While many brewers elect to use priming sugar (corn sugar), there are several alternatives that can be used to carbonate your beer. Just about anything that has sugar in it could be used, but here are a few examples of the types and amounts of sugar you'll need to carbonate a 5 gallon batch:
- White Sugar (Sucrose) – 0.53 cups
- Brown Sugar – 0.53 cups
- Honey – 0.43 cups
- Maple Syrup – 0.44 cups
- Molasses – 0.48 cups
It is a good idea to mix these with a little water and boil before adding to your bottling bucket. That way everything breaks down and the yeast has an easier time using the sugars. Keep in mind that these different sugars will also leave a different flavor in your beer. The sugar that you use can be just one more thing to make your beer different than anything else out there. Maybe try brown sugar with a brown ale or a stout? That little extra sweetness can make a good beer even better.