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Old 09-09-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
GraphBrew
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Default I Fear A Lack Of Carbonation

Ok guys check it out...Me, my partner and our LHBS guy developed a Pumpkin Ale recipe. It's a brown ale, full bodied, spiced up front, maple/brown sugar sweetness on the end. It tastes amazing and exactly how I wanted it to taste. Guess what I forgot? The priming sugar! Knowing that I could manage with cane sugar, I did just that but in addition to that I added a cup of corn syrup with added vanilla flavoring as I expected it to meld well with the vanilla already in the beer. 2 ounces of Cane Sugar and 1 cup of Corn Syrup, boiled in water and added at bottling.

Here's where my fear lies. I tried to lean towards the 'a little less' side of carbonation because I've never worked with Corn Syrup or Cane Sugar in the past and I didn't want 2 cases of Bottle Bombs. In the event of little to no Carbonation, could I potentially start the bottling process over in 2 weeks? Is it too late, am I stuck now? Also, what are the chances that I just ruined this awesome Punkin Ale by completely under Carbing it?

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:28 PM   #2
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Silly question, but have you tried opening any of the bottles?

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:36 PM   #3
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With a cup of corn syrup, I doubt it'd be undercarbed.

One cup of corn syrup and 2 ounces of priming sugar would make me think just the opposite. Probably overcarbed, and possibly by alot.

I would have check the SG of the corn syrup and done some math, instead of just guessing. Here's an article from Skotrat that might be helpful:

Particularly for ales, some people enjoy the note added by using brown sugar or Demerara sugar for priming; the same weights should be used as for white sugar. For the adventurous, syrups can also be used, but the weights need to be increased to account for the water and different types of sugars present: honey (suggested extra 40% by weight), genuine maple syrup (+50%) or molasses (+80%). Furthermore, the results will be less predictable and carbonation will take longer. Some report that molasses produces a very unpleasant overpowering taste that only moderates after many months. You may need to experiment.
If you want to do your own tests on the relative effectiveness of various priming agents, you need to know: i) its strength at increasing specific gravity, and ii) its fermentability. To calculate the increase in specific gravity, take a litre (quart) of fresh water and dissolve the priming agent at the rate of 120 g/l (1 lb/US gall). For sucrose, this should give a solution with a gravity of 1047. Other sugars will tend to give lower values. The fermentability of simple sugars including honey is very close to 100%. Priming agents containing more complex sugars such as malt are not fully fermentable and the exact value will have to be estimated as best you can, but 80% is probably a good starting point.

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Old 09-09-2009, 05:43 PM   #4
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sounds fine. RDWHAHB

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Old 09-09-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natron008 View Post
Silly question, but have you tried opening any of the bottles?
Well I just bottled it Sunday and I'll give it my standard 2 weeks waiting time before opening one. I was planning on conditioning until the end of October, having it ready for Halloween and then saving a case for Thanksgiving. I figure either way I'm kinda stuck now so I might aswell be patient.

Thanks for the article Yooper. The sugar content of the syrup brought me to the assumption that I could use a good amount of it with out fear of over carbing. Have you over carbed a beer in the past? If so, what can I expect, any change in flavor or just straight up suds?
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