Originally Posted by bknifefight
This is not answering any questions posted here, but why are you using sugar in your recipes? You should be using more grain or extract. Adding 1 KG of sugar to a beer like a English Bitter (which you mentioned you usually make) is really out of character.
Because MANY styles of beers call for sugar.
I've brewed historical english bitters that called for sugars, especially darker sugars because they leave some unfermentable flavors.
Here's one from Barclay Perkins from 1910
Fullers 1910 AK
3.25lb Maris Otter
3.25lb American 2-row
0.5lb Flaked maize
0.67lb pale treacle (golden syrup)
0.50lb #2 invert sugar
0.25oz C150 caramel coloring
Mash: 151F x 1.5hours
And here's another one From Barclay Perkins for Truman's No 6 Mild Ale
that uses 5.5% sugar.
There's NOTHING wrong with using sugar. The issue is when folks use too much sugar. Too much sugar, in a recipe can give off off flavors, or make a beer cidery, but we're talking about someone who wants to bump up the alcohol on his 6 pounds of extract beer by adding another 6 pounds of table sugar to it.
That whole thing about not adding sugar or else you make "cidery" beer is one of those little "chestnuts" that noobs repeat without thinking deeper about it. When we talk about it being a bad thing, is when the ration of sugar to malt quite high, like frat boys trying to bump up their coopers can...yeah that's a bad thing...but we're not talking about that in most cases, we're talking about an acceptable brewing process for many styles of beer...
I mean do you like Belgian beers? Are they "cidery?" Are they crappy tasting because of the simple sugars that are added? If you like them, that's how they achieved the beer you like.
Belgian beers are a style that are supposed to have simple sugars in it. It raises the abv, but it also cuts down on some of the body, promotes the formation of certain flavors and helps dry the beer out.
Adding sugars traditionally are a way of upping the ABV without boosting the body. They also can thin out a heavier bodied beer. And dry it out.
If you are trying to make a high gravity beer if you used all grain you'd have a thick and heavy beer.
The easiest comparison to make is the difference between a Barleywine and a Belgian Dark Strong Ale. They are pretty close in color, ibus and gravity, but since the Belgian beer replaces some of the grain with sugars it's a thinner, more refreshing finish....where the barleywine is almost like a liqueur.
A pound or two isn't going to affect the beer in a negative way, especially if the recipe calls for. Even a cooper's which people want to deride, or some others suggest replacing with malt extract, is really meant to have exactly the amount of sugar the recipe might call for. But if you willy nilly add a couple more pounds to it, that's another story.