Sugar = Sugar = Sugar?

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jalgayer

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Hey
I am making a recipe that calls for 1lb clear candi sugar and 1lb of beet sugar.
I have read in a few spots that I can just use table sugar.

The beer is a big belgian tripel and I am thinking that whatever sugar I use is to just dry it out and increase the ABV.

What does everyone hear say?

Thanks
 

no_borders

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the only experience i have with this is brewing imperial IPAs using corn sugar. ive never used table sugar, but everything ive read has said at a low enough percentage it shouldnt have any negative impacts on the beer. will it have the same characteristics as beet sugas and candi sugar? i honestly dont know.


but to the point of using sugar in high gravity beers, im a huge fan. i love highly drinkable, dry beers that can knock you on your ass if not respected ha ha
 

a10t2

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Beet sugar is table sugar, cane sugar, sucrose, etc.

I've never used it personally, but from everything I've heard there's no difference in flavor between using the lighter candi sugars and regular table sugar.
 
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jalgayer

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Ok.... Thanks... I would love a few more replies... I am about to pull the trigger on an order and want to know if I need to order the beet sugar OR the light clear candi sugar.... or if I can just use table sugar.
 

JuanMoore

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Your table sugar may have come from sugar beets, or from sugar cane, but in the end it's all the same thing after processing (sucrose). No need to buy beet sugar since it's exactly the same thing you have in your cupboards.

Candi sugar is sucrose that has been inverted (split into glucose and fructose), which the yeast has an easier time consuming. Clear candi sugar will produce the same flavors as sucrose once fermented, but will cause less stress to the yeast, which might be desireable for a super high gravity beer. For an OG under ~1.100, there's no reason to spend the extra $ for clear candi sugar IMO. The darker candi sugars produce different flavors, and table sugar isn't such a good replacement for them.

It's pretty easy to make your own candi sugar by heating table sugar with a little acid (citric, lactic, etc). How long you heat it determines the color of the candi sugar.
 

wyzazz

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I'd use just the table sugar, I'd probably even just add it as fermentation slows down in the primary. It'll keep the yeast from pooping out and give them some simple sugars to munch on in that high ABV environment.
 

Beernik

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If you have had sugar beet sugar, you would recognize it by the aftertaste.

Cane sugar and corn sugar ate so cheap in the US, you have to go looking for sugar beet sugar.
 

GilaMinumBeer

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Sugar does NOT equal Sugar.

Sugar is formed by chains of simple sugars (Fructose, Glucose) linked toghether to form longer more complex chains until they become so long they are classified as starches.

Candi sugar, in it's truest sense, is an Invert sugar. Meaning the glucose and fructose link is modified or reversed.

Beet and Cane sugar, while very similar is taste and sweetness, are not the same but many people are not able to discerne the subtle differences while to others it is rather distinct.

So, while you are correct that by adding larger quantities of highly fermentable sugars will dry out the beer (to the limits of the yeast) it is untrue to say that sugar = sugar = sugar. Even when it comes down to monosaccharides. there is just much at play there.
 

JuanMoore

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I'd use just the table sugar, I'd probably even just add it as fermentation slows down in the primary. It'll keep the yeast from pooping out and give them some simple sugars to munch on in that high ABV environment.
If the goal is to keep the yeast from pooping out, candi sugar would be a much better choice than table sugar.
 

wyzazz

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If the goal is to keep the yeast from pooping out, candi sugar would be a much better choice than table sugar.
Unelss it's more than 25% of the total grain bill I doubt you'd notice a difference. Candi sugar (invert sugar) would be easier for the yeast to metabolize but table sugar is certainly easier than maltose.
 

menschmaschine

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You could just use an equivalent amount of Lyle's Golden Syrup in place of both sugars. Golden Syrup is partially inverted (combination of glucose/fructose and sucrose)... maybe not 50/50, but close enough.
 

ajf

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I seriously doubt that anybody could tell the difference in taste between beet sugar and cane sugar if they are highly refined (as in table sugar). They are both sucrose, and chemically identical. If they were brown sugars (with molasses), then I would agree there could be a noticeable flavor difference.
In the US, table sugar is derived from cane. In Europe, table sugar is derived from beets. I may be wrong, but I doubt you could get beet sugar derived table sugar in the US because it would be more expensive to produce the same product.

