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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Can I substitute corn syrup for malt extract for a dryer beer
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Old 07-11-2010, 04:46 PM   #1
manicmethod
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Default Can I substitute corn syrup for malt extract for a dryer beer

I'm currently doing my first batch. While moving from primary to secondary I tasted it and it is very sweet.

I love very bitter IPA's that are not malty and are fairly dry. My question is, can I substitute some of the malt extract with corn syrup to get a dryer beer.

Googling around shows that corn syrup is more fermentable than malt extract.

What other effects would it have on the beer if I did this?

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Old 07-11-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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What other effects would it have on the beer if I did this?
I dunno about corn syrup. but I know that you can get 1# of corn sugar (dextrose) at the home brew shop for a dollar or two. And lots of IPAs use a half pound or a pound of dextrose in their recipes for exactly that reason, to dry it out a bit.. I would think the corn syrup would leave a funky flavor, but if its 100% dextrose, it may be fine. Someone else should be along shortly to give you more details.
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Old 07-11-2010, 05:40 PM   #3
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First of all, it's too early to say that your beer will be too sweet. Most likely, your fermentation is not complete yet. Anyway, it is misleading to draw too many conclusions from a taste at this stage, even if fermentation is complete.

What was the recipe? What was the Original Gravity (O.G.)? What is the gravity at this point (ideally, your taste sample should have been your gravity sample)? How long has it been in primary? What yeast did you use?

Corn syrup from the grocery store is not pure; it contains other ingredients. You would need to get it from a brewing supply store, as Jackson said. But it is fun to browse the grocery store shelves, to see what sugars are there. Mine, for example, carries Lyle's Golden Syrup, which turns up in recipes from time to time; as well as agave nectar, which is intriguing.

Oh, and welcome to the wonderful world of brewing!

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Old 07-11-2010, 05:59 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses.

The recipe is a hodge podge of an IPA recipe I found on hdb.org http://hbd.org/cgi-bin/recipator/rec...up=2&item=7901

My brew shop didn't have the hops so some got substituted for ones with similar AA.

For the Grain I used a bag I had with 12oz crushed crystal 60L and 1oz of Black Patent.

For the extract I used 2 3.3lb pilsen light malt extract and 1lb light dried malt extract. The yeast was Safale US-05 11.5g

I didn't have a hydrometer when I put the wort in the fermenter.

I left it in the primary for a week at 66-70F and when I transfered to secondary the SG was 1.023.

It is in the secondary right, I added another packet of Safale US-05 and lowered the temp to 60.

I'm sure I've gone off track somewhere.

I also didn't have a big enough kettle for the full 5 gallon boil so I ended up doing a 2.5 gallon boil and added 2.5 gallons of cold tap water in the primary.

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Old 07-11-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by manicmethod View Post

For the Grain I used a bag I had with 12oz crushed crystal 60L and 1oz of Black Patent.

For the extract I used 2 3.3lb pilsen light malt extract and 1lb light dried malt extract. The yeast was Safale US-05 11.5g

I didn't have a hydrometer when I put the wort in the fermenter.

I left it in the primary for a week at 66-70F and when I transfered to secondary the SG was 1.023.

It is in the secondary right, I added another packet of Safale US-05 and lowered the temp to 60.

I'm sure I've gone off track somewhere.

I also didn't have a big enough kettle for the full 5 gallon boil so I ended up doing a 2.5 gallon boil and added 2.5 gallons of cold tap water in the primary.
wow you are kind of all over the place. black patent (which is typically a porter or stout grain), pilsen extract, ipa hops.. you added 'cold' tap water into the wort. put into secondary after a week and added another packet of yeast..

stick around this site and you'll pick up a bunch of stuff. its good to stick to recipes as much as you can in the beginning so you can figure out how stuff is supposed to taste. temperature control is very important. you almost certainly did not need the second packet of yeast, but now that you've added it, you should keep the fermenter at 70 deg so its warm enough for the yeast to do their job.. also, if you had left it in primary for another week or two, it likely would have dropped a bit more as the yeast were still probably working..

just keep having fun and making beer, the first couple batches are always an adventure.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:16 PM   #6
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Adding sugars can definitely lower the FG of the beer, but you want to be careful not too add to much sugar else you'll end up in a "cidery" taste. I think the general rule of thumb is 10% or lower of your fermentables can be sugar without affecting flavor negatively.

As for the black patent and crystal 60, my guess is he's trying to make a black ipa (or cascadian dark, or india black ale, or american style dark ale, or blah blah blah who cares).

In either case, with extract you'll generally see a higher finishing gravity than with all grain, so 1023 *could* be done fermenting. I'd personally give it another week in the primary, see where it's at, and if it's still higher than you'd like you can toss in a little bit of sugar (dissolve and boil in water, then cool before pitching into the primary). Off the top of my head, with an OG of 1080ish, you'll probably be fine adding 1lb of sugar with no ill effects. 1080 is a big beer, let the yeast work on it a little longer before you see what your FG *really* is.

Case in point...my belgian tripel (OG 1.096) was at 1.018 after a week....I let it sit for another week and it's dropped down to 1.010

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Old 07-11-2010, 06:32 PM   #7
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wow you are kind of all over the place. black patent (which is typically a porter or stout grain), pilsen extract, ipa hops.. you added 'cold' tap water into the wort. put into secondary after a week and added another packet of yeast..
So, I had an old Brewers Best Red Ale kit from a year ago that I never used, and I don't like Red's any more so I decided to do an IPA. I took the recipe and the kit ingredient list to the brew shop and they helped out filling in the gaps between what I had and what I needed.

The 60L and black patent came from the kit and I used it not knowing what it would do (Since I've started this batch I've been doing intensive research and understand now why I might have wanted 10L and no black patent).

The pilsen extract is the light extract they had, the brew shop guy said its what I should use.

Is the cold tap water bad? I don't have a filter yet (though it is on the map to get one). I figured cold tap water both added oxygen to the wort and cooled it down faster. I never saw instructions on what to do if your boil wasn't as big as your batch.

The yeast in the secondary was just my impatience I suppose, the primary had stopped bubbling vigorously and after tasting the sweetness when transferring I thought the yeast might need a little help :X my bad

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just keep having fun and making beer, the first couple batches are always an adventure.
I plan to I am an researcher by trade so I very much like to experiment more than following a recipe to the T.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:58 PM   #8
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Best thing I see to improve would be to get a bigger pot. I don't know that much about recipes or types of grain yet but have found that my beerS have tasted better after moving up to cull boiles so that the hopps are better utalized.

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Old 07-11-2010, 10:57 PM   #9
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To be fair the 1oz patent won't do much besides colour it. Maybe it was in just to give it a slightly more golden appearance, I've certainly done it to give a bit of depth to pale ales where there's no crystal malt.

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Old 07-12-2010, 01:52 AM   #10
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Thanks for the tips. I put the recipe into BrewMate (which I just found on this forum, nice piece of software) and according to it the FG will be 1.022, so it isn't far off right now.

Also the color is going to be SRM 14.3 which might make it the darkest non-black imperial pale ale I've ever had

It also says it'll be 206 IBU which is quite a bit above the recipe *shrug*

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