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Old 10-04-2010, 05:11 AM   #1
tedandlea
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Default What is corn sugar?

I have long assumed that the corn sugar used in priming is glucose, also known as dextrose, a monosaccharide derived from table sugar (sucrose, a disaccharide). I have verified this consulting the definition of corn sugar in Wikipedia. However, the Corn Refiner's Association (CRA) is at this time attempting to get the FDA to change the definition of corn sugar to mean high fructose corn syrup, which is really a mixture of sucrose, fructose and glucose. Each of these sugars is different, has a different sweetness, and in my opinion should not be lumped together and given a name which has until now meant only one thing - glucose (dextrose). This would result in confusion about what sugar is meant to be used in priming, and make the recommendations of our homebrewing books undependable.

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Old 10-04-2010, 05:12 AM   #2
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Yes. No. They shouldn't. It is.

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Old 10-05-2010, 01:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by tedandlea View Post
However, the Corn Refiner's Association (CRA) is at this time attempting to get the FDA to change the definition of corn sugar to mean high fructose corn syrup, which is really a mixture of sucrose, fructose and glucose.
Really? If you find out if/where there is "public comment" on this, be sure to post, so we can weigh in.

I believe if corn sugar is no longer dextrose, it will be hard to obtain what we desire, even if it has a different name. The reason for that is that home brewers are possibly one of the few groups who care about dextrose. No demand= no product. We'll be converting sucrose or paying higher prices, in addition to the recipe confusion....
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Old 10-05-2010, 03:05 AM   #4
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I believe if corn sugar is no longer dextrose, it will be hard to obtain what we desire, even if it has a different name. The reason for that is that home brewers are possibly one of the few groups who care about dextrose. No demand= no product. We'll be converting sucrose or paying higher prices, in addition to the recipe confusion....
Not even close to true.

Dextrose/glucose is widely used as a fermentation feedstock (not just beer, but pharma/industry), raw material (pharma/chemical synthesis), and in paper. You can't dry HFCS, so any dry powder called "Corn Sugar" will be dextrose.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #5
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Not even close to true.

Dextrose/glucose is widely used as a fermentation feedstock (not just beer, but pharma/industry), raw material (pharma/chemical synthesis), and in paper. You can't dry HFCS, so any dry powder called "Corn Sugar" will be dextrose.
So now I'm a little confused. I use dried powders for endurance exercise that have sucrose(wait, table sugar - dried format) and glucose in them and I have seen fructose powder in health stores. So why exactly can't you have a powder with all three?

But no matter. I was thinking was that what is currently labeled "corn sugar" would be no longer be just dextrose. But I guess it's just the definition for "corn syrup" to be changed, which, I believe, is currently not pure dextrose anyway.
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Old 10-05-2010, 06:30 PM   #6
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So now I'm a little confused. I use dried powders for endurance exercise that have sucrose(wait, table sugar - dried format) and glucose in them and I have seen fructose powder in health stores. So why exactly can't you have a powder with all three?

But no matter. I was thinking was that what is currently labeled "corn sugar" would be no longer be just dextrose. But I guess it's just the definition for "corn syrup" to be changed, which, I believe, is currently not pure dextrose anyway.
They're just proposing to change the name of HFCS to corn sugar. So we'll have a dry corn sugar that we use, and they'll have a liquid corn sugar (HFCS) that they use. The thinking is that you'll be more likely to buy those HFCS sodas if they don't actually say HFCS.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:04 AM   #7
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So now I'm a little confused. I use dried powders for endurance exercise that have sucrose(wait, table sugar - dried format) and glucose in them and I have seen fructose powder in health stores. So why exactly can't you have a powder with all three?

But no matter. I was thinking was that what is currently labeled "corn sugar" would be no longer be just dextrose. But I guess it's just the definition for "corn syrup" to be changed, which, I believe, is currently not pure dextrose anyway.
Fructose is hard to crystallize, to do so requires a very pure (>99% fructose) mother liqour. The concentration/crystallization process is expensive, which is why you only see crystalline fructose in a few specialty products. Even if you do get dry fructose it is very hygroscopic, meaning that it loves water. If it is modestly humid (50-70%) you can set out a bowl of fructose and it will suck water out of the air until it turns into syrup. Products with dry fructose need to be packed in expensive foil pouches to prevent it from picking up water on the shelf.

Expensive drying + expensive packing = you don't have to worry about dry corn sugar turning into HFCS.
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