How much priming sugar in keg?

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calatan

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So Im tired of bottling and bought a few 5 gallon kegs. I dont really like the idea of forced carbonation, so can I just add the typical priming sugar I would for a 5 gallon batch and then seal er up and let it condition inside the keg?
 

hopsoda

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That's my understanding , and that's what I'm doing. Anyone ells?
 

944play

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Some say 1/3rd of what you'd use to bottle -- I say that's not enough. I like to use exactly what priming calculators call for.

Keep in mind, you'll need to use the bottled CO2 to seal the keg as well as to deliver the beer. Once you realize how quick and cheap bottled CO2 is, you'll probably end up force-carbonating most of your kegs. :D
 

jldc

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I have heard that you should put less sugar in a keg to carbonate it, but per 944play, I've also heard differently.

I don't know if "naturally carbonated" tastes different than "force carbonated" but If I needed the beer in a hurry, I force carb. Otherwise, why not carbonate in the keg with sugar?
 

lmg95

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i got a quick Q... i just got some pressurized 5-gal corny kegs... but my quick disconnects won't arrive til mon/tues... can i transfer a finished batch to a keg without sealing with CO2?
 

944play

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I wouldn't. More time on the yeast probably won't hurt, and it's definitely a good idea to purge and seal the keg with CO2.
 

lmg95

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yeah i figured... i hoped maybe i could carb it with the yeast and sugar then purge the tank if/when enough CO2 was produced. It's a hefeweizen so i hoped to keg/bottle it sooner but i guess it's safer to wait.
 

broadbill

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Otherwise, why not carbonate in the keg with sugar?
Couple of reasons:

natural carbonation leave yeast sediment that will be stirred up and dispensed when the keg is tapped. So you either have to pitch those first few pints or drink yeasty beer. OP was brewing a hefe so maybe you want yeast sediment for a cloudy beer.

I think force carb beers taste beer than natural carb even with the yeast settled out. I don't know ifs that a thing with mouthfeel and different size CO2 bubbles or residual yeast in the natural carb beer-just my preference though.
 

hopsoda

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yeah i figured... i hoped maybe i could carb it with the yeast and sugar then purge the tank if/when enough CO2 was produced. It's a hefeweizen so i hoped to keg/bottle it sooner but i guess it's safer to wait.
I have done that , and it has worked with most of my corneys but others need to be pressurized to seal up.
 

killian

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I have heard that you should use 1/2 the amount that you would if you were bottling but I cant say if that is right or not. I can tell you that I have used the same amount as when bottling and it ended up over carbed.
 

duskb

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The Beer Recipator - Home

The carbonation calculator on this page gives you the amount of sugar to add for volume, temperature, and beer style.
I must be missing something here. As useful as this calculator is it only gives you two options.

Option 1: Calculate the amount of sugar to use IF bottling
Otpion 2: Calc the amount of CO2 to use if kegging

What about Option 3? Priming sugar ratio to cups for kegging? We all know that bottling and kegging use sugar differently.

I've looked through quite a few posts trying to determine the ratio of priming sugar to gallons and how much water to boil the sugar in while boiling the sugar. At best all I can find is arbitrary data...nothing that is based on science.

Unfortunately my LHBS sells the sugar in bags and their instructions call for adding 1/2-2/3 of a bag of their sugar for priming to a keg....great, problem is I have already used some of this bags sugar and I cannot really calculate how much of it I have used in the last few months...for this reason actual measures would be more helpful.

Any ideas?
 

