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When I attempted brewing beer in my home the set and instructions called for the carbonation being done by adding carbonation drops instead of priming sugar.

How does the fundamental chemical makeup differ between the two and how does the actual chemical process differ in beers brewed with carbonation drops versus priming sugar (if at all)? Is taste affected?

  • This question is probably better suited to the dedicated homebrew.SE, but since it'll be a duplicate there I'll answer. Andrew Cheong may roll in here at some point and migrate you as well. Homebrewing-related questions ARE allowed here, but they should be of interest to regular beer drinkers as well, the more technical the question is, the more likely it is to be appropriate for homebrew.SE. Thanks! – Sloloem May 7 '15 at 12:56
  • Thanks for helping out @Sloloem. Yup, indeed homebrewing questions are allowed here. I'll only migrate if I think a question isn't able to be fully answered here. (Yesterday I migrated a question, but only by mistake. I thought it had no answers at all, not realizing I was in the reviews page. Normally I wouldn't have done that; there was no way for me to undo.) – Andrew Cheong May 8 '15 at 5:18
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Carbonation drops are just premeasured doses of priming sugar. Sometimes they'll be a mix of glucose and sucrose, or just a single sugar depending on the brand. But otherwise they're exactly the same as priming sugar, so no chemical or taste difference.

They're probably being recommended by the instructions since they're pretty much impossible to mess up, which is great for new brewers since it's one less thing to worry about.

I had heard a rumor once that the drops that came with hopped extract kits like Coopers or Mr. Beer also had Maltodextrin, which increases body and head retention since extract kits often have deficiencies in those departments. However, I've never found any actual sources to back this up so it's probably just be overhearing the guy at a home-brew shop talking out of his butt.

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