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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Brew Science > Mmmm mr. yeast, please eat this
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Old 07-17-2009, 10:20 PM   #1
tandpbrewing
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Default Mmmm mr. yeast, please eat this

So, hypothetically speaking, if someone were to try and do something creative in a brew, but accidentally ended up with a large amount of high fructose corn syrup in their beer (say from not reading the ingredients list on something)...
Let's assume this beer did not ferment all the way (no surprise, s-04 doesn't eat HFCS...).

Naturally this beer would taste oversweet due to unfermented sugars.
Is there any yeast that could digest HFCS? I'm thinking maybe brettanomyces, I know White Labs sells some (or I could just hope for a very kind strain to eventually infect my beer...)

Anyone know if this could do it?
If not, is there any fining that drops unfermented sugars out? Gelatin?

...hypothetically of course.

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Old 07-18-2009, 06:06 PM   #2
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Is HFCS non fermentable? I dont think it is. What is your recipe? What temperature are you fermenting at? How long has it been there? OG, expected FG & current gravity? If you are under attenuated, there could be other reasons.

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Old 07-18-2009, 09:32 PM   #3
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Many strains of brettanomyces can eat all kinds of normally unfermentable sugars. Not sure if HFCS is one of them though

Not sure you want to go the funky route, but it could be an option.

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Old 07-18-2009, 10:54 PM   #4
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Default Beano

I'm not sure that the HFCS is the problem either. But, if you are looking to break down the more complicated sugars, then try a little Beano. It has worked for me in the past.

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Old 07-18-2009, 10:58 PM   #5
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HFCS isn't a kind of sugar, it's corn syrup with a higher than normal level of fructose. Fructose is 100% fermentable by yeast, so the HFCS likely isn't the problem. What did you add that had corn syrup in it, it may have also contained something to prevent infection, potassium benzoate for example.

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Old 07-19-2009, 03:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
HFCS isn't a kind of sugar, it's corn syrup with a higher than normal level of fructose. Fructose is 100% fermentable by yeast, so the HFCS likely isn't the problem. What did you add that had corn syrup in it, it may have also contained something to prevent infection, potassium benzoate for example.
and by "you" he meant "the definitely-not-you person in your hypothetical scenario" of course
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Old 07-19-2009, 05:07 AM   #7
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HFCS is very very ferment-able. It's not some fake sugar or anything, it's just corn syrup with more fructose in it.

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Old 07-20-2009, 03:41 PM   #8
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And corn syrup is simply corn starch that has been enzymatically converted to glucose monomers (ala Beano). For HFCS, additional enzymes convert some of the glucose to fructose which is sweeter tasting, so you get less calories with more sweetness.

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Old 07-20-2009, 07:15 PM   #9
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and as a side note, with all the HFCS being bad and all, while I haven't seen a study either way yet... but fructose is the sweetest sugar, so I would think you could use less and reduce the overall amount of sugar while maintaining the same sweetness... although fructose tastes different from sucrose and glucose.

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Old 07-20-2009, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by z987k View Post
and as a side note, with all the HFCS being bad and all, while I haven't seen a study either way yet... but fructose is the sweetest sugar, so I would think you could use less and reduce the overall amount of sugar while maintaining the same sweetness... although fructose tastes different from sucrose and glucose.
HCFS is effectively identical to invert sugar: healthwise it's not going to be any different for you than honey or candi sugar, or even cane sugar for that matter, but it just tastes different because of a different source. Some research has shown that it's potentially less healthy than pure glucose, but pure glucose/dextrose isn't commonly used to sweeten drinks either because its less sweet. People get upset about it because of misreading said studies and because of fear that there's something "fake" about it being processed with microbe-derived enzymes - something that brewers should be less skittish about.

More on topic, what I said above applies the same to yeast as it does to people: Corn sugar, cane sugar, and HCFS are all quickly and completely fermentable by yeast. So I'm wondering, did this hypothetical situation have regular corn syrup involved? The sort you can buy at the supermarket tends to have a lot of unfermentable sugars and dextrins in it as I understand, so would cause the problem described.
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