What kind of priming sugar do you use?

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alexavery

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I'm still very new to this. I'm wondering what most people use for priming sugar. I will use whatever came in my Midwest recipe kit. I assume this is household cane sugar. What do you all use?

I've seen that the kits at northern brewer can be upgraded to corn sugar. What's the benefit of doing that?
 

brewmasterpa

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dextrose of corn sugar is best to prime with. ive used cane sugar before to prime and the results are incosistent, plus from what i noticed, i always had a weird twangy off flavor from the cane sugar. id use dextrose.
 

SumnerH

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I'm still very new to this. I'm wondering what most people use for priming sugar. I will use whatever came in my Midwest recipe kit. I assume this is household cane sugar. What do you all use?

I've seen that the kits at northern brewer can be upgraded to corn sugar. What's the benefit of doing that?
Almost none. There's no taste difference, and they'll both carbonate just fine. Cane sugar works fine if you measure it by weight (you need a little less weight than with dextrose aka corn sugar).

The only advantage is that if you don't have a scale, you know you're getting 5oz of dextrose in that bag. Measuring sugar by volume is going to give you inconsistent results.

But you should really get a scale anyway for measuring out other ingredients. The $30 escala is great for a really easy digital scale, or if you're going on the super-cheap you can usually find a spring scale at the dollar store (works fine, but no tare function).
 

llazy_llama

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OP: If it's a Midwest recipe kit, that little bag of sugar is corn sugar, not cane sugar.

I'm inclined to agree with brewmasterpodunkarizona here, and disagree with SumnerH. I think corn sugar gives much more consistant results, and leaves less of an aftertaste than corn sugar. There's a reason why every online HBS sells recipe kits with corn sugar, and not table sugar.
 
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alexavery

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thanks everyone. I'll stick to the kit sugar for now while I try to get the hang of this awesome new hobby
 

ericm

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I've never noticed a taste difference between corn and cane sugar when used for priming. it's such a small amount I don't see how it could really affect the flavor...

if you measure by weight (and use the correct amount for how much CO2 you want, less cane sugar is required because it has a slightly higher extract yield) and thoroughly mix the boiled/cooled sugar solution with the wort you shouldn't have any issues with inconsistency regardless of what sugar you use to prime.
 

brewmasterpa

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thanks llama, its good to know that atleast somebody on here isnt trying to find a way to discredit me. afterall, ive only been doing this for....oh longer than hbt beens around.
 

macabra11

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I have used corn sugar when I first started brewing. I just switched over to using DME because I was told it produces a finer head and does not add that "homebrew sweetness" taste like corn sugar. I have read that DME takes a little longer to carbonate than corn sugar though. I will let you guys know if I notice any key differences once this beer is done carbonating (should be ready next week).
 

jmiracle

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I just primed a batch of Irish Red with DME, at the one-week mark I tried one and it seemed about on par with the one-week level of carbonation using corn sugar (for me it's usually some bubbles, a slight, quickly-dissipating "head" from a fast pour, and the beer itself is noticably not "flat" but not what you'd call "carbed" either). I didn't notice a taste difference but I've also never made an Irish Red before.

If these carb up well I might switch to DME for some beers just for the purity factor of just having barley, hops, yeast, and water.
 

brewmasterpa

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cant say ive ever used dme, i pretty much just stuck to the simplicity and non-complex use of corn sugar. of course now i keg. i would imagine using dme makes perfect sense, afterall, youre fermenting extracted malt in the first place. give it a shot, im not sure what the byproducts of this would be. if you try it, lemme know.
 

flaminpi3

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I have used DME for priming and starters and I love it, if only for the splendid barley aroma when I boil it. It also gives you more style/color options, if it matters to you. There's light, amber, wheat, dark, etc. varieties of DME.
 
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I use X-lite DME for bottle priming. I also cask condition with X-lite DME. I like the carbonation and the smooth head that the DME provides. I have used corn sugar in the past but I didn't like the results. Coarse bubbles and a quickly dissipating head along with a slight annoying sweetness is what made me try the DME. I like the results from the DME.
 

flyangler18

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If you are getting a perceptible sweetness when priming with dextrose, I daresay it's not the dextrose that is causing the problem.

Dextrose is definitely more readily consumed by the yeast compared to DME. I've experimented before, priming with DME, and I noticed an extra 1-2 week conditioning time in comparison to dextrose priming. The 'texture' of the bubbles does seem a bit finer, although not enough to dissuade me from dextrose priming when I bottle, which is rare these days.
 
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If you are getting a perceptible sweetness when priming with dextrose, I daresay it's not the dextrose that is causing the problem.

Dextrose is definitely more readily consumed by the yeast compared to DME. I've experimented before, priming with DME, and I noticed an extra 1-2 week conditioning time in comparison to dextrose priming. The 'texture' of the bubbles does seem a bit finer, although not enough to dissuade me from dextrose priming when I bottle, which is rare these days.
That is what I thought too but I definitely can taste a sweet after taste when I use corn sugar. All of my beers are dry they finish out to 1.010 - 1.008 so any kind of sweet flavor I can taste. I do not like sweet beers at all.
 

brewt00l

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There's a reason why every online HBS sells recipe kits with corn sugar, and not table sugar.
Yes and that reason would be who would be stupid enough to pay a premium for something they already have in the cupboard or can easily get from any grocery store?
 

llazy_llama

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Use what you like, but I've tried corn sugar and table sugar. I got much better results with corn sugar.

