HOMEBREW Digest #5549 Thu 14 May 2009

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  Re: Priming sugar amounts for larger volumes (Joe Walts)
  Re: Priming sugar amounts for larger volumes (Calvin Perilloux)
  priming solutions ("Mike Patient")

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---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 08:26:51 -0500 From: Joe Walts <jwalts at gmail.com> Subject: Re: Priming sugar amounts for larger volumes Hey Bill, the reason for reduced priming sugar rates is because of decreases in headspace. Headspaces need to be "carbonated" just like the beer, and a full cornie keg will have a lot less total headspace than an equivalent volume of beer in bottles. That said, I think the standard adjustment (using 1/4 less sugar or something like that) overcompensates. Your standard priming calculations will be very close if you work with vessel volumes instead of liquid volumes. Joe Madison, WI Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 06:44:13 -0700 (PDT) From: Calvin Perilloux <calvinperilloux at yahoo.com> Subject: Re: Priming sugar amounts for larger volumes Regarding regarding priming kegs: "There seems to be a difference of opinion about whether it is necessary to adjust the amount of priming sugar for larger bottles or kegs. [...] I'm wondering if this is largely a myth." Bill, I think you are correct. Given a properly filled keg versus a properly filled bottle, there is no theoretical reason the carbonation sugar should be substantially different. Indeed, in my own practical experience, priming kegs with the same ratio of corn sugar as bottling results in the carbonation level that I would expect. The exception is when I rush to keg something, which I am sometimes more prone to do with kegging, like when an event demands beer "soon". In those cases, I sometimes tend to not wait long enough to ensure fermentation is 100% done, and hence in my hurried batches, I've had some overcarbonation. Perhaps actions like this are where the myth started (in addition to Bill's point of lower carbonation in cask ales). Even when I do rush a beer, I've been able to predict my impending overcarbonation by drawing a sample at kegging time and holding it at room temperature for some days. If it drops substantially in gravity, I know I've kegged it too early. Maybe I should use Clinitest more often when doing that. By the way, Bill, perhaps in support of your arguments about oxidation/etc., I notice that my bottle conditioned versions of my beer seem to hold up better than my kegged ones over the long haul, at least at cold temperatures. I've had delicate lagers hold their finesse for over a year in the bottle. But perhaps that's because I can keep the bottles at 31 F, whereas the kegs are in the 35-38 F range. Or perhaps it's the oxygen-scavenging action of the yeast, as you point out. Or both. Calvin Perilloux Middletown, Maryland, USA Return to table of contents
Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 14:12:07 -0400 From: "Mike Patient" <mpatient at rta.biz> Subject: priming solutions In reply to priming sugar amounts: John Palmer recommends in his book "How to Brew" that priming should be done as a solution, and added to the fermentor after fermentation. The best way to prime your beer is to mix your priming sugar into the whole batch prior to bottling. This ensures that all the bottles will be carbonated the same. Some books recommend adding 1 tsp. of sugar directly to the bottle for priming. This is not a good idea because it is time consuming and imprecise. Bottles may carbonate unevenly and explode. Plus there is a greater risk of infection because the sugar has not been boiled. The exception to these rules is to use PrimeTabs'. Here's how to make and add priming solutions: 1. Boil 3/4 cup of corn sugar (4 oz by weight), or 2/3 cup of white sugar, or 1 and 1/4 cup dry malt extract in 2 cups of water and let it cool. You can add the priming solution in either of two ways, depending on your equipment; I prefer the first (2a). 2a. If you have a bottling bucket gently pour the priming solution into it. Using a sanitized siphon, transfer the beer into the sanitized bottling bucket. Place the outlet beneath the surface of the priming solution. Do not allow the beer to splash because you don't want to add oxygen to your beer at this point. Keep the intake end of the racking tube an inch off the bottom of the fermenter to leave the yeast and sediment behind. 2b. If you don't have a bottling bucket, open the fermenter and gently pour the priming solution into the beer. Stir the beer gently with a sanitized spoon, trying to mix it in evenly while being careful not to stir up the sediment too much. Wait a half hour for the sediment to settle back down and to allow more diffusion of the priming solution to take place. Use a bottle filler attachment with the siphon to make the filling easier. He gives amounts of sugars, but his example is a 5 gallon batch: I have tried this and it seems a pretty even way to distribute your priming sugar across all containers, no matter the size. Be careful though, you don't want to introduce oxygen at this stage. Hope this helps, Mike Return to table of contents
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