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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Priming with LME or Corn Sugar ...
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Old 11-29-2006, 01:16 PM   #1
Tom Smith
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Default Priming with LME or Corn Sugar ...

I like to go the purist route when brewing my beer, so I tend to steer away from Corn Sugar ... though I'm not saying there is anything wrong with corn sugar ... I just prefer to avoid it.
All of my beers tend to be on the under carbonated side, and with each brew I've been increasing the amount of priming sugar for carbonation. I'm now adding just over 3 cups of LME, and it is getting close to where I want it.
How much LME do you guys use for priming, and for those that use corn sugar, how much do you use (1 - 1.5 cups?).
I'm asking this now, because I'm going to be bottling my next batch in a couple of days, and I'm considering adding 4 cups of LME - and this just seems really high to me.
Thanks!
Tom

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Old 11-29-2006, 01:51 PM   #2
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Wow- that seems high to me, too! I use 1 1/2 cups light DME when I use DME, 4 or 5 ounces of corn sugar when I prime with that. 4 ounces is probably around 2/3 cup, but I either weigh it or just use a package of priming sugar I get from my LHBS. I've never had any beer undercarbonated using those amounts. I brew 5 gallons batches, so if you're doing larger batches you'd use more. My secondary fermentations last 2-4 weeks, so there is still plenty of yeast in suspension.

I wonder if you're keeping your temperature too low to carbonate properly. My house is on the cool side, so my beer is being stored around 66 degrees while it carbonates. It takes about 2 to 3 weeks to carbonate and then I move it to a cooler spot if I need the space for my next batch. (I only have one room that's actually around 66 degrees, the rest of the house is quite a bit cooler).

4 cups of DME added to 5 gallons before bottling sounds like bottle bombs to me.

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Old 11-29-2006, 01:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Smith
...How much LME do you guys use for priming, and for those that use corn sugar, how much do you use (1 - 1.5 cups?).
I'm asking this now, because I'm going to be bottling my next batch in a couple of days, and I'm considering adding 4 cups of LME - and this just seems really high to me.
Thanks!
Tom
I just bottled, using 3/4 cup corn sugar, yesterday. Most folks use 1 1/4 cups DME to prime.

Not sure about the amount of LME to use for priming though.

Good luck,

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Old 11-29-2006, 01:58 PM   #4
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1.25 cups of DME equals just about 1.5 cups of LME (LME is about 20% less concentrated). Four cups sounds extreme - even three would make me extremely nervous. How long do you let the bottles carb for? What temps? Do you tend to drink them pretty soon after bottling?

I'm just wondering why your beers aren't overcarbed, if there is an issue besides the amount of fermentables you are adding (which seems like a LOT more than anyone else uses).

Here's a dumb question - these are five-gallon batches, right?

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Old 11-29-2006, 02:16 PM   #5
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I think bird may be on to something. LME/DME takes a lot more time to carbonate than does corn sugar. You may be drinking them / putting them in fridge before they have time to fully carb. Which is probably a good thing since I think if you didn't, you would have bombs with that much extract.

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Old 11-29-2006, 02:20 PM   #6
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Good god, man...you leave those things un-opened for more than a month, and you'll have a good batch of "brewotov cocktails". Chuck them at the neighbor kids when they walk on your lawn...that'll be the last thing they ever do. Uhhh...huhuhuh...

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Old 11-29-2006, 07:51 PM   #7
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Hi Tom,

Aren't you glad you asked!

I just ran the numbers and it looks like you want about 1.25 oz of LME per gallon of finished beer. Be sure to sterilize/sanitize the DME before you mix with your beer or you may get an infection.

I know you aren't crazy about corn sugar but you may be well served to split one batch of beer and carbonate half with LME and half with corn sugar so that you can compare the relative carbonation levels and the amount of time it takes for each to carbonate your beer. This will give you a lot of insight into your own methods.

Good luck.

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:07 PM   #8
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dantodd, I like the thought of splitting the batch in half and trying corn sugar vs LME.
With respect to how long I let the beer carbonate in the bottles - I'll often still be enjoying a brew that I bottle 2 - 3 months prior. So I'm sure it's all fermented out. Also the beer isn't sweet too, so I know it's all being used up.
When I started brewing, I'd use 1.5 cups of LME and the beer was fairly flat, so since then, I've been bumping it up a notch. Now with 3 cups of LME, it's got carbonation like a good draft beer (Guiness ... mmmmm) - but only if I drink it at room temperature. If I put it in the fridge, it's quite flat.
And for the temperature of the room, for all (primary, secondary, and bottles) I would say ranges from 65 - 75 F (typically 71 F).
Thanks for all the advice!

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:08 PM   #9
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Oh, and sorry, yes these are all 5 gallon batches.

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Old 11-29-2006, 08:13 PM   #10
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What caps/capper are you using?
Are you sure they are sealing.

I'd also look at kegging and bottling split.

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