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Old 08-14-2012, 10:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by daksin
Well, just so you know, it may be easier and more flavorful to caramelize regular sugar. Lactose doesn't have much flavor by itself- ever stick your finger in the bag and taste it? Once you caramelize regular sugar it becomes unfermentable- if you caramelize it, all that flavor is going to stay in your beer.
What source says that caramel is unfermentable? I know whatever has carbonized won't ferment, but I'm pretty sure everything else will.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:25 PM   #12
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Well, lactose is already unfermentable as it is, so caramelization wouldn't change that. But after a quick search, daksin seems to be correct. The reactions that occur during caramelization form higher molecular weight sugars that I'm assuming are unfermentable.

EDIT: After thinking about it a bit, this actually makes some sense. When you caramelize sugars in the boil, that flavor also remains, so it's not unreasonable to expect caramelized sugar added during or after the boil to exhibit the same behavior.

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Old 08-14-2012, 10:56 PM   #13
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Interesting. I may have to try an experiment with that sometime. It would be easy and cheap to caramelize a little sugar and see if it it fermentable.

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:00 PM   #14
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Yeah. I would be interested to know how that turns out.

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:32 PM   #15
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More research! Apparently table sugar doesn't take part in Maillard reaction because it is not a reducing sugar. I'm not sure exactly what constitutes a reducing sugar, but table sugar isn't one while lactose is one. This means that caramelized lactose would have a multitude of yummy flavors from the Maillard reactions while table sugar would just taste like caramel. This makes the decision for me... lactose!

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:43 PM   #16
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I'm feeling smarter and smarter about this

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Old 08-14-2012, 11:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
I'm feeling smarter and smarter about this
Seriously! This is such a great idea and now I am even more excited by it than I was before. I've got to wait just shy of a month before I can try this in a brew, but I am going to make some lactose caramel this weekend and see how it tastes. If all goes well it will end up in my Banaynay Split Imperial Stout.

EDIT: Just to put it out there, apparently the Maillard reaction requires the reducing sugar in the presence of amino acids, so I am going to make it with skim milk to keep the fat out of the beer. I'm not sure how much lactose there is in skim milk, but I'm pretty sure it's not enough to get a good flavor out of the caramel. I'm probably just going to use a standard caramel recipe but use lactose (obviously) and skim milk instead of water.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:14 PM   #18
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Last fall I threw together a four pound batch of homemade syrup from the directions in this thread,http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f12/20-l...trient-114837/. I subbed a pound and a half of lactose for table sugar and it made some pretty darn tasty syrup. I made the double cooked syrup and the reactions seemed to happen at a lower temperature than what the recipe indicated. I am wondering if maybe the sugars in lactose don't convert at a little lower temperature. Or maybe my thermometer is off, but something to keep in mind when you make your caramel.
I used my syrup in a Dubbel Style Cider experiment, and it fermented down to 0.995 so I think cooking the lactose broke the sugars down so they were fermentable, but the flavors were there and that is what we are looking for.
The cider turned out darned tasty, btw, better than I dared hope for.

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:33 PM   #19
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You are correct. In my above mentioned research, I did read that lactose caramelizes at lower a temperature than table sugar. I assume the same is true of the Maillard reactions. Also, it's encouraging to know your syrup came out super tasty.

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Old 08-18-2012, 11:10 AM   #20
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I like this thread, i was going to attempt a creme brulee stout, but was going to reduce my first runnings, i may use your guys route instead if it turns out to be the best way.

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