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Old 04-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #1
Tiroux
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Default Priming Sugar measurements

So, two parts for this question...

1-Why are you guys (I mean, in the United-States/Imperial system users) measuring sugar in volume instead of measuring it in weight (since different sugar have different weight to volume ratios)?

(Don't read this as a snoby question, I'm just curious about this culture difference)

2-What is your prefered priming sugar ratio, and why?



I personally love about 6g/L, which is 0.8oz/gal.

For IPAs I like to go up to 7gL to push out the hop aromas, 0.93oz/gal.

For stouts and malt forward beers, I love to go down a little bit, sometimes as low as 5gL, wish is 0.67oz/gal. I find it gives a denser foam and really let place for the malty/caramel/roasty flavors to come through.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
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I'm pretty sure most of us do measure by weight, I'm not sure why you'd make that assumption. Maybe because beginner brewers are usually the ones posting about priming sugar, and they probably haven't bought a balance yet?

A cheap digital kitchen scale is only $20 and can be used for grains, hops, etc. as well. So most brewers have one. Measuring by volume, as you pointed out, is pretty inconsistent.

Most of us talk about carbonation in terms of volumes of CO2, not sugar levels. This is a good unit that can be easily translated to forced carbonation in a keg.

I like to use a priming calculator that takes into account the temperature (for residual CO2). I prime with table sugar, and the amount does depend on the style. I do most American styles to 2.5 or so volumes, anything Belgian at 3, weizens at 3, ciders at 3. I do like my darker beers to be a bit lower.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zachattack View Post
I'm pretty sure most of us do measure by weight, I'm not sure why you'd make that assumption. Maybe because beginner brewers are usually the ones posting about priming sugar, and they probably haven't bought a balance yet?

A cheap digital kitchen scale is only $20 and can be used for grains, hops, etc. as well. So most brewers have one. Measuring by volume, as you pointed out, is pretty inconsistent.

Most of us talk about carbonation in terms of volumes of CO2, not sugar levels. This is a good unit that can be easily translated to forced carbonation in a keg.

I like to use a priming calculator that takes into account the temperature (for residual CO2). I prime with table sugar, and the amount does depend on the style. I do most American styles to 2.5 or so volumes, anything Belgian at 3, weizens at 3, ciders at 3. I do like my darker beers to be a bit lower.
Yhea maybe that's because I saw so many times people say 3/4 cup for 5 gal.

If I would translating my number in vol/vol, by Beersmith, it would be:

5gL = 2.1
6gL = 2.3
7gL = 2.6
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Old 04-05-2013, 03:55 PM   #4
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I'm a user of English measurements, but I do my priming sugar by weight. Using volume is asking for inconsistency.

To be honest, I now do all of my "fine" measurements in grams... thanks, ultra-precise kitchen scale.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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Measuring sugar by volume is a bad idea. Especially DME.

What makes me crazy is ounces. It’s a mass. It’s a volume. It’s a unit of force.

I use 110g of sucrose in about 17L, more or less depending on style.

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Old 04-05-2013, 03:57 PM   #6
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Most folks who start reading beyond the basic instructions included with most kits, that are bad in so many ways, where the measurements are in volume, soon learn why it's preferable and more accurate to measure by weight. There's thousands of threads on here discussing this.

There's a classic experiment that Alton Brown did on his show where he took a half cup of unsifted and sifted flour and weighed them both and showed there was a substantial difference in weight between the two.

You can do this your self with a measuring cup of brown sugar. Fill a half cup with brown sugar. Now press the sugar down in the cup. How much is there? Half? Now go and get some more brown sugar and cram all that into the cup. So now you have a half cup of sugar that has twice as much sugar in it as before you compressed it.

How do you think that will alter carbonation?

As to the amount you want to use, it depends on whether you're carbing to style or not. The rule of thumb for priming most beers (not talking about carbing to style) to 2-2.5 volumes of co2, is 1 ounce (28 grams) of corn sugar/gallon of beer.

Many Styles are carbed higher than the standard 4.5- 5 ounces of sugar/2.-2.5 volumes of co2 that comes with basic kits, and often that is more sugar than that. Think of belgian beers for instance, or some pilsners, or Autralian sparkling ales. They are all carbed higher than most basic beers, and except for beligians are often bottled in normal bottles and they don't gush or explode.

You can just look at beersmith and see the different amounts of sugar needed to carb by style.

For example the style volume of co2 range for an Australian Ale is 2-2.8 volumes of Co2, and if the beer is @ 70 degrees at bottling time, then you would need, 6.12 ounces of sugar if you wanted to carb at the highest volume for that style.

That 4.5 - 5 ounces really just tends to be the baseline for most gravity/ styles of beer, (when bottled at 70 degrees) but there are plenty of styles that use less or more sugar to be less or more carbed than that.

Here's the volumes of co2 for most beer styles...you can see how high Belgians and German weizens can be carbed.


Style & Volumes of CO2
American ales 2.2–3.0
British ales 1.5–2.2
German weizens 2.8–5.1
Belgian ales 2.0–4.5
European Lagers 2.4–2.6
American Lagers 2.5–2.8

But for most people starting out, the amount is usually 1oz/ gallon of beer to achieve 2-2.5 volumes of co2.

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiroux View Post
So, two parts for this question...

1-Why are you guys (I mean, in the United-States/Imperial system users) measuring sugar in volume instead of measuring it in weight (since different sugar have different weight to volume ratios)?

(Don't read this as a snoby question, I'm just curious about this culture difference)

2-What is your prefered priming sugar ratio, and why?
.
Answer to Item 1... Who told you that? Probably the same person that told you using the metric system was a good idea...

Answer to Item 2... corn suger normally but if if that is not around regular "table" suger Cane or beet. I think that the idea that any one kind of sugar matters is a thing of the past... though weight matters when moving between them.

I keg and usually toss in about 4 oz for all my beers.

Then serve, because this is more than usually need for most of the things I brew.

When the carbonation level is at a point I like I "put it on" the gas. Not scientific but works well.

Happy Brewing...

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPBISME View Post
Answer to Item 1... Who told you that? Probably the same person that told you using the metric system was a good idea...
Yeah right. I wish the US used the metric system.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
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Well I think metric system IS a good idea.

But that's not the point.

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Old 04-05-2013, 04:34 PM   #10
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So does probably 99.9% of the world. Burma, Liberia and the US are the only countries that haven't adopted it. It's so idiotic that we still use these ridiculous units that aren't used anywhere else in the world.

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