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Old 03-18-2008, 03:55 PM   #1
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Default To lactose or not to lactose?

What sugars can truly replace lactose in a beer if you are brewing for someone with an intolerance to it? Will maltodextrin come close to imitating the effects of lactose?


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~M~

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Old 03-18-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
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Maltodextrin will add body similar to lactose but you won't get the sweetness you may be after. Do you have a particular recipe you're trying to change? You could post it and we can probably help you change it.

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Old 03-18-2008, 04:35 PM   #3
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I was thinking the very same thing this morning. For this year's stout I added 1 lb of lactose as recommended by Jamil Z. I love the result, but I was thinking I'd back off a little bit. I'm getting over a cold and have this damned tickle in my throat. A while ago I bought some licorice extract (looks like little hop pellets only solid black) as a cough suppresent. As I'm sucking on these, I'm thinking, you know, these things kinda remind me of the taste of lactose. They are sweet, but not like sucrose, glucose or fructose. Very similar mouthfeel to lactose. Licorice does contain a sweet substance that is not a sugar. It has kinda like an artificial sweetener taste, but to me so does lactose. It lingers much longer than sugar. I'm now thinking that next year I'll do another licorice stout. I made one before as I was getting back into brewing. I used dried licorice root (2 oz I think) that I autoclaved and added to the primary. The licorice flavor was there although most people couldn't guess it, but once I told them, they said they could taste the licorice.

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Old 03-18-2008, 08:22 PM   #4
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Bakers Splenda is 99% maltodextrin, with 1% sucralose. Similar effect as lactose. I've used it in sweet stouts with good results.

Commercial breweries avoid the lactose problem by simply backsweetening with sugar after the yeast is filtered out.

You could also try using a very low attenuation yeast, to naturally leave a higher percentage of 3-chain sugars. Or mash at a slightly higher temp.

nick

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Old 03-19-2008, 02:27 AM   #5
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Nice! Thanks for the info. That licorice stout seems like an interesting idea too... I wonder what would happen if you were to set up a small scale experimental brew involving those licorice extract pellets... I assume that their ingredients are on the label and there is nothing nasty (for brewing) in them..


~M~

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Old 03-19-2008, 03:46 PM   #6
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Many homebrew stores will have brewer's licorice. I'm not sure what is in it. I've used dried roots that I got at an Asian market. The little extract pellets are from an Italian company. The box has Nature Made and Zen on the label. The ingredient list is 100% licorice extract. There was a warning on the label for those with hypertension to avoid the product. They are potent little pellets! It didn't seem to do much for my cough though.

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Old 03-19-2008, 03:48 PM   #7
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I use brewers licorice in one of my oatmeal stout recipes. It seems to be processed into a stick somehow and that allows it to dissolve completely into the wort during boiling. I have no idea what is in it either though.

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Old 03-19-2008, 04:02 PM   #8
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I just found an interesting site about licorice and it's use through history.

http://www.foodmuseum.com/licorice.html

According to that site it "is 50 times sweeter than sugar, but only contains 100 calories, per ounce...."

There was a great article in Zymergy awhile back about historical porters, and they mention the use of Licorice in porters... They turned it into "Spanish Juice."

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Spanish juice

Liquorice-based flavouring and colouring additive, often cited in brewing recipes around 1800. Morrice states that “Spanish Liquorice or Juice, is made from boiling [liquorice] root lightly in water till the fluid has acquired a deep yellow tincture, and the water, at length, evaporated over a moderate fire. There remains a black solid sediment, of a pleasant smell; of a dark reddish-brown colour when in the mass, and, when drawn out into strings, of a golden colour, which we call liquorice juice, or sometimes Spanish Juice. Its quantity amounts to nearly half the weight of the root.” [Morrice (1827) 122].
In the recipe they use for their porter at Colonial WIlliamsburg, they chop 12 licorice roots and add that into a pot with 1 quart of water and boil it down til it's reduced by half, and add that with "Essentia Bina" (A liquid made from first burning brown sugar and mollases in a cast iron pot and then dilluting that with boiling water.)
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:11 PM   #9
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I found an article from the mid 70's with a bunch of sweetness tables. Lactose is 5X LESS sweet than sucrose. Glycyrrhizin the sweet compound found in Licorice (a legume named Glycyrhiza btw) is 100X MORE sweet than sucrose (Aspartame is 250X) . While I find the flavors similar, with lactose you'd get a lot more body. My recent lactose containing stout was just scored and the judges thought it could have used a little more malt presence in the flavor. I suspect the body contribution of the lactose may have covered this up. I was already planning on using less lactose next time. Now I'm thinking about substituting most or all with licorice.

Which is more important in a sweet/milk stout, the sweetness or the body? I could easily get the sweetness with licorice, but it would have much less body compared to the lactose.

The sweetness from the glycyrrizin does really linger, especially if you suck on some dried root - I'm talking 15-30 min. As I said before, it does have a kinda artificial sweetener taste to it.

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Old 03-19-2008, 06:17 PM   #10
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I love me some Licorice. Especially Salt Licorice, but I digress....

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