Anyone ever use only cane sugar for extra fermentables?

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fanch75

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Anyone ever use only cane sugar as the fermentable? If so, how did it turn out?

For my first batch, I used only 2 pounds of cane sugar as the extra fermentables to a can of Coopers Real Ale, as I didn't know any different. I didn't sanitize properly, and the beer was infected and was pretty bad for the most part.
 

PT Ray

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The only time I've seen just cane sugar used is when it was going to be distilled. Are you asking if it is the only fermentable or the only additional fermentable?
 

Edcculus

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I've used it as an additional fermentable in Belgians before. Just don't exceed 10-20%
 

Edcculus

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stay away from cane sugar when doing beer. use only if doing cider, as that is what cane sugar makes beer taste like. if you're doing a belgian beer, invert sugar is ok, if doing cider, brown sugar is ok, but stay away from straight cane sugar
Thats really not true unless you have an uncontrolled ferm temp, don't pitch enough yeast etc. Cane sugar is perfectly fine to use, just see my other post.
 

ChshreCat

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I've used it in my saison as an adjunct, but just a pound. You can't use sugar as the only fermentable in beer. By definition, if it's just sugar and water then it's not beer.
 

barrooze

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In Belgian Golden Strongs up to 30% table sugar is used (beet or cane). You can add it to the boil and not have any contamination issues. If you're worried about attenuation, you can make a thick syrup and add it directly to the fermenter at about 65% attenuation.

Also, the cane sugar should not really contribute any flavors to the beer, other than the flavor of increased alcohol, and if you ferment cooler, you shouldn't get too many of those flavors either.

What style are you bumping in abv?
 
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fanch75

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I've used it in my saison as an adjunct, but just a pound. You can't use sugar as the only fermentable in beer. By definition, if it's just sugar and water then it's not beer.
Clarification - I'm talking about adding 2 pounds of cane sugar to an extract kit. For example, I did this with a Coopers Real Ale kit for my first batch. But as I said, I didn't know what I was doing and didn't sanitize right, so it was infected.
 

PT Ray

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I've gone up to 1.5 lbs without a problem. Believe it our not it was true to style. It turned out dry, crisp and refreshing. Cane sugar does seem to have a unique character but not what you might think. My opinion is it's more of the fact it will not mask any off flavors. If you're just starting out and learning sanitation and fermentation I'd suggest going half sugar and half extract for the additional fermentables.
 

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I am guessing it will taste like cider...
One of the intermediary processes of the yeast is to create acetaldehyde. If there is enough yeast, and you leave it long enough, the yeast will process that out. So goes the theory. I put my sugar in the pressure cooker with a bit of acid and invert it first. I save the yeast the extra steps. :D
 

mixedbrewer

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I will have to try inverting it next time. My experiences with table sugar haven't been too good. Brown sugar on the other hand has had better results for me. I don't know the technical reason why.
 

hal2814

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I've been using it in Belgians ever since reading Brew Like a Monk. They advocate its use there. I have to admit I haven't noticed a difference since making the switch from corn sugar to cane.
 

GuldTuborg

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Since the process of inverting sugar is simply to add sugar, water, acid, and heat all together, why wouldn't the sugar invert if boiled in the wort?

And as for the whole cane sugar leading to cider flavors, who here has actually made a cidery beer from using too much of it? As several people have said, some recipes contain up to 20% cane sugar and don't taste anything like cider.
 

mixedbrewer

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I have experimented with using table sugar and 3 of 4 had a apple taste, and the longer they sat in the bottle, the more carbed they got... almost like champagne.
 

barrooze

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How've you been adding it to your fermentables? Just to the boil? What styles have you been adding it to?
 

Revvy

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Since the process of inverting sugar is simply to add sugar, water, acid, and heat all together, why wouldn't the sugar invert if boiled in the wort?
That's one of the theories, that the sugar actually inverts itself in the normal course of being added in a boil.

And as for the whole cane sugar leading to cider flavors, who here has actually made a cidery beer from using too much of it? As several people have said, some recipes contain up to 20% cane sugar and don't taste anything like cider.
That's one of those brewing "half truths" that gets repeated over and over. Using a reasonable amount of sugar is quite common in brewing. Like you said up to 20%, maybe even more if the recipe is right. T

The issue has often been when folks indiscriminately dumping sugar in recipes NOT to raise the gravity and lighten the body in beers such as Belgians and Barleywine, but purely to bump up the alcohol content without regards to the rest of the recipe.


Dumping a bunch of sugar into a cooper's mild kit MAY indeed produce a cidery or crappy tasting beer.

I think it's really about your intention and whether you know what you are doing and not just tossing it in willy nilly.

We had a good discussion on that here not too long ago, https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/ne...-without-affecting-flavor-206101/#post2406518
 

mixedbrewer

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I used them in place of corn sugar in extract recipes. Basic recipes like pale ale, amber ale, and a cream ale... I added it during the boil thinking they would brake down into fermentables... which they did. They fermented out, but tasted like apples. I used quite a bit, at least 30%.
 

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Since the process of inverting sugar is simply to add sugar, water, acid, and heat all together, why wouldn't the sugar invert if boiled in the wort?

And as for the whole cane sugar leading to cider flavors, who here has actually made a cidery beer from using too much of it? As several people have said, some recipes contain up to 20% cane sugar and don't taste anything like cider.
I've asked this question point blank. Lots of answers. One that seemed 'truest' was that inversion is a function of temp/acidity. The wort just doesn't do it. I have a pressure cooker so kinda like automatic heat control. I just add the sugar, water and acid until it 'jiggles'. You can taste the difference. It starts tasting sugary but is different afterwards.
 

nutty_gnome

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I have no quibble with adding a pound of cane sugar to a heavily hopped IPA to dry it out a bit. I add it after the sparge and let it all come to a boil. It ups the alcohol and dries the IPA a bit which is nice.
 

barrooze

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I used them in place of corn sugar in extract recipes. Basic recipes like pale ale, amber ale, and a cream ale... I added it during the boil thinking they would brake down into fermentables... which they did. They fermented out, but tasted like apples. I used quite a bit, at least 30%.
At what temp are you fermenting?

Also, have you tried using Brewvint Alcohol Boost? It may perform better for you than just table sugar.
 

mixedbrewer

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Oh, I was just experimenting with the table sugar. I was fermenting in the mid-60s with the wort maybe hitting 70 at peak. I have since switched to DME because it is cheaper (than it was) & more easily available to me than it used to be. I was just trying table sugar out to see what would happen.
 
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