Dwain

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Up until now, I have brewed almost exclusively ales w/ a couple of stouts thrown in. I like to naturally carb. kegs. I use about 1/2 the amount of sugar that I would use for bottling. I use ~3/4 cup to bottle 5 gal. So, between 1/4 & 1/2 cup for kegging. The first couple of times I kegged, I used the same amount of sugar as bottling, and the beers were over carbonated. I typically let my beers set for a min. of a month in secondary and another month in the keg. This also seems to make the sediment cling to the bottom of the vessels and therefore, I get less in my beer except the final pint. Finally, I have been brewing for around 25 years. The methods I use are the ones that I have become comfortable with but not necessarily the best or easiest. I haven't bottled a batch in many years. I have force carbed beers but seem to get more of a creamy head and pin sized effervescence on the naturally carbed ales. Also, to me, the beers taste better after a couple of months aging. These are all just my opinion on bottling/kegging. Now that my sons help me brew, some of each batch will be bottled and we will probably force carb some batches. I'll report back after enough test batches! Luck - Dwain
 

Paulbill

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I have just started testing out natural carbing in the keg. With force carbing it takes at least a week for it to force carb in the kegerator. Since I am only set up for one keg in the kegerator, that means a week without beer!

I brew 10 gallon batches, and try to keep all my kegs (10 kegs) full, and keep brewing to keep them filled. So my kegs are usually sitting around for a minimum of 3 weeks (to sometimes months), so having them carb in the keg made sense to me.

Now they only need about 2-3 days in the kegerator to get cold and settle a little bit before they are ready to drink!

From doing some research on the board, I have found that 2.5 ounces per keg is working out nicely.

Regards,
Paul
 

duskb

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Up until now, I have brewed almost exclusively ales w/ a couple of stouts thrown in. I like to naturally carb. kegs. I use about 1/2 the amount of sugar that I would use for bottling. I use ~3/4 cup to bottle 5 gal. So, between 1/4 & 1/2 cup for kegging. The first couple of times I kegged, I used the same amount of sugar as bottling, and the beers were over carbonated. I typically let my beers set for a min. of a month in secondary and another month in the keg. This also seems to make the sediment cling to the bottom of the vessels and therefore, I get less in my beer except the final pint. Finally, I have been brewing for around 25 years. The methods I use are the ones that I have become comfortable with but not necessarily the best or easiest. I haven't bottled a batch in many years. I have force carbed beers but seem to get more of a creamy head and pin sized effervescence on the naturally carbed ales. Also, to me, the beers taste better after a couple of months aging. These are all just my opinion on bottling/kegging. Now that my sons help me brew, some of each batch will be bottled and we will probably force carb some batches. I'll report back after enough test batches! Luck - Dwain
First off both of you rock, thank you for a concise and very helpful post.

On the subject of force vs sugar carbing I know the large majority of folks are fine with force carbing but in my experience I've noticed that force carbing leaves me a very faint "bubble" compared to a sugar carbed bottle. Don't get me wrong forced carbed ale is indeed carbed, but differently.

I brought this up in a post a few weeks ago when I had compared commercial samples to my homebrew. Everyone could pick out homebrew everytime because it did not have the same CO2 bite that my stuff did. I then kegged and sugar carbed a pale ale, left it alone for a few weeks and now my beer is full of really big robust bubbles that seem to last down to the last drop, but it's not overcarbed. Its the first keg I have been happy with in a year.

I know that force carbing should work but as far as I am concerned there is much more of a learning curve to it than just throwing sugar H2O into the keg. One of these days I'll try to critically evaluate where I am going wrong with it but for the time being the results are obvious to me...may as well stick with it.
 

ifishsum

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I just tapped my first kegged homebrew - naturally carbonated and conditioned for 2.5 weeks with exactly 1/2 my normal corn sugar amount. Chilled it down to 40, hooked it up then set the pressure at 12psi and pulled a pint. That first pour was only a little cloudy, and carbonation was near perfect. The next two pints were clear as a bell. Likely I'll do my next batches exactly the same way - the results were about as perfect as I could hope for.
 

duskb

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Follow-up post:

So I tried several approaches regarding keg priming and had some interesting results.

