Corny Keg Carbination and Priming Sugar


Getting ready to keg a batch of Java Stout. Any thoughts on the pros and cons of adding 1/3 cup of priming sugar vs. CO2 only?

Pro: Not using CO2 to carbonate. Thou it’s inexpensive and you use a minimal mount.

Pro: Carbonate outside the fridge/freezer. You are not taking up space used to serve a beer.

Con: Sediment in the bottom of the keg. Thou, after the 1st pour the beer will run clear. Unless you move the keg and disturb the sediment.

Con: May take 2-3 weeks to carbonate. Verse a quicker time buy using higher pressure and/or shaking.

Will the C02 result in the same level of carbonation and head retention as the priming sugar? If so, I see no need to use the priming sugar.

Carbonation levels with “forced carbed” CO2 is a matter of temp and pressure. See the chart in the link.

Carbonation by sugar is a matter of the amount of sugar added.

Both can be varied as needed.

Head retention is more a matter of the wort composition.

The link I post most frequently :slight_smile:

Ditch the sugar unless you have a special reason.

I carbonate nearly all my kegs via priming sugar unless I’ve got a beer I need to get ready quickly. When my beer pipeline is full it’ll usually be at least 2-3 weeks between when I keg a beer and when it’ll be put on tap, figure I might as well have the beer carbing up while it waits. Also like I can throw the primed kegs in the fridge and they are ready to serve as soon as they’re cold, no screwing around with the various methods to quick carbonate the beer.

I almost always use sugar on my ales. I just use an ounce or two and mix it with an ounce or two of water and bring it to boiling. I pour it in and there is no foaming because it is a syrup. Put the lid on and add 20 Lbs top pressure to make sure the keg seals. You can bleed off any outside air by pulling the release valve a couple of times with the CO2 on. Let it sit a couple of weeks and enjoy a nice, creamy pint.

I usually force carbonate my lagers because I lager in the keg and it is going to be cold anyway. I know I am not going to drink it for a few weeks. Adding sugar would slow down this process.

Thank you for the replies. The charts were most helpful. I kegged the Java Stout without priming sugar and I am very pleased with the outcome. I am making a New Castle Brown Ale clone now and I’ll give it a whirl with priming sugar and report back on the outcome.