Priming With Corn Sugar vs. DME
When it comes to priming bottles with natural carbonation there are 2 techniques that are among the favorites for homebrewers. 1 is the classic corn sugar and the the other is dry malt extract. Do they give different results? Yes they do.
The most common one is corn sugar. It may very from recipe to recipe but commonly it can be seen as 3/4 of a cup of corn sugar is used for a recipe. I typically use a bit more (closer to a cup) when I do IPA’s. The reason is that hops are a natural preservative which makes it harder for the yeast to produce more carbonation in the bottles.
The reason why corn sugar is a favorite with homebrewers is that it does not have any flavor that comes with it and also will carbonate faster then using DME. The downside to using corn sugar is sometimes your bubbles in the bottle can be bigger resembling that of soda. Which leads to the next way, DME.
You can use DME (dry malt extract) to prime your bottles with as well. The standard amount is 1 1/4 cups. The thing about DME in bottles is, that you will get smaller bubbles in your beer. The down side to it is that it does take a bit longer, I typically wait about 5 weeks until I drink them out of the bottle when I use DME.
I honestly can’t sit here and tell you one is better then the other. For one, I mostly keg now. Also really I think it comes down to product of habit at the end. Most likely if you have used corn sugar and haven’t minded the results then corn sugar is good for you. Likewise for people in the DME situation. If you want to try something new though maybe do one batch with DME and one with corn sugar and see the results for yourself. Until then good luck!
Standard Priming for 5 gallon batches
Corn Sugar = 3/4 cup
DME = 1 1/4 cup
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