Molasses

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Rivercat96

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Had an imperial stout called Abyss from Deschutes Brewing Company that had some molasses, licorice, and was aged in oak barrels. The beer was pretty damn good but I thought a lighter version of it would be great. I'm planning on making a sweet stout with 8 oz. of black patent grain, 8 oz. of medium crystal grain, 8 oz. of lacotse, 1-2 oz of fuggles, and 6 lbs. of light LME. How much molasses do you think I should add to get a little of the flavor in my brew? I was thinking about adding 4 to 6 oz. 30 minutes into the boil. Thanks.
 

VTBrewer

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30 mins might be a little long if you're going for flavor, but I've not used molasses in forever. I'd probably do a 3/4 cup or so (no idea on weight) right around flame out, but that's just me.
 
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Rivercat96

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VTBrewer, thanks for the input. I read a little earlier in my Joy of Homebrewing book that 1 cup of molasses is a good amount for a 5 gallon batch of beer. I'm leaning towards using 6 oz 5 minutes or less before flame out.
 

VTBrewer

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It's really a crap shoot the first time you use an ingredient like that, unless you've tasted somebody else's and know how much they used as a baseline. 6 oz at 5 minutes seems like as reasonable a shot as any...and you can always do it differently next time. Also, if it doesn't have a strong enough taste at bottling time, consder using molasses to prime it. 5 gallons of 70 degree beer with a desired 2.0 volumes of CO2 would need 5.2 ounces of molasses. A stout is typically 1.7 - 2.3 volumes.

I used to play around with when to add maple syrup to my maple bourbon porter boil, and never seemed to get it right until I boiled 32oz in 2 cups of water and added to secondary....

Good luck!
 

david_42

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6 ounces is about right for a light molasses, but cut that in half if you use a black-strap.
 
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Rivercat96

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VT Brewer, the only beer that I can recall that I tried with molasses was Abyss Imperial Stout and it had a real nice flavor to it. I ended up using 6 oz. at flame out and can definitely smell the molasses today as it's bubbling away in the carboy. Thanks for the idea on using molasses to prime.

David 42, I think the molasses I have is blackstrap so basically I'm gonna have a interesting brew to taste in a little over a month.

Thanks for the help. I'll let everyone know how it tastes, I may have created a keeper.
 

jonbrout

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I'm going to make my first brew a Scottish ale. I was thinking today (don't have the kit yet) that i could possibly add some Molasses but how much and when? Flame out = ? Did the 3/4 cup work out well? Also i was thinking of adding a tad of vanilla perhaps for a few days in secondary before bottling?
 

Bob

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You can add molasses at any point during the boil. It's molasses. You're not going to scorch or caramelize it any worse than it already is. It's already black, so you don't have to worry about Maillard reactions making your beer darker than it ought to be. It's hideously strongly-flavored black sludge - you're not going to hurt it.

:D

Seriously, there's no point in adding molasses late. Unlike hops aromatics, the flavor precursors of molasses are not volatile, and you can't hurt it by boiling it for a long time. Might as well dump it in right at the start.

Cheers!

Bob
 

brewt00l

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I'll be sampling the first of my recent Molasses Porters soon so I'll be better able to comment on the results but I decided to go with unsulfured dark molasses after doing a side by side tasting of it and black strap. The black strap had a bit of a harshness that I didn't really think would jive with the rest of the recipe.
 

jonbrout

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So, as I stated before I'm a noob to brewing. This will be my first batch. Soo i was just thinking last night with the addition of Molasses during the boil wouldn't that disolves more sugars in the wort than the recipie calls for? What would the affects be? (i don't want a sweet brew) I understand there is no precise amount to put in during the boil or the time it needs to go in. However, I am just wanting it in there for the subtle flavor behind the ale. This being said would there be any suggestions for the amount or time boiling it? Perhaps I shouldn't add it at all? I ordered the Scottish Ale Kit from midwest in case it needs to be referenced.
Mucho Gracias. :p :mug:
 

BrewinJack

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VT Brewer, the only beer that I can recall that I tried with molasses was Abyss Imperial Stout and it had a real nice flavor to it. I ended up using 6 oz. at flame out and can definitely smell the molasses today as it's bubbling away in the carboy. Thanks for the idea on using molasses to prime.

