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Old 11-26-2008, 05:45 PM   #11
iamjonsharp's Avatar
Oct 2006
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 577
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Great post! I agree, and think including small percentages of sugar to recipes is underutilized.
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:58 PM   #12
Broken Robot Brewing Co.
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Oct 2007
Someplace, Nebraska
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Excellent write-up, PseudoChef! Good work!

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:13 PM   #13
ohiobrewtus's Avatar
Nov 2006
Posts: 7,785
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*clap* *clap*

Now just make sure to reply to any thread about sugar with a link to this post.

Solid post, chef. I can attest to it's content. I have done a Belgian Golden Strong with 3 lbs of table sugar, a Belgian Dark Strong w/2# of table sugar and 1# of candi sugar, a Biere de Garde w/2# of table sugar and an IIPA with 2# of table sugar. All turned out excellent.

If you know what you're doing and you use it properly, sucrose is your friend. If you're looking to make cheap hooch (like some of the videos that we've all seen on youtube) and you use 5 or 6# of sucrose/powdered sugar and one 3.3# can of LME then ya, your 'beer' is going to taste like crap.
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Well, if you *love* it.... again, note that my A.S.S. has five pounds.

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:22 PM   #14
enderwig's Avatar
Nov 2007
Dickinson Texas
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Great thread
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
Dec 2006
Doylestown, PA
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sure it is...everyone else online says it will so it must be true.

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:33 PM   #16
TeufelBrew's Avatar
Mar 2008
Denver, Colorado
Posts: 656
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I'll make your case with my 1st and 3rd batch.

Cooper's kit from SWMBO had 3lbs surgar in the recipe. Batch wasn't infected, but it wasn't very good. With almost 40% fermentables refined sugar, it tasted cidery even 6 months later.

Third batch was Belgian Golden Strong Ale. Had about 2 lbs sugars added but was only about 15% of fermentables. Tastes freakin AWESOME! Balanced use of sugar, good ingredients to start with and refined sugar has a definate use and place in making good beer.

Great post and thanks for bringing it up! Prosted
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:38 PM   #17
Be good to your yeast...
Saccharomyces's Avatar
Jun 2008
Pflugerville, Texas
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If you ate a diet of 30% candy bars, you would feel crappy. So would your yeast.

Properly used, adding sugar to your recipes isn't any worse than having a slice of cake for dessert. I use sugar in my recipes A LOT, because I *hate* cloyingly sweet underattenuated beer.

In fact, I enjoy drinking light BMC more than a few commercial big beers I have tried that finish way too sweet because they DIDN'T use any sugar in the fermentables...

EDIT: even though the OP think Brett is better than me, he has a good point.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:45 PM   #19
Jan 2008
Haymarket VA
Posts: 1,172
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I have been experimenting with adding sugar to recipes to dry them out a bit. I have used dark brown sugar, corn sugar, candi sugar crystals. dark candy syrup, molasses, demerra, and have some lyles golden syrup to try.

The only sugar that I thought contributed some off flavors was the Dark Brown, but it was 1lb in 2.5 gallons of bastardized apfelwein. It definitely had a little hot-rocket-fuel to it, but has since calmed down.

I will continue to experiment, and will try some straight up table sugar one of these days. I would never use more than 1lb or maybe 2 in a really big beer (OG 1.1ish).

Based on everything I have read, 10 - 15% will help attenuation, and according to Brew like a Monk, some Belgians are as high as 30%.

Hooray for discussions about brewing!

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:47 PM   #20
Maniacally Malty
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Apr 2007
Oakland, CA
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Originally Posted by PseudoChef View Post
If you carefully balance your recipe, pitch the necessary amount of healthy yeast, and control your fermentation temperatures (all three which you should be doing anyway), adding sugar to your beer will NOT result in it tasting "cidery."
yep, as i always say...sugar has it's place in beer, just not as a malt substitute to save cost on your beer. making a 5 gallon batch of pale ale with 4 lbs of sugar will indeed make it taste "cidery"

and yes, i've tried it.
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