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Adam's Apples

Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2006
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I'm gonna quote Cheesefood in another thread...

'I finally realized why I'm not getting enough head on my beer: I was previously using 3/4 cup DME instead of 1-1/4 cup. All is well now.'

I have previously only carbonated my beers with regular sugar or glucose. I was always advised that the amount of sugar used for priming would not influence the overall flavour of my beer, so thought best value option would be sugar and thought that it wouldn't affect any final colouring of the beer either.

One thing I am yet to nail down, 4 batches into my homebrew obsession, is producing a beer with a creamy, full head, which remains until the drink is finished. People on this forum have suggested I try wheat, which is something I plan on doing soon, but I had no idea that using DME at priming stage could help head.

Anyone have any suggestions or tips for this if I tried it? Would a 10/15 min boil, which is what I usually do for the priming sugar, be enough to prepare the DME, before chilling and syphoning onto this?

I don't know if more priming sugar = more head, but it certainly means more carbonation. The style of beer you're making should be the determining factor in how much carbonation your beer has. That having been said, I don't really get technical with it. If it's a style that deserves higher carbo levels, I'll make it a "heaping" 3/4 cups dextrose. If I'm trying for lower carbo, I'll eyeball it a little low.

But as the amounts, the general rule of thumb is 3/4 cups for dextrose (corn sugar) or 1-1/4 cups DME. This won't necessarily give you a better head, but it will increase carbo if you were previously using only 3/4 cups DME (which is too little for any style, IMHO). Try using some heading powder next time if you want a better head, or add some wheat for proteins.
Cheers for the info.

I will give the wheat a go. At the moment, as mentioned in another thread, I am brewing a honey beer with a real emphasis in imparting a honey taste and aroma in the beer. I have been recommended to prime with honey in order to help the flavour, so may be giving this a shot next. From the info I have so far, I think I will need more honey to get the carbonation of an equivalent sugar weight and the carbonation may take a while longer to complete. I'm going to bottle about 2 gallons and keg 4, so I may carb bottles with sugar and keg with honey so I can compare the results.


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