-a.
 

JuanMoore

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I seriously doubt that anybody could tell the difference in taste between beet sugar and cane sugar if they are highly refined (as in table sugar). They are both sucrose, and chemically identical. If they were brown sugars (with molasses), then I would agree there could be a noticeable flavor difference.
In the US, table sugar is derived from cane. In Europe, table sugar is derived from beets. I may be wrong, but I doubt you could get beet sugar derived table sugar in the US because it would be more expensive to produce the same product.

-a.
I agree. Once refined into "table sugar", I doubt anyone could tell how it was derived by tasting it.

The US is one of the largest sugar beet producers in the world, and actually derives 71% of it's sugar from beets and only 29% from cane.
 

matthewkbridges

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I just brewed a tripel and subbed the cheapest table sugar I could find (Wal-Mart store brand) for candi sugar. Tasted it in secondary, it tastes great, I couldn't tell any difference compared to other tripels I've tasted.
One tip, if you're worried about the yeast pooping out: brew the beer without the sugar (you may lighten your hop load, as hop utilization will be different), and 2-4 days after fermentation begins (when most of the malt sugars have been consumed) you can add the sugar into the fermenter. Either drop the sugar directly in (agitate slightly to mix, but it will diffuse on its own), or boil it with some water to make a thick syrup (this is what I did, and helps guard against infection). That way, the yeast will finish up the maltose first, and then move onto the sucrose. Otherwise, when you add the sugar into the boil, the yeast tends to tire out on sucrose first and leave plenty of maltose behind.
 

Beernik

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I seriously doubt that anybody could tell the difference in taste between beet sugar and cane sugar if they are highly refined (as in table sugar). They are both sucrose, and chemically identical. If they were brown sugars (with molasses), then I would agree there could be a noticeable flavor difference.
In the US, table sugar is derived from cane. In Europe, table sugar is derived from beets. I may be wrong, but I doubt you could get beet sugar derived table sugar in the US because it would be more expensive to produce the same product.

-a.
I lived in Germany for 5 years. I can taste the difference. I can also taste the difference between German Coke with sugar beets, Mexican Coke with cane sugar, and US Coke with corn sugar.

There used to be a bunch of sugar beet farms and processing plants in Utah and Idaho. Corn sugar undercut the market for the farmers and the EPA closed a lot of plants because they were polluting rivers.
 

g-nome

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beets grow all over the midwest of the US, even in pretty dry climates (like eastern colorado and western nebraska)....sugar cane is a tropical plant. Cane derived sugar is much much more expensive in the US than beet derived sugar.
 

ajf

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I agree. Once refined into "table sugar", I doubt anyone could tell how it was derived by tasting it.

The US is one of the largest sugar beet producers in the world, and actually derives 71% of it's sugar from beets and only 29% from cane.
I stand corrected. It appears that beet sugar production in the US has increased dramatically over the past 30 years or so. A quick google bought up 55% beet vs 45% cane, but this was a bit dated.

-a.
 

Got Trub?

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Brewers yeast make the enzyme invertase that breaks sucrose into glucose and fructose, both of which the yeast can metabolize. The yeast could care less if you feed them invert sugar or sucrose, they can handily utilize either one. Plain sucrose is much cheaper than invert sugar so I would use that. The exception would be if I was brewing a Belgian beer that needs the dark belgian candi syrup. More beer sells it here: https://morebeer.com/search/102195. Think caramelized dark brown sugar. Yum.

GT
 

Beernik

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Anyway, back to the original question...

Sugar is only sugar if you can't taste or don't care about the differences.

There are lots of opinions on the subject. I prefer to use agave, honey, and beet candi sugars. And it has more to do with the flavors they impart than how they ferment out.

As a homebrewer, you get to decide what you want.
 
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jalgayer

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Thanks for all the replies. So, it seems that really the idea off adding a 100% fermenetable sugar is that it will add alcohol and lighten the beer.

This will happen regardless of the sugar used. And especially in a big beer like a tripel it is unlikely that there will be a perceptible difference in flavor if I use candi, cane, beet or table sugar.

Does that sound right?

Thanks
 

menschmaschine

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Brewers yeast make the enzyme invertase that breaks sucrose into glucose and fructose, both of which the yeast can metabolize. The yeast could care less if you feed them invert sugar or sucrose, they can handily utilize either one.
I think they care. If they don't have to produce/secrete an enzyme to metabolize their food, then that's all the less energy they have to expend.

