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Old 09-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
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Default extra corn sugar - good idea, bad idea, new ideas?

Here's the thing; I am enjoying making lots of kit recipes, about a dozen so far. They are easy, work well for me, and I am getting good results. I jumped right in with a kegorator and a half dozen corny kegs to start.
Everything is great but as I am kegging I am only using half of the 5oz of corn sugar that come with my kits. Now being a responsible, waste not, want not kinda guy I am wondering what is the best thing to do with this continued excess in priming sugar; do I . . .

1. Can I just boil all of it into the regular recipes and get a slightly higher alc. content?
2. Use it entirely as priming sugar in the keg? I understand I shouldn't need any in a draft system at all.
3. Hybrid, half in the recipe, half in the keg for priming purposes?

Any bad ideas here? Good ideas? New ideas? What would you do with all the extra sugar that keeps coming?

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Old 09-20-2011, 08:57 PM   #2
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Buy kits from Northern Brewer. The sugar is optional!

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Old 09-20-2011, 08:58 PM   #3
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its optional from AHS as well

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Old 09-20-2011, 09:01 PM   #4
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My suggestion is that you branch off into making non-kit recipes so you are not paying for priiming sugar, caps, etc... There are lots of great recipes in the recipe database. I personally don't like priming in the keg... just adds extra sediment in my opinion, and I like the taste as well as control better with CO2 carbonating. Using priming sugar as a means to increase alcohol content can lead to "cidery" flavors and really only minimally increases the alcohol. I don't ever increase the alcohol content...most of my beers have more than enough.

Just save the sugar you have in case you decide to bottle something... or figure out a use for it in everyday cooking.

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Old 09-20-2011, 09:52 PM   #5
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I usually add 4-8 oz. of sugar to my IPA's to dry them out a little. I've never gotten a cidery flavor and I've used up to a lb. Just don't go overboard.

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Old 09-21-2011, 03:02 AM   #6
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The corn sugar can be used though it only makes sense in the right recipes. Mostly some Belgian styles, IIPAs and RIS. Usually big beers that you need to dry out where watery just isn't going to be an issue.

Save it in a zip lock and when you decide you need it, it will be there.

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Old 09-21-2011, 03:05 AM   #7
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Make a IIPA and use the sugar in that.

BTW, table sugar works equally as well as dextrose / corn sugar for fermentation and priming.

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Old 09-21-2011, 04:06 AM   #8
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IMHO the whole "cidery" flavor from added sugar is not totally accurate. I've got made a IIPA and added 3 pounds of sugar and had no cidery flavors at all, during fermentation or afterwards. I have however had a beer get and stay cidery that had no added sugar. Whoever said that added sugar doesn't have a significant effect on abv is incorrect. Corn sugar adds 40 gravity points per gallon to your brew, which is almost 100% fermentable. It might be insignificant in the amount of a few ounces, but a pound of sugar adds 1%abv to a 5 gallon batch, not insignificant. The only thing about it is, it will definitely thin out the body of your brew, so if that is not desirable don't do it. Also, simple sugars of any kind, whether it be refined sugar or cider, can produce hot solventy alcohol flavors that take weeks or months to age out, so you would need to plan for that as well.

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Old 09-21-2011, 01:07 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the help.
Hmmm, well I guess I will have to find an alternative to disposing of it then; chicken food?
I will get to making my own beer recipes soon, summer is so busy already, perhaps this winter. In the meantime I am getting my feet under me with trying the different kits.
In the dozen kits I have done since this spring the only one that failed was the very first one that was undrinkable do to overwhelming cidery off flavor. But there were too many variables with that first batch in fifteen years to blame in solely on the dextrose.
A quick search for cooking with dextrose yielded nothing. At about a buck for 5 oz packs of it I think I will just bite it for awhile longer. I think I will stop putting it in the kegs too as I don't really need to, I was just trying to use the sugar.
Thanks fro all the help, thoughts, insight and ideas.

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