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Reverie 12-27-2009 11:39 AM

Question About Yeasts
 
So I've got my eye on a brouchet/mediaeval burnt mead for my next concoction but I had heard something strange the other day at my LHBS. The guy said he caramelizes his honey when he backsweetens because it changes the simple sugar into a complex sugar, which the yeast disagrees with. Obviously that's not entirely true since burning the bajesus out of honey would guaranteeingly leave only complex sugars for the brouchet's yeast to eat, but I was wondering if there is any logic to that, and if maybe the finished taste of the brouchet has something to do with the rate or exclusivity of complex sugars that are broken down and eaten? Or am I overthinking something that's totally misguided?

david_42 12-27-2009 02:38 PM

Caramelizing converts simple sugars to complex ones, that he has right. Also, yeast cannot absorb long-chain sugars, so ditto. Caramelization isn't an instant process, so you could limit the percentage converted. I haven't tried a burnt mead, but caramel would certainly be a step towards burnt.

Be aware fructose caramelizes at much lower temperatures than other sugars.


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