Priming Sugar

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Nola_Brew, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

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    The various calculators provide the amount of priming sugar for a specific brew but it does not provide how much water. Some people use 2 cups, some less.
    I used 3/4 c water (bottled) plus the amount of priming sugar specified in the calculator. I added the sugar and brought the water to a boil. I let it boil a few minutes then cooled and added to my bottling bucket.

    I mainly do small batches, 1 to 1.5 gallons. Is 2 cups water the norm for a 5 gallon batch? If so, then one would use less water for a smaller batch, correct?

    Also, lets say I am bottling 1.5 gallons of x beer and the calculator says 33 grams corn sugar. If I use 1 cup of preboil water volume plus the sugar and boil for 10 minutes, the yield would be less than 1 cup of sugar water. How would that smaller volume affect the carbing of the beer? Do I even need to boil the water for 10 minutes?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions but the posts I've read do not mention anything about water volume for smaller batches so when I bottled my last brew, I boiled 3/4c water. I have tried a couple of bottles and they carb level was fine.
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    For a 1.5 gallon batch, you can probably use a half-cup of water or less. The water is only to dissolve the sugar so the volume isn't critical, although it could affect your final gravity slightly - the water/sugar mixture is adding more of one or both to the final beer.
     
  3. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    I suppose if you're *extremely* anal about it, you could mix the sugar and water to match the SG of what you are bottling. That way you would only be changing (increasing!) the volume. ;)
     
  4. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

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    Not anal at all. Just want to make sure I am adding the correct amount but I guess all that really matters is the amount of corn sugar in the solution. But once dissolved, the quantity of sugar changes also due to evaporation of the liquid during boiling.
     
  5. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    I was of course joking, but worrying/wondering about these things is exactly what most of us (should) do anyway. :D
    I know climbers, especially beginners, worry about all kinds of similar things (e.g. buying carabiners that can hold 1KN more force because they're "stronger", buying a rope that is 0.1mm thinner because it is "lighter", etc, etc).
    It is a natural part of having a hobby, I think.

    Back to the subject of priming... After using both table sugar and DME over the years, also wondering about how much water to use to dissolve it, wondering if it would somehow affect the OG, etc, etc, I managed to forget to order more DME and decided to simply freeze some of the wort (the gyle/krausen calcwas a huge help in figuring out how much to freeze).
    The first brew I primed using this method turned out perfect. The second is conditioning right now.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    To SBA's point: After a while you begin to learn what's important and what isn't. Does one additional gram of calcium chloride in the water or an additional quarter cup water used in priming or a degree plus or minus mash temperature matter? Probably not. But the fun of it is learning that, developing your philosophy of brewing and developing as a brewer. In the beginning, it's all about procedure, doing things right. As you develop, you will learn to do the right things. Probably the phrase that sums up my approach to brewing hangs over the brewery door at Aurora's Dry Dock Brewery - "If it's not necessary, it's unnecessary."

    Or as Charlie Papazian put it: Relax, don't worry, have a homebrew.
     
  7. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

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    I knew you were only joking. I admit, I am a bit anal about some things and maybe I am about this, but especially about sanitizing.
    I used regular sugar to prime my last two batches and they came out good. Only thing is I didn't boil the water for 10 minutes. I did use bottled water.
    I have two batches ready to be bottled this weekend. I was hoping to make a trip to the LHBS tomorrow, not really local, it's an hour drive, but not sure if I will get to leave work early or not so may end up using sugar again.
     
  8. Nola_Brew

    Nola_Brew Active Member

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    I do need to relax a bit but I guess until the process becomes second nature I will probably continue to over-think things.
     
  9. lagerz

    lagerz New Member

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    I use 4 oz of dextrose(corn sug) in 2 cups of boiled water for 5 gal.
    I'd say 2 oz in 1 cup would make 2.5 gal.
    or 1 oz (28g) in 1/2 cup for 1.25 gal.

    33 g and 3/4 cup for 1.5 gal sounds great, especially if it's worked for you already.

    If you're worried about losing some of the water when boiling, I wouldn't. You could always boil 1 cup and then fill a 3/4 cup from it instead of starting with 3/4 cup. I also add my sugar after the water has boiled. Maybe to be extra clean I should be boiling the sugar to kill anything living on it, but it's worked so far.
     

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