David 42, I think the molasses I have is blackstrap so basically I'm gonna have a interesting brew to taste in a little over a month.

Thanks for the help. I'll let everyone know how it tastes, I may have created a keeper.


You know if its black strap, it says in big bold letters on the side normally. Unless you arent in the US where Blackstrap is more common then the more common cheeper to produce thinner stuff.

As for priming with molasses thats a rough area. The differnt types of molasses have differnt fermentable ratios and also take more time to actully ferment the avaible sugars becasue they are more complex. by all means try it but keep this in mind.

1: your brew will be sweeter after you prime and condition because of the non fermentable sugars in the molasses (not as large a problem with blackstrap because it has little in the way of resdiual sweetness because of more complex sugars)

2: your corbination will be inconsistant due to the non-fermentable sugars and there ammount in each bottle (even more so with blackstrap because it contains more complex sugars due to the way it is extracted)

3: Your bottles will take longer to prime due to the complex nature of the sugars contained in the molasses because it is a byproduct of sugar extraction not actully made from sugar it self (this is the case with blackstrap because of how it is extracted, not with regular shelf molasses because processed sugar or corn syurp is often added back to the molasses to sweet it because with out it the cheeper molasses which taste bitter and watery)

If you are intent on priming with molasses i would sugest useing Blackstrap, if you arent then i would sugest useing some regular cheap dark brown sugar because these days brown sugar is made by merely coating cane sugar with molasses, and dark brown sugar with more molasses then light brown sugar. If you want to prime with regular shelf molasses then you should use the same ammount as you would regular priming sugar(5oz for 5 gallons) then add half that ammount (2.5oz) of regular sugar to the molasses... This will help you get more even and fuller carbination because regular shelf molasses is between 45-50% fermentable and from there i assume you can do the math... If you use blackstrap molasses you guess is as good as mine because depending on vareity blackstrap can be anywhere from 30%-65% fermentable (depending on what part of the extraction process its from) and they dont exactally tell you, the only way to know would be to do a fermentation of a small ammount to find the efficency and then compensate for the deficenty with regular sugar.... just thought youd like to know in advance.

Cheers
 

Bob

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So, as I stated before I'm a noob to brewing. This will be my first batch. Soo i was just thinking last night with the addition of Molasses during the boil wouldn't that disolves more sugars in the wort than the recipie calls for? What would the affects be? (i don't want a sweet brew) I understand there is no precise amount to put in during the boil or the time it needs to go in. However, I am just wanting it in there for the subtle flavor behind the ale. This being said would there be any suggestions for the amount or time boiling it? Perhaps I shouldn't add it at all? I ordered the Scottish Ale Kit from midwest in case it needs to be referenced.

I suggest brewing the kit as-is. Figure out how the included ingredients impact the finished beer before you go complicating things by adding more ingredients.

To answer specific questions:

Yes, it will dissolve more sugars into the wort, because molasses is sugar. :p Okay, technically it's cane sugar mixed with a bunch of impurities from the refining process - that's what gives it color and flavor - but it's still sugar.

The answer for boiling time remains the same - it doesn't matter. Stop worrying about it.

The amount varies. You can use much or little, depending on how much flavor contribution you want. That amount, however, is not static. It changes depending on style. It takes more molasses to impact the flavor of Robust Porter as opposed to, say, Pilsner.

Molasses is not all that sweet to begin with, and it certainly won't leave sweetness in the beer. Cane sugar is highly fermentable, which means the only flavor precursors remaining after fermentation will be that which come from the impurities that make molasses black. Those compounds are bitter, aromatic, and rather powerful.

Regards,

Bob
 

kevinb

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Just found this old post and it is just what I was looking for. It sounds like the concensus is about 6 - 8 oz at the end of the boil. Since I am a Noobie, can someone confirm that this is 6 oz by weight and not volume?
 

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