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Priming Sugar Calulator

So, has anyone ever had a problem using the Northern Brewer Priming Sugar Calculator?

I just tried my first two batches and was at a loss until I noticed the Priming Sugar Calculator doesn’t seem right – or I’m missing something. I brewed extract versions of the Caribou Slobber and the Innkeeper. Both were in the primary for 2 weeks, but I got lazy and they both sat in secondaries for 8 weeks. I bottled them and let them sit for 3 weeks now. I tried them last night and they are both fairly flat. I spoke with guys from a local brew group and went over the steps I took. Both my OG and FG numbers were good and my fermenting temperature was consistently in the 66-69 range. They said that even 8 weeks in the secondary isn’t enough time for the yeast to die off. Also, I made sure to keep everything sanitized, so bacteria isn’t the issue.

Anyway, I figured it had to be the priming. I told my buddy I was able to use a single (5oz) bag of priming sugar for both brews. He said that didn’t sound right. I had him pull up the Priming Sugar Calculator on the NB site entered my data (American Pale Ale / 68 degrees / 4.75 gallons), which says to use .56 cups (I don’t have a food scale or I would have weighted it). Now, I’m no scientist, but I can do math. Seeing that the Pale Ale should have used 3.95 oz and 3.18 oz for the Caribou, that wouldn’t allow me to use a single 5 oz back for both beers. So, how is it that I’m able to get enough priming sugar using the cups conversion out of one bag?

This is totally my fault for not having a scale, but if the conversion isn’t going to be right, then please remove it from your website. I would assume NB already corrected for the wet vs dry as well as the density of priming sugar.

So, maybe this is a dumb question, but can I correct this by pouring every bottle into a keg and force carbing it? It sounds tedious, but 44 bottles of each (under-carbed) beer are at stake.

Maybe your priming sugar wasn’t mixed thoroughly enough, causing some bottles to be more flat, and some to be over carbed. this is a common problem. and it is recommended to give the bottling bucket a gentle stir every 10, or so bottles.

you can poor them all into a keg and force carb. just be gentle with the pooring and hold your keg at and angle to do so. to avoid oxygenating the batch

Not an expert! Are you mixing up fluid oz (volume) vs. oz (weight)? Also, I generally thought it was 5 oz per five gallons.

Scoggin, I did stir the solution every so often, but that still doesn’t answer the question of cups vs ounces and how they don’t add up. I’m just going to buy a food scale and use a different calculator. Hopefully the force carbing fixes the problem, I’d really like to taste the true flavor of these highly-rated beers.

Cran, I’m no expert either, just posing the question. I used just over a half cup of priming sugar (recommended .56 of a cup) per the calulator: Does that seem right to you?

0.56 cups of sugar weighs ~3.9 oz.

If that were true I wouldn’t have been able to get a cup out of 5 oz.

I answered to the best of my knowlege. and answered the question about carbing in the keg.

a scale is the way to go. measuring by cups is fairly inaccurate. there are variables when it comes to measuring by mass, which include grain size of the sugar. Also a lot of ‘cup’ measurements aren’t 100% accurate (but instead very close). also depends if the sugar is loosely packed. Also difficult to eye-out .56 cups…

fluid oz, or oz by weight? its hard to answer your question. because it depends. and you basically said yourself, you had to judge by eye. which is far from accurate to begin with. also you said the temperature was 66-69 consistantly? how are you sure? i believe the calculator want’s the highest temperature the beer reached during fermentation. and fermentation warms things within the fermenter a lot. so if your air temps were 69, then the beer temp could have been as high as 75.

sorry but its difficult to answer the question.

you said you bottled 3 weeks ago. what temperature are you storing the bottles at? the cooler the temperature, the longer it will take to carbonate

[quote=“joeyfry”]If that were true I wouldn’t have been able to get a cup out of 5 oz.[/quote]You didn’t get a cup out of 5 oz of sugar - a cup of sugar weighs ~7 oz. Either your LHBS gave you more than 5oz or you are confusing liquid measurements with dry weight.

$20 digital scale is one of the best purchases a guy can make. As already stated, a measuring cup will be inaccurate.

Unless I’m mistaken (it happened once before), the convention when measuring sugar for cooking is to pack and level it. If you were measuring sifted/poured sugar then that could account for the variation.

This is exactly why it’s never a good idea to measure ingredients by volume.

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