The other thing I'm curious about is if yeast produce different fermentation biproducts (esters, etc.) or in different quantities when fermenting different sugars. If so, this could result in a flavor difference.
 

Beernik

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Table sugar can go cidery if more than a pound is used per 5 gallons. Corn sugar does the same thing in the 1 to 2 pounds per 5 gallon range.
 

ericd

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I heard that adding table sugar anywhere before 10 minutes in the boil will invert it and make it effectively candi sugar. This true?
 

Beernik

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I think a full wort boil would be too dilute.

But you can do it on a stove:

From wikipedia:
Inverted sugar syrup can be easily made by adding roughly one gram of citric acid or ascorbic acid, per kilogram of sugar. Cream of tartar (one gram per kilogram) or fresh lemon juice (10 millilitres per kilogram) may also be used.

The mixture is boiled for 20 minutes, and will convert enough of the sucrose to effectively prevent crystallization, without giving a noticeably sour taste. Invert sugar syrup may also be produced without the use of acids or enzymes by thermal means alone: two parts granulated sucrose and one part water simmered for five to seven minutes will convert a modest portion to invert sugar.
 

Houblon

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Table sugar can go cidery if more than a pound is used per 5 gallons. Corn sugar does the same thing in the 1 to 2 pounds per 5 gallon range.

Well damn I better throwout the triple I brewed thursday:rolleyes::rolleyes:

It has 2.5lbs per 5.5gal, bet its all nasty & cidery :rolleyes:

good grief talk about old wives tales that never die

Oh I use beet sugar only as a `tip of the hat to the belgian brewers, taste the same as table sugar/corn sugar.
 

JuanMoore

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I heard that adding table sugar anywhere before 10 minutes in the boil will invert it and make it effectively candi sugar. This true?
Some inversion will take place, and you'll end up with partially inverted sugar. How much of it inverts depends on the PH of the wort, and how long it's in there. Lower PH and longer time = more inversion.
 
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jalgayer

jalgayer

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Well I ordered the candi sugar, but NOT beet sugar.

Should I use corn sugar or table sugar for that extra pound? What do you think?
 

g-nome

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Houblon wrote:
Oh I use beet sugar only as a `tip of the hat to the belgian brewers, taste the same as table sugar
jalgayer wrote:
Well I ordered the candi sugar, but NOT beet sugar.

Should I use corn sugar or table sugar for that extra pound? What do you think?
Beet sugar is table sugar....no wonder it tastes the same. I think it doesn't really matter....you are homebrewing. If you don't like the effect, change next time.
 

Houblon

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jalgayer wrote:

Beet sugar is table sugar.....
No, it depends on where you live.
Table sugar here in Fla is sugarcane based sugar,other places beet based sugar sold as table sugar:)

Sugarcane & Beet sugar both sold as "table" sugar depending on location.
 

Got Trub?

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I think they care. If they don't have to produce/secrete an enzyme to metabolize their food, then that's all the less energy they have to expend.

The other thing I'm curious about is if yeast produce different fermentation biproducts (esters, etc.) or in different quantities when fermenting different sugars. If so, this could result in a flavor difference.
Maybe if you are brewing at extremes of alcohol or percentage of sugar as a proportion of your recipe but otherwise I don't think they would care or we would notice any difference. I have not seen any information that would suggest that invert is better, only suggestions that "theoretically" it is easier on the yeast. According to Brew Like a Monk many Belgian breweries are using sucrose as their sugar adjunct.

GT
 

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As I understand it, the function of sugar as an adjunct in a Tripel would be to give the yeast something to eat, while producing a nice dry finish.

Dark candi sugar /candi syrup adds color as well as fermentables.

From what I've read, your milage may vary. Experiment and see what works for you. As I understand it, some of the Belgian breweries have already switched from "candi sugar" to regular old "sugar".

For darker beers (belgian strong dark / dubbels/quads) the dark candi syrup is used as it adds a nice flavor as well as color.
 

