Originally Posted by MrVix
I've searched this site and found several posts on priming with brown sugar. However my question more concerns how to measure the brown sugar. Filling a teaspoon with brown sugar can yield different quantities based on how much or how little it is packed in the spoon. If anyone routinely primes with brown sugar please tell me your method. I'm preparing to bottle a batch of Nut Brown Ale and I thought the brown sugar might add a little something. I just don't want to ruin it or make it inconsistant.
Actually you should never measure ANY dry ingredients by volume, only by weight, for the exact reason you mentioned. And that includes the other priming sugars, or flour in baking.
Alton Brown on Good Eats once did a great demo measuring out cups of flour. One from a container that he had whacked on the counter a few times before pouring it in a cup, one that came straight out of the flour container, and one that he had sifted. They all were cups of flour, but when he weighed each one you had three different weights for the three same volumes.
When measuring sugar for priming, it is typically one ounce of corn sugar per gallon of beer. For around 2.5 volumes of co2.
You would use slightly less for table sugar (use a priming calculator like Tastybrew
to help.) And also to carbonate by style.
Additionally it is best to make a sugar solution and integrate it with the beer at bottling time. Adding dry sugar to bottles is very tricky, it can lead from under carbd to over carbed beer to even bottle bombs. Also dry sugar and the co2 in the beer already can lead to gushers while filling. The sugar acts as nucleation sites, and you get what amounts to the mentos/diet coke effect, all the beer shooting out of the bottle.
Also boiling ensures that you are only adding something that is sterile to your beer.
You'll find a ton of good info here to make bottling easier.
Hope this helps you understand better.