Does the amount of primer change depending on the style of beer you are brewing? I’ve been using the standard 5oz corn sugar, but have heard that depending on the style of beer, less can be used. Thanks in advance.
You can! Use a priming sugar calculator if you want to fine tune your carbonation levels. Most of my beer calls for really similar carb levels, but if you do certain styles, the carb level does make a difference. Here’s a calculator:
What will the difference be if I just use the standard 5oz.? I used that on the previous Irish red that I made and it seemed to carbonate great, even though the calculator says to use less. Is there a worry about over-carbonation? Currently I have been opening a test beer to check carbonation every couple of days after the first week bottled. Has seemed to work good so far, but I end up drinking a few semi flat beers. Not that that’s the worst thing in the world. When I hit the desired carbonation, I move it all to the beer fridge
Too much priming sugar will result in over carbonation. Not only will over carbonation lead to an overly foamy beer but it will change the flavor as carbonic acid is formed.
If you have some flat beers make sure your mixing your priming sugar well. You can do this by adding the primer to the bottling bucket before racking the beer to it. Then stir it GENTLY every 6-8 beers that you bottle. And, fill a 20oz pop bottle and squeeze the air out of it. As CO2 is created it will push the walls of the bottle out and give you an idea of what’s happening in the glass bottles. This way you’ll KNOW when they are carbed.
To add to this, 5oz is almost always too much priming sugar. It really does alter how the beer tastes, and changes the mouthfeel. A bitter or stout should be served pretty close to flat, and it won’t taste right with that much carbonation. But a wit or saison carbed to high levels will be that much lighter and refreshing, and will release the aromatics in the beer.
Definitely play with carb levels - it’s an incredibly important part of really nailing a style.
As with many things brewing it depends on volume. If you bottle 5.5gallons of beer 5oz might be fine but if you end up with less than 5 gallons it will probably be to much.