The "Why is our beer not carbonating?" question mentions "sugar tablets". I am aware of a product called "prime tabs", but as far as I can tell that product is not longer being produced.

I have used Cooper's Carbonation Drops. They're pretty good, but I would rather find something with greater granularity.

Does anyone know of any such thing?

  • maybe you could crush the Cooper's Carbonation Drops with a mortar and pestle? Nov 10, 2010 at 22:38
  • Yeah, but if I was going to do that it would be easier to just use table sugar to start with. ;-)
    – Jeff Roe
    Nov 10, 2010 at 23:05
  • You're better off using dextrose or maltose. Table sugar can leave behind some bizarre flavors.
    – Tristan
    Nov 10, 2010 at 23:29
  • 1
    I tend to think of "you shouldn't use table sugar" as a Papazian-era myth. Palmer, for example, implies that cane sugar is fine, and I'm sure the same would appply to beet sugar. But if you have contrary experience, I'd be interested to hear it!
    – Jeff Roe
    Nov 11, 2010 at 1:51
  • About the best way I could use to describe the flavor I get from fermented table sugar would be "lemonade gone bad." In small amounts you might be fine, but I just find it to be a really bizarre flavor.
    – Tristan
    Nov 11, 2010 at 15:50

3 Answers 3


Muntons makes a product called "Carb Tabs". I am pretty sure they are what you are talking about. For your sake, DO NOT use them. From my experience, they do not dissolve all of the way and you are stuck with 2-3 little white chunks in your beer. This particular brew still had chunks in it 8 months after bottling. When this happened I did some research on the topic and it appears that many people experienced the same problem.

  • 1
    Strange. I didn't have that problem with my last brew.
    – baudtack
    Nov 10, 2010 at 21:14
  • Thanks for the warning! I don't think I can buy those here, but now I won't try. Sounds like they dissolve sometimes, but now always. Not worth the risk.
    – Jeff Roe
    Nov 11, 2010 at 21:09
  • thats too bad. I was really thinking that something like this would help me get some bottles ready for competition, while I'm kegging the remainder.
    – reidLinden
    Mar 21, 2011 at 13:39

I would just stick with corn sugar. The tabs always seem like a pain in the neck.

Also +1 on the table sugar no-no. Used it on my first saison, which took months to condition, then I all but wrecked it with table sugar.

Corn sugar is glucose and cane sugar is sucrose. Glucose is a monosaccharide (simplest type of sugar), and sucrose is a disaccharide (not as simple), made from a glucose molecule and a fructose molecule.

Not being a yeast expert, my opinion is that once your beer has the flavor you want, give the yeast something simple to metabolize that will result in the ONLY component you are missing: CO2 (and a little alcohol). Who knows whats in those carb tablets. Monosaccharide/glucose is where its at.

  • I suspect that it was something else that wrecked your saison. Check out "Brew Like a Monk" by Stan Hieronymus. Table sugar is widely used Belgian breweries.
    – Jeff Roe
    Apr 28, 2020 at 20:13
  • It could been table sugars fault, as in bottle carbing there ain't that much yeast cells left compared to primary fermenting. Belgian breweries are quite famous for using candi sugar, where sucrose molecules are unbound to be glucose and fructose.
    – DuctTape7
    May 5, 2020 at 15:44

I find with the stronger flavour beers I prefer, priming with cane doesn't make a difference I can detect.

However, I'm beginning to realise I'm in the minority on this & have a couple of beers in the cellar primed using brewing sugar (which i think is fructose) & will be giving the corn sugar a go...

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