Equipment Glossary Acknowledgements

Site Map
Section 1
Brewing Your First Beer With Malt Extract
1 A Crash Course in Brewing
2 Brewing Preparations
3 Malt Extract and Beer Kits
4 Water for Extract Brewing
5 Hops
6 Yeast
7 Boiling and Cooling
8 Fermentation
9 Fermenting Your First Beer
10 What is Different for Brewing Lager Beer?
11 Priming and Bottling
Section 2
Brewing Your First Extract and Specialty Grain Beer
Section 3
Brewing Your First All-Grain Beer
Section 4
Formulating Recipes and Solutions


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Chapter 11 - Priming and Bottling

11.3 What Sugar Should I Prime With?

You can prime your beer with any fermentable that you want. Any sugar: white cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, molasses, even maple syrup can be used for priming. The darker sugars can contribute a subtle aftertaste (sometimes desired) and are more appropriate for heavier, darker beers. Simple sugars, like corn or cane sugar, are used most often though many brewers use dry malt extract too. Ounce for ounce, cane sugar generates a bit more carbon dioxide than corn sugar, and both pure sugars carbonate more than malt extract, so you will need to take that into account. Honey is difficult to prime with because there is no standard for concentration. The gravity of honey is different jar to jar. To use honey, you will need to dilute it and measure its gravity with a hydrometer. For all sugars in general, you want to add 2-3 gravity points per gallon of beer to prime.

Be aware that malt extract will generate break material when boiled, and that the fermentation of malt extract for priming purposes will often generate a krausen/protein ring around the waterline in the bottle, just like it does in your fermenter. Simple sugars don't have this cosmetic problem and the small amount used for priming will not affect the flavor of the beer.

Previous Page Next Page
Priming and Bottling
What You Need
When to Bottle
Bottle Cleaning
What Sugar Should I Prime With?
Priming Solutions
Using PrimeTabs
Bottle Filling
Priming and Bottling Lager Beer
Drinking Your First Homebrew
Real Beer Page

Buy the print edition
Appendix A - Using Hydrometers
Appendix B - Brewing Metallurgy
Appendix C - Chillers
Appendix D - Building a Mash/Lauter Tun
Appendix E - Metric Conversions
Appendix F - Recommended Reading

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All material copyright 1999, John Palmer