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Old 10-10-2012, 03:27 AM   #1
kleinstadt
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Default adding sugar after primary fermentation is done

I usually add sugar in the last 5 minutes of the boil.

I've read rumors about yeast getting "lazy" or something, and wanting to ferment sucrose before maltose. These rumors advocate adding sugar (in my case, 2 lbs. of Turbinado) after primary fermentation is done.

So, for my last DIPA batch, I decided to add the sugar 11 days after pitching the wort onto an only week old yeast cake.

Yes, I realize I didn't properly sanitize or sterilize the Turbinado, let's not get sidetracked with that issue, for reasons you will see below.

I have very little headspace in these carboys. I tried swirling them to dissolve the sugar, but it foamed up quite a bit (so, I had no space in which to add 0.5 gal of sterilized sugar water).

Finally, my question is: has anyone just added the sugar and let it dissolve on its own without swirling? I'm thinking with the added turbulence, it may dissolve on its own, but I obviously don't know. If it does dissolve on its own, how long does it take?

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:10 AM   #2
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do not add sugar to a 11 day ferment.....unless you want rocket fuel wine im a rocket man, burning out his fuse up here alone!!

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Old 10-10-2012, 11:19 AM   #3
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Adding sugar after fermentation has started is not uncommon in high gravity brews, but 2 lbs in 5 gallons after 11 days sounds late. I've added dry sugar when fermentation slows a little (maybe a couple days after pitching) when I bottled the beer the yeast had consumed all the sugar and the beer tasted great. No fusel alcohol problems.

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Old 10-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #4
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On double IPAs, I usually add a 1/2 lb of light brown sugar after fermentation has slowed (5-7 days). It usually gets the action started back up.
One thing I have noticed on high gravity brews that i've added sugar to is that there sometimes isn't enough suspended yeast to carbonate the bottles after fermentation is complete.
I've had to add a pinch of yeast to each bottle (22oz), which caused quite a bit of sediment at the bottom of each one.

Just my experiences. Please take the lingo & assumptions with a grain of salt. I'm fairly new at this.

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Old 10-11-2012, 02:46 AM   #5
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Okay, I added it too late. Fine.

Back to the original question: do I need to swirl the carboy to get all the sugar to dissolve, or will the yeast activity create enough turbulence that it will dissolve on its own?

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Old 10-11-2012, 04:29 AM   #6
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you should have dissolved it in water first, okay you messed that up, the alcohol should break it down eventually, just let it go and see what happens, not much you can do at this point.

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Old 10-11-2012, 07:16 AM   #7
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I added a lb of sugar boiled with a cup of water to my last IPA.

It probably would have worked out fine but the weather hit 100 for three days straight while I was out of town and the carboy got too hot, major fusel alcohol problems.

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Old 10-11-2012, 12:02 PM   #8
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I often add sugar after about 5 days. I have never gone that long, but it should work. At this point just let it sit and hope the yeast finds the sugar. You would have been better off if you would have boiled the sugar in a little water, cooled it and then added it.

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Old 10-12-2012, 03:29 AM   #9
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I thought about adding it in water, but 1) I have very little headspace left in these 6 gal. carboys 2) I didn't want to caramelize the sugar by really heating it with a minimal amount of water

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Old 10-12-2012, 07:04 AM   #10
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the yeast will find the sugar, it just takes time. and the sugar will dissolve into solution as it tries to equalize its' concentration gradient, from there the yeast will take care of the rest. just keep the temps right and I would do something to give the krust. some where to go if you really don't have that much head space in the vessel.

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