Use of maltodextrin in all grain beer

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CleanEmUpIves

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What circumstances would entail the use of maltodextrin in an all grain beer?

Is maltodextrin a suitable substitute for dextrin malts like carapils?

Any first hand (positive/negative) experiences using maltodextrin in an all grain beer? Any medal winners?
 

day_trippr

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Maltodextrin would indeed be a "substitute" for dextrin malt. Both raise FG, neither conveys much character...

Cheers!
 

hotbeer

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Maltodextrin is considered one of the unfermentable sugars too. So it's use is mainly for body as are the other dextrin malts you might mash.

I've never used maltodextrin in a beer. I do use it for a hydration mix that I put in my water bottles when I go cycling. It's not the sweet taste that we normally think of when we think of how sugar we are more familiar with taste. Very flavor neutral IMO.

I imagine most would add it at or near the end of boil.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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Maltodextrin is considered one of the unfermentable sugars too. So it's use is mainly for body as are the other dextrin malts you might mash.

I've never used maltodextrin in a beer. I do use it for a hydration mix that I put in my water bottles when I go cycling. It's not the sweet taste that we normally think of when we think of how sugar we are more familiar with taste. Very flavor neutral IMO.

I imagine most would add it at or near the end of boil.

Interesting. I see it used in various bodybuilding supplements also.

When making the Coopers beer kits it's used in at least one of their Brew Enhancers. What's interesting is that when bottling you're adding more sugar thus creating more alcohol and diluting the beer in the bottle. Calculations estimate it's an additional ~.53% / 355 ml. My thought was the presence of the maltodextrin aims to maintain the body of the beer after secondary fermentation. It also explains the lower ABV on the Coopers cans of ~3.5-3.8% adding ~.53 during secondary fermentation ends with a ~4.0+% beer. Obviously kegging is a different story.

 

hotbeer

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What's interesting is that when bottling you're adding more sugar thus creating more alcohol and diluting the beer in the bottle. Calculations estimate it's an additional ~.53% / 355 ml.
Not certain I follow you. Sugar being the maltodextrin, or some other sugar typically used for priming sugar?
My thought was the presence of the maltodextrin aims to maintain the body of the beer after secondary fermentation.
I don't know that it matters too much when it's added in the beer making process. But no matter where you add it the general desire will be for more mouthfeel.

It also explains the lower ABV on the Coopers cans of ~3.5-3.8% adding ~.53 during secondary fermentation ends with a ~4.0+% beer. Obviously kegging is a different story.
Well other things could explain the lower ABV also. And why is kegging different?
r/Homebrewing
Posted by u/NZGroover
2 years ago
How much do carbonation drops raise the alcohol level?
Beginner brewer using extracts. Hydrometer readings suggest an alcohol level about 3-4%. How much would this increase during the secondary fermentation?
A single carb drop is only about 4.6 grams of fermentable sugar. So in a 12 fl. oz. (350ish ml) bottle, not much more than maybe 0.1% ABV

Unless I figured wrong! Which may be likely.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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Not certain I follow you. Sugar being the maltodextrin, or some other sugar typically used for priming sugar?

Priming sugar

I don't know that it matters too much when it's added in the beer making process. But no matter where you add it the general desire will be for more mouthfeel.

Yup doesn't matter and mouthfeel is the goal.

Well other things could explain the lower ABV also. And why is kegging different?

Could be. Most kegs are force carbed but I suppose some prime/krausen their kegs.

A single carb drop is only about 4.6 grams of fermentable sugar. So in a 12 fl. oz. (350ish ml) bottle, not much more than maybe 0.1% ABV

Unless I figured wrong! Which may be likely.

Did the reddit link make sense?
 

hotbeer

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Priming sugar
Just saying "priming sugar" doesn't tell me what the type of sugar is. It only tells me how it is being used. So is this "priming" sugar maltodextrin... which wouldn't be a good choice, or is this sucrose, dextrose, corn sugar, honey or etc?


Did the reddit link make sense?
I didn't go to the link. reddit seldom makes sense for me! :)

Whether you carbonate your beer with a priming sugar or pressurized CO2 I don't think there is going to be much if any notable change of ABV.

And I'm thinking the change is far less than I suggested above. But I might be thinking about it wrong. So any that knows better is welcome to weigh in.
 

day_trippr

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Priming sugars are classically corn sugar/dextrose or table sugar/sucrose.
Maltodextrin is decidedly not suitable for priming...