JuanMoore

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Maybe if you are brewing at extremes of alcohol or percentage of sugar as a proportion of your recipe but otherwise I don't think they would care or we would notice any difference. I have not seen any information that would suggest that invert is better, only suggestions that "theoretically" it is easier on the yeast. According to Brew Like a Monk many Belgian breweries are using sucrose as their sugar adjunct.

GT
Using invert sugar instead of sucrose will get you a few extra points of attenuation for super high gravity brews, but will otherwise be an unappreciable difference. With todays highly modified malts, highly developed yeasts, and modern brewing techniques, there are very few instances that IMO would call for clear candi sugar. The darker candi sugars on the other hand have a definite use for their unique flavor contributions.
 

Beernik

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Well damn I better throwout the triple I brewed thursday:rolleyes::rolleyes:

It has 2.5lbs per 5.5gal, bet its all nasty & cidery :rolleyes:

good grief talk about old wives tales that never die

Oh I use beet sugar only as a `tip of the hat to the belgian brewers, taste the same as table sugar/corn sugar.
Seriously, you can't taste the difference between a pure cane sugar cube and a piece of beet sugar hard candy?

If that's so, I wouldn't expect your tastebud to have a low threshold for cider either.

I've tasted cidery fermentation. I don't need to do that again.
 

pdxal

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Maybe if you are brewing at extremes of alcohol or percentage of sugar as a proportion of your recipe but otherwise I don't think they would care or we would notice any difference. I have not seen any information that would suggest that invert is better, only suggestions that "theoretically" it is easier on the yeast. According to Brew Like a Monk many Belgian breweries are using sucrose as their sugar adjunct.

GT

+1.
The Belgians are basically using table sugar in their beers, why not us homebrewers? The darker sugars most certainly add flavors, but for tripels and the like, table sugar should be fine. Has worked for me.
I believe there was a symposium and taste test on this at the AHA conference. On another board it was mentioned that there was no significant difference for tasters (including BJCP judges) between different sugars.
 
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jalgayer

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Yeah. The more I read and the more I think about it, it would seem that no matter what sugar you add it really shouldn't make a difference.

After all, it is essentially all fermented out anyway.

I would think that the ratio of the sugar to the other ferment-ables would be the big issue.
 

pjj2ba

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I you add refined sucrose, it doesn't matter what the original source is. But, it will be different if you use invert sugar (mix of fructose and glucose), or corn sugar (glucose), or a caramelized sugar. Each of these will lead to a different ester profile in the finished beer. The was a nice article in a recent Zymurgy on a mash profile to increase the glucose levels in wort without adding it (against German purity laws) in order to enhance banana flavors.

If one is getting a cidery taste in a beer that has sugar added to in, this is most likely to the yeast being unhappy about something OTHER than the sucrose (ie too warm, late O2 exposure, infection, etc.)
 

Malticulous

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I think I can taste a difference between cane and beet sugar and my wife (a Chef) agrees with me. Recipies with C&H brand cane sugar taste a little bit sweeter than with the generic beet sugar. It's a lot like Mexican Coke vs. American Coke. Although I do prefer Mexican Coke I like the cheap beet sugar in baked goods. As for in beer I can't tell any difference.
 

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+1.
The Belgians are basically using table sugar in their beers, why not us homebrewers? The darker sugars most certainly add flavors, but for tripels and the like, table sugar should be fine. Has worked for me.
I believe there was a symposium and taste test on this at the AHA conference. On another board it was mentioned that there was no significant difference for tasters (including BJCP judges) between different sugars.
I attended that seminar and Gordon Strong along with a couple other judges did in fact find differences in the beer.

There were 5 different beers with only the sugar addition being different. Made with the same base wort and the sugar was added to the primary.

Each was different. The table sugar addition was the lowest scored both by the judges and by a panel of judging that had been done in a previous panel.

I personally preferred the Belgian Candi addition and the raw sugar one. The table sugar one was not bad but lacked something.
 

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Cane sugar is a tropical plant and was not traditionally available to Belgian brewers. That is why you see recipes for Belgian beers with beet sugar. If you are going for a traditional triple try to find the beet sugar then invert it your self with the process stated in this thread. I do have to agree that table sugar from cane and beets are very close in flavor and would be difficult to tell the difference. I also recommend the suggestion from an earlier post to add the sugar a few days after fermentation starts. You will absolutely get better attenuation.
BTW…the cidery thing could happen but not so much on big beers.
 
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