How Much Priming Sugar Do I Need?

My batch of beer is ready to bottle, but… how much priming sugar do I use again?

priming sugar title

What is Priming Sugar?

So, you’ve finished brewing your first batch of homebrewed beer and are ready to bottle and add your priming sugar. Before we jump into specific measurements, let’s make sure we are clear on exactly what priming sugar is. Priming Sugar is any sugar that is added to a fermented beer before bottling. The most popular forms of priming sugar are corn sugar, table sugar, and dry malt extract, also known as DME.

How much priming sugar do I need?

TLDR – The rule of thumb for a 5-gallon batch is 3/4 cup of corn sugar, 2/3 cup of table sugar, or 1 ¼ cups DME.

Determining the correct amount of priming sugar for your brew differs on a few different factors, but for the sake of this article, we will stick with the rule of thumb for a 5-gallon batch using the three most popular priming sugars listed above. To execute your priming, also known as bottle conditioning, for a 5-gallon batch, you would need either: ¾ cup of corn sugar, 2/3 cup of table sugar, or 1 ¼ cups DME. Each priming sugar varies in volume and fermentability, so there is no uniform measurement across the board, but these benchmarks are a great starting point and three of the most accessible ingredients for the homebrewing world.

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How does priming sugar affect beer?

Depending on what priming sugar you use, there can be many different effects. The three listed above are a perfect start for your first brews as they will mainly create the desired carbonation levels in your beer. But if you were to use a different priming sugar, let’s say molasses, you will not only create the carbonation but also influence the flavor, sweetness, and final color of your beer. We recommend starting with corn sugar or table sugar, and then start experimenting from there. We hope this article helps clear up any confusion you may have had and let us know how we can be of further help!