Adding sugar during fermentation

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Nov 27, 2007
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searched the forums, as this has probably been asked, but couldn't find anything -

I am going to brew a dubbel this weekend... got some amber candi sugar (bought it half price from the brew store, otherwise i would have made it myself)

Wyeast says that their 3787 yeast benefits from adding sugar during fermentation... Jamil talks about the method in his show on Belgian strong darks, but doesn't offer any insights on what sort of flavor differences this might offer...

anybody have any actual experience adding sugar during fermentation? anybody done a side-by-side?
I've always added it during the boil, since it dissolves more easily. It doesn't really add much as far as flavor, it's a very fermentable sugar.
It would probably be a good idea to boil it in a little bit of water, then let it cool before you add it. I've done it before to up the ABV%. If you do it, do it in the primary while you have a steady fermentation.

But like Frink said it would be easiest to just add it to the boil about 10 min before flame out.
thanks for the advice -

i know what would be easier - I've actually used sugar in all of my beers (i like Belgians) - my question was only about the flavor differences.

From what I understand, when you put the sugar in the original boil, the yeast will eat that simple (invert) sugar first, then get started on the maltose... this changes the esther and phenolic profile just a touch, in theory (correct me if i'm wrong) - However, if you wait on adding the sugar (boiled in water, of course) until fermentation has started, then all your yeast are totally focused on eating the grain sugars, and the introduction of new sugar modifies things a bit. just changed the flavor / aroma profile.

my question is, what would those changes be? fruiter? less fruity?

just curious if anyone has insights on how this could change the flavor.
Personally I would prefer to add it during fermentation, as fermentation was beginning to subside but was still active... But my reasoning would be to keep the gravity at more moderate levels to minimize stress on the yeast - I don't really know how it would affect the finished beer in terms of flavor, etc.
my thoughts exactly, Funkenjaeger...

and if you are able to provide a less stressful environment for the yeast, what would that do to the flavor?

I imagine it would vary from yeast to yeast... and I also know that there isn't a hard and fast rule that less stressed yeast make better beer - I've heard of some brewers intentionally stressing their yeast in a particular fashion to produce a certain flavor... of course, that's "thru the grapevine" knowledge - I don't know any brewers specifically who do that...

hmmm... this might call for an email to wyeast!!

I'm on it!

EDITED TO SAY: The Wyeast website says that adding sugars incrementally allows the beer to finish drier, appropriate for tripels, etc... so perhaps a less-stressed yeast has a higher attenuation?

I've emailed Wyeast, and will post the reply.
I would add the candi sugar during the last 15 minutes or so of the boil. I have consistently added about 1 cup of dextrose when I rack each batch from primary to secondary for the last 5 years with no ill-effects. I then keep in secondary for about 2-3 weeks, depending on the batch.

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