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I fully acknowledge that the internet is a place of truly limitless (and often incorrect/misinformed) information, yet here I am asking this question on an internet forum.

I'm planning on bottling a fig gose I made a few weeks back, and recently had a question with a professional brewer/firkin specialist about priming. He stated that he NEVER uses corn sugar for priming, as it gives beer 'that homebrewed' character. Has anyone done a side-by-side on fermented beer? I have several process-oriented problems that can lead to 'that homebrewed beer' character, but I am trying to systematically eliminate them.

Going to try this tonight just for laughs, but does anyone else have an opinion?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I have done tests using corn sugar, cane sugar, brown sugar, honey, DME and force carbing, then doing blind tastings. Not a single taster could tell which was which nor expressed a preference for one over another. The other problem with priming with DME is that you don't know how fermentable DME is, so you have no way of accurately priming your beer. Sugar is tasteless, contrary to the OP, and reliable. It is a myth that it gives beer a "homebrew" flavor or that DME produces better carbonation.

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I would say that the amount of corn sugar used for priming is so small as to be largely unnoticeable. However, I see no reason why out can't prime with DME, you'll simply need to figure out exactly how much DME to use (and probably still dissolve in water to aid in mixing evenly) to hit your specific carbonation target.

A useful calculator for this can be found at: http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/recipator/carbonation.html

Note that it is widely reported that Bottle Conditioning using DME results in significantly longer time to carbonate.

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Many of the award winning recipes in brewing classic styles call for sugar additions, and significantly more than a priming amount. I think that's a myth unless your adding a huge amount.

Also, although DME would work, it is a little harder for your yeast to ferment. I would think in a big beer, feeding stressed yeast maltose is more likely to leave a homebrew character than sucrose or dextrose

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