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Old 07-03-2010, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default Standard 'cooking' granulated sugar okay for primer?

Apologies for all the questions. If I am reading the helps/tips/how-do's here correctly, I obviously need to add sugar to my keg for priming. Should I be using any particular sugar here or would standard cooking grade white granulated sugar be okay? If any sugar would be fine, does any one have a preference? I am making an English ale so I wonder if a stronger flavoured brown sugar would be better/.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:29 PM   #2
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Corn sugar will give you the most neutral flavor, but some folks use table sugar in a pinch. Table sugar can add unwanted flavors (or so some folks say) but priming sugar is such a small amount that you can probably get away with it if you want to use it.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:38 PM   #3
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You do not need to add sugar for carbonating in a keg, you can carbonate with the co2 tank that you'll be using for serving.

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Old 07-03-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MBasile View Post
You do not need to add sugar for carbonating in a keg, you can carbonate with the co2 tank that you'll be using for serving.
Actually, you can do it either way. Many people prefer to prime with sugar. It saves on CO2 and some people say they can taste a difference between natural and force carbonation.
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Old 07-03-2010, 07:46 PM   #5
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Thanks all, sorry but I think I have lead you a bum steer here. The plastic 'keg' that I will be carbonating/conditioning in will not be attached to a co2 tank for pumping, it is just a pressure resistant keg with a pouring tap on. I will therefore need to add the sugar for carbonation.

I have decided that I will give brown sugar a go to so if that helps with the flavour at all, should I use the same volume of brown sugar as I would white cane sugar do you think?

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Old 07-03-2010, 09:09 PM   #6
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Actually, you can do it either way. Many people prefer to prime with sugar. It saves on CO2 and some people say they can taste a difference between natural and force carbonation.
Precisely why I didn't say you HAVE to force carb, but said you don't HAVE to carb with priming sugar.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:46 PM   #7
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As ChsreCat said you can use about any sugar... different sugars will just change the profile of the beer. I'm curious how the brown sugar changes things. I've heard some people complain table sugar can add a cidery flavor. I've always used corn sugar so I have nothing for comparison. I personally think you CAN tell the difference between forced carbonation and natural... but that's my opinion.

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Old 07-04-2010, 12:45 AM   #8
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I've not noticed any cidery flavors in any of my beers that I prime with "Table Sugar". Just an FYI, and you can determine the amount of sugar to use with this link: http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html

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Old 07-04-2010, 12:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
I have decided that I will give brown sugar a go to so if that helps with the flavour at all, should I use the same volume of brown sugar as I would white cane sugar do you think?
Brown Sugar is a pretty complex sugar and that means flavors that you may not intend. Also brown sugar is not as fermentable as corn or table sugar so you will need to figure out the correct amount somehow.

In your situation I would use your table sugar (same amount as you would corn sugar), make a simple syrup out of it, heat it with a cup and a half of water till all the sugar disolves then add it to your bottling bucket. Making a syrup will cut down the cidery flavors that are likely with table sugar.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:25 AM   #10
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Brown Sugar is a pretty complex sugar and that means flavors that you may not intend. Also brown sugar is not as fermentable as corn or table sugar so you will need to figure out the correct amount somehow.

In your situation I would use your table sugar (same amount as you would corn sugar), make a simple syrup out of it, heat it with a cup and a half of water till all the sugar disolves then add it to your bottling bucket. Making a syrup will cut down the cidery flavors that are likely with table sugar.
Most brown sugar (except for specialty varieties) is pure white cane sugar with some molasses added back. The amount of molasses is very small so there is no difference in the amount you use for carbonation. The whole cidery flavour from table sugar harks back to the bad old days of beers made with a relatively large amount of sugar as an adjunct, along with poor fermentation etc as we just didn't know any better. The small amount needed to prime a batch of beer will not impart any detectable flavour. If you notice something I would look for issues elsewhere in your process. The only advantage I'm aware of for making a syrup is that you sanitize it and won't get off flavours from contamination.

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