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Priming Sugar Question

Hi all,
I’ve been brewing for a while now and for some reason I’ve gotten way off track with achieving the desired amount of carbonation. I think one thing that has confused me is my efforts to be more precise in knowing the psi, using different sugars, and brewing different amounts (I’ve done a bunch of 1 gallon and 3 gallon batches). The different brewing calculator sites are really screwing me up, because many seem to have different results given the same stats. I’ve tried the calculator a few times through NB, and I’m assuming I should trust it. A few times, I’ve way over carbonated, and somehow now I’ve undercarbonated. The beer I’m drinking right now has been in the bottle for 3 weeks, so it could possible do better with a few more weeks, given that it’s cold and it’s sitting around 64 degrees. So, this is a 4 1/2 gallon batch of a smoked stout, and I bottled with 90 grams (3.17 ounces) of table sugar. This was decided after plugging in my numbers into the NB calculator. Was this too low. Now I’m searching around again and many are saying to use closer to 4-5 ounces or 3/4 cups, which mine is definitely lower. Where am I going wrong?! At this point in my brewing career, I don’t want to be fussing around and feel unsure about something as simple as priming sugar. Also, in the case that I just screwed this one up, is there anything to do? Add a bit more sugar somehow and re-cap? That seems dangerous. All thoughts/suggestions appreciated.


i’d say the issue is the low temps. at 64F, it will probably take a couple of more weeks minimum. even if you move it to a 70F area, it’ll likely take 2 more weeks.



I have been kegging full kegs with 3/4 cup priming sugar (I know not as accurate as weighing) and letting them age next to the heating vents in the living room and so far all has been fine except the angry s.o. not liking the kegs scattered across the room for a few weeks;)

It really doesn’t pay to dick around with different priming sugars. You don’t get any flavor out of them anyway. It’s best to go with good old fashioned cane sugar, every time, with no deviations. If you use 5/8 cup (that’s 10 tablespoons) per 5 gallons, you’ll be good to go, every single time. So if you had instead 4.5 gallons, maybe cut back to 9-9.5 tablespoons.

Temperature during bottle conditioning matters, but not as much as you’d think. I usually leave my bottles in my cold basement at about 60 F, and they are almost always (I’d say 90% of the time) fully carbonated in 2 or 3 weeks. You shouldn’t need to wait for 5 weeks for carbonation, ever, unless you didn’t use enough priming sugar. But you can most certainly accelerate the process by bringing up temperature into the 70s. I sometimes put all my bottles on top of the refrigerator or the top shelf of my computer desk, the two warmest places in the whole house, with temperatures in the mid-to-high 70s. Then you can get full carbonation in as little as 3 or 4 days.

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