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Old 02-18-2011, 04:03 PM   #1
dorklord
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Default Using some sorghum molasses

I've got 4 jars of this. Someone bought it for me, thinking that it was the same thing as the sorghum extract (Actually, I was talking about ordering some ingredients the other day, and my wife asked if I could use sorghum syrup from the grocery store, I told her I assume it is sorghum molasses like I already have, she said "oh, good thing I didn't buy it for you..."). I've used very small amounts of molasses to add some flavor to a brew, but I feel like I should try a batch using a whole jar or a pound of it or something.

I'm just looking for some ideas. I'm assuming it will add some color...but what can I expect for flavor? I was thinking maybe if I 'sub' a pound of it for a pound of sorghum extract in a brew? Maybe something like 6 lbs of sorghum extract, 1 lb sorghum molasses, 1 lb rice syrup for a darker beer?

Any ideas what I can expect in terms of color and flavor?

Just a note, I've seen online that sorghum molasses is a mix of sorghum syrup and molasses, while sorghum syrup, more rarely seen, is just the cooked down juice from the stems. I might give a try to using some just syrup once, but I know it won't be the same as the grain extract...

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Old 02-18-2011, 05:57 PM   #2
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Well, there is always some confusion on this, and about all I can say is forget the word "molasses" when dealing with sorghum syrup.

Sorghum syrup is made by crushing sorghum cane stems and boiling down and concentrating the juice, similar to making maple syrup. I have never heard of actual "molasses" being added to sorghum syrup. (Molasses is a by-product of refining sugar cane).

They are two completely different things.... sorghum vs. molasses. I am not sure what exact sugars are in each.

As far as gluten-free, I think the gluten free sorghum is made my malting and/or extracting the sugars from the GRAIN head of the sorghum cane, or actually from the grain called "milo".

Milo that they grow for grain only grows about 3' tall and is grown primarily for the seed head. It's called both milo and sorghum. (confusing)

Sorghum, that they grow for syrup, is very similar botanically, and looks real similar, except it grows maybe 8-10' tall, and is grown for the juice in the stem. It's usually called cane, sorghum cane, sweet cane, or ribbon cane.

I live in a part of the world where both are grown. Sorry if I have added to the confusion.

I actually think the gluten free product is made from the seeds of milo or grain sorghum ( both the same thing).

Sorghum syrup is what you eat on pancakes, cornbread or biscuits, and I have my doubts it is gluten-free. I could well be wrong on this point however.

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Old 02-18-2011, 06:40 PM   #3
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The sorghum syrup is closer in flavor to molasses than it is to sorghum extract. The extract is made from malting the grain whereas the syrup is generated in a completely different process.

http://www.herculesengines.com/sorghum/default.html

you are right to be cautious about how much to use, but I think you are quite safe doing a 1lb substitution. Of course that depends on what you are brewing. I used 1lb Barbados molasses in a brown ale with no bad qualities showing up from using that much.

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:24 PM   #4
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I know that sorghum and molasses are 2 different things, but I've heard (and thought I saw on the back of a jar) that some of the sorghum 'molasses' is sorghum syrup mixed with regular molasses.

I'm probably going to try a jar in a batch, now I've got to figure out what to brew...

I wonder if the flavor would be too overpowering for a DunkelWeizen or weizenbock...

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Old 02-18-2011, 07:44 PM   #5
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Alright, a little quick calculating:

6 lbs Sorghum Extract
1 lb Rice Syrup Solids
a little over 1 lb Sorghum Syrup (I'll check the jar tonight to see exactly how much)

now, my hefe and dunkelweizen recipes both call for 1 oz of Tettnang. Does this sound reasonable, or should I be bumping it up to go with the higher gravity? It looks like I'm going to be sort of between the high end for a dunkel and the low end of a weizenbock...I'm expecting, though, that the sorghum syrup will be a bit more fermentable than molasses normally is

I'm planning to use the Danstar Munich Wheat Beer yeast.

Heavyweizen, anyone?

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