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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Light or Dark Brown Sugar?
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Old 11-25-2008, 10:48 AM   #1
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Default Light or Dark Brown Sugar?

If a recipe just calls for straight brown sugar, what is it referring to...light or dark? I went to the grocery store thinking it would be a simple affair getting brown sugar, and low and behold all they have is "light" or "dark." I got one bag of each not knowing, but am curious which one I should use.


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Old 11-25-2008, 10:56 AM   #2
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If you like any flavour out of sugar, use dark brown. Light brown gives nothing, almost like table sugar.


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Old 11-25-2008, 11:51 AM   #3
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+1. The "brown" in brown sugar is molasses. Used to be that brown sugar was less-refined white table sugar, but some decades ago - IIRC, around WWII - it was found to be easier to add back a measured amount of molasses than stop the refining process mid-stream.

The flavor and color contribution of the molasses in brown sugar, regardless of color, will be slight. It depends on the rest of your recipe; for example, if you're using nothing else but pale extract, dark brown sugar will have some impact. Otherwise, it's just additional fermentables. If you post the rest of the recipe, I'll be better-positioned to actually give you useful advice.

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Old 11-25-2008, 01:14 PM   #4
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I just gave the recipe a perusing. My primary question/concern was regarding color. I've determined the dark brown is about 60 SRM, so 10 ounces of it should help me get my brew to the target color. If it imparts some flavors, super, and if not, at least it'll get my color where it needs to be.
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
I just gave the recipe a perusing. My primary question/concern was regarding color. I've determined the dark brown is about 60 SRM, so 10 ounces of it should help me get my brew to the target color. If it imparts some flavors, super, and if not, at least it'll get my color where it needs to be.
It is better to colour the beer using dark malts, unlike sugar they provide melanoidins, and they extend beer shelf life.
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr View Post
It is better to colour the beer using dark malts, unlike sugar they provide melanoidins, and they extend beer shelf life.
I understand that, but this recipe was based around brown sugar (which imparts color). I was going to remove the sugar all together, but then realized my target color would be off. I do have a few ounces of chocolate malt in there though.


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