Difference between backsweetening and priming

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by strogermead, May 8, 2018.

  1. strogermead

    strogermead New Member

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    #1 strogermead, May 8, 2018
    Last edited: May 8, 2018
    It might be a noob question, but I don't understand the difference between backsweetening and priming. If I let it ferment to FG 1.000 and backsweeten with honey to 1.006 what will that do when it comes to carbonation?

    I just ask because it seems I need less sugar for priming than sweetening. And 1.006 shouldn't give me bottle bombs. Right?
     
  2. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Right. But the honey will ferment out, and then you won't have a sweet cider.

    That's the difference between sweetening and priming. If you want something sweetened, you would sweeten to taste and then either pasteurize it when it's carbed up slightly (not enough to "eat" all of the sweetening sugar) or you could make a sweetened uncarbonated drink by stabilizing the cider(? I don't know what you're making) first and then you wouldn't need to pasteurize or otherwise treat the bottles.
     
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  3. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I think the difference is if the yeast are eating that sugar or not, kind of unrelated to the amount of sugar you're adding
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    or add unfermentable sugar like lactose or saccharine which sorta has a metalic taste me thinks.
     
  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You can back-sweeten with sugar or juice, you just need something to keep the yeast and bacteria dormant. Generally it's a combination of sulfite (potassium or sodium metabisulfite) and potassium sorbate. I don't know the proper amounts but you can find them by googling. They will stabilize the brew. Of course, they'll also make bottle conditioning impossible.
     
  6. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Priming is adding sugar for the yeast to eat when they are in the bottle, releasing co2 and carbing the beer/cider/mead/wine. Backsweetening is adding sugar to make the beverage sweet. In order for the yeast to not ferment the sugar, you need to remove the yeast by sterile filtration, kill the yeast by pasteurization, or more commonly treat the beverage with something like potassium metabisulfite to prohibit the yeast from fermenting. Once you have done this you can not bottle condition so if you want it carbed you need to keg and force carbonate.
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yep. Meta will "stun" the yeast, sorbate will keep it from reproducing, net result, a shelf-stable sweet drink.
     
  8. strogermead

    strogermead New Member

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    .. so when I let it completely ferment to FG 1.000, add sugar til backsweeten to 1.006 (safe zone for not making co2) + sugar as recommended to make some co2, I should be safe?
     
  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    still depends on backsweetening sugar. pity you cant sweeten chill force carb then serve as cold storage would reduce chance of yeast chewing fermentables.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    No. The extra sugar will ferment as well. There's no good way to backsweeten and bottle carbonate.
     
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