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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Sugar is it needed? Replacement
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Old 09-18-2012, 12:15 AM   #1
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Default Sugar is it needed? Replacement

Kits asking for kilo of sugar, have done with this and a kilo of brew enhancement in other brews , heard its better to leave the sugar out completely and use something else LME , is this correct? If so is it weight for weight ?

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:34 AM   #2
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I would imagine a 3.3 pound can would work just fine. Although I am only 128 gallons into this obsession.

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:38 AM   #3
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Kits asking for kilo of sugar, have done with this and a kilo of brew enhancement in other brews , heard its better to leave the sugar out completely and use something else LME , is this correct? If so is it weight for weight ?
Hello, adding sugar to a brew thins it out and raises the alcohol, by adding LME or DME or grain you will richen your beer up and add alcohol, I think you would be just fine adding a kilo of LME instead of the sugar.

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Old 09-18-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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Be careful what you replace in a recipe. Yes, I agree, 2.2 lbs is a lot of simple sugar, but the kit has been designed with that in mind. Replacing the sugar with extract will result in a higher FG; possibly as much as 6 points, making the beer much sweeter.

I'd suggest maybe replacing half the sugar.

Assuming it is table sugar:

1 lb table sugar = 1 lb DME = 1.25 lbs LME

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #5
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Check this page: http://hbd.org/uchima/tech/extract.html

in the second table, both cane sugar and dme are listed as having 45 gravity points (1 lb of either dissolved in 1 gallon of water would yield a gravity of 1.045) BUT malt extract will not ferment out as far as cane sugar. So your final gravity will be higher with dme than it would with cane sugar (= slightly sweeter ).

If you're talking about corn sugar, it's listed as having 40 gravity points, so I imagine the final gravity discrepancy would be wider if you exchange sugars by weight. Both cane and corn sugar will ferment out pretty well.

Having said all of that, I would suggest you go for it. I liked my beers better when I used dme (which was more readily available at the time than lme) over corn/table sugar.

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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What are you trying to achieve? If the recipe calls for that amount of sugar...to make that beer, then use it.

To that recipe, that kit, that is EXACTLY the correct amount of sugar to achieve the goal that the creator of the recipe intended.

Do you think the person who created a recipe or the company that chose to produce and market that recipe was a MORON because he/they used sugar?

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.

If you didn't want to brew "that beer" then why did you buy that kit, and not one that had heavier body?

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Old 09-18-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Kits asking for kilo of sugar, have done with this and a kilo of brew enhancement in other brews , heard its better to leave the sugar out completely and use something else LME , is this correct? If so is it weight for weight ?
Personally I'd probably use extract instead of sugar, but it depends on what you want. For a drier, less flavorful beer, use the sugar. If you want a richer, more flavorful experience, then switch the sugar with LME, or DME. You could go 1:1, but I don't think that an exact substitution, since the sugar is 100% fermentable, while the extracts aren't, plus the DME weighs less than LME, so the ratio is different too.

But you are changing the recipe, so why worry? It won't be exactly the same anyway, and that's the point. I'd just forget the weight and buy a second can of LME, or bag of DME. And the great thing is you can substitute with extract that has FLAVOR, like an amber, or dark, if you want a much more different beer! Or just go extra light for something closer to sugar.
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