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Corn sugar vs table sugar for carbing

Is there any difference at all between these two for bottle carbing? I’ve only had one brew come out as carbed as I wanted it and all the rest, while still carbed are just a little flatter than I liked. The one brew that was carbed properly I used corn sugar, the rest I’ve used table sugar.

I use this chart for determining the proper mass of either sucrose or corn sugar:

I’ve carbed all of my brews to a volume 2.3 according to that calculator.

Anyone have a preference or notice a difference?

I have only ever used corn sugar, so I do not know for sure, but I do not think there is any real difference at all. Below is the calculator I use. It has only failed me once and I am pretty sure that was user error.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/beer-priming-calculator/

Take it from a guy with experience: You would much rather have under carbed than over carbed. Over carbonation will ruin an otherwise good batch of beer.

I just dumped the last 8 bottles of an over carbed batch. I need the bottles for a new batch and would rather have the empty bottles for that batch than the over carbonated beer that was in them.

Some people swear there is no difference between table sugar and corn sugar for priming. The few batches where I use table sugar (sucrose) though, I detected a noticeable and unpleasant difference. It was pretty early on in my brewin’ days, so it could have been something else, but I do I recall the finished product being a bit more cidery.

Corn Sugar (glucose) is a single carbohydrate, or a MONOsaccharide. Like fructose (found in fruit), it is the simplest of sugars for anything, including yeast, to break down and metabolize.

Table Sugar (sucrose) is a two molecule/chain carbohydrate, or a DIsaccharide. The bond between those two saccharides needs to be broken down through hydrolysis before (I think) it can be metabolized.

Whether this makes a difference in bottle priming is debated on forums like this one. I know my experience has been to opt for the mono :mrgreen:

I use table sugar regularly and am happy with the results. I haven’t noticed any difference in carb level when using it vs. corn sugar.

The priming tests I’ve done came up with no difference as the unanimous opinion.

Some people say that you get a cidery flavor in your beer if you use table sugar, and corn sugar avoids that.

I honestly haven’t noticed. I’ve also never tried doing a split batch taste test, either.

I’ve been using table sugar for >10 years. Works great. It carbonates more than corn sugar so you need to cut back to about 80%. If you can’t get proper carbonation with table sugar… you must be doing something else wrong because it works great for thousands of homebrewers.

[quote=“bunderbunder”]Some people say that you get a cidery flavor in your beer if you use table sugar, and corn sugar avoids that.

I honestly haven’t noticed. I’ve also never tried doing a split batch taste test, either.[/quote]

That is an old myth that has long since been disproven.

[quote=“Denny”][quote=“bunderbunder”]Some people say that you get a cidery flavor in your beer if you use table sugar, and corn sugar avoids that.

I honestly haven’t noticed. I’ve also never tried doing a split batch taste test, either.[/quote]

That is an old myth that has long since been disproven.[/quote]
Palmer says you can also use honey or maple syrup

I was just reading about this last night. You can prime your beer with 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 and are more appropriate for heavier, darker beers. Ounce for ounce, cane sugar generates a bit more carbon dioxide than corn sugar, and both pure sugars carbonate more than malt extract.

I think the idea for priming though is that you don’t want any unfermentable sugar in there that could increase the gravity and leave residual flavors. Of course if this was a desired effect it wouldn’t be bad but I wouldn’t see any reason to do this at bottling time when you could have just added that fermentable in the primary.

I think the idea for priming though is that you don’t want any unfermentable sugar in there that could increase the gravity and leave residual flavors. Of course if this was a desired effect it wouldn’t be bad but I wouldn’t see any reason to do this at bottling time when you could have just added that fermentable in the primary.[/quote]

Yea I read that in Palmer’s book…he stated that the dark sugars can impart some desirable flavors. I will try an experiment the next time I brew. I will be making a batch of porter soon. Normally I keg but will save out some and bottle it and try one with honey, one with cane sugar and one with maple syrup.

[quote=“Scalded Dog”]
Yea I read that in Palmer’s book…he stated that the dark sugars can impart some desirable flavors. I will try an experiment the next time I brew. I will be making a batch of porter soon. Normally I keg but will save out some and bottle it and try one with honey, one with cane sugar and one with maple syrup.[/quote]

Post back the results. I’d be curious to see the differences in taste and carbonation character. :cheers:

For those interested in why, dextrose is almost always sold as a monohydrate whereas sucrose is pure.

Regular cheap table sugar for me. Same goes for any recipe that calls for clear candi sugar.

I imagine you could make your own candi sugar at home pretty easily, too. I’m pretty sure the main difference between candi sugar and the candy I make at home is how it’s packaged. Well, that and the peppermint oil.

I don’t think the flavor contribution of clear candi sugar is any different than table sugar. The goal is to increase gravity and fermentability. I’m making a tripel this weekend and am going to use two pounds of plain 'ol sugar in the recipe. I have done this recipe the same way before and it turned out excellent. The only difference between 2 lbs of clear candi sugar vs 2 lbs of table sugar is about five bucks.

[quote=“Scalded Dog”][quote=“Denny”][quote=“bunderbunder”]Some people say that you get a cidery flavor in your beer if you use table sugar, and corn sugar avoids that.

I honestly haven’t noticed. I’ve also never tried doing a split batch taste test, either.[/quote]

That is an old myth that has long since been disproven.[/quote]
Palmer says you can also use honey or maple syrup[/quote]

You can, although you won’t know exactly what carbonation level you’re getting and you use so little that you can’t taste them. I just stick to sugar. It’s fast, reliable and predictable.

Be sure to do a blind triangle tasting so your foreknowledge doesn’t prejudice your perceptions.

You are correct. Belgian brewers don’t use candi sugar. They have sacks of table sugar around that they use. Candi sugar is a ripoff intended to take advantage of homebrewers.

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