Monday, May 13, 2024

New tools: Dry priming, British brown ale recipe calculators

The /r/homebrewing group on Reddit has recently shown interest in dry priming. This is natural carbonation achieved through adding a small amount of sugar to each bottle before filling with beer and capping. This was commonly done in prohibition-era homebrew. One modern way to do this is through commercial solutions like Cooper's carbonation drops: Add one hard candy-like tablet to each bottle. A related solution some redditors have described using syringes to measure out precise amounts of sugar syrups into each bottle.  

Dry priming has some advantages over the commonly done method of mixing the beer with all of the sugar for a batch in a bottling bucket. Oxygen exposure - the primary cause of staling - should be lower due to less handling. There is less equipment to clean because there is no need for a bottling bucket. 

I noticed there was some inconsistency in the discussion about how much sugar is the right amount. This new calculator addresses the issue by using temperature and desired carbonation level to determine the amount of sugar needed for each bottle. The standard output is for 12 oz (355 ml) and 16 oz (473 ml) bottles. The custom field will provide an amount for less common bottle sizes. 

Carbonation with sugar - dry priming calculator

The tool for estimating how many bottles are needed for each batch was updated to provide an estimate based on 16 oz (473 ml) bottles. 

Several new Beer Engine 2024 recipe calculators have also been added. 


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