My first best of home brew fermented for 6 days, then transferred to barrel for the net 3 weeks - i used woodforde's real ale mix.

BUT at the last seconds i forgot primer so i improvised wit 80g of caster sugar for 23 litres of beer.

Does anyone have experience of using caster sugar as a primer in a barrel? And more importantly - have i just borked my first barrel?!

  • 1
    Since I didnt know what caster sugar is. Caster (or castor[32]) (0.35 mm),[31] a very fine sugar in Britain, so-named because the grains are small enough to fit through a castor, a form of sieve. Commonly used in baking and mixed drinks, it is sold as "superfine" sugar in the United States. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sucrose#Culinary_sugars
    – jsolarski
    Apr 25, 2015 at 2:35
  • 1
    Did you check the ingredients of the caster sugar? Sometimes fine-grained sugars include an anti-caking agent which may affect the flavour and appearance of the beer. Apr 28, 2015 at 19:16

3 Answers 3


I think that 80g seems like not as much as you could've gone, however you'll still definitely see some carbonation. I'd recommend something about 100-105g or 150g of DME dissolved in some warm water.

Other than that, you should be fine. It's better to under carb then over carb and get bottle bombs!


It will be fine. Depending on the beer's temperature and whether it was completely finished fermenting, you should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.7-2.2 volumes of CO2, which is perfect for a real ale.


23 litres? Are you using a rotokeg? I add 90g of fine brown cane sugar (fairtrade from Lidl;) to my 23 litre rotokegs of English ale to prime them, and they come out great. Cheers!

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