Author Topic: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?  (Read 1495 times)

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« on: April 11, 2015, 07:16:04 PM »
Papazian and Palmer and some folks on this blog have said that 3/4 cup (5.3 oz.) of corn sugar (or 5/8 cup of table sugar) is the correct amount to prime 5 gal. of beer for bottle carbonation.  I assume they mean for most beers.  I'm also assuming that "most beers" are around 2.3 to 2.5 volumes of CO2.
But if you go to the online calculators, you would need to final ferment your beer at 94* F to need that much sugar.  Or you are making a Belgian blond at 2.8-2.9 volumes and fermenting at 68 F.  Try a Brown Ale at 2.1 volumes and you gotta ferment at 143 F.  Good luck with that!  ???

Is the "3/4 cup" just a holdover from the old days of home brewing?  Or does it not really matter that much and the calculators are putting too fine a point on it?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8477
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2015, 08:36:41 PM »
Something is odd with your calculator.  For 2.1 volumes in 5 gallons that was at 68º I show 3.57 oz corn sugar or 3.25 oz table sugar

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3262
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2015, 10:27:37 PM »
Volume matters.  Temperature does not matter much.  I use 5/8 cup table sugar in 5 gallons and always get perfect results.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Jimmy K

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3646
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2015, 12:27:59 AM »
Different versions of corn sugar have different densities. I've seen some where 3/4 cup weighs ~3oz.
Delmarva United Homebrewers - President by inverse coup - former president ousted himself.
AHA Member since 2006
BJCP Certified: B0958

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2015, 04:28:48 AM »
Something is odd with your calculator.  For 2.1 volumes in 5 gallons that was at 68º I show 3.57 oz corn sugar or 3.25 oz table sugar
That is what I am saying, I guess.  Either the calculators are off or the old 3/4-5/8 cup is off.  Or does it matter that much?  3.57 oz. is nowhere near 3/4 cup, according to the calculators.

Go tohttp://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/ enter 2.1 volumes and 5 gal. and increase the temp until you get 3/4 cup (.75) of corn sugar needed.  It's 143 F!
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2015, 04:45:49 AM »
Different versions of corn sugar have different densities. I've seen some where 3/4 cup weighs ~3oz.
But the calculators call for 5.3 oz. of corn sugar equal to 3/4 cup.  And cane (table) sugar is very consistent, 4.8 oz = 2/3 cup.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2015, 12:12:35 PM »
I have much better results since I have weighed my sugar and used the northern brewer priming calculator. I pay no attention to temp. I just always condition warm (70ish) for a week or so then move to the cellar. Also, I have switched to organic cane sugar. After spending good money on high quality ingredients it seems silly to use crappy gmo corn products.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2015, 02:56:28 PM »
Volume matters.  Temperature does not matter much.  I use 5/8 cup table sugar in 5 gallons and always get perfect results.
Yes, the temp part of the equation that these calculators use goes off into silly land pretty quickly. 
Do you weigh out 4.5 oz. or do you actually measure 5/8 cup?  If so, where did you find a dry measure that does eighths?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3262
  • Two Rivers, WI
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2015, 03:22:31 PM »
I have a 2/3 cup measuring cup and I fill it slightly short.  It works.  I never weigh my priming sugar.  In small batches (currently I usually brew 1.7 gallons), I run some calculations and then measure 1/4 cup plus or minus X number of teaspoons if required.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline reverseapachemaster

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3144
    • View Profile
    • Brain Sparging on Brewing
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2015, 03:59:07 PM »
I used the northern brewer calculator and set five gallons at 75F and I only had to get to 2.7 volumes of carbonation to get to 0.74 cup of corn sugar or 5.22 ounces (by weight). That is not far off on the 3/4 cup recommendation but 2.7 volumes is too much for most styles. 3/4 cup is a convenient measurement that was easy to repeat. It is also why lots of homebrew tends to be overcarbonated for its style.

Heck yeah I blog about homebrewing: Brain Sparging on Brewing

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 19467
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2015, 04:00:37 PM »
Something is odd with your calculator.  For 2.1 volumes in 5 gallons that was at 68º I show 3.57 oz corn sugar or 3.25 oz table sugar
That is what I am saying, I guess.  Either the calculators are off or the old 3/4-5/8 cup is off.  Or does it matter that much?  3.57 oz. is nowhere near 3/4 cup, according to the calculators.

Go tohttp://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/ enter 2.1 volumes and 5 gal. and increase the temp until you get 3/4 cup (.75) of corn sugar needed.  It's 143 F!

Which is why it's more accurate and repeatable to weigh it rather than measure volume.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline HoosierBrew

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 13030
  • Indianapolis,IN
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2015, 04:02:09 PM »
Which is why it's more accurate and repeatable to weigh it rather than measure volume.

Yep
Jon H.

Offline Philbrew

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 867
    • View Profile
Re: Priming sugar...Is 3/4 cup right?
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2015, 07:46:36 PM »
So, looking at all of the above, I get:

1.  Give the measuring cups back to the Missus and weigh your priming sugar.  Exception could be if you are very careful and using table sugar, which is very consistent.

2.  The old 3/4 cup thing was for writer convenience and gives over carbonation for most styles.

3.  Use a priming calculator with the temp set at around 70 F.  Most beers we brew finish fermenting in the 66-75 F range, even lagers with a D rest.

4.  Some of the priming calculators do go to too fine a point.  Do you really need to weigh your priming sugar to a hundredth of an oz.? ::)

5. RHAHB  You probably can't tell the difference between 2.4 volumes of CO2 in a beer and 2.5 volumes.  At 2.7 or more, yeah.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2015, 12:45:59 AM by Philbrew »
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.