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Old 04-02-2013, 08:26 PM   #1
QuercusMax
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Default Has anyone *actually* experienced problems priming with table sugar?

I've personally bottled dozens of batches with plain table sugar (boiled with a cup or two of water first), and never had any issues with proper carbonation or cidery tastes.

Two questions:
1) what exactly is a "cidery taste"? Are we talking acetaldehyde? Hard cider flavor? Sweet cider? Everybody assumes this is understood but it seems like a bad term unless it is defined.

2) Has anybody actually experienced issues with getting it to carbonate? Mine are generally fully carbonated within 3 days, and excellent drinking within 2 weeks. I've never noticed any superior results using corn sugar.

If anyone has done side by side tests between corn, table, and invert sugar I would love to hear.

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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I've used table sugar (3-4.5 oz per 5.0 gallons to style) and never had an issue.

When carbonating you generally want something highly fermentable that will leave no residual tastes...table sugar is perfect.

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #3
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No. I always used table sugar (when I used to bottle) and it was never a problem. I think most experienced brewers know this, but new brewers who must rely on a lot of anecdotal info might still think it's a problem.

The cidery thing probably comes from hooch makers that use sugar as the primary source of fermentables in their beer/bev.

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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Palmer's How to Brew (1st ed)

Cidery flavors can have several causes but are often the result of adding too much cane or corn sugar to a recipe. One component of a cidery flavor is acetaldehyde which has a green-apple character. It is a common fermentation byproduct and different yeasts will produce different levels of it depending on the recipe and temperature. Cidery flavors are encouraged by warmer than normal temperatures and can be decreased by lagering.

If it is caused by aceto bacteria, then there is nothing to be done about it. Keep the fruit flies away from the fermentor next time.
That's the source you're asking about.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Palmer's How to Brew (1st ed)

Cidery flavors can have several causes but are often the result of adding too much cane or corn sugar to a recipe. One component of a cidery flavor is acetaldehyde which has a green-apple character. It is a common fermentation byproduct and different yeasts will produce different levels of it depending on the recipe and temperature. Cidery flavors are encouraged by warmer than normal temperatures and can be decreased by lagering.

If it is caused by aceto bacteria, then there is nothing to be done about it. Keep the fruit flies away from the fermentor next time.
That's the source you're asking about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thadius856 View Post
That's the source you're asking about.
Yup. As Yoop said, "primary source". Using a few ounces in 5 gallons worth of beer will not produce any of these cidery flavors.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xjmox14x View Post
Yup. As Yoop said, "primary source". Using a few ounces in 5 gallons worth of beer will not produce any of these cidery flavors.
I've used pounds in a beer (belgians and IIPAs) without any issue. It's just a big fat lousy myth.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:14 PM   #7
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I'm not arguing Palmer is right or wrong because I don't have enough experience or evidence to back it up.

As I said in another thread earlier this week, I'll be putting this one to the test soon with split batches.

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Old 04-02-2013, 10:34 PM   #8
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My guess is Palmer is talking about using sugar for half your fermentables, which is probably a bad idea anyway. I can't imagine 4 or 5 oz in 5 gallons causing any off flavors. He also mentions corn sugar in the same sentence, so folks talking about cidery flavors from cane sugar should say the same about corn sugar.

I've put a pound of brown sugar into an ESB where I mismeasured by LME, and it tastes great, aside from a touch too much "sourdough"/tangy flavor from the Special Roast.

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:39 PM   #9
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I've used table sugar in every batch that I bottled before I started kegging. I never had any issues. Myth, busted!

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Old 04-03-2013, 11:40 PM   #10
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Always used it here too. Never bought into the brew store gimmick of paying out the wazoo for a few ounces of magical dextrose.

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