If I brew with plain sugar what kind of beer am I brewing

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beoirism

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I have recently started brewing and all I had in the house was plain sugar. So in all my wisdom I chose to brew by boiling water mixing sugar and adding bakers yeast. I then added the mixture to a sealed glass jar with a homemade airlock. Yes I know it won't taste very good but I am just having fun. I then wonder what type of beer if any I was brewing any suggestions welcome !
 

Sam_92

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If you carbonate it you could be making a seltzer. If you distill it you've got a vodka. It's not beer but it will be alcohol, the problem in my experience is that it won't taste good.

Any sugar + water + yeast will give you alcohol but it's quite a bit harder making something that you want to drink.
 

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If you carbonate it you could be making a seltzer. If you distill it you've got a vodka. It's not beer but it will be alcohol, the problem in my experience is that it won't taste good.

Any sugar + water + yeast will give you alcohol but it's quite a bit harder making something that you want to drink.


as @IslandLizard said yeast need vitamins not just air to breath..yeah i know they're anerobic, but they consume the oxygen out of sugar.....but still need vitamins.

if you get some frozen apple juice concentrate and add it to it, should be a quafable drink, i'd think....
 
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beoirism

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Thanks for the above responses. If I add some apple skin to the above which would that have sufficient or even the right kind of nutrients ?
 

jerrylotto

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Dry yeast is packaged with 100 mg or so of essential salts to kickstart the yeast growth (lag) phase. I usually add a little urea when I brew seltzer to act as a nitrogen source. Depending on the water source there are probably latent minerals in there, if it's a municipal source you probably have some chloramines that boiling would not have removed and are harmful to yeast.
 

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Also, bread yeast has a fairly low alcohol tolerance. I know this from some of my early attempts at wine making back when I just thought yeast was yeast. Depending upon how much sugar you have in there, you could have it work until the alcohol reaches a lethal level for the yeast and it stops working. However, you may still have a lot of unfermented sugars left, yielding a moderately alcoholic sugary beverage.
By the way, my first wines were syrupy sweet, and not too good. Also in my first attempts at beer making, I used regular cane sugar. I could get a malt syrup, with hops included, and a package of beer yeast through the mail, but I had no idea where to get corn sugar. (Remember, this was back before Al Gore had invented the internet). The beer was ok, but the residual cane sugar generated a cidery taste that wasn’t particularly desirable.

On the other hand, you can use cane sugar in winemaking as the proper wine yeast converts all the sugar to alcohol, (unlike in beer), so it is no problem as long as you don’t overload the sugar beyond the tolerance of the yeast.
 

RevA

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If you add any type of fruit or fermentable juice it becomes a wine or cider and also improves the flavour quite a bit.
I have made kilju with bread yeast to see what it is like. If you keep the temp relatively low and you're able to wait sometimes it ferments dry up to 8-10%abv and tastes like a cheapish dry white wine.
 

jerrylotto

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Also, bread yeast has a fairly low alcohol tolerance. I know this from some of my early attempts at wine making back when I just thought yeast was yeast. Depending upon how much sugar you have in there, you could have it work until the alcohol reaches a lethal level for the yeast and it stops working. However, you may still have a lot of unfermented sugars left, yielding a moderately alcoholic sugary beverage.
By the way, my first wines were syrupy sweet, and not too good. Also in my first attempts at beer making, I used regular cane sugar. I could get a malt syrup, with hops included, and a package of beer yeast through the mail, but I had no idea where to get corn sugar. (Remember, this was back before Al Gore had invented the internet). The beer was ok, but the residual cane sugar generated a cidery taste that wasn’t particularly desirable.

On the other hand, you can use cane sugar in winemaking as the proper wine yeast converts all the sugar to alcohol, (unlike in beer), so it is no problem as long as you don’t overload the sugar beyond the tolerance of the yeast.
Where did the OP mention that he used bread yeast? Or anything about his water source?
 

IslandLizard

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Thanks for the above responses. If I add some apple skin to the above which would that have sufficient or even the right kind of nutrients ?
You could add a few slices of apple, core, skin, and all.
And/or a couple tablespoons of tomato paste, or concentrated tomato juice (comes in those frozen "cans").
 

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Next time, I'd recommend "inverting" the sugar by slow boiling for an hour or so with a bit of cream of tartar, citric acid, or lemon juice. And follow the recommendations above to provide a bit of nutrients for the yeast. You could even boil some wheat germ while inverting to add nutrients and a bit of flavor. Inverting the sugar makes glucose and fructose from the mainly sucrose in table sugar. Glucose and fructose are slightly easier for the yeast to gobble up. Happy yeast = tastier beverage.
 

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Did something similar using store apple juice and bread yeast, it was the foulest drink I've ever tried. I'd recommend getting a better yeast. Also found that all the citric acid added to apple juice really comes through once the sugar is fermented off.
 

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Did something similar using store apple juice and bread yeast, it was the foulest drink I've ever tried. I'd recommend getting a better yeast. Also found that all the citric acid added to apple juice really comes through once the sugar is fermented off.
I have to agree, even with a decent cider yeast the added malic acid in some store bought juices will "shine" after the juice goes dry...
 

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Taste isn't exactly the objective. I have accepted it will taste bad
Well if you're just looking to get drunk, cheap vodka is going to be a way easier, faster and cheaper option.

EDIT: Oh yes, and you didn't really "brew" it. "Brewing" mostly refers to the process of converting the starches into sugar by means of mashing, which is the slow steeping process of the grains in hot water. Similar to brewing coffee or tea. You're literally just fermenting sugar. :D
 
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beoirism

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Well if you're just looking to get drunk, cheap vodka is going to be a way easier, faster and cheaper option.

