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Molasses as an adjunct

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zoebisch01

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For all of you who have used Molasses , anyone got inputs on amounts? If you would be so kind as to post what style, amounts used and percieved molasses flavor in the finished product. In the searches here on the forums, I didn't come up with a specific 'molasses' thread, but I did find a few recipes where I have seen things from 0.5# or more. What would be typical (guesses welcome) on additions to a 5 gallon batch that would impart a slight flavor? My biggest concern is I don't want it dominant on the palate. Of course, I do know this percieved flavor is affected by IBU, ABV, unusual additions, temperature, etc. I am just looking to get ballpark ideas. I am guessing 0.5# would be at the upper limit for a warmer type ale for the effect I am looking for (which I have been kicking around the idea of), but again this is dependent on many factors. Also, did you use backstrap or light molasses? Most recipes state molasses, but I haven't seen either specifically called out. I know the backstrap is quite a strong flavor and was reading that about half? of the volume is fermentable?? The light I read was higher in fermentables...*shrug*. I am not so concerned about the SRM changes as much as flavor changes. Thanks for any input!
 

Torchiest

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I made a highly spiced Christmas ale, using 1/2lb of molasses during the boil, and using another 1/2lb of molasses for priming. I think it's slightly detectable in the finish, but the beer is the maltiest, heaviest, and most hopped I've made; along with the fact that it has half a dozen spices added to it, everything adds up to it being just at the threshold of perception, which is perfect. Since I've never seen a recipe for a pale ale or something like that calling for it, I don't see how it would present a problem.
 
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I've never used it, but I hear it can quickly dominate the flavor a beer if you use too much. I'd stick with half a pound or less, and I'd go with a lighter molasses if I were using it.
 

the_bird

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I know Walker used some in his last version of the Holy Grail Porter, I want to say about 3oz or so. Can't remember if he was going to bump it up or down in the next version, and I don't know if it was bootstrap mollases or not. From all that I've read (I was considing using some in my next porter), a little goes a long way.
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Can't help much with regards to using molasses as an add-junk when brewing... :p

However, according to Papazian, if you're going to prime with it, you should use 1 cup of molasses in place of 3/4 cup of dextrose. Interestingly, he also recommends a cup of honey as an alternative. So 1 cup of honey = 1 cup of molasses in terms of fermentable sugar content. As for flavor, I dunno... but molasses can be a bit bitter so I would probably want to err on the side of caution. It could add some real nice complexity to it though.

Hey! I guess that was helpful afterall!!!!
 

david_42

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16 oz. of dark molasses will take a while to mellow out. 8 oz. will be noticeable, but not dominant. I used it for flavor & not as a fermentable. In the right quantity, it adds a flavor that is similar to malt, but different enough to be worth it. Don't know about the light stuff.
 

the_bird

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[BEGIN: RANT]

Personally, I don't get the fascination with using things like honey and (especially) mollases for priming. If you want that flavor, add it to the boil (you're going to boil it before priming, anyway). We know that different types of mollases have different levels of fermentabilitt, so you're risking either having a flat beer or a stout with Diet Coke-esque carbonation, when you could have just added that flavor in the boil.

Make a good beer, with all the flavors that you want, then prime with something that is best suited for priming purposes - corn suagr or light DME.

[END: RANT]
 

Sir Humpsalot

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the_bird said:
[BEGIN: RANT]

Personally, I don't get the fascination with using things like honey and (especially) mollases for priming. If you want that flavor, add it to the boil (you're going to boil it before priming, anyway). We know that different types of mollases have different levels of fermentabilitt, so you're risking either having a flat beer or a stout with Diet Coke-esque carbonation, when you could have just added that flavor in the boil.

Make a good beer, with all the flavors that you want, then prime with something that is best suited for priming purposes - corn suagr or light DME.

