want more carbonation, how much more sugar?

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

Moderator: slothrob

want more carbonation, how much more sugar?

Postby akueck » Tue Jan 09, 2007 9:11 pm

So I've done about a dozen batches of beer now. The first few came out much more carbonated than the last few, though I'm using the same amount of priming sugar. The only thing I can think of is that I'm getting better at leaving only a little liquid behind when I siphon, so I'm actually using a little less sugar now than I did originally. My beers aren't flat, but I'd like them to be more effervescent than they are now.

Currently I'm using 3/4 cup corn sugar to prime 5 gallons. Any suggestions for how much more to add? 1 tsp, 1 tbsp?

Thanks,
Aaron
akueck
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:06 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby brewer13210 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:27 am

If the the trouble really is the amount of priming sugar, then I would increase the amounts by small increments...otherwise you may end up with lots of bottle grenades.

Todd
brewer13210
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:06 am
Location: La Fayette, NY, USA

Re: want more carbonation, how much more sugar?

Postby Bob57702 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:05 pm

... ...is that I'm getting better at leaving only a little liquid behind when I siphon, so I'm actually using a little less sugar now than I did originally.


Do you add your priming sugar to the bottling bucket or to the bottles? If you're adding to the bottling bucket then the amount of sugar will be equal assuming that you gave it a gentle stir for a couple minutes. If you're adding it to the bottles then you would be right and I'd recommend adding it to the bottling bucket before an accidental over priming of a bottle happens. Then follow Todd's advice and possibly see what BTP calculates for amounts of primer.
Bob
PC: I7-3770S CPU, Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit, 12 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD, 1920x1080 HD touchscreen
Bob57702
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 8:20 am
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota

Postby jctull » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:53 pm

The technique I used when bottling was simple. I would boil my priming agent in a small amount of water, enough to allow the sugars to dissolve readily. I would dump that into my sanitized bucket, then siphon/pour the beer through a tube into the bucket so the outflow creates a slight swirling in the bucket. No need to use any other implements that might contaminate things this way. I never had problems with inconsistencies in carbonation, other than rushing a few out the gate before they may have had time to prime.
jctull
Pale Ale
Pale Ale
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:18 pm
Location: Reno, NV

Postby akueck » Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:03 pm

jctull wrote:The technique I used when bottling was simple. I would boil my priming agent in a small amount of water, enough to allow the sugars to dissolve readily. I would dump that into my sanitized bucket, then siphon/pour the beer through a tube into the bucket so the outflow creates a slight swirling in the bucket. No need to use any other implements that might contaminate things this way. I never had problems with inconsistencies in carbonation, other than rushing a few out the gate before they may have had time to prime.


This is exactly how I've been doing it. I'm getting consistent carbonation, just a little less than I would like. I think I'll try to add a pinch more sugar, and go from there. No need for explosions! I think I'll also start weighing the sugar instead of using the measuring cup. It could just be variations in packing that have led to my carbonation issues.

Thanks all. Next brew day is Saturday, so we'll know in a month or two how it turns out.
akueck
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:06 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby slothrob » Thu Jan 11, 2007 8:56 am

5 oz./5 gallon should give you strong carbonation, maybe even too strong for many styles, but I've had similarly unpredictable carbonation.

Some variables to consider are:

The volume is, as you mentioned, probably somewhat uneven between batches. Try to get a decent idea of the volume, from the marks on the bottling bucket or by calibrating your fermentor.

Weight of the sugar will be more accurate than volume.

The temperature of the fermentation. If the fermentation is cooler, there will be more carbonation prior to bottling since the solubility of CO2 will be higher. If your fermentation room is varying in temperature, your poorly carbonated batches may have started warmer and therefore with less dissolved CO2.

I hesitate to suggest this, because there should be plenty of yeast in any but an extensively aged beer, but it won't hurt to allow a very slight amount of settled yeast to get sucked up from the bottom of the fermentor into the bottling bucket. A lot of people do this. Even though it shouldn't be necessary, it may allow the beer to fully carbonate a bit quicker and give a bit of insurance that it ferments the bottling sugar completely.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1770
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston

Postby akueck » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:17 am

slothrob wrote:The temperature of the fermentation. If the fermentation is cooler, there will be more carbonation prior to bottling since the solubility of CO2 will be higher. If your fermentation room is varying in temperature, your poorly carbonated batches may have started warmer and therefore with less dissolved CO2.


You know, I never thought about it before, but my winter brews definitely have more carbonation than my summer brews. Good call!

I think 3/4 cup corn sugar is supposed to be 4 oz. I'll try measuring it this time and see what it comes out to be. Since it's winter, I guess I'll just stick with what I did before. This summer I'll bump it up an extra 1/4 oz or so and see how it goes.

Thanks all.
Aaron
akueck
Light Lager
Light Lager
 
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:06 pm
Location: Oakland, CA

Postby slothrob » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:21 am

I noticed the same thing when summer hit. I haven't quite nailed down the adjustment, but I think that may be because I used to measure sugar by volume not weight. BeerToolsPro has a calculator that takes into account the fermentation temperature when calculating how much priming agent to add.

Before I had BeerToolsPro, I used [url+http://www.tastybrew.com/calculators/priming.html]this calculator[/url] to determine the effect of fermentation temperature on priming.
BTP v2.0.* Windows XP
User avatar
slothrob
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 1770
Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2006 12:36 pm
Location: Greater Boston


Return to Techniques, Methods, Tips & How To

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron