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Old 06-09-2011, 04:31 PM   #1
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Default Priming Sugar Calculator

After reading a couple threads about the amount of priming sugar to use, I decided to take a look at one of those calculators.

I am currently brewing a Nut Brown Ale, which I think is a Northern English Brown Ale. It's an extract brew and came with the standard 5 oz of corn sugar, which I planned to use.

In the calculator I used the upper level of desired volumes CO2 for the style, which is 2.3. I also used the upper level of fermentation temperature (70 degrees) even though I think my fermentation temps were closer to 65-68 degrees during the majority of the time so far.

Using these upper levels, the calculator said I should only use 3.93 oz. of corn sugar. And if I use the median levels, it says something more like 2.5 oz.

My question is should I listen to the calculator, or should I just use entire 5 oz package?

Personally, I thought my first brew (Belgian White) could have used even more carbonation, and I used 5 oz of corn sugar for that one. So I'm afraid to use any less. I know they're different styles, but I like a well-carbonated beer.

Suggestions?

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Old 06-09-2011, 04:34 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onipar View Post
After reading a couple threads about the amount of priming sugar to use, I decided to take a look at one of those calculators.

I am currently brewing a Nut Brown Ale, which I think is a Northern English Brown Ale. It's an extract brew and came with the standard 5 oz of corn sugar, which I planned to use.

In the calculator I used the upper level of desired volumes CO2 for the style, which is 2.3. I also used the upper level of fermentation temperature (70 degrees) even though I think my fermentation temps were closer to 65-68 degrees during the majority of the time so far.

Using these upper levels, the calculator said I should only use 3.93 oz. of corn sugar. And if I use the median levels, it says something more like 2.5 oz.

My question is should I listen to the calculator, or should I just use entire 5 oz package?

Personally, I thought my first brew (Belgian White) could have used even more carbonation, and I used 5 oz of corn sugar for that one. So I'm afraid to use any less. I know they're different styles, but I like a well-carbonated beer.

Suggestions?
From what I understand the temperature you should use is the beer temperature at the time of bottling not the fermentation temperature. This could impact the calculations.
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:39 PM   #3
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I take it this a kit brew? If so, I'd go with what they gave you. Everyone has their preferences, but I wouldn't undershoot it without knowing the outcome. Also, be sure to use the CARBING temperature, ie. temperature of the bottled beer while carbing, not the fermentation temperature.
What calculator are you using? Some of them seem a bit off to me... Again, it's personal preference.

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Old 06-09-2011, 04:42 PM   #4
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You need to use the highest temperature after fermentation completed.

There is more residual CO2 dissolved at colder temps. When the beer is warmed up (either for a diacetyl rest, at bottling or by accident, etc) CO2 is lost and will not be reproduced because primary fermentation is completed and there is no more CO2 production until priming sugar is added.

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Old 06-09-2011, 04:43 PM   #5
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I thought they meant ferment temps myself,since the calculator I used was at brewheads.com,& they didn't specify. But in my,case both temps were about the same,so no harm,no foul there. But when I plugged in my #'s,it said 4.55oz of the granulated sugar I specified. I'll know in 3 weeks...
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Old 06-09-2011, 04:50 PM   #6
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Ohhhh, thanks for the clarification. Yeah, the site just said "fermentation temp" so I thought it meant the primary ferm temps. Even so, when I bottle condition, it is usually in a 70 degree room, so that upper 70 degree level i put in should be right.

I tried two different sites: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html and http://kotmf.com/tools/prime.php.

Yeah, this is a kit from my LHBS with hops and specialty grains. It seems they always give a 5 oz package of corn sugar with the kits.

I'm leaning towards just using the whole package anyway since I like higher carbonation. Though, are Nut Brown Ales usually noticeably less carbonated than other styles?

Thanks for the suggestions!

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Old 06-09-2011, 05:00 PM   #7
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I don't remember them have a ton of carbonation. & the 4.55oz it specified in my case was for 2.3A (A=atmospheres),which I also had to specify. But it did also ask for what style,per BJCP guidelines. You pick from a drop down list. I picked APA,since that's virtually what I put together. The lower limit for the style is 2.26A,so my 2.3 is right in there,producing just above minimum carbonation for the style.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:03 PM   #8
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I don't remember them have a ton of carbonation. & the 4.55oz it specified in my case was for 2.3A (A=atmospheres),which I also had to specify. But it did also ask for what style,per BJCP guidelines. You pick from a drop down list. I picked APA,since that's virtually what I put together. The lower limit for the style is 2.26A,so my 2.3 is right in there,producing just above minimum carbonation for the style.
I have only done one kit. But yes my recollection is that they always give you 5 oz. If you want to do a specific level of carbonation, always use a calculator, the highest temp after fermentation and a scale to weigh the sugar.

If you don't care, just follow the directions. Both ways will make beer.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:09 PM   #9
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My wife's Brewer's Best summer ale kit got the same 5oz bag of dextrose. But when I went to get some for my batch (23L,or 6.072G),it was 6oz. But,I still measured it out. I've been curious about "carbing to style",since I got a bottling/secondary bucket rigged up.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:28 PM   #10
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This is only my second brew, and it's a kit, so maybe trying to carb to style at this point doesn't really even matter, but yeah, it was just something I was interested in checking out ever since I heard there were calculators.

The thing is, I don't ever think I've had a beer and thought, "Gee, I wish this was *less* carbonated." But I have had beer that I wish was *more* carbonated.

I'm by no means a beer snob, and I wouldn't even know what the correct carbonation level of a particular beer should be if I drank it.

Even so, I assume the different levels for style is like that for a reason (probably tastes better?), so I figured I'd look into it.

I tried the calculation at 80 degrees (with the same upper level 2.3 co2 volume) and got 4.2 ounces. Close enough for me, I'll dump it all in.

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