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jme0909

Sugar vs. Carbonation drops

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Hi all, I've seen previous recipes mostly call for sugar to be added during bottling (American Ale, Pale Ale). The one I just brewed (IPA) last weekend calls for carbonation drops during the bottling phase. My question(s) is will it make a huge difference if you substitute one for the other? And if so, what advantages/disadvantages are there to using one or the other? Or is it more specifically preferred for one style of beer vs the other?

 

Thanks,

John

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Either will suffice unless your anal about how many vols you like in your beer. It also depends at what temperature you fermented at. I like to use the screwy brewers bottle priming calculator. The tabs are cool cause you just drop them in and fill. With loose sugar you need a bottling bucket and a little extra steps but you have better control of how much carbonation you have.

 

http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/p/brewing-tools-formulas.html#bpc

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Carbonation drops are a convenience item. They are useful for first time brewers to make their first few batches easy. When you have completed a number of batches you will probably transition from the carb drops to either table sugar or corn sugar as those allow you more flexibility in dosing your beer for the level of carbonation that you desire.

 

Reading the forums here, you will find that many members feel that the Mr. Beer recommended amount of priming sugar makes for an over carbonated beer. It's really personal preference and the type of recipe that you are brewing.

 

Definitely check out the carb calculator that BeastYeast linked to in his post.

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Just to clarify - if you use the same amount of sugar as in a carb drop there is no difference.

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Domino Dots work great as well. You can drop them in the bottle just like carbonation drops.

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Are all carbonation drops the same size. I think that Mr Beer recommends 1 "candy" for 1/2 L bottle. Is that the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar? If I use 12 oz glass bottles, 12 oz is close to 1/3 of a L. Does that mean that you cannot really use those drops in glass bottles? And yet I have a package of carbonation drops (Don't recall who makes these) that says to add 1 per 12 oz bottle... 

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Domino Dots work great as well. You can drop them in the bottle just like carbonation drops.

Yep, this is what I've been using for some time. There's two sizes of the sugar cubes, the smaller one (Domino Dots Sugar Cubes brand name) is equal to 1/2 teaspoon and a larger size (C&H Sugar Cubes brand name) that is equal to 1 teaspoon. They both work great for carbonating.

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Are all carbonation drops the same size. I think that Mr Beer recommends 1 "candy" for 1/2 L bottle. Is that the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar? If I use 12 oz glass bottles, 12 oz is close to 1/3 of a L. Does that mean that you cannot really use those drops in glass bottles? And yet I have a package of carbonation drops (Don't recall who makes these) that says to add 1 per 12 oz bottle... 

 

I have a bag of coopers and it says 1 drop per 12oz bottle but Mr. Beer drops say 3/4 of a drop per 12oz bottle.

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Are all carbonation drops the same size. I think that Mr Beer recommends 1 "candy" for 1/2 L bottle. Is that the equivalent of 1 teaspoon of sugar? If I use 12 oz glass bottles, 12 oz is close to 1/3 of a L. Does that mean that you cannot really use those drops in glass bottles? And yet I have a package of carbonation drops (Don't recall who makes these) that says to add 1 per 12 oz bottle... 

 

Info found on the Mr. Beer site...  

 

All Mr. Beer carb drops are the same size.  This chart shows you how much sugar, or drop(s), Mr. Beer recommends.  

 

As you can see, Mr. Beer recommends partial drops, or whole plus partial drops, for some sizes.  As the chart indicates, you simply cut them with a pill cutter.  

 

Why are some drops different instructions?  Read the label on the drops.  Coopers contains 2.5 grams of sugar per drop.  Mr. Beer contains _____ (someone can read the package and let us know and I'll fill it in)...

 

Like sugar cubes, not all carb drops by different manufacturers are the same.  Also, if one studies the priming sugar chart, one sees lots of ROUNDING.  If 1 drop is good for a 1/2 liter bottle, then logically you need 2 drops for a 1 liter bottle and 1.5 drops for a 3/4 liter bottle.  Yeah, not with the chart.

 

I am cheap.  I've always used table sugar.  There is NO DIFFERENCE in what you use as to the end result.  It's a matter of price and convenience.  Screwy's calculator lets you figure the exact amount of sugar that you want in a specific bottle size.  Try different levels, and then compare and see what you like.  Note that it MATTERS what the highest temp you hit during fermentation was, but small temp differences don't really change things, while big ones do.

 

sugar.png

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I have a bag of coopers and it says 1 drop per 12oz bottle but Mr. Beer drops say 3/4 of a drop per 12oz bottle.

 

Coopers should have 2.5 grams (not 250g as I said earlier) of sugar in a drop, right?  How much in the Mr. Beer drop?

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Coopers should have 250 grams of sugar in a drop, right?  How much in the Mr. Beer drop?

 

 Back of the package says 2.52g of total sugar per drop.

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I guess the simplest solution is to add sugar to the bottling bucket and not the bottle and so the amount of sugar is per gallon of beer and is not dependent on the bottle size..

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Some kits I get come with the fermenter's favorites fizz drops. I weighed one of them and it came out to 4g of corn sugar. Other kits usually just come with 5oz of loose corn sugar.

 

Recommended dosage is

 

1 Drop per 12oz or 16oz

2 Drops for 22oz

post-65614-0-00802200-1436381236_thumb.j

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That's a perfect example of rounding.  16 oz of beer is 33% more than 12 oz, yet they recommend the same amount of sugar.

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My only anecdotal experience: my very first batch, I used one Mr. Beer carb drop per 12-oz bottle. There were no bottle-bombs, and the beers were very fizzy, like a BMC beer.

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That's a perfect example of rounding.  16 oz of beer is 33% more than 12 oz, yet they recommend the same amount of sugar.

Well if you look at the numbers we can figure this out. A classic dry stout (my favorite beer) should have between 1.6 and 2.0 vols. 1.54g of corn sugar is need to achieve 2.0vols at 64F in a 12 oz bottle. In a 16oz bottle about 1.54g (1.58g to be exact) will produce a stout that has 1.75vols. So if we consider that it is well within range of achieving the correct vols for a specific beer, which is the purpose of the drops, we can come to the conclusion that this statement is a perfect example of crying over spilled milk. I'm sorry for the .25vols that isn't in the beer. I didn't know anyone could detect that. :P

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