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Old 07-31-2008, 05:55 PM   #1
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Default Sterilize beer after fermintation?

will campden tablets do a good job of sterilizing beer after fermentation. I want to make a sweet stout by adding sugar after fermentation, like Mackeson's Stout and I force carbonate anyway so will the tablets work or should I devise a pasteurizing setup? Has anyone done this?


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Old 07-31-2008, 06:03 PM   #2
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will campden tablets do a good job of sterilizing beer after fermentation. I want to make a sweet stout by adding sugar after fermentation, like Mackeson's Stout and I force carbonate anyway so will the tablets work or should I devise a pasteurizing setup? Has anyone done this?
No need for campden tabs (though they WILL kill off your yeast). Just add Lactose powder. Beer yeast (saccharomyces) can't ferment it, so, like sucralose or maltodextrin, it will remain a sugar.


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Old 07-31-2008, 06:07 PM   #3
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I don't think "sterilizing" is the proper term, nor a good idea. I recently made a Mackeson XXX stout. I had a heck of a time trying to get it to finish fermenting. I think my fermentation temps were too low. (65 - 70) I found that it finally finished once my room temp was more in the 70 - 80 range.

Camden tablets will kill off the yeast.

I believe there are enough unfermentable sugars in a stout like that, that you don't need to worry about adding the sugar, to sweeten it up. I have my Mackeson force carbing right now. I'll see for sure, how well it turned out this weekend.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:09 PM   #4
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Just add Lactose powder
Yes that was what I was planning but I read that Mackeson's adds sugar also because the lactose is not sweet enough. I havent brewed with lactose yet
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:29 PM   #5
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Yes that was what I was planning but I read that Mackeson's adds sugar also because the lactose is not sweet enough. I havent brewed with lactose yet
Not sweet enough? Just add more. I don't get that. Or, at the worst, add sucralose (splenda). I just don't like the idea of campden tabs in finished beer, even if it will be force-carbed.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:32 PM   #6
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I think you can get what you want with just lactose.

However if you do want to back sweeten you should use potassium sorbate in addition to the campden tablets to ensure fermentation does not renew. This is the technique used to back sweeten wines. The yeasts used are somewhat sulphite tolerant so sulphite alone does not do the trick. Beer yeasts maybe less tolerant but I'm not sure.

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Old 07-31-2008, 06:35 PM   #7
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I have plenty of experience with campden tablets, and it doesn't really "kill yeast". It, in conjunction with potassium sorbate, does inhibit yeast reproduction. That means in a ferment, it's really tough to stop a fermentation already in progress. It's possible, in winemaking, to allow a ferment to finish, then use k-meta (campden) and sorbate together to discourage fermentation to start up again when sweeteners are added. I think banking on campden to "kill" yeast would be a bad plan.

If you're kegging, though, I assume it'll be in a kegerator or freezer. Ale yeasts don't like to work at those temperatures, so in theory, you could sweeten it to taste and put it right in the kegerator and force carb. I'd still recommend lactose for sweetening- it sure is sweet enough. That one recipe around here for caramel cream ale with lactose is gawd-awful sweet.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:36 PM   #8
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Yes that was what I was planning but I read that Mackeson's adds sugar also because the lactose is not sweet enough.
True. Lactose doesn't give the kind of sweeteness sugar does. If you really want to have a sweet beer , try those artifficial sugars like sweet'n-low or sth like that.
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:39 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bombo80 View Post
I recently made a Mackeson XXX stout.


Got a recipe??
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Old 07-31-2008, 06:58 PM   #10
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Having had a couple of underattenuated beers last winter, I'd encourage you to backsweeten, as described above. That would allow you more control of the sweetness, whereas an underattenuated beer can very easily be unpleasantly cloying.


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