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Old 06-26-2012, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default Corn Vs. Cane sugar

I have been breewing a belgian double clone in the primary for over a month. I was considering racking and adding sugar to a secondary fermentor.
The question is: how much sugar and what kind? When is cane sugar used and when is corn sugar used. I seem to find different answeres everywhere.

Lastly, if I do add sugar, what would I base the amount on? The yeast is a high gravity yeast.

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Old 06-27-2012, 05:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcarey1222 View Post
I have been breewing a belgian double clone in the primary for over a month. I was considering racking and adding sugar to a secondary fermentor.
The question is: how much sugar and what kind? When is cane sugar used and when is corn sugar used. I seem to find different answeres everywhere.

Lastly, if I do add sugar, what would I base the amount on? The yeast is a high gravity yeast.
Cane vs. Corn sugar - either is fine, they both ferment completely so there shouldn't really be a difference, other than the fact that cane sugar contributes a bit more fermentables per lb. than corn sugar. So if you use cane sugar, use a bit less than if you used corn. Brewing software should tell you exact percentages, are you using any software?

As far as how much, it depends on your recipe and how dry you want it. What's your recipe and what is the gravity at now?

Also, not sure why you'd rack to secondary just to add the sugar. You could do that in primary. Then rack to secondary after that's all done fermenting out if you want to age/clear further.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
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Chemically speaking corn sugar(dextrose) is pretty simple, it'll ferment fast, quick, and clean. I'm sure that's why it's the home brewers choice for priming, well that and it's cheap (damn government subsidies...)

Table sugar (sucrose) is a few steps more complex than dextrose. It'll have undergo about 3 conversions to get to where dextrose is at.

If you're adding a little bit the subtle nuances probably won't matter, if you're trying to bump abv by 1% then the sucrose might stress your yeast out a little more than dextrose leading so more ester(flavor/smell) production

Another thing to consider is that working over your yeast a second time might make more go to sleep and you will have less active yeast when it comes to prime time.

So why are you trying to add the sugar to the batch?

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:03 PM   #4
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Glucose has been shown to lead to the production of more esters compared to a low-glucose wort. This is glucose specific, sucrose does not do this. I suspect that when the old Belgian brewers started to add sugars to their beers, it may partly have been to get the beers to have a drier finish, but equally so to promote ester formation (and cost and weird alcohol taxes). Fast forward to modern times, and seems that many homebrewers are unaware of the role in ester formation

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:08 PM   #5
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Interesting information!

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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Another aspect to concider is taste. the Pepsi/ Mt. Dew throw back sodas re introduced last year are a good example. Modern day Pepsi is make for corn sugar, the throw backs were made with cane sugar. Which one do you like better. Not sure on the taste difference that would be in beer making.
BTW corn sugar disolves faster than cane sugar.

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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How active is your yeast? If its been in primary for a month, it's probably not that active. Adding sugars at this point will likely stress whatever yeast remains which will then produce eaters you may not want; Ye newly added sugars may not completely ferment out if most the yeast has gone dormant and you'll have a cloyingly sweet beer; or a combination of the two.

If you want to add sugar to a primary fermentation, it's best to do it at about 65% attenuation. This is when the yeast start to settle down and are getting tired eating the complex maltose. If you introduce sugar at this point, the simple sugars are very easy for the yeast to consume and you'll have no issues with either complete fermentation or off flavors.

My unsolicited recommendation is to leave your Dubbel be and try this out next time. good luck!

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Old 06-27-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewandWineSupply
Another aspect to concider is taste. the Pepsi/ Mt. Dew throw back sodas re introduced last year are a good example. Modern day Pepsi is make for corn sugar, the throw backs were made with cane sugar. Which one do you like better. Not sure on the taste difference that would be in beer making.
BTW corn sugar disolves faster than cane sugar.
The sugar itself may taste different, but what do the fermented beers that had the different sugars taste like? They're very very hard to tell apart. Besides, if you want to be true to Belgian Brewing tradition, either one is right. The belgians use both sugar types. Get what's cheapest if youre going to add it.
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Old 06-27-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the information. I think I will skip adding sugar at this point and just rack to secondary in order to further clarify and age.

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Old 06-28-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjj2ba View Post
Glucose has been shown to lead to the production of more esters compared to a low-glucose wort. This is glucose specific, sucrose does not do this. I suspect that when the old Belgian brewers started to add sugars to their beers, it may partly have been to get the beers to have a drier finish, but equally so to promote ester formation (and cost and weird alcohol taxes). Fast forward to modern times, and seems that many homebrewers are unaware of the role in ester formation
if the yeast use invertase to make glucose from sucrose, why would using sucrose be any different?
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