EDIT: Oh yes, and you didn't really "brew" it. "Brewing" mostly refers to the process of converting the starches into sugar by means of mashing, which is the slow steeping process of the grains in hot water. Similar to brewing coffee or tea. You're literally just fermenting sugar. :D
I am just looking to have some fun. I appreciate now that it's fermented sugar so its not brewed and its not beer. Thank you for all your responses.
 

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Fermentation is a ton of fun. My very first time was a sugar wash that I intended to distill but I ended up just dumping it. It got me hooked though and I kept trying and eventually I found my way to brewing proper beer and I've been obsessed ever since.

If you are having fun with this maybe try doing a cider next, there are recipes on here that start with store bought juice. If you have access to Amazon you can get dry yeasts that are meant for fermentation and will yield better tasting beverages. You can also get yeast nutrient which helps in simple sugar fermentations. I also highly recommend getting a cheap refractometer so you can measure the sugar content of your juice. Having too much sugar can easily make something that tastes like rocket fuel and gives you a nasty hangover.
 

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It is how they tell you to make hard seltzer. The problem is getting a clean ferment. Years ago, when these “alcopops” came out - like hard lemonade and hard root beer - BYO had articles telling you that you could make these by fermenting corn sugar. I remember trying it back then. It was the same problem then as it is now. Getting a clean ferment. The big companies putting these out have scientists working for them. They also have equipment and materials we will never have access to at our level.

There are companies out there like Apex Flavors who make flavors for the alcohol industry and you can buy small 2 oz bottles from them that are usually good for up to 3 gallons. They have hundreds of flavors.

I have a seltzer on tap now that I made for the summer by just putting a 1.75L bottle of Vodka into a 3 gallon keg and topping up with water then adding the flavor. Force carbonate. I used their Margarita flavor and its pretty good. The alcohol dilution calculator says it should be right about 5%.

To answer your original question - you have not made beer because you did not use any malt or any hops.

You can make mead using a similar process with honey and water. They tell you don’t boil the honey. And get some real wine yeast and wine nutrients. Honey went up and its not going to be cheap now. A discount store near me had been selling 5 lb jars of honey for $11.99. They are $19.99 now.
 
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RevA

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Something that is fun to make and works on the basic principle of what you did is hard soda - alcoholic soda. Water, some kind of fruit, herb or similar - ginger or rootbeer are examples. I generally use ec1118 for those, but in South Africa we make a traditional ginger beer with bread yeast and it is fantastic. Before fermentation is finished after about 2/3days bottle in soda bottles and as soon as the plastic bottle is hard when pressed refrigerate - sweet and gingery.
 

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oakbarn

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Back in the day in Libya (60s to the 1973 for me), there was a lot of "sugar and bread yeast" alcohol made. You threw the yeast on top of sugar water. None of the sugar water was boiled. This was all done in a large plastic garbage can. After a couple weeks you took off the scum and distilled the resulting fermented sugar water. We called the distilled stuff "Flash" and it had a "taste" that was hard to describe. Some people hurried the process (in distilling phase) and it had a nasty oily taste. My dad owned a still and he did not even drink. Of course, I helped with the process and did get some of the proceeds (just alcohol). We drank it mixed with Pepsi or as in Libya "Bebsi" as there is no p in Arabic.

There was even an unofficial company publication that originated in Aramco and Saudi called the "Blue Flame" that told you how to do the process.

I am sure this is still kicking for any one in those places where alcohol is banned.
 

Toxxyc

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Something that is fun to make and works on the basic principle of what you did is hard soda - alcoholic soda. Water, some kind of fruit, herb or similar - ginger or rootbeer are examples. I generally use ec1118 for those, but in South Africa we make a traditional ginger beer with bread yeast and it is fantastic. Before fermentation is finished after about 2/3days bottle in soda bottles and as soon as the plastic bottle is hard when pressed refrigerate - sweet and gingery.
Maggies laat ons mekaar nou hier op HomeBrewTalk ook raakdrink! Klein wêreld, die internet!
 

An Ankoù

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I have recently started brewing and all I had in the house was plain sugar. So in all my wisdom I chose to brew by boiling water mixing sugar and adding bakers yeast. I then added the mixture to a sealed glass jar with a homemade airlock. Yes I know it won't taste very good but I am just having fun. I then wonder what type of beer if any I was brewing any suggestions welcome !
That sounds like my first attempt back in 1970. I didn't have a clue and thought I was making rum. In fact 3lb of foraged fruit and 3lb of sugar should give you a gallon (4.5 litres, Im English) of something drinkable and even pleasant. At least I thought so when I was 16!
 

rnorman57

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Back in the day in Libya (60s to the 1973 for me), there was a lot of "sugar and bread yeast" alcohol made. You threw the yeast on top of sugar water. None of the sugar water was boiled. This was all done in a large plastic garbage can. After a couple weeks you took off the scum and distilled the resulting fermented sugar water. We called the distilled stuff "Flash" and it had a "taste" that was hard to describe. Some people hurried the process (in distilling phase) and it had a nasty oily taste. My dad owned a still and he did not even drink. Of course, I helped with the process and did get some of the proceeds (just alcohol). We drank it mixed with Pepsi or as in Libya "Bebsi" as there is no p in Arabic.

There was even an unofficial company publication that originated in Aramco and Saudi called the "Blue Flame" that told you how to do the process.

I am sure this is still kicking for any one in those places where alcohol is banned.
 

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