Is it best to weigh the priming sugar or measure it by volume? I would think the weight of the sugar could vary depending on moisture in the sugar. So is a measuring cup more accurate?
I’ve heard by weight is better.
When I was blindly using the 5oz packs of corn sugar that come with the 5-gal kits, I’d see them vary between 1/2 and 3/4 cup in volume. Corn sugar is more powdery than table sugar, so maybe there’s more “fluffy factor” with corn sugar? I also never confirmed the accuracy/consistency of those 5oz packs.
Lately I’ve been not buying corn sugar, and just weighing table sugar based on NB’s calculator. I’ll be interested in following this topic…
Personally I have only ever used volume measurements for over 3000 bottles, and I really don’t have any problems. I just carefully measure to fractions of a tablespoon when necessary. Don’t just always dump in 3/4 cup regardless of batch size, that would be asking for trouble. Don’t guess. Calculate.
When I started brewing, I measured corn sugar by volume. After reading that weighing gives more accurate repeatable results - and that table sugar is just as good but costs less - I switched to doing things that way. Truthfully, I wasn’t able to see a difference - except that the table sugar definitely saved me money.
So if we shouldn’t just blindly use the 5 oz in the kits how much should we use? Or how should we calculate how much?
There are many priming calculators available online. Here’s the one provided by NBhttp://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/
First of all, measure your volume as precisely as possible. When making a 5-gallon batch, it is rare to end up with exactly 5 gallons, usually it’s something different such as 4.7 or 5.3 gallons or whatever. So, find out how much beer you REALLY have to carbonate. Then, use 2 tablespoons table sugar per gallon. For example, if you have 4.7 gallons, then you need to use about 9.4 tablespoons, which is equal to a half cup plus 1.4 tablespoons (there’s 8 tablespoons in a half cup). If you have 5.3 gallons then you need to use about 10.6 tablespoons, which is a half cup plus 2.6 tablespoons. For English beers, use a little less than these amounts, maybe 80% as much. If you want to use different kinds of sugar such as corn sugar, brown sugar, honey, etc., then you need to use the online calculators to see how the sugars are related, and calculate exact amounts based on those correlations.