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Old 01-07-2009, 03:43 AM   #1
Patton191
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Default Table sugar as opposed to corn sugar

I know this argument has been brought up numerous times, but I am specifically asking about the Cooper's kits from Austin home brew. Austin has an option for $7 where one may add what is called quote...


"This kit requires an extra 2 pounds of fermentable sugar to reach its optimal flavor and alcohol content. Because our beer kit add pack is a blend of dried malt extract, corn sugar and maltodextrin, it will provide the best results, much better than granulated table sugar. Add the complete canned kit upgrade and receive our beer kit add pack, priming sugar, and detailed instructions."


I was wondering whether or not this is necessary and how normal cane sugar would work as opposed to the fancy stuff that costs $7. If anyone has any experience with just cane sugar and one of these cooper kits that would be very beneficial.

Thanks

Patton

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Old 01-07-2009, 03:49 AM   #2
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Table sugar can be used very effectively in beer. My favorite brewery (Unibroue) uses quite a bit of good ol' plain sugar. Here's one of my favorite posts on the subject:
Cidery ... Schmm-idery

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Old 01-07-2009, 04:24 AM   #3
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No, i originally gave up HB because i was using cane sugar and the beer didn't taste good.
Unfortunately Coopers kits do say to use cane sugar but your results will be average at best.

I agree with all of the points in the above link but maintain that cane sugar is still "different" to dextrose, dme and maltodextrin.
Cane sugar does have a place in brewing but needs an experienced hand and can be used as such for Belgian candy or the like. some use cane sugar in bottling also.

The Coopers kit is just a blend of Dex DME and maltodex the breakdown has been speculated about for some time but it will produce a better brew than cane sugar.
For my part, when i do a Coopers kit i use about 60% dex 40% DME. Use a good yeast such as US-05 and give it a bottle life of 4 weeks and the brew is good.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patton191 View Post
Because our beer kit add pack is a blend of dried malt extract, corn sugar and maltodextrin, it will provide the best results, much better than granulated table sugar.
...
I was wondering whether or not this is necessary and how normal cane sugar would work as opposed to the fancy stuff that costs $7.
The difference between 2# of dextrose and 2# of table sugar, over time, is about 5% fermentability IIRC. I would be surprised if anyone could taste the difference between dextrose and sucrose in beer fermented out to the same FG.

The difference between 2# of the DME/dextrose/maltodextrine ("add pack", as seen above) and 2# of table sugar would probably be significant. I would imagine most people could taste the difference.

I brew low-grav and so do not add any non-grain sugars (except at bottling, where I use table sugar minus 5%).
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:07 PM   #5
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well as I do not have the Cooper's kit with me, does anyone know how much sugar the kit asks for? Possibly even what % of sugar in relation to the other fermentables? I ask this because from what I have read cane sugar is alright as long as it is below I guess 20% maybe a bit lower.

I am curious of all this because I am planning on buying a kit from either a LHBS or online and would like to start out with something cheap, but also of relatively decent quality.

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Old 01-07-2009, 09:26 PM   #6
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Personally, I think table sugar makes a beer a tiny bit sweeter than corn sugar. However, that may just be my imagination.

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Old 01-07-2009, 09:43 PM   #7
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From what i read the cell structure of cane sugar is different that dextrose, something to do with protein chains. However i am not a scientist, i go by taste, i can taste the difference between brews with 1 kilo of sugar vs 1 kilo or dextrose, anyhow i don't use 1 kilo of either with kits, i use about 30-40% dried malt extract and you can definitely tell the difference then. Malotodextin will leave a little more sweetness in the brew as it is designed for that purpose. The other thing i noticed brewing with cane sugar is that it seems to leave more trub in the bottom of the fermenter, not quite sure if that is extra yeast or more cast off material from the sugar granules that were not fermentable.

Anyhow, the short answer is that dex is a lot cheaper if you buy it in larger quantities, i buy 5 kilo sacks and save around $1 a kilo that way. Yes it is more expensive than cane sugar but DME is more expensive than both and i use 40% of that so the dex price then doesn't matter. Grain prices are more again but even with AG the cost of brewing is substantially lower than the cost of buying megaswill at the local bottle shop.
Commercial swill 7 liters for around $40 AUD (Australian dollars)
k&k 23 liters for around $20 AUD (including dry hopping)
AG 23 liters probably around $30 AUD for a much better brew than the other two.

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Old 01-08-2009, 03:55 AM   #8
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Really your question is different from your question. The debate is not simply corn vs cane. It is asking about the Austin Gravity boost kit. The bulk of the cost of that kit is the DME, not the sugar, and yes, adding DME will have a significantly different flavor impact on beer. Especially when it constitutes about 20-25% of the fermentables. Which it would on the Cooper kits.

And malto-dextrine is totally different again. This is added for mouthfeel and body and can counteract the drying impact of adjunct sugar. This kit is designed to keep a recipe in balance while boosting the alcohol. (Although I would then bump the hops to keep them in balance as well.)

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Old 01-08-2009, 05:23 AM   #9
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Dontman is correct the boost kit has been made to give a balance, too much dex or malt will sway the kit in one way or another.
Hops on the other hand is personal taste, the problem is bitter is different for every person, i have a mate who sucks on lemons, i couldn't do that.
Adding bittering hops will balance out any kit that is too sweet.
Assuming you are still a N00b i think it's better to get a handle on how to make a couple of K&K's, then look at dry hopping for nose, then wet hopping for bittering and then more extracts... then AG
Of just read heaps and go straight to AG

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Old 01-08-2009, 01:49 PM   #10
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You can use regular cane sugar and it will turn out ok. The Add Pack will make it taste much better.

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