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Old 06-26-2011, 05:13 AM   #1
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Default Lactose flavor?

I understand lactose can be added at any point in the fermentation process and generally is used for some body and sweetness due to it's mostly unfermentable sugars.

Can someone describe the sweetness imparted on a beer? I've had milk/sweet stouts before, but if I add this to say, a brown ale, would it still be good? My brown ale is a bit hot and I figured adding maybe 1 lb or so of lactose might balance it out some.

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:23 AM   #2
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I toyed with adding a pound of lactose to a chocolate stout last year to give it a some 'sweetness'. I liked the way it turned out. I plan on doing this brew again later this year but with another half pound or so.

Honestly, I think it's something you'll have to experiement with.

Yes, you can add too much... Southern Tier's 'creme broule' is just a mess of sweet.

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Old 06-26-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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Is the sweetness imparted something you would associate with a milk stout? I think what I'm getting at is would adding lactose to a brown ale then make it a milk brown ale? Or would it simply be a sweeter, fuller brown ale?

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Old 06-26-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
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Lactose will add sweetness due to its unfermentable sugar content. It will also add a milk flavour and aroma.
Milk Brown...why not ?
The only trouble is that you have got to balance the malt, hops and milk flavours together. Im afraid this one is trial and error.

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Old 06-26-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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Youve just reminded me of a conversation I had many years ago.
I was in a pub and a elderly couple walked in and ordered a pint of bitter and 1/2 of Guinness with a splash of double cream. I asked the lady "why the splash of cream?"
" Have you ever tried it ?" she replied.
I went to the bar and ordered one. Very nice it was too. Not my prefered drink and you would have to sit down and really analize the flavours, but well worth a go.

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Old 06-26-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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Draw a sample of the beer and add to it a small amount of lactose and try it. If it gives you what you want, scale up the lactose and add to the fermenter.

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:32 PM   #7
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I just brewed a Biscuit Brown Ale that came out a bit thin since I had some brewing complications(cold morning brewing outside) and I didn't hit my target mash temp. I was at about 150deg. I just tasted the beer after a week of fermenting and It was pretty thin, however it had a nice biscuity flavor to the finish. So i'm hoping that the lactose sweetness will give it better body. I'm going to try adding some lactose to the secondary. First i'm going to draw off a sample and mix in some lactose to see what it's like. I'll let you guys know. I also realize this is an old thread but I came upon it searching lactose and other may too.

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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I have brewed an oat meal stout with chocolate nibs and added a pound of lactose. I still didn't get the sweetness I was looking for. I tested the sweetning power of lactose (to taste) against dextrin and table sugar and comparing to table sugar it tasted like 20% as sweet and had no flavor at all.

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Old 11-27-2012, 04:09 PM   #9
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I have brewed an oat meal stout with chocolate nibs and added a pound of lactose. I still didn't get the sweetness I was looking for. I tested the sweetning power of lactose (to taste) against dextrin and table sugar and comparing to table sugar it tasted like 20% as sweet and had no flavor at all.
The difference, though, is that lactose won't ferment out like table sugar will. You would have to make sure there is no yeast left before adding table sugar.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:14 PM   #10
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The difference, though, is that lactose won't ferment out like table sugar will. You would have to make sure there is no yeast left before adding table sugar.
The test I made was not regarding fermentability but tasting only / perception of sweetness. It comprised of adding same weight of ingredients to a standard volume of distilled water, boil for 5 minutes, cool and taste.
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