[END: RANT]
Hey.. if I'm ever brewing late at night and don't have any DME around, the info is good to know. But I agree with you that priming is a strange time to be screwing around with sugar levels given the threat of bottle bombs...
 

the_bird

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Fair enough, I certainly wasn't aiming the rant in anyone's specific direction. I could understand using a honey, I suppose, since that specifically does NOT want to be boiled, or probably to be subjected to the primary fermentation process (which would likely scrub away much of the aroma).
 

Glibbidy

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the_bird said:
[BEGIN: RANT]
Make a good beer, with all the flavors that you want, then prime with something that is best suited for priming purposes - corn suagr or light DME.
[END: RANT]
Or even better skip the sugar, dump it into a keg and saturate it with CO2:rockin:

Here is some good info on molasses.
 

Wheat King

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i used molasses in my last batch (gingerbread ale). it was "Robust Molasses" and i dont know which brand. i used 6-8 oz during the boil, then also used it as 1/2 of my priming solution. the flavor is great...very subtle alongside all of the spices i also boiled. i havent tried a bottle since the 3 week mark, but at 1.5 weeks the head was a little lacking, but then again i LOVE good head. tasted damn good though.
 

gruntingfrog

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I used 12 oz. in the boil of a stout that I made. It took about a month in the bottle to mellow out, but once it did it added a great flavor that was there but not in your face. I'll probably do it again.
 
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zoebisch01

zoebisch01

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Great info thus far guys, thanks! This will be a boil addition if I use it. I am curious about the differences between the two types now. It seems to me you could get away with about twice the amount of the light type (taking into account the fermentables of course) with probably the same overall flavor effect but less coloring.
 
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zoebisch01

zoebisch01

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glibbidy said:
Or even better skip the sugar, dump it into a keg and saturate it with CO2:rockin:

Here is some good info on molasses.

Ah, ok. So Golden syrup is pretty much the same as 'light' molasses. Interesting.
 

Walker

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the_bird said:
I know Walker used some in his last version of the Holy Grail Porter, I want to say about 3oz or so. Can't remember if he was going to bump it up or down in the next version, and I don't know if it was bootstrap mollases or not. From all that I've read (I was considing using some in my next porter), a little goes a long way.
Yup. I used 3 oz of molasses in my HG#13. Barely detectable, but it's there. I'll probably bump it up to 5 oz the next time to make it more noticable, but I'm going to try and avoid going too far beyond 1/4 lb of it.

The only other beer I've ever used it in was a Brewer's Best stout kit about 9 years ago. That was one of my first few brews, and I don't recall how much was included with the kit. It was just a small foil package and the instrcutions said to add it all, so I did.]

edit: bootstrap molasses??? Do you mean BLACKstrap? The answer for my porter is NO... it's not blackstrap. I'm not a very big fan of blackstrap.


-walker
 

the_bird

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Bootstrap, blackstrap... same thing... :D

Maybe it's a Yankee thing - you ever hear of someone picking themselves up by their own blackstraps?
 
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zoebisch01

zoebisch01

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the_bird said:
Bootstrap, blackstrap... same thing... :D

Maybe it's a Yankee thing - you ever hear of someone picking themselves up by their own blackstraps?

rofl. Sheesh and I thought it was Backstrap. Go figure. :ban:
 

zweasel

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There is a good pod cast dated May 4, 2006 on basic brewing radio where they interview Tony Simmons about the beer he designed Poor Richards Ale for the AHA's toast to Ben Franklin’s' 300th Birthday and he talks about the addition of molasses to the recipe. There is a lot of information about molasses in the interview.

http://www.basicbrewing.com/radio/

I made a batch of Poor Richards Ale last year. The Recipe called for a cup of dark molasses. The beer came out really good with a light brown sugar / light licorice taste, not bad, and I received many complements on it. I would use molasses again in another dark ale.
 

Jim Karr

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I used about six ounces of Blackstrap in a stout I made in July. Added to kettle at boil ( with flame off) along with other extracts. Did not really make a pronounced "taste", but it is one of my smoothest stouts!
 
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zoebisch01

zoebisch01

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The podcast with the Poor Richard Ale was pretty informative, thx. I am leaning towards trying some light if I use it. Thx for all the replies!
 
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