I let the primed kegs sit for about 2-3 weeks at room temp. Then rushed them into the kegerator for a few days to condition. In every case the draw was not as "intense" as I had liked. So I waited a few more days to see if there was a change. After still not getting what I wanted I hooked up the CO2 canister for about another week at 7 PSI and what do you know....perfect carbing. Big healthy bubbles deep into the beer up to the last drop and moderate head. A first for me (after a year).

So, most would argue it's silly to prime if you're going to end up hooking it up to CO2 anyways but I have to admit there is a noticable difference with this hybrid technique. Especially the flavor. Still going to try priming the next several batches upping the sugar till I get a keg that doesn't need CO2 but I have struck a balance that works ok, even if it's not right.
 

jerryodom

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I use priming sugar in my kegs as well and have done so for a while now. Actually I use the same amount that I use when I bottle. One thing I noticed is after 3 weeks there's really a lot of CO2 in the keg but no good bubbles in the beer and no head retention. After 5 weeks it's just right with excellent flavor and presentation. Another week or two in the kegerator and it's perfect. Yeah my first few pints are cloudy but I'm fine with that.

My reason for carbonating so is something that's likely just a theory that comforts me. I feel like oxygen that got transfered during the process will get taken care of by the yeast during carbonation. I still use bottled CO2 to pressure up the keg and to push the beer out.
 

Hanr3

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I realize this thread is over a year old.

Curious if there were any updates to the data, experiences posted originally in this thread?

I have noticed my beer doesnt have that special something, yea they taste good, what beer doesnt, but it seems like its missing ..... Thinking the sugar does more than just carbonate, thinking it adds to the flavor of the beer too.
Thoughts?
 

Moose777

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I've read articles about this as well..some say carbonation is carbonation and that it makes no difference..there's even a thread here on HBT where someone did an experiment and force carbed and natural carbed the same batch and they could not taste the difference.

I used to natural bottle carb beers but for over a year now since I got my keezer done I have been force carbing...I am now going to revert back to natural as I tend to think it does tatse better..it may just be that it forces you to wait another few weeks if you naturally carb therefore the beer has had more time to set up.
 

fuhmon

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2cents...
i've been using 70/30 beer gas blend to push my beer. This mixtures doesn't force carb home brew very well. So i will be using natural carb in my corny's with the amounts given per style in Beer Smith.

Question though. Do any of you find you have to purge the keg a little before you hook up to co2 to dispense? or should it pour like a commercial keg after natural carbing?
 

helmet1209

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I'm about to keg my first beer here in a few weeks after bottling several batches. I just got into brewing, so my experience is limited, though I think I can offer some insightful remarks...

When one adds priming sugar to their keg beer, they're adding more fermentable sugars. The yeast remaining in solution work to ferment those sugars as they did during primary fermentation, releasing CO2 in the process. It seems that one would use less priming sugar kegging a beer than in bottling partly because of air space left in the chamber (bottles vs keg); mainly that bottles would have more combined air space than when compared to a keg. For example, if one filled up a bottle half full and another bottle was filled as normal, then one would expect the filled bottle to be better carbonated.

I plan to naturally carbonate my keg beer. Thinking about it now however, I may have a better idea. I'm thinking I might rack my beer from the primary fermentation tank into the keg without any priming sugar. At that point I'll inject CO2 to get rid of the air as much as possible... The beer will then condition in the keg releasing a little bit more CO2. Hows that sound?
 

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I'm about to keg my first beer here in a few weeks after bottling several batches. I just got into brewing, so my experience is limited, though I think I can offer some insightful remarks...

When one adds priming sugar to their keg beer, they're adding more fermentable sugars. The yeast remaining in solution work to ferment those sugars as they did during primary fermentation, releasing CO2 in the process. It seems that one would use less priming sugar kegging a beer than in bottling partly because of air space left in the chamber (bottles vs keg); mainly that bottles would have more combined air space than when compared to a keg. For example, if one filled up a bottle half full and another bottle was filled as normal, then one would expect the filled bottle to be better carbonated.