Cheers!
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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Just saying "priming sugar" doesn't tell me what the type of sugar is. It only tells me how it is being used. So is this "priming" sugar maltodextrin... which wouldn't be a good choice, or is this sucrose, dextrose, corn sugar, honey or etc?

I'm not sure where you're headed with this, but I don't know anyone who would even attempt to prime with maltodextrin and have never heard of maltodextrin referred to as a priming sugar. My guess is that the Coopers carbonation drops are 100% corn sugar (dextrose).

I didn't go to the link. reddit seldom makes sense for me! :)

Whether you carbonate your beer with a priming sugar or pressurized CO2 I don't think there is going to be much if any notable change of ABV.

And I'm thinking the change is far less than I suggested above. But I might be thinking about it wrong. So any that knows better is welcome to weigh in.

The average weight of a Coopers carbonation drop is 3.5 grams (only weighed 10 of them, most were 3.6+, a couple were 3.4+, call it 3.5 average).

Make a 355ml beer @ 4.37% ABV w/o 3.5 grams of dextrose.

Make a 355ml beer @ 4.82% ABV w/ 3.5 grams of dextrose.

A difference of .45% ABV or approximately .5% ABV as stated in the linked reddit thread above.

1669579669980.png


1669579847299.png
 
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hotbeer

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I'm not sure where you're headed with this, but I don't know anyone who would (attempt to?) prime with maltodextrin.
Your op was about maltodextrin. Your later reply confused things for me as it didn't seem to be about maltodextrin and I didn't have a frame of reference for what the heck you were even trying to relate.

I'd ask you what that sugar was that you referenced. And your response was priming sugar. But as I subsequently replied, priming sugar just tell you how a sugar is being used. Not what that sugar is.

And I stated that maltodextrin wouldn't be a good choice for a priming sugar. But I guess that's being overlooked and some are imagining that I'd use or recommend maltodextrin for a priming sugar.

Just saying "priming sugar" doesn't tell me what the type of sugar is. It only tells me how it is being used. So is this "priming" sugar maltodextrin... which wouldn't be a good choice, or is this sucrose, dextrose, corn sugar, honey or etc?
 

hotbeer

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The average weight of a Coopers carbonation drop is 3.5 grams (only weighed 10 of them, most were 3.6+, a couple were 3.4+, call it 3.5 average).

Make a 355ml beer @ 4.37% ABV w/o 3.5 grams of dextrose.

Make a 355ml beer @ 4.82% ABV w/ 3.5 grams of dextrose.

A difference of .45% ABV or approximately .5% ABV as stated in the linked reddit thread above.
And again, I'm not sure what your point is here.

I guess I should imagine this as a separate thing from the maltodextrin conversation. But at first I was trying to figure out how you were relating it to your original question about maltodextrin
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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And again, I'm not sure what your point is here.

I guess I should imagine this as a separate thing from the maltodextrin conversation. But at first I was trying to figure out how you were relating it to your original question about maltodextrin

It's a fairly simplistic concept related in previous posts.

When using priming sugar to carbonate beer it adds approximately .5% ABV to that beer. The additional alcohol, in theory, thins the beer. Adding maltodextrin to the recipe aids in retaining the mouthfeel that would have been lost by adding the priming sugar.

The intent of the OP was simply to find out if anyone had made (award winning) beer with maltodextrin as an ingredient or regularly uses maltodextrin in any of their recipes, mainly to discover how they're using it and why.
 

hotbeer

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When using priming sugar to carbonate beer it adds approximately .5% ABV to that beer. The additional alcohol, in theory, thins the beer. Adding maltodextrin to the recipe aids in retaining the mouthfeel that would have been lost by adding the priming sugar.
I guess the issue I now have is understanding why you are correlating a need to add maltodextrin to offset the "thinning" of the beer by the puny amount of alcohol added by the the priming sugar.

There are some instances where maltodextrin might be added along with the priming sugar. But in those instances, it's probably others factors that contributed to that beer recipe needing something to give the desired body of the beer. Not the little extra bit of alcohol the priming sugar made.
 

VikeMan

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When using priming sugar to carbonate beer it adds approximately .5% ABV to that beer.

.5%? That would have to be a lot of priming sugar. Let's say we have a 5 gallon batch of beer and want 2.5 volumes of CO2, which is pretty typical, at least for American beers. That would mean adding about 4.4 ounces of table sugar, which (by itself) would increase the ABV by about 0.4%. But that's only if there's no water added along with the sugar. With a typical 16 ounces of water added, now the ABV has only increased by about 0.26%. (Yes, I'm ignoring carbonation drops, which are not the typical process for most home brewers. BTW, each drop contains about 2.5 grams of sugar, not 3.5 grams.)

I don't know why people almost always ignore volume changes due to water.

Adding maltodextrin to the recipe aids in retaining the mouthfeel that would have been lost by adding the priming sugar.

I guess, if you're able to tell the difference. I know of a few reasons to add maltodextrin, but I've never heard of anyone doing it specifically to offset a loss of mouthfeel due to sugar priming.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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.5%? That would have to be a lot of priming sugar. Let's say we have a 5 gallon batch of beer and want 2.5 volumes of CO2, which is pretty typical, at least for American beers. That would mean adding about 4.4 ounces of table sugar, which (by itself) would increase the ABV by about 0.4%. But that's only if there's no water added along with the sugar. With a typical 16 ounces of water added, now the ABV has only increased by about 0.26%.

You're probably correct.

I don't know why people almost always ignore volume changes due to water.

I'm not sure but it should be a crime.

(Yes, I'm ignoring carbonation drops, which are not the typical process for most home brewers. BTW, each drop contains about 2.5 grams of sugar, not 3.5 grams.)

After weighing the Coopers carbonation drops, they do actually weigh between 3.4-3.6 grams. Are you saying there's a filler used in them?

I guess, if you're able to tell the difference. I know of a few reasons to add maltodextrin, but I've never heard of anyone doing it specifically to offset a loss of mouthfeel due to sugar priming.

It's just an example of the use of maltodextrin (by a manufacturer of HME kits), perhaps a bad example, but an example none-the-less.

The raison d'etre of this thread was simply to find out if anyone had made (award winning) beer with maltodextrin as an ingredient or regularly uses maltodextrin in any of their recipes, mainly to discover how they're using it and why.
 

VikeMan

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After weighing the Coopers carbonation drops, they do actually weigh between 3.4-3.6 grams. Are you saying there's a filler used in them?

I don't know everything that's in them. But they each have about 2.5 grams of sugar. They also have some other carbs, and sodium. And probably some water.

It's just an example of the use of maltodextrin (by a manufacturer of HME kits), perhaps a bad example, but an example none-the-less.

The reason the Coopers "Brew Enhancers" contain maltodextrin is that they are (unsuccessfully) trying to simulate barley malt wort on the cheap.

The raison d'etre of this thread was simply to find out if anyone had made (award winning) beer with maltodextrin as an ingredient or regularly uses maltodextrin in any of their recipes, mainly to discover how they're using it and why.

I've used it in beers that also used significant amounts (i.e. 2-3 lbs per 5 gallons) of honey, to add back some body lost by the decrease in malt used. About 10 years ago I wrote an article in BYO that covered the idea and the math. I've never entered any of those honey beers in comps, nor can I recall ever seeing maltodextrin listed in a recipe for any medal winners. Frankly, the use of maltodextrin is so unusual and not-to-style that I suspect you're not going to find anyone who has used it in a major comp award winning beer. Maybe in a wild ale?
 

hotbeer

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The raison d'etre of this thread was simply to find out if anyone had made (award winning) beer with maltodextrin as an ingredient or regularly uses maltodextrin in any of their recipes, mainly to discover how they're using it and why
Don't know if any of these were award winning, but if you go to Brewer's Friend and search recipes filtering on maltodextrin, you get about 120 hits. I noticed there were other spellings of the same, whether those are language specific or just misspellings I don't know, so even more recipes when you include those.


There are even a few recipes where the author listed it in the fermentables. I'm sure that more recipes can be found elsewhere with it.

Like any other ingredient, it's used to impart a certain desired quality. To add it to a recipe that doesn't call for it is making a different beer. Or attempting to correct mistakes that may have been made while mashing perhaps.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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I don't know everything that's in them. But they each have about 2.5 grams of sugar. They also have some other carbs, and sodium. And probably some water.

The reason the Coopers "Brew Enhancers" contain maltodextrin is that they are (unsuccessfully) trying to simulate barley malt wort on the cheap.

I've used it in beers that also used significant amounts (i.e. 2-3 lbs per 5 gallons) of honey, to add back some body lost by the decrease in malt used. About 10 years ago I wrote an article in BYO that covered the idea and the math. I've never entered any of those honey beers in comps, nor can I recall ever seeing maltodextrin listed in a recipe for any medal winners. Frankly, the use of maltodextrin is so unusual and not-to-style that I suspect you're not going to find anyone who has used it in a major comp award winning beer. Maybe in a wild ale?

Interesting information. Couldn't find a reference for the 2.5 grams of sugar so I just weighed them. I'd be interested in reading that BYO article.

It would probably blow peoples minds if a recipe were successfully made with maltodextrin and won some awards.
 

VikeMan

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Interesting information. Couldn't find a reference for the 2.5 grams of sugar so I just weighed them.

I've seen it on the nutritional information on the bag.

I'd be interested in reading that BYO article.

Me too. Unfortunately it's behind a paywall. But if you have a digital subscription:
Brewing With Honey - Brew Your Own
 

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I have only used maltodextrin once, and that was post fermentation directly into the keg.

My first all grain batch ever, an oatmeal stout that mashed too low and came out kind of thin.

Definitely helped with the mouthfeel.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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I don't know everything that's in them. But they each have about 2.5 grams of sugar. They also have some other carbs, and sodium. And probably some water.

I've seen it on the nutritional information on the bag.

The advertising blurb for the Coopers Carbonation Drops.

Coopers Brewery Carbonation Drops are 27% glucose and 73% sucrose. Coopers Brewery Carbonation Drops contain no additives, preservatives, fillers or binders.

If that's the case then they really do increase the ABV .5% when using them with a Coopers HME kit.

Just found it interesting and supportive of my example.
 

VikeMan

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The advertising blurb for the Coopers Carbonation Drops.



If that's the case then they really do increase the ABV .5% when using them with a Coopers HME kit.

Just found it interesting and supportive of my example.

Well, you can believe what Austin Homebrew wrote about a product they don't make themselves, or you can believe the Nutritional Info printed right on the package. I'd choose the latter.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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Well, you can believe what Austin Homebrew wrote about a product they don't make themselves, or you can believe the Nutritional Info printed right on the package. I'd choose the latter.

That's a Coopers statement used everywhere their product is sold.

On my recently purchased (within a month) package of Coopers Carbonation drops there is no Nutrional Information.

Perhaps you can post a picture of a current package of Coopers Carbonation drops and the Nutrition Information Label?
 

VikeMan

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That's a Coopers statement used everywhere their product is sold.

Yet oddly not on Coopers' own site. I've seen lots of misinformation copied between vendors.

Perhaps you can post a picture of a current package of Coopers Carbonation drops and the Nutrition Information Label?

I don't know about current, but here's one pulled off the net.

81gpck5VoAL._SY500_.jpg


I recommend applying some critical thinking to this. The recommended dosage for your 355ml bottles is one drop. If there were 3.5 grams of sugar, you'd be getting about of 3.4 volumes total of CO2. Even higher at the recommended dosage of 2 drops in 22 oz. Are your beers carbonating to Berliner Weisse-like levels? Would any sane manufacturer of carbonation tablets use that much sugar per drop? No.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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What is a Carbonation Drop ( From the Coopers FAQ on their website. )

1669748118303.png


So about .41% ABV on average given the advertised makeup of the sugar as 27% glucose and 73% sucrose added by the Carbonation Drop. Given the weight disparity of the drops 3.4g - 3.6g that may vary by a small amount .40% ABV up to .45% ABV.

It still turns the 3.8% HME can into a ~4.2% ABV beer out of the bottle.

Of course the maltodextrin is only in certain Brew Enhancers but I'd like to think it aids in mouthfeel even if the carbonation drops don't necessarily thin the beer to a great extent.
 

hotbeer

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Of course the maltodextrin is only in certain Brew Enhancers but I'd like to think it aids in mouthfeel even if the carbonation drops don't necessarily thin the beer to a great extent.
And I still don't know why the maltodextrin keeps getting mixed into the other conversation about the amount of alcohol created by a carbonation drop.

The malts in a beer are mashed to create both fermentable and unfermentable sugars. The remaining unfermentable sugars play a part in the body of the beer. So unless the mashing of the malts