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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Adding Sugar during fermentation........
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Old 05-29-2009, 01:14 PM   #1
BrandonBlack
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Default Adding Sugar during fermentation........

I read an interview with Andy Tveekrem where he mentions doing this. Who on here does this. Do the benifits out weigh the risks? What are the risks of doing this at home?


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Old 05-29-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
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Just to boost ABV? I did this with my Mr. Beer, not really since then however.


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Old 05-29-2009, 02:09 PM   #3
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I have never done it. But in general it is done to try to get the yeast to ferment the wort to a lower final gravity. When the simple sugar is added the yeast will tend to stop eating the more complex maltose and turn to the simple sugar. A lot of brewers employ this technique to brew very high ABV beers as well.

There are little to no risks if proper technique is used. Boil the sugar in a small amount of water to sanitize, cool it down some, pour it in. I like to sanitize the stopper on my carboy and the area around the whole before opening the vessel and, of course, keep the top off for as short a time as possible.
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:13 PM   #4
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when is the best time to do this. I am on the second day of fermentation for my latest batch. also, what sugar is best to use?
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Old 05-29-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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You can't really talk about adding sugar to the beer in terms of general pros and cons. For some styles of beer, the effects of using sugar will be beneficial, but in most styles, it will be harmful. I have brewed styles with sugar (because it came with the kit) that do not typically use sugar in the recipe, and the beer didn't turn out very good. Look at some recipes for your style of beer on the forum to see if they use sugar. The risks of using sugar are very low, since there are no disadvantages to just boiling it to sterilize it (unless it's flavored sugar).

The recipes for which I used sugar, had me adding dextrose during the boil along with the malt extract. If you've already started fermenting, then I would treat it the same way I treated honey when I added that during fermentation, which is to add it just after high krausen. It's best to watch the krausen level to determine this (I made a point of using a carboy for that batch so I could see), but it usually occurs in the second or third day of fermentation, in my experience.

As for type of sugar, it depends on the style. The Belgians usually use some kind of special candy sugar, but I don't have any experience with that. Dextrose has the reputation of fermenting the most cleanly, which is why it's popular as a priming sugar.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:12 PM   #6
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i brewed a belgian strong a while back and after 4 days of primary fermentation, i boiled 1# of clear candi sugar and 2# of cane sugar in 2 cups of water (the 2 cups was far too much, i think i could have easily dissolved it in 1 or less) for about 10-15 minutes, cooled it to about 70 deg F, sanitized a funnel and poured it into the carboy... but as has been mentioned, this method is specific to certain beer styles. if you're doing a pale ale or something, you probably don't want/need to do this.

in any case, this worked out great for me and brought the FG down, boosted the ABV, and didn't affect the body as it would have if i'd used more grain to accomplish the higher ABV.
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Old 05-29-2009, 04:50 PM   #7
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I brewed a Maple Brown Ale in which I added 8 0z of pure maple syrup, after 3 days in the carboy.(I guess this would usually correspond with high krausen) OG was 1.052 and final was 1.012 which is 5.2%ABV. So I didn't get a big boost in alcohol but the flavor was great. Of course the amount of fermentable sugar in maple syrup isn't as high as pure corn sugar. There was no recommendation about heating the syrup for pasteurization and so it was added straight from a fresh bottle without any consequences.


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