Originally Posted by eanmcnulty
Where I live outside of Chicago, I have Mexican grocers and Indo/pak grocers and Greek and Italian grocers..., and I am excited to use some of these ingredients. I want to experiment, but I think I'm a but too overly concerned about small details. I really want/need to know what numbers to enter into Beer Smith.
I think I just have to let it go and brew with the sugars. Relax and brew...
Yeah you need to rdwhahb especially using this stuff. You have to be open to experimentation.
For beersmith purposes I use whatever number is there for brown sugar. You're really just dealling with how many gravity points it's going to add pound for pound to the product. And a pound of white sugar and brown sugar are pretty much going to yield they same rough amount give or take a point or two. Pilconillo is not going to differ too much from jaggery or brown sugar all that much to need to sweat it.
But with software and refractometer or hydromter, even my favorite IBU/BGU chart I can tweak on the fly. You're worried about hopping based on the gravity dump the sugar in take a refractometer reading of the boil, the plug the numbers in, and even use the volume tool or the dillution tool to figure out the gravity after your boiloff is complete, then look at thehopping chart to decide where on the scale between malty and mouth puckering hoppy you want something, get your ibus and play with your hops until the numbers match. Heck you can use the IBU calculator on row 3 of brewsmith, and shift your existing hopbill to match the ibu's
you want. Or like I said, just for numbers purposes treat it as brown sugar and you'll be close enough for government work.
For other uses such as priming, I calculate it based on the nutrition info/serving on the packet based on the information I posted in my bottling thread based on the basic brewing podcast about alternative priming methods. I used it to prime with jaggery mollasses in my sri lankin stout, and it carbed fine. I describe it here- Scroll to the lower half of this post.
It really isn't something to be scared about, and it will open up a whole world or flavors.
In fact all the sugars we can think of yield roughly 46 points per pound unless otherwise noted.
Not all sugars are the same, but they are all formed by carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Brewers focus on the fermentability and sweetness of sugar types.
Monosaccharides, a single sugar molecule, are the basic building blocks of all carbohydrates from table sugar to pasta. With twenty-four atoms, many natural molecular formations occur. From a brewer's perspective, the best-known monosaccharides — glucose (dextrose), fructose (levulose), and galactose — provide easy chow for yeast. Your finished beer will be almost devoid of them.
Next up the sugar chain are disaccharides, two monosaccharides combined. The most famous sugar is sucrose (table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar). Virtually every grocery-store-aisle sugar is sucrose. Maltose (malt sugar) unsurprisingly appears in large quantities. Lactose (milk sugar), unfermentable by beer yeast, is used as an adjunct. Cream/milk stouts have a large boil kettle addition of lactose. Tasters perceive a richer mouthfeel, but little sweetness.
As the molecular count rises, fermentability drops. Among trisaccharides, maltotriose, an extension of the maltose molecule, is fermentable. The other common trisaccharide, raffinose, can be attacked by some strains of lager yeast. Beyond these two outliers, yeasts stop fermenting, but wild yeasts and bacteria can destroy longer-chain sugars. Preventing starch in the wort helps prevent infection by denying other microorganisms a noncompetitive food source.
Common Brewing Sugars
Beet/Cane table sugar — The most basic and most refined sugar you'll buy. Adds no flavor or aroma characters to the brew, but dries out and is cheap. Use when you want a gravity boost without sweetness and body.
Brown sugar — Most brown sugar is refined white sugar with varying amounts of molasses added back. To really punch up the flavor and aroma of British beers, look for real brown sugar, richly smelling of raisins and plums. Try muscavado, a very dark unrefined sugar cane brown sugar.
Candi sugar — Bags of Belgian Candi Sugar in your local homebrew store run a pretty penny. To save money, substitute table sugar or Chinese yellow lump sugar, a less refined product tasting of light caramel.
Lactose — Lactose is unfermentable milk sugar. Adds a very light sweetness to the final beer and boosts the beer's final gravity (43 points per pound).
Piloncillo/Jaggery — Products of Central America and India respectively, both are unrefined sugars with flavorful impurities. Distinctively packaged in rough, hard cone shapes, they require a grater or a hammer to ready the sugar. Keep an eye out for special jaggery made from date or palm syrup for a different taste.
Turbinado sugar — A less refined cane sugar, the large pale brown crystalline sweetener is known as “Sugar in the Raw” in the United States. Demerara is a paler British version. Tastes like light brown sugar, but with a fruitier aroma.
Additionally here are some brewing syrups you should consider for your home brewery.
Common Brewing Syrups
Golden syrup (Invert sugar syrup) — A British product, this syrup doesn't crystallize. Created from byproducts of the sugar-making process, it is thick and golden with a light caramel and fruity flavor. Invert sugar is, in theory, easier for yeast.
Molasses/Treacle — Molasses is boiled sugar cane juice. There are several grades. For brewing purposes, avoid the sulfured molasses. In darker varieties flavors intensify with less fermentable sugar. Blackstrap, the darkest molasses, is traditional in British old ales and adds unique plum, smoke, and licorice flavors (36 points per pound).
Belgian Candi Syrup — A recent addition to the homebrewer's arsenal is Belgian Candi Syrup, a leftover from rock-candy making. Dark and rich with plum, vanilla, and raisins, a single 1.5-pound bottle can transform a beer from pale to dark. Perfect for dubbels and quads (32 points per pound).
See not to different between all the sugars mentioned all about 46 points per pound