Lemon Drops as Carbonation Drops

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Cisko

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Has anyone ever used Claey's Lemon Drops (or any other brand) to carbonate their beer and give a slight lemon flavor to it?

A Brewer's Best pack of carbonation drops is 256g and comes with 54 tablets. Thats about 4.74g each.
A Coopers pack of carbonation drops is 250g and comes with 80 tablets. Thats about 3.125g each.
Northern Brewer Fizz drops are 8oz (227g) and comes with 60 tablets. Thats about 3.78g each.

The way I see it, a 6oz (170g) bag of Claey's with 36 tablets are 4.72g each. It seems this might be on the higher side, up there with Brewer's Best. I don't know if these are close enough to the same for it to work or not. Honestly, I've never used carbonation tablets, I usually just mix in priming sugar before bottling, so I don't know how well carbonation tablets work to begin with.

Also do you think this would give too strong of a lemon flavor?

If no one has any insight on this, I may just try a couple bottles in a couple weeks when I bottle my Pale Ale that I started this weekend.
 
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insight on this

If you decide to try this, you will want to know 1) the amount of ferment-able sugar in each drop, and 2) that the drops are consistent.

Over time, you may find you get better results by controlling the carbonation level with just sugar and the flavoring with just lemon extract.
 
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Cisko

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Thats an interesting idea to use lemon extract. Maybe I'll try some of each to compare results.
 

mac_1103

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The way I see it, a 6oz (170g) bag of Claey's with 36 tablets are 4.72g each
FWIW, that's the total weight and they aren't pure fermentable sugar. According to the nutrition label, each drop should have about 4.3 g of sugar, which I would expect to be mostly sucrose but maybe some fructose since the ingredients include corn syrup. The label also indicates that total carbohydrate is a little higher than total sugar; no idea if the extra carbs are fermentable.

If my arithmetic is close to right, one of those drops per 12 ounce bottle works out to about 8 ounces for a five gallon batch, which seems a bit on the high side. 8 ounces of corn sugar will give you over 3.5 volumes of CO2. 8 ounces of table sugar will give you close to 4 volumes. That's going to be over-carbonated for most styles and might even get you into bottle bomb territory.

I'm sure the Cooper's and Northern Brewer drops aren't pure sugar either, but I couldn't find nutrition labels for those in 30 seconds worth of googling.
 
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Cisko

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Now my test is growing more complex. I will break a lemon drop into several pieces and test different quantities of lemon drop in different bottles. This all assumes that the lemon drops are consistent in their composition which I would assume they are.

I honestly have no idea how many volumes I want, I've never really looked into that, I've always just done 0.9oz corn sugar per gallon for every beer I've made. But in that case, if the lemon drops would make it about 8oz, then that's almost double what I would normally do (if it is corn sugar). I can't imagine that normal carbonation drops are anything but sugar though, so it seems odd that lemon drops would be so much more. Larger drops I guess.
 

mac_1103

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priming calculator

0.9 oz corn sugar per gallon is 2.5 volumes of CO2, which is pretty typical for American Ales and Lagers. Cooper's drops have 2.52 g total sugars each; 27% glucose (corn sugar) and 73% sucrose (table sugar); which will also get you very close to 2.5 volumes.
 
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I have carbonated beer with Skittles. Based on the nutritional label they are approximately 75% fermentable, and weigh around 1 g each. I used 3 per 12oz bottle which gave a similar carbonation to 1/2 teaspoon of table sugar.

The Skittle carbonated beer was cloudy and had an artificial flavor to it.
 

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mac_1103

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My son has had a borderline unhealthy love for Skittles all his life. It's a running joke in the family. He always gets a giant bag for Christmas and his birthday. I just might have to do a six-pack of Skittle-brew for him one of these days.
 

madscientist451

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I mostly keg, but sometimes bottle high gravity beers that I only drink now and then and have used domino dot sugar cubes.
I don't see what advantage using the lemon drops would be over using the cubes. They work similar to commercial carb drops and are about half the price or less.
Brewers' Best has both carb drops and conditioning tablets, I'm thinking about trying the conditioning tabs next time I place an order, you can fine tune the carbonation by adding more or less of the tabs.
 
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domino dot sugar cubes
Dots used to come in two sizes. One worked well for bottle conditioning 12 oz bottles.

If dots still exist (it's been a while since I looked for the correct size), be sure you know the weight of each cube and that it is the right amount of sugar for the bottle size you are using .
 
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And twelve 1 lb packages is roughly 2400 cubes.

I may check some local stores to see if the individual 1 lb packages are available again.
 
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