Alternate Priming Sugars

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dentdr

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I will be racking a 5 gl, batch soon and I'm looking for alternatives to using Dextrose as my priming sugar. I was thinking Honey or brown sugar. The big question is how much should I use for this 5 gl. batch?
 

Rehlgood

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I have used Belgian dark candy sugar before and I used 5 oz. for an imperial stout. I would imagine brown sugar to be about the same.
 

Revvy

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You can use any fermentable for priming. I give detailed info on priming with alternative primers including fruit juice (including the link to the podcast,) and other sugars in my bottling stickey- Scroll to the lower half of this post.
 

smiller

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I haven't personally used honey, but if you use brown sugar, add as much as you would table sugar (i.e. select table sugar in the priming calculator). I had good results with it.
 

BrewScout

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Can't speak for brown sugar but, I use honey to carb my apfelwein. It seems to take longer to carb but apfelwein just gets better with age.
 

LouBrew13

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Using anything other than corn sugar, would you still boil it into a simple syrup, cool it, then add it to the bottling bucket?
 
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Using anything other than corn sugar, would you still boil it into a simple syrup, cool it, then add it to the bottling bucket?
Yeah, you always want to make a sterilized priming solution. When I use DME or any other dry sugar, I do the same thing you do with corn sugar. For liquids like honey and syrup, you want to pre boil your water, and add they syrup to the boiled water when hot, and keep it over 170 for a few mins to pasteurize it. Or you could just boil it with the water to be sure, just be careful not to caramelize the solution.
 

LouBrew13

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Well candy sugar would be too expensive. But the other sugars might be worthwhile.
 

Revvy

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Using anything other than corn sugar, would you still boil it into a simple syrup, cool it, then add it to the bottling bucket?
Yes, in fact if you use the info I linked earlier and are using something like a mollases, or anything viscuous, I top it off with water to two cups, then boil and add to bottling bucket. That way you are getting the same dillution as normal priming sugar.

So if it calls for 3/4 cups of whatever, I add another 1.25 cups of water and boil it up.
 
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Yes, in fact if you use the info I linked earlier and are using something like a mollases, or anything viscuous, I top it off with water to two cups, then boil and add to bottling bucket. That way you are getting the same dillution as normal priming sugar.

So if it calls for 3/4 cups of whatever, I add another 1.25 cups of water and boil it up.
That's basically what I do.... put whatever I'm priming with into a measuring cup while I boil some water, then I add the boiling water to the sugar/syrup and top up to ~2 cups. I let it sit for a few mins to pasteurize. I don't even chill it at all, I add it right to the bucket and rack the beer in. The racking mixes in the solution pretty well, IME. I measure my dry sugar by weight, liquid sugar by vol.
 

carlisle_bob

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Hi

If the issue is cost, then the obvious solution is what ever the bulk food outlet has the cheapest deal on in 50 lb bags labeled sugar. Measure it out by weight, not by volume. Boil it well and it should do just fine. Should be less than $40 a bag...

Bob
 

LouBrew13

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I've been successful with corn sugar for priming. Never thought to use anything else. I've tried my hand at making belgian candy sugar. But I'm making a lb at a time. The lhbs sells it for quite a lot.
 

LouBrew13

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Ok hugely disappointed with table sugar. I've adjusted for the amount that I need and hardly any carbonation. Like I'd need a half pound just to get something sufficient. What is the problem?
 

Revvy

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Ok hugely disappointed with table sugar. I've adjusted for the amount that I need and hardly any carbonation. Like I'd need a half pound just to get something sufficient. What is the problem?
How much did you use? I use table sugar all the time for beers, and never have had a problem. You use LESS than the amount you would for corn sugar.

I'm going to ask the obligatory questions now about your beer. How long has it been in the bottle and at what temp are you storing them at?
 

mb82

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Ok hugely disappointed with table sugar. I've adjusted for the amount that I need and hardly any carbonation. Like I'd need a half pound just to get something sufficient. What is the problem?
Not sure of your problem. My last batch I used table sugar and ended up overcarbonating. Actually I used the right amount of sugar according to brewtarget, I ended up with less beer then I planned on :cross:
 

LouBrew13

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Revvy, 3 styles. Chocolate stout imperial ipa, dark Belgian strong. 3 week bottle condition for all but the ipa. room temp storage. I boiled with a cup of water for a minute then cooled and added to bottling bucket as usual. Just super weak carbonation.
 

Revvy

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Well I see the words "Strong" and "Imperial" in the names of your beers. Remember, the 3 weeks at 70 we talk about is the MINIMUM for AVERAGE gravity beers. Larger beers simple take LONGER than that. Beers in the IMPERIAL or STRONG category can take MONTHS to carb up, not 3 weeks.

Sounds like it's the typical carbing "problem" and not about suing table sugar....the typical carbing problem on here is one of patience.....NOT a problem with the beer.
 

LouBrew13

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Well I've been known to lack patience. I will sit on them for a while longer. The dark Belgian tastes so good though. It's difficult to let them be.
 

smiller

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I have made 2 strong beers in the last year, one being an 11% imperial stout, the other a 13% barleywine. Both took months to carb sufficiently in bottles. Make sure they are at around 70-72 F and let them be for at least 2 months before trying again. Rouse the yeast every week or two to get it back into suspension.
 

LouBrew13

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I've never stirred yeast once bottled. I just let them be. Does that help?
 

smiller

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When there is a high concentration of alcohol present, the yeast gets stressed out and many of the cells die. Inverting and swirling the bottles every once in a while gets it back into suspension and increases your chances of healthy cells contacting fermentables.
 
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