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Old 02-06-2007, 02:26 AM   #1
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Default Invert sugar...

What does it do for brewing beer?

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Old 02-06-2007, 03:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beer4breakfast
It's a hydrolized sucrose syrup that yields glucose and fructose. It adds no character to the beer. It is used only to increase the amount of fermentable sugars, and thus the alcohol content. You shouldn't use too much of it or you'll end up with a cidery flavor in your beer. I think the recommendation is 15% or less of the fermentable sugars should come from processed sugars like invert sugar (aka, high fructose corn syrup).
So why not just use plain ol table sugar? Is invert sugar more fermentable?
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Old 02-06-2007, 11:28 AM   #3
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It sounds like you know what you're talking about.... but I thought corn sugar was dextrose, not sucrose.

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Old 02-06-2007, 12:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichBrewer
So why not just use plain ol table sugar? Is invert sugar more fermentable?
Invert sugar is supposedly easier for the yeasties to break down (???)

I just want to add to this thread: sugar isn't added *just* to add alcohol. It also serves an important function in many Belgian beers, for example, of keeping the FG from being too high. Because sugar is almost 100% fermentable, a 1.085 OG Tripel can still ferment down to something like 1.015 FG (that's 82% attenuation).

If that same 1.085 OG Tripel were made with all malts, you'd probably get something more like 75% attenuation for an FG of about 1.021 and a much fuller bodied, sweeter beer that wouldn't fit the Tripel style.
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
I just want to add to this thread: sugar isn't added *just* to add alcohol. It also serves an important function in many Belgian beers, for example, of keeping the FG from being too high. Because sugar is almost 100% fermentable, a 1.085 OG Tripel can still ferment down to something like 1.015 FG (that's 82% attenuation).

If that same 1.085 OG Tripel were made with all malts, you'd probably get something lore like 75% attenuation for an FG of about 1.021 and a much fuller bodied, sweeter beer that wouldn't fit the Tripel style.
We could argue semantics on this point; in essense, the sugar IS added to increase the alcohol, just to do so in a way that does not also increase FG (lots of Imperial IPAs do the same).
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Old 02-06-2007, 12:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by the_bird
We could argue semantics on this point; in essense, the sugar IS added to increase the alcohol, just to do so in a way that does not also increase FG (lots of Imperial IPAs do the same).

Yeah, OK.

I don't really think about ABV much, so that description doesn't resonate with me. OTOH, a 1.021 FG beer is going to have a very different mouthfeel and flavor than a 1.015 FG beer. I guess I think of that as the primary factor and the alcohol content as an effect of lower or higher FG.

I am not a big fan of barleywines and imperial stouts, for this exact reason. Even if the IBUs are very high, they still seem cloyingly sweet to me. (I don't dislike these style, but they'd never be everyday beers for me, whereas drinking Tripels everyday sounds pretty heavenly.
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Old 02-06-2007, 03:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toot
It sounds like you know what you're talking about.... but I thought corn sugar was dextrose, not sucrose.
First, yeah corn sugar is dextrose. Sucrose (table sugar) is a disaccharide, which means it's actually made up of two molecules of sugar, a glucose attached to a fructose. The yeasties can't break the bond between these sugars so they can't eat it. If you want to use table sugar (Sucrose) you need to boil it for 5-10 mins. The heat breaks down the sucrose back to two monosaccharides, the glucose & fructose... so there it is. Oh snap I just seriously nerded out just now!!
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