend to measure out table sugar on a gram scale using a measuring spoon until I get numbers that are reasonably consistent, then I just put a scoop in each container I want to add beer.

It should be noted that I don't bottle much.
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby czubak » Thu Jul 23, 2015 12:55 pm

whitedj wrote:It should be noted that I don't bottle much.

noted, your knowledge is power :lol:
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby Sully11 » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:42 pm

I always bottle, since I don't have resources for a keg set up right now. I've almost always had trouble nailing down a good priming ratio. I've used BeerSmith and tried calculating it on my own. It's usually over or under carbed.

I tried the Muntons carb tabs recently and the carbonation level is right where I want it. However, the tabs did leave behind some "floaties". The Muntons brand requires 4 tabs per 12 oz bottle for standard carbonation. I think it's Coopers that makes the other brand and you only need one, so I'll likely try those once I'm out of these Muntons tabs.
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby whitedj » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:36 pm

czubak wrote:
whitedj wrote:It should be noted that I don't bottle much.

noted, your knowledge is power

My wisdom exceeds my knowledge

On second thought you could de-aerate before you carbonate... wine folks do it all the time, but then there is hops.
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby UndeadFred » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:05 pm

Okay.. here is my take on this. Caveats: I like my beers a little undercarbonated. I just do. And I think people who bay $4/lb for "corn sugar"/dextrose are retarded.

So.....

The best overall calculator that I've tried is the the Northern Brewer one. It's so good, that normally I just use their "by volume" amounts and not weight it...
http://www.northernbrewer.com/learn/res ... alculator/

The type of sugar you use DOES influence the head of the beer. My personal opinion is that Honey is the best common sugar--- BUT it is "mean" for an extra week or two. So you need to only use it in beers that you can let sit in bottles >1 month, sometimes even 5-6 weeks. Before then you get a "green" flavor in the beer that magically disappears a few weeks later. But it gives such a beautiful lace...

Maple Syrup is good too.. It's good after 3 weeks or so and pretty consistent. Nice in the correct beers...

But honestly.. I fine that common table sugar, dosed at the low of the carb table range and LET REST FOR >3 weeks is pretty reliable.

Turbinado worked for me as well in darker beers...

The corn sugar? The reason it is popular is that it's VERY consistent, and you can pull off proper carb in two weeks, but it's a very weak head by comparison to more complex sugars. Adds nothing to the beer in conditioning, IMHO.. whereas the other sugars can...

And there is the rub.. IPA's are getting a tad old by the time bottle conditioning ends.. so.. it goes with the appropriate styles that a little aging is good, I personally feel bottle conditioning is better then kegging in those styles...

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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby czubak » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:25 pm

The calculators give the same results, NB's or Hmebrewdad that I listed. What I want to know is what temp are y'all entering into the calculator, that makes all the difference. I could care less what sugar anyone prefers, that's personal preference and the calculators give you plenty of options for whatever sugar you prefer.

I am focused on the temp, and nobody has cleared that up for me. Will you get a nicely carbed beer if you enter the temp of the beer at the time of bottling? Good enough so you can be confident that in 6+ months it won't be a geyser? I cold crash, so when I bottle the beer is probably in the low 40's, but the Homerew Dad site is confusing to me.
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby tony b » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:23 pm

What an excellent idea for a Tech Meeting - comparison of different carbonating agents, as Undead Fred was discussing. Would you pick 2 or 3 standard styles of beer and then do different sugars in bottle conditioning as a direct comparison case? Something to think about. :?
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Re: Priming sugar 101

Postby UndeadFred » Wed Jul 29, 2015 12:33 pm

Sorry. I'm not going to claim being any sort of expert on this......however.....

AFAIK, it's kinda sorta the same idea as kegging. I believe it's the temperature that the beer is when the extra sugar is pitched. The time lag of the yeast eating is an interesting challenge factor here but I've read in a few places it's based on pitch temperature. But my thoughts on this is that most of the activity is sooner in the process, so it's more important on the stage where everything wakes back up.. but I could be mistaken... so....

To make that less ambiguous to me when I prime I make sure that it's in that 68F corner year around in my basement and at room temperature... and I make sure it stays that way for at least two of the three (plus) weeks I'll bottle condition.

If you are trying to do this scientifically... pick a controlled temp and do it start to finish-ish...

Still a little vague, eh? :)

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