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Old 10-23-2007, 12:45 AM   #1
WormBoy
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I have come across recipes for Belgian beers that call for a few pounds of table sugar (hand me down recipes). I have read that the purists tend to use candi sugar instead. But for a complete fermentable, is there anything wrong with using table sugar? Is this yeast junk food?


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Old 10-23-2007, 12:50 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WormBoy
Is this yeast junk food?
What a great way to put it! Table sugar is almost always considered a poor ingredient for making beer. Using too much can lead to a cidery off flavor. Corn sugar (dextrose) is a better alternative if you want to increase the gravity slightly, but it can still contribute that cidery taste, just to a lesser degree. Candi sugar is an invert sugar made up of shorter carbon chains that are easier for yeast to metabolize. It will generally provide a very clean flavor profile. Here's a great "how-to" on making your own:

http://www.franklinbrew.org/brewinfo/candi_sugar.html


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Old 10-23-2007, 07:18 AM   #3
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I've also read that using too much invert sugar will distract the yeast from starting on the malt and it can sometimes stall before all the fermentables are used.
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:00 PM   #4
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This is something I have had a recent interest in, and I don't have a proper answer. I enjoy Belgian beers very much, and I love to make them. Candi (invert) sugar is a very common ingredient in Belgians. If you need to add a dark candi sugar, you pretty much need to make it yourself or buy it. However, all invert sugar is, is sucrose introduced to heat in an acidic environment. This environment breaks them down into glucose and fructose, that is easily fermented by the yeast. If you are making/buying a light colored invert sugar, I don't see why you could not just add sucrose to the boil of your wort. Wort is acidic, and obviously there is heat. Wouldn't adding sucrose to the wort essentially break down the sucrose into glucose and fructose and thus make light invert sugar while it boiled? I honestly don't know...I am just kind of thinking out loud here. However, I have not heard a reason yet why this would not be true. And also, according to some guy on another forum, some large Belgian breweries, such as Rochefort, use this method in their Belgian beers.

 
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Old 10-23-2007, 02:09 PM   #5
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Sounds plausible.

If I'm brewing a belgian style then I use unrefined sugar or golden syrup.
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Old 10-23-2007, 03:30 PM   #6
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Brewers yeast make invertase so can readily convert sucrose to glucose + fructose. There is no advantage to using invert sugar. Orfy is right about yeast preferring to use the easiest source of sugar which can result in incomplete fermentation of the maltose in your beer, but I don't know if that applies to sucrose because they do have to convert it. Dextrose on the other hand is the ultimate "junk food" as it is readily absorbed and fermented. Plain sugar if used in moderation is fine in beer, it got a bad rep when overused in years past for homebrewing as a cheap fermentable when malted barley and extracts where expensive and hard to find.

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