View Full Version : Priming

06-08-2007, 06:53 PM
Everything I've read on priming or bottle carbonating/conditioning says to add either 3/4 c. corn sugar or 1 1/4 c. dry malt extract (for beer) prior to bottling for a 5 gallon batch.

Is there a specific reason for using corn sugar? Could I substitute white cane sugar or even honey for priming?

06-08-2007, 07:27 PM
Corn sugar is used because:
1 it's 100% fermentable, making it easy to predict the results. (malt extract or unfermented wort vary in fermentability based on malting and mashing procedures)
2 when used for priming it has no contribution to flavor, body, etc.

Cane sugar is good for the same reasons.

Honey is basically 100% fermentable, but has about 20% water in it (so you need to add about a cup instead of 3/4 cup). It also provides flavor, but that can be a good thing.

For better results, weigh your priming additions. 4-5 oz of sugar is enough for 5 gallons. (5 oz of honey should have about 4 oz worth of sugar in it.)

06-09-2007, 12:38 AM
Also note that fermentation of cane sugar can produce malic acid, which will give a "green apple" flavor to the product. You shouldn't have a problem if you're only using the small amount needed to prime, but it's still there.

If you want to see this effect first hand, mix up a gallon batch of sugar water (say, 2 lbs cane sugar to the gallon), add some yeast nutrient, and toss in whatever yeast you have handy. Let it ferment a week or two, and give it a taste. Keep in mind this isn't intended as a drinkable recipe, just a way to taste what flavor the high proportion of malic acid gives.