Thursday, October 18, 2012

Priming with corn syrup

Getting sugar to dissolve can be difficult, and if you've every worked with dry malt extract you know how messy it can be.  The easiest priming sugar that I have found is corn syrup.  It dissolves easily in water, is available without a trip to the local home brew store, and ...

It's cheap!

The brand that I buy is 12g of sugar in 2 tablespoon.  To carbonate 5 gallons of beer at 2 volumes of CO2 3 oz of corn sugar is required.  That's 87 grams of dextrose.  So that's 14 table spoons, or 0.9 cups. Each cup of corn sugar weighs 326 grams.  Therefore, 295 grams of corn syrup are required to carbonate 5 gallons of beer.  Whew!  I'm glad that math is over.  Here is a table so that no one has to go through that again.

volumes of CO2









  1. Do you boil the syrup before bottling with it? Getting sugar to dissolve ain't hard, it's the boiling (and cooling, if that's your thing) that's a pain.

    1. That's true, the boiling and cooling can be a pain. It certainly adds time to the bottling processes.

      Since writing this post I have changed my processes a little. I now use cane sugar and water in a mason jar. In a nut shell, I microwave it for a minute, put the top on and shake to dissolve, then microwave for another minute to get the temperature up to the point where most bacteria will die (above 160) The jar can be pretty hot at this point. I start the siphon into to bottling bucket at this point. After there is about an inch of beer in the bucket I pour the hot sugar water into the bucket. This might kill the yeast that is in that first half gallon, but that's pretty minimal. By the time the rest of the beer is in there and the siphon gets down to the cake the temperature is cool. It's the little bit of yeast that gets sucked off the cake that you need to carbonate the beer.

      I'll write a post with more details soon.