I plan to naturally carbonate my keg beer. Thinking about it now however, I may have a better idea. I'm thinking I might rack my beer from the primary fermentation tank into the keg without any priming sugar. At that point I'll inject CO2 to get rid of the air as much as possible... The beer will then condition in the keg releasing a little bit more CO2. Hows that sound?
Well, you use less priming sugar in a keg due to the smaller amount of headspace. In bottling, if you have 53 bottles of a 1.5 inch headspace, that's a lot more than you have in a keg relatively speaking. In your example, a 1/2 filled bottle with MORE headspace will more likely be overcarbed than one with a proper amount of headspace.

Regardless, kegging before the beer is finished will indeed provide some carbonation. But how much is undependable, and may result in either overcarbonation or undercarbonation. It's far easier to let it ferment out, then add a prescribed amount of priming sugar so that you know the beer will be properly carbed.
 

fuhmon

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ya i kegged my 90 shilling at 2.0 volumes and i used around 38g of corn sugar, if you were bottling would probably double that. These numbers came from Beersmith although its not in front of me atm.
 

thebeers54

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Ok so I just got my keg setup in yesterday but I wont have my keezer for 2 more weeks. I have 2 batches that are ready right now to be bottled/kegged so I was planning on priming with corn sugar in the keg and let them sit at room temp for the 2 weeks till I can cool them down. Basically I want cold carbed draft beer ready asap and I think this is the way to go unless anyone has some better suggestions.
 

copyright1997

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Bumping this thread.

I have a blue balls batch (blue moon clone) that is just about ready to keg (about 2 weeks in primary). I normally keg, the catch is that this time I would like to split the batch (5+ gals) between a corny and a case of 16 ounce bottles. What I was hoping to do was to save some time by:
1. Preparing corn sugar solution as if I was bottling the whole batch.
2. Rack from the primary to my keg on top of the sugar solution.
3. After filling the keg (most of the batch), seal and hit it with a few psi of gas, enough to serve.
4. Fill my bottles from the keg (and cap the bottles).
5. Use the remaining part of the batch to refill the keg as much as possible.
6. Remove air from the keg via hitting it with CO2 and venting a couple of times.

After this, I would leave the keg and bottles in the basement elevated (about 65 degrees) or in a bathroom (70+ degrees) to carbonate.

There should be extra head space in the keg, hopefully this will prevent over-carbonating the beer? Alternatively, could I vent it once or twice during the carbonation phase?
 

elproducto

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Bumping this thread.

I have a blue balls batch (blue moon clone) that is just about ready to keg (about 2 weeks in primary). I normally keg, the catch is that this time I would like to split the batch (5+ gals) between a corny and a case of 16 ounce bottles. What I was hoping to do was to save some time by:
1. Preparing corn sugar solution as if I was bottling the whole batch.
2. Rack from the primary to my keg on top of the sugar solution.
3. After filling the keg (most of the batch), seal and hit it with a few psi of gas, enough to serve.
4. Fill my bottles from the keg (and cap the bottles).
5. Use the remaining part of the batch to refill the keg as much as possible.
6. Remove air from the keg via hitting it with CO2 and venting a couple of times.

After this, I would leave the keg and bottles in the basement elevated (about 65 degrees) or in a bathroom (70+ degrees) to carbonate.

There should be extra head space in the keg, hopefully this will prevent over-carbonating the beer? Alternatively, could I vent it once or twice during the carbonation phase?
That's a good idea.. how did it turn out?
 

copyright1997

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That's a good idea.. how did it turn out?
Not sure yet. I tired one of the bottled ones on August 25th and it was quite nice. It poured with just about the right amount of foam and tasted nice. Here's a picture: (Note that some of the head is gone because I took a couple sips and it was sitting for a while, and the color is darker than an all grain version because I used a liquid wheat kit I had laying around for the base grain.)

The "not sure yet" part is the portion I put to a keg. It seemed to carb just fine (I left it in the basement next to the bottles at about 65 degrees). I decided to try it (warm) and there was quite a bit of pressure in the keg (came out fast and foamy). So, I decided to vent some of the pressure before chilling (probably a mistake). It is now cold, and tastes fine, but I still playing with the pressure trying to get it right. Part of the issue is that I am using a picnic tap for this (regular beer line and tap are tied up with another brew). I thought at first the bottled tasted better (for whatever reason), but your post prompted me to try a glass from the keg and a glass from bottle and they taste the same, and have similar foam and lacing.

IMG_0977.jpg
 

yellowthunda

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i didnt realize putting the same amount of priming sugar in a keg as you would in a bottle will over carbonate it

is there any way to fix this?

If i just depessurize the keg everyday will for a week will it get me back to normal carbonation levels?
 

BarnsleyBrewer

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Say if you naturally carb a keg.

Do you have to add co2 to pour a pint when its finished conditioning?
 

copyright1997

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BarnsleyBrewer said:
Say if you naturally carb a keg.

Do you have to add co2 to pour a pint when its finished conditioning?
Not for the first n, but eventually yes. As you serve pints, the liquid that is served will result in lowered pressure in the keg (if you don't have co2 on it at your desired pressure). You don't need a lot of co2, just enough to take the place of the displaced liquid as it gets served.
 

copyright1997

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yellowthunda said:
i didnt realize putting the same amount of priming sugar in a keg as you would in a bottle will over carbonate it

is there any way to fix this?

If i just depessurize the keg everyday will for a week will it get me back to normal carbonation levels?
Yes, vent some and let it sit. Co2 will come out of the liquid and into the headspace until equalized. Repeat over time until you reach the desired level of carbonation.

I sometimes naturally carb so that I can take some of the pre-carbed batch and bottle it. To get the carb level of the keg right, I have a qd with a pressure gauge that I leave on the keg so I can monitor the pressure as it naturally carbs and vent as necessary. I bought it at Williams.
 

BarnsleyBrewer

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copyright1997 said:
Not for the first n, but eventually yes. As you serve pints, the liquid that is served will result in lowered pressure in the keg (if you don't have co2 on it at your desired pressure). You don't need a lot of co2, just enough to take the place of the displaced liquid as it gets served.
Thanks for the reply. I have a 5gal pressure barrel. With a lid thats suits some kind of co2 dispenser.

What equipment would i need to pressurize the barrel.
 

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Bumping an old thread.

I have a batch of a IIPA that I want to conduct an experiment with. It's a standard 5-gallon batch, and I'll be using bottles for the most part. BUT - I have a 5L (1.3gallon) keg - it's one of those portable draft thingys with the little CO2 canister in it to push the beer out. I took it all apart, cleaned it, sanitized it, and stuck a new CO2 cartridge in it. Anyway, I know that when kegging a 5 gallon batch we use about 1/2 the amount of priming sugar, but does this same rule apply for a smaller-sized keg?

Lets say I would normally use 5oz of dextrose for carbing the entire batch in bottles. For this small 1.3 gallon keg, should I use 1.3oz or 0.7oz of dextrose to carb it?

Somebody has probably done this before.
 

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Yes, vent some and let it sit. Co2 will come out of the liquid and into the headspace until equalized. Repeat over time until you reach the desired level of carbonation.

I sometimes naturally carb so that I can take some of the pre-carbed batch and bottle it. To get the carb level of the keg right, I have a qd with a pressure gauge that I leave on the keg so I can monitor the pressure as it naturally carbs and vent as necessary. I bought it at Williams.
Bumping this old thread.

What PSI number do you aim for?
 

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The OP wanted to know "HOW MUCH SUGAR?"

People got off track saying 1/3 as much, 1/2 as much, that they still need to use CO2...

Nobody responded with "Use _____ oz sugar and ____ water per 5 gals..
 
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