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Old 05-13-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
nasty_rabbit
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Default Corn sugar or DME for priming question

My brew partner was told by the LHBS that DME should be use for priming. Their theory was that the yeast would be "used to" that sugar. They recommended using 1.25 cu for a 5 gal batch. The beer that we tried this on is a Lemon Coriander Wheat. It has been conditioning for 18 days and the results are dismal at best. Some head on the pour with little retention and no carbonation on the palate. The flavor is fine. Now for the questions; Is DME an adequate sugar to use? Did we use enough? Does it take longer? Should we resign ourselves to drinking under carved beer for this batch?



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Old 05-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #2
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Good question. I'm green at this too, but from what I e been reading the only 100% fermentable sugar to prime with is table sugar. Knowing this I don't understand why everyone reccomends corn sugar. You'd think you'd want to use a 100% fermentable sugar so it won't leave anything behind.



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Old 05-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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I have gone through several stages in my brewing process. Following what my friends told me in terms of the German Purity Laws, I used only DME for quite some time. One day I joined the dark side and used corn sugar for priming, and frankly, I never looked back. It's always better (for me), carbs quickly (2 weeks or less) and tastes great. When I would use DME, there would be more sediment, and carbonation was always longer (but it would eventually carb, just not as strong).

Hang tight, your beer will carbonate, it just may take an extra week or two. When I used DME, it was a minimum of 3 weeks before drinking, and frankly longer was better. Some though would never catch up. 1.25 cups is good for the average beer (for DME). If you use corn sugar, I believe it's around 2/3 - 3/4 cup per batch. Works well for me every time.

Good luck

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Old 05-13-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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I prefer DME for priming. Corn sugar works just fine, but I have a very sensitive palate and sometimes I can taste the corn sugar (it tastes thin and apple-y). I did and experiment and bottled half a batch of a lighter pale ale with DME and half with corn sugar. I was sold on DME after that, both beers tasted great, but the one carbed with DME tasted better. The one using corn sugar was good, but it had this thin finish with a funny aftertaste, like I'd tasted in many of my earlier beers using corn sugar. The beer carbed with DME didn't have any of this thin finish or tart flavor, it was just good beer from start to finish.
DME takes a bit longer to carb up the beer, maybe a week or two longer than corn sugar, but IMO, it's well worth it. I'd say with your brew, give it some extra time and it should be very good.

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Old 05-13-2012, 03:42 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what 1.25 cu is.. but..

Corn sugar is tried and true. It is easier for the yeast to conquer than DME. I thing going the other way might be an issue of sorts. Adding a lot of cane sugar to a batch.. what will the yeast eat first.. the cane sugar..then go on to the more complex sugars in the extract.

I may be wrong.. and stand to be corrected.. but, I've been doing dextrose and it works just fine.

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Old 05-13-2012, 04:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HbgBill
I'm not sure what 1.25 cu is.. but..

Corn sugar is tried and true. It is easier for the yeast to conquer than DME. I thing going the other way might be an issue of sorts. Adding a lot of cane sugar to a batch.. what will the yeast eat first.. the cane sugar..then go on to the more complex sugars in the extract.

I may be wrong.. and stand to be corrected.. but, I've been doing dextrose and it works just fine.
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Both can be used. DME is said to take longer to carbonate and can also produce a denser, creamier head. Corn sugar is a simple sugar and readily consumed so carbonation generally takes less time. I always use corn sugar/dextrose and have never experienced any problems or beer that won't carb up, sometimes in as little as 10 days


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