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Old 12-17-2012, 03:53 PM   #1
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Default Priming sugar: Volume vs. Weight

Ok, I am trying to figure out why my beer has been under carbed. I am batch priming with corn sugar, I used the calc on tasteybrew. The only thing is I have to measure by volume instead of by weight (no scale yet). Does any know if there is a significant difference between volume and weight at around 3.5oz? Thanks!

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Old 12-17-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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Go get a 20 dollar digital scale from any store.

yes there is a difference between measuring dry ingredients by volume vs weight. 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.

Think that would affect carbonation?

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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What volume of sugar are you adding? The tastybrew calculator is giving you the weight of sugar in ounces but volume is measured in fluid ounces which are unrelated. Northen Brewer gives you weight and volume: http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/. If you are only putting 3.5 fluid ounces instead of 3.5 weighed ounces then that wouldn't be enough and is probably the problem.

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:08 PM   #4
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I agree with Revvy. You can get a small scale for really cheap on Amazon. They are INCREDIBLY useful for priming sugar, hops, etc.

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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Go to the kitchen stuff isle at wallmart. I got mine there for $20,along with some other brew useful items. I gotta remember to get some of those paper dixie cups to use for weighing hops & other bits of stuff.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Go to the kitchen stuff isle at wallmart. I got mine there for $20,along with some other brew useful items. I gotta remember to get some of those paper dixie cups to use for weighing hops & other bits of stuff.
Bah! Boycott Walmart
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:19 PM   #7
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+1. i just ordered a backup scale for myself (because i know mine will fail eventually, and you can't have a brew day without one) from amazon for $10, and got free shipping 'cause i ordered a bunch of other stuff: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o01_s00_i00

tell me you wouldn't pay $10 to ensure all your future beers are properly carbed...

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:25 PM   #8
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That what I figured, I knew there was a difference, I was just hoping at these small amounts that it was negligable. Not so much lol. I am fairly certain Santa is bringing me a nice scale with a tare funtion so all this should be taken care of Thanks for the input guys!

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Old 12-17-2012, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterj View Post
What volume of sugar are you adding? The tastybrew calculator is giving you the weight of sugar in ounces but volume is measured in fluid ounces which are unrelated. Northen Brewer gives you weight and volume: http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/. If you are only putting 3.5 fluid ounces instead of 3.5 weighed ounces then that wouldn't be enough and is probably the problem.

That being said, I just used 4.3oz of corn sugar for an Amber Ale which "shows" as over a cup in my measuring cup. Northern Brewer calculator shows that amount as 0.5 cup on their chart. A little confusing. I used my digital scale by weight but was shocked to see it "showing" over a cup when I transferred it to a measuring cup for reference. My last Stout was a bit over carbed and I'm getting more and more nervous about bombs. Wish I could feel better about my measurments. Maybe my $5 digital scale from e-bay is proving the old "get what you pay for" theory.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamperplexed View Post
That being said, I just used 4.3oz of corn sugar for an Amber Ale which "shows" as over a cup in my measuring cup. Northern Brewer calculator shows that amount as 0.5 cup on their chart. A little confusing. I used my digital scale by weight but was shocked to see it "showing" over a cup when I transferred it to a measuring cup for reference. My last Stout was a bit over carbed and I'm getting more and more nervous about bombs. Wish I could feel better about my measurments. Maybe my $5 digital scale from e-bay is proving the old "get what you pay for" theory.
It might not be the scale. Volume measurements for priming sugar are really inaccurate and variable. There are so many factors that can change like how you pack it or moisture content or any number of things.

But if you're worried about your scale you can always get this scale that sweetcell posted: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o01_s00_i00. I have that exact one and it has always worked like a charm. Only $10.
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