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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Priming with molasses?
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Old 07-29-2009, 09:56 PM   #1
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Default Priming with molasses?

I have a bottle of certified organic blackstrap molasses that I want to prime my pumpkin ale with, but before I do, I want to know what kind of flavor, if any, the molasses will impart when it is used for priming.

My second choice is Organic Grade B Maple syrup. SWMBO chose the molasses over the maple syrup. I thought maple would be a nice addition along with the pumpkin spices, but SWMBO wanted to try molasses, and I'm not willing to split the batch and try both this go around.

I want this to turn out well, as I will be taking some of this to family in Boston for the holidays. I have never primed with either Maple or Molasses.

Bear in mind that this is a pumpkin ale:

What would you opinion be, Molasses, or Maple Syrup?

What flavors will the Molasses impart when used for priming?

Any thoughts as always are greatly appreciated.

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Old 07-29-2009, 10:17 PM   #2
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I'd wuss out and use sugar, since this is beer for an event- I always experiment with stuff I haven't committed to sharing. If not sugar, then maple syrup- all of the sweetness will be gone, so you have that really dark molasses flavor to contend with- would be good in porter, but maybe not a pumpkin ale. The maple syrup could be a nice touch, though.

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Old 07-29-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
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As much as I love Grade B maple syrup on my waffles, pancakes, etc., I would think that Grade A would be the way to go. Though Grade B would have a concentration of taste going for it, and therefore a potential lower price, Grade A's lighter taste would make its addition harder to overdo, at least for your first attempt.

I could be completely off in my thinking, though.

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Old 07-29-2009, 10:29 PM   #4
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Molasses has a lot of impurities left over from sugar refining. I've never used it to prime with but I would imaging it could add a little burnt flavor and some astringency if you used too much. Also, the amount of fermentable sugar would be quite a bit less than simply using corn or table sugar so you'd need to use more of it to achieve the desired level of carbonation.

I'd pass and simply use table sugar to prime. Molasses might work with a porter or stout but I don't have a clue how much you would need.

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Old 07-29-2009, 11:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie View Post
Molasses has a lot of impurities left over from sugar refining. I've never used it to prime with but I would imaging it could add a little burnt flavor and some astringency if you used too much. Also, the amount of fermentable sugar would be quite a bit less than simply using corn or table sugar so you'd need to use more of it to achieve the desired level of carbonation.

I'd pass and simply use table sugar to prime. Molasses might work with a porter or stout but I don't have a clue how much you would need.
I was hoping that some of the "impurities" would lend a je ne sias quio to the brew that wouldn't ruin it.

Maybe I should just go with the regular dextrose for priming, unless someone else has thoughts on priming with molasses.
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:23 AM   #6
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I've noticed in my reading as a meadmaker that maple is only suggested for the very sweet meads. Why? When the maple finishes out, all that is left of the amazing taste is a smokey, astringent, lingering "blech". Maple needs sugar to taste good, so I would not use it in beer -- unless you're going for the smoked taste.

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Old 07-30-2009, 04:17 PM   #7
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I wouldn't use either. Molasses, even diluted, can be really up-front, just take a whiff. Maple without a sweet note isn't all that great either.

If SWMBO pushes hard for molasses, use 2 ounces and dextrose for the rest.

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Old 07-30-2009, 05:45 PM   #8
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I wouldn't use either. Molasses, even diluted, can be really up-front, just take a whiff. Maple without a sweet note isn't all that great either.

If SWMBO pushes hard for molasses, use 2 ounces and dextrose for the rest.
Thanks for the advice, I think I will just expalin to SWMBO that the molasses would be better used in a different brew.

Thanks to everyone else as well, I really appreciate your input!
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:07 PM   #9
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I just finished conditioning a beer (Irish Red Ale) with Organic Grade B Maple Syrup in both the boil and as priming. It has an interesting woody flavor, which when combined with the light fusels (yay for heatwave) almost give it a whiskey kick near the end. It's good... really good, but definitely not the delicious maple syrup flavor I was expecting.

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Old 07-31-2009, 05:26 PM   #10
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molasses is great in dark beers.Try 1 oz,and the rest corn sugar.

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