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Old 09-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #1
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Default Differences between candi/corn/table sugar?

I still see people concerned about using cane/corn sugar in large proportions, although Brew Like a Monk seems to have reduced this concern. I have also seen plenty of claims that the various clear/white sugars give similar, but not identical results. I like to try things for myself...

So,I am planning of making a third in my series of sugar experiements ( http://madfermentationist.blogspot.com/2007/12/11-differnet-sugars-1-great-tasting.html ). This time I will brew a batch of beer with just pils and some noble hops to get 5 gallons of 1.050 wort, ~20 IBUs (trying to keep it as simple as possible). Ferment it out with 3787 at a moderate temperature (I don't think the beer would be too tasty with a clean strain, and Belgians get the most sugar).

After primary fermentation I will split the beer into 5 secondary jugs and add a sugar to each one (boiled in a bit of water to dissolve and sanitize). I figure I will use corn sugar, table sugar, clear candi rocks, clear candi syrup, and leave one plain for comparison. I will do some gravity tests to make sure I get the same contribution, I am thinking .010

Thoughts on the amounts, times, gravity etc... ? I want the base beer to be as bland as possible to pick up on any differences. I assume ~17% sugar (by extract) should be enough to pick up if there are any differences in the character from the sugars.

Thoughts, suggestions, predictions before I get started?

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:47 PM   #2
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That's basically the same experiment Ted Hausotter did and my problem with it is that virtually no one brews with sugar like that....even the Belgians! One of these days, I intend to do pretty much the same thing but split the wort into 3 different kettles and add the sugar to the kettle.

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:52 PM   #3
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I can do it the other way, it wouldn't be quite as easy, but I did something similar to make different single hop beers.

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Old 09-24-2009, 06:56 PM   #4
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well boiling the suger or not is going to have zero change
so why not, cool the wort and put the sugar in the jugs , pitch the yeast in to the cooled wort and rack in to the 5 jugs for fermetation

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Old 09-24-2009, 07:09 PM   #5
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I think it's more controlled to do one boil and add the sugars seperatly. I fully support this experiment and have often wondered if the clear syrup is a complete waste of money.

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Old 09-24-2009, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayton View Post
well boiling the suger or not is going to have zero change
so why not, cool the wort and put the sugar in the jugs , pitch the yeast in to the cooled wort and rack in to the 5 jugs for fermetation
I did that on my first experiment. The issue then is that you have 5 seperate primary fermentations, so you end up with some more variation in the fermentation character even if they are all located in the same spot
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
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well boiling the suger or not is going to have zero change
I'm not 100% convinced that's the case. Ted's experiment found differences in flavor when sugar was added to secondary. My own (albeit not as rigorous) tests found no differences when added to the kettle.
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Old 12-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #8
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Brewed this a couple weeks back: http://madfermentationist.blogspot.com/2009/12/canditablecorn-sugar-belgian-beer.html
Pretty much as planned, although my gravity was a bit higher than expected. Ended up letting the fermentation get started without sugar, then added it dissolved in water after ~24 hours. I thought this gave me the most consistent results from the fermentation while still being close to what a normal fermentation would be.

Just bottled it over the weekend: http://madfermentationist.blogspot.com/2009/12/white-sugar-showdown-bottling.html
Used the experimental sugars for priming (DME for the "control"), hopefully I did the calculations correctly and they all end up evenly carbed.

Looking forward to seeing how these taste in a couple weeks, as well as how they age.

Edit: Fixed links

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Old 03-11-2010, 11:27 AM   #9
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Finally got around to doing a full/blind tasting a couple nights back. The differences were very subtle even at room temperature (as expected), but I picked out the table sugar as being slightly more appley than the rest (corn, candi rocks, candi syrup, no sugar). The syrup was the most neutral, the plain was "wortier", corn was clovier, candi rocks were rounder and more peppery.

I don't think any of the variants were especially good/bad, I think any of them would work fine for the first attempt at a recipe, but certainly you could consider playing with it to real nail a style/recipe.

Full tasting and a picture of the five identical beers: http://www.themadfermentationist.com/2010/03/pale-belgian-sugar-experiment-tasting.html

Does anybody have a favorite sugar for Belgian blondes/golden/tripels? Reasons?

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:39 PM   #10
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Thanks for doing this experiment, Mike. I always like hearing about your stuff on Basic Brewing Radio.

I did Jamil Z's Belgian Golden Strong Ale with over 1lb of sucrose and it did indeed come out a little cidery too. But it was also fermented really, really warm, like low 80's at one point.

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