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Old 03-17-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
Mar 2009
Posts: 1

Could you simply use regular sugar or something with sugar in it like honey instead of malt for brewing?

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
Dec 2008
Dublin, Ireland.
Posts: 1,169
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Yep, you can get away with it for wines, but it certainly does nothing for the taste of beers.

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Old 03-17-2009, 05:02 PM   #3
McGarnigle's Avatar
Jul 2008
Posts: 1,964
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You can use these for part of your recipe, but not entirely. It should still be mostly malt.

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Old 03-17-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
Edcculus's Avatar
Jun 2007
Greenville, SC
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If you use all honey it will be mead. If you use all sugar it will be hooch. Beer must contain malt.

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Old 03-17-2009, 08:13 PM   #5
Dec 2008
Posts: 210

also FWIW, straight up sugar/honey doesn't contain the nutrients the yeast need, so you'd need to add those from another source. (malt has them)

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Old 03-17-2009, 09:11 PM   #6
rico567's Avatar
Apr 2008
Central IL
Posts: 3,018
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Sugars are fairly simple compounds, but immediately become more complicated when they are examined. Some sugars are fermented readily, others less so, some not at all. Honey is a more complex substance yet, although mostly sugar. Malted grain is FAR more complex than just the sugars derived from it (thank God!), and it is all these complexities that give us such glorious variety in beers, including ales, lagers, lambics, etc. as well as other base stocks with their own complexities that produce fermented beverages like mead, cider, and wine. Sugars are required for the anærobic fermentation that produces the alcohol and CO2, but there's far, far more to this pastime than that.....otherwise we'd all be drinking some fairly uniform swill (probably tasting a lot like a BMC Light beer), and enjoying it not much at all.
“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”

-A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad , 1896.

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