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Old 04-12-2008, 05:38 PM   #1
aj47
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Default Sugar question?

I recently bought a Hambleton Bard Dry Beer Kit which consists of dried malt extract, hop extract and yeast, and equipment to make my first brew. Though its advertised as 'everything needed to make your first brew' from reading around on different guides on the Internet, i gather that for lagers you need to add sugar.

However each guide I have read seems to differ on the type of sugar and when to add the sugar. i.e. some say add during the fermenting stage others say add it before bottling to prime etc.

Can someone help me with this. For a 5 gallon brew of this type what do you suggest?

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Old 04-12-2008, 05:44 PM   #2
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I've never heard of that particular kit, but I would recommend against adding sugar. Some beer kits actually instruct you to add sugar, but it's not the way to make the best tasting beer. For people who wish to add something, you could add more malt extract. That does cause some inbalance in the beer with the malts and hops, but it is one way to boost the alcohol.

The difference between an ale and a lager is fermenting temperature. An ale is fermented in the 65-70 degree range, while a true lager is fermented around 50 degrees and then lagered (cold stored) for a couple of months. The difference is not in the ingredients (and a good lager should never have sugar as one of the ingredients) but in the way it's fermented. Some kits call themselves "lager" kits, though, which makes it confusing. Those kits are usually still sold with ale yeast, though.

Some good reading on extract brewing is here: http://howtobrew.com/intro.html

When you go to bottle the beer, some more fermentables (usually in the form of sugar) are added. That's just to carbonate the beer, not to actually provide fermentables in the brewing.

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Old 04-12-2008, 06:32 PM   #3
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Hi,
I would not add sugar to your beer, except for priming the bottles. If you throw several pounds of sugar in (as some extract kits recommend) your beer will likely take on a cider-like flavor.

Use dry or liquid malt extract in place of the sugar. its worth the extra few dollars.

Commercial brewers use sugars, rice and other ingredients in some lagers to increase alcohol content without adding flavor, but they don't add table sugar. Also in many cases they are just trying to save money.

Cheers,
Brad

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Old 04-12-2008, 07:18 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I assume that when I do add sugar for priming it should be brewing beer right not normal sugar?

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Old 04-12-2008, 07:28 PM   #5
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Well, most of us use dextrose AKA corn sugar. But since the amount of table sugar is very small, I've heard that you could use that. If you can get dextrose, though, that would be the way to go.

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