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Old 04-16-2010, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Priming with sorghum extract...

I'm planning on bottling my first GF batch this weekend, and because the FG of this batch is low, I've decided I should carb it with some sorghum extract rather than simply sugar.

So, I've done some looking, and I've found some calculators that tell me how much DME to use, and I've seen some posts saying that because DME is denser than LME, that 1.2 times as much LME should be used as DME (although this wasn't about priming specifically).

So, I was wondering if there's a simple rule that I should use for calculating this? Would it be easiest to say that the Sorghum Extract is xx% fermentable, so calculate for corn sugar and then divide by xx%? (So, for example, if my Sorghum is 70% fermentable, and a calculator says to use 6 oz of corn sugar to hit my target carbonation, then I should use 8.6 oz of sorghum).

I had originally planned to just treat the sorghum like any other LME, but I've seen several online calculators that have priming rates for different types of DME, and they're showing a significant difference between them.

Has anyone else used sorghum extract to prime?

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Old 04-16-2010, 07:42 PM   #2
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Are you worried about the beer being to thin? Maybe use the corn sugar anyways and use some maltodextrine too. I added 8 oz at bottling along with the priming sugar for a 5 gallon batch I did last year.

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Old 04-16-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcasanova View Post
Are you worried about the beer being to thin? Maybe use the corn sugar anyways and use some maltodextrine too. I added 8 oz at bottling along with the priming sugar for a 5 gallon batch I did last year.
Yes, as it stands the beer is quite watery. There was a serious error made when I was adding my top-off water. My gravity right now is like 1.005 or something. I was going to add some maltodextrine as well, but I figured it would make sense to prime with extract instead of sugar, since people do that with 'normal' beers to give them a little more flavor and mouth feel.

At this point, I'm worried that even carbonated, this beer is going to be watery, not so much from lack of mouth feel, but also lack of flavor.
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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It might still have flavor and if the mouthfeel is off...so what!

Could you use sorghum extract to carbonate 1/2 of it and let the other half get primed with corn sugar...see how it ends up. Besides we could use a guinea pig anyways

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Old 04-17-2010, 03:00 AM   #5
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I'm not concerned with the results of using sorghum extract...I mean, that's what I brewed the beer with! And I know that using extract to prime beer for bottling is...well, maybe not common, but it is certainly nothing new. I'm just unsure of the math. I want to make sure that my beer gets well carbonated, but I don't want any bottle bombs!

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Old 04-17-2010, 03:16 AM   #6
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f37/priming-lme-corn-sugar-17069/

Check it, I think your answer is in this thread
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:50 PM   #7
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I found on the briess website, they say their sorghum extract is 75% fermentable.

So, according to various online calculators, if I have 5 gallons, and I want to carbonate that to 3 volumes of CO2, and I were using ordinary, 75% fermentable DME, I'd want to use 10 oz of DME. Since I'm using LME instead of DME, I want to use 12 oz, apparently (basing it on the 1.2 factor I've seen.)

I hope that my math is correct. If it isn't I may have a mess on my hands!

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Old 05-12-2010, 05:43 PM   #8
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In case anyone wonders how this turned out, I did prime this batch with sorghum extract, and I put in some maltodextrine as well. I used 12 oz of sorghum and 2 oz maltodextrine, and it turned out fine. The beer carbed up, I haven't had any signs of over-carbonation (no popping bottles, no gushers when I open them). I would say that the beer is on the 'high' side of carbonation which is what I was aiming for with 3 volumes of CO2. I get a real nice head when I pour, and there is lacing in the glass when I'm done. The extra extract and maltodextrine seem to have made a positive impact on the beer, as the taste sample I took on bottling day had more mouth feel and a bit more malty flavor to it than the sample I took before. The high level of carbonation is also a plus!

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Old 05-12-2010, 07:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for the follow up. So far, I've had to use dextrose to dry out my sorghum-based beers. I've been using Brewcrafter's syrup and it's closer to 70% fermentable.

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Old 05-12-2010, 08:07 PM   #10
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Interestingly, your comment brings something up. The previous 3 jugs I've bought from Northern Brewer, it was 6 lbs of the stuff in a 1/2 gallon milk-type jug. My LHBS told me he could get the stuff, and he ordered some, so I bough 6 lbs from him. It came in the form of 2 3lb plastic jars with big twist-off lids.

I wonder if it is basically the same stuff inside? Precisely the same stuff, and just packaged differently? I don't know. Both of them are lighter in color, and appear to be a completely different thing from the 'sorghum molasses' I got from a local Amish store.

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