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Priming sugar in the keg

So I have kegged a couple batches and force carbonated and I want to try naturally carbonating in the keg to see if there is a difference. I have been told that I need to reduce the amount of priming sugar when bulk carbonating. I brewed a porter . How do I determine the amount of priming sugar to use? 5 gallon batch and I am using table sugar for priming.

Not sure why you would reduce sugar when bulk carbonating, but it is true that if the beer ends up slightly undercarbed, the gas tank will fix that pretty quick. If slightly overcarbed, it will take some foamy pours before it fixes itself.

Maybe 90% of what you would add for bottles?

The difference I experienced was that it took longer to achieve carbonation, it took longer for the beer to clear fully and there was more gunk in the bottom of the keg.

With all due respect to CAMRA, I don’t think it’s worth it.

Curious to hear if you or others have the same experience.

I just did that with a couple of kegs I would not need for a few weeks or a month. Tried 1/2 cup (yes cup, I’m old school I guess) rather than the usual 3/4. After a month the first one is carbonated but not enough. No problem I will just leave it on the CO2 at about 12lb and like rebuilt says the gas will take care of it.

I gave them a shot of CO2 and pulled the relief valve a couple of times to purge the kegs and seal the lid.

To do it over I would go with the usual amount for bottling. This helps http://www.northernbrewer.com/priming-sugar-calculator/

OK, so has anyone else done this? Has anyone else had a problem with clarity when naturally carbonating in the keg?

Hope this doesn’t sound like a stupid question but why would you carb With primming sugar when you can carb with co2? Taste, head quality/retention?

ThomasO, it’s not a stupid question at all. It’s a matter of discovery. I just recently started kegging. When I put my rig together, the guy at the shop said that bulk priming in the keg yields a better product than force carbonating with the CO2 tank. Since this is a hobby, it’s my duty to explore that option to see if it is indeed true. So I am setting off on this path and hoping to gather guidance from others as I embark on the journey because while it is a path of discovery I would like to take it in a manner that does not have me dumping a batch of delicious porter.

I’ve never been able to tell the difference between bottle conditioned or force carbed in a keg (have never primed and carbed in bulk), but depending on your exact process, conditioning temperature and time spent sitting on the yeast, I could imagine there being a difference for some set of conditions. Post your results, I’ll be interested to hear what you discover.

I wouldn’t say it’s worse, but it’s not better. Next time you’re in, see if you can get him elaborate on how and why.

I encourage you to give it a try, see what you think and report back. Sometimes we have to prove things to ourselves. I know I’ve done my fair share of that.

Well he elaborated when I was there. He said something about the bubbles being smaller and lasting longer. He also said you know how when you age your beer in the bottle it gets better with time. He said thats because of the natural priming and that you wont get that with force carb. Like I said, this is a hobby and it’s all about the path of discovery. I will report my findings.

I just entered 2.4 volumes of co2, stored at 65 degrees, 5 gallons into Beersmith’s priming calculator. It said 4 oz CORN sugar for bottles and 2oz CORN sugar for keg priming. I don’t keg but I’ve looked into this. I found that 50% of people say use the same and 50% say use half. I’m not sure but both can’t be right. Post the results of whatever you do.

I’ve heard that before. A couple problems with his points:

  • Yeast do not produce different CO2 than the gas that’s used in force carbonation.
  • The composition of the beer and process used to brew it are what dictate the head/foam structure.
  • After you carbonate your beer in a keg (whichever method you use), it will be stored in a keggerator/keezer, which means it will be stored in different conditions and will “age” differently than beer stored at room temp. I could go on and on about “aging” and beer maturity, but I’ll refrain.

I’m not trying to dissuade you from experimenting. Go for it. I just felt obligated to point out the flaws in his reasoning.

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