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Old 05-05-2012, 05:46 PM   #1
grindzombie
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Default Corn Sugar Adjunct?

I got a Belgian Pale Ale extract Kit from a large, reputable website and the ingredients are as follows:

Extracts/additions:
7 lb Light Malt Extract
8 oz Corn Sugar

Steeping Grain:
4oz Caramunich
4oz Special B
8oz Carapils

Hops
1oz Perle
1oz Mt. Hood

yeast
Safale S-33 dry yeast (I'll likely keep this as a backup and pick up a pack of liquid Belgian ale yeast at my local HBS.)

Estimates
OG 1.050-1.055
SRM 15-20
IBU 19-21
ABV% 5.1-5.3

From everything I've read, one should avoid the use of refined sugar as an adjunct. However this is my third go at brewing and I'm hesitant to stray too far from the original because I want the end product to be as true to type as possible. Should I use the ingredients provided, or is there a malt substitution I could (or should) make that might improve the quality without straying too far from the target profile?

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Old 05-05-2012, 06:10 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grindzombie View Post
From everything I've read, one should avoid the use of refined sugar as an adjunct. However this is my third go at brewing and I'm hesitant to stray too far from the original because I want the end product to be as true to type as possible. Should I use the ingredients provided, or is there a malt substitution I could (or should) make that might improve the quality without straying too far from the target profile?
What reason would you have for avoiding refined sugar as an adjunct?

What it does is increase the alcohol content without increasing the body. It's just a simple sugar (glucose/dextrose) that the yeast can eat easily.

Half a pound of sugar in that whole mix, I dunno, you could just increase the light DME to replace it if you have some sort of aversion to things that have been purified.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
bighorn_brew
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Adjuncts of many types are not unusual in Belgian style beers.


http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Fermentable_adjuncts#Candi_Sugar.2C_Amber


You can even make your own candi syrop if so inclined.

Google: making candi syrup homebrew

https://www.google.com/search?q=making+candi+sugar+homebrew&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-USfficial&client=firefox-a

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Old 05-05-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
grindzombie
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Originally Posted by TimpanogosSlim View Post
What reason would you have for avoiding refined sugar as an adjunct?

Yaknow, I'm thinking in terms of the "kit and kilo" kits- Which is not what I have. I just wasn't sure if there was ever a reason to use refined sugar as an adjunct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimpanogosSlim View Post
What it does is increase the alcohol content without increasing the body. It's just a simple sugar (glucose/dextrose) that the yeast can eat easily.

Half a pound of sugar in that whole mix, I dunno, you could just increase the light DME to replace it if you have some sort of aversion to things that have been purified.
...And there's my reason! Thanks to you and Bighorn for the advice and links. I'll probably get this started (unaltered) tomorrow provided I can get my hands on the appropriate yeast.

Thanks again guys!
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Old 05-05-2012, 11:29 PM   #5
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You will see simple sugars used in many Belgian styles as well as some British ales. This is correct and proper for the style as Timpan noted.

Corn sugar, invert sugar, treacle, rice syrup, honey, candi syrup, table sugar.....its all good....
Pez.

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Old 05-05-2012, 11:47 PM   #6
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That's actually another one of those brewer's myths that new brewer's tend to repeat over and over like canon, without full understanding what they're talking about.

Too much sugar, in a recipe can give off off flavors, or make a beer cidery, but we're talking about someone who wants to bump up the alcohol on his 6 pounds of extract beer by adding another 6 pounds of table sugar to it.

That whole thing about not adding sugar or else you make "cidery" beer is one of those little "chestnuts" that noobs repeat without thinking deeper about it. When we talk about it being a bad thing, is when the ration of sugar to malt quite high, like frat boys trying to bump up their coopers can...yeah that's a bad thing...but we're not talking about that in most cases, we're talking about an acceptable brewing process for many styles of beer...

I mean do you like Belgian beers? Are they "cidery?" Are they crappy tasting because of the simple sugars that are added? If you like them, that's how they achieved the beer you like.

Belgian beers are a style that are supposed to have simple sugars in it. It raises the abv, but it also cuts down on some of the body, promotes the formation of certain flavors and helps dry the beer out.

Adding sugars traditionally are a way of upping the ABV without boosting the body. They also can thin out a heavier bodied beer. And dry it out.

If you are trying to make a high gravity beer if you used all grain you'd have a thick and heavy beer.

The easiest comparison to make is the difference between a Barleywine and a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. They are pretty close in color, ibus and gravity, but since the Belgian beer replaces some of the grain with sugars it's a thinner, more refreshing finish....where the barleywine is almost like a liqueur.

A pound or two isn't going to affect the beer in a negative way, especially if the recipe calls for. Even a cooper's which people want to deride, or some others suggest replacing with malt extract, is really meant to have exactly the amount of sugar the recipe might call for. But if you willy nilly add a couple more pounds to it, that's another story.

It's about balance in a recipe, the correct amount of sugar in a recipe is fine, and often serves an important purpose.

Please don't fall into that trap of misunderstanding and repeating that errant idea. Sugar is not the enemy, especially in a Belgian...Too much sugar, especially if it's done SOLEY to bump up the gravity is bad. But 99% of the time, that's NOT the intended purpose of adding sugar.

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:16 AM   #7
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Thanks Pez and Revvy- This is exactly the type of input I'm looking for. I haaaate being a noob at stuff but I also realize that you can't un-noobify unless you try different things- and it really helps when someone notices what you're doing and says "No dummy- this is how you do it."

Looking forward to the day when I might be answering questions instead of asking them...

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Old 05-06-2012, 04:53 AM   #8
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He said it right sugar is only going to give you more abv and it can give cidery taste. I think the best thing, contradictory to what you said, is to stray away from the "true profile" you're looking for. Or wait....brew your beer, but then try and change it. I've been brewing for 4 years now and I think the best thing about this hobby is not going with the norm. If you want to add 8 pounds of sugar, then do it. It may taste good to you. We aren't doing this to make a living. If 8 lb of sugar is too much, you are going to change it based on your taste not ours. Remember that!!!

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