Everyone has their own preference. Some come from experience, some come from availability.
 

Yankeehillbrewer

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Does anybody prime by using unfermented wort?
I did this a few times but didn't have very good luck with it. Each batch I tried it with didn't get any kind of respectable Carbonation level, even after 2 months in the bottle. I was doing it trying to adhere to Reinheitzgebot, but decided it wasn't worth the trouble.
 

brewt00l

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Use what you like, but I've tried corn sugar and table sugar. I got much better results with corn sugar.

Everyone has their own preference. Some come from experience, some come from availability.
I've used both plenty and have fine results either way...actually I submitted two different brews that were both carb'd with table sugar to a recent comp; the carbonation was judged to style and there were no comments about any sugar/cidery off flavors or defects from priming sugar selection in both cases.
 

SumnerH

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That is what I thought too but I definitely can taste a sweet after taste when I use corn sugar. All of my beers are dry they finish out to 1.010 - 1.008 so any kind of sweet flavor I can taste. I do not like sweet beers at all.
I think you missed the point, though: using DME will result in a sweeter beer than using corn/cane sugar will, since DME contains extra fermentable sugars that will stay in the beer while corn/cane are completely fermentable and will be converted to CO2 and alcohol.

It's similar to how really dry high-gravity beers sometimes use a percentage of corn sugar to guarantee a dry final taste (low end gravity), while maltier/sweeter beers use all DME.

If you don't like sweet beers, going with a simple sugar will give you a drier end-product.
 

flyangler18

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I've used both plenty and have fine results either way...actually I submitted two different brews that were both carb'd with table sugar to a recent comp; the carbonation was judged to style and there were no comments about any sugar/cidery off flavors or defects from priming sugar selection in both cases.
Yeah, I don't buy the cidery bunk - I really wish that nagging irritation would go away. A minute amount of table sugar per bottle is not going to have negative flavor consequences.

Of course, you need to consult a carbonation table to arrive at the correct amounts by weight of the priming sugar of your choice.

I may need to do some side-by-side experiments using various priming sugars to put this to bed once and for all. ;) I delight in watching how some issues become so bloody polarized!
 

SumnerH

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I've used both plenty and have fine results either way...actually I submitted two different brews that were both carb'd with table sugar to a recent comp; the carbonation was judged to style and there were no comments about any sugar/cidery off flavors or defects from priming sugar selection in both cases.
+1 on this; I've done both ways and couldn't pick out a difference in a blind test.

I usually go with corn sugar because it's dirt cheap, but if I didn't have some around I wouldn't hesitate to use cane. You just have to make sure you adjust the amount you use properly (different carb levels would certainly affect flavor).
 

rustybucket

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I tried priming with some Clover Honey on my recent batch. Very interested in seeing how it turns out. Used approx 4.5 oz / 5 gal to prime with. Don't recall the exact site I got that from but it had charts with different types of sugar/primers and their weight to carb ratio.
 

theonecynic

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My last three brews have been done with DME, before that I've used dextrose. None of the three DME beers are ready yet, and I'll be priming one other tonight/tomorrow morning (depending on how emptying the other barrel goes) with dextrose, so in a few weeks I'll be able to give you a side-by-side... of radically different beers. Nevermind eh! It'll be interesting to see what the DME priming comes out like.
 

Joos

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Yeah, I don't buy the cidery bunk - I really wish that nagging irritation would go away. A minute amount of table sugar per bottle is not going to have negative flavor consequences.

Of course, you need to consult a carbonation table to arrive at the correct amounts by weight of the priming sugar of your choice.

I may need to do some side-by-side experiments using various priming sugars to put this to bed once and for all. ;) I delight in watching how some issues become so bloody polarized!
Iv'e done one batch with cane sugar.It was deffinently cidery.Of course it was also my first mr. beer.So other things may have come into play,but I never used it again.
 

flyangler18

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Iv'e done one batch with cane sugar.It was deffinently cidery.Of course it was also my first mr. beer.So other things may have come into play,but I never used it again.
Yeah, but you're talking about a situation where the bulk of the fermentables are coming from simple sugars vs. maltose. Had you replaced the simple sugar in your Mr. Beer recipe with malt extract, I'd bet body parts that the cidery flavors would be completely non-existent. Simple sugars have their place in recipes when they are properly balanced by adequate amounts of malt.

Look at tripels - 80% Pils/20% table sugar. You'll not find any cidery off-flavors there. It's all about a well-balanced recipe.
 

B-Dub

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My wife is allergic to corn and dextrose is main derived from corn.

I use cane sugar and have had great beers with it and no cidery off flavors.

My Triple is 20% cane sugar and the Quad is 8% D2 and 22% cane. Both are great; that is why I am out right now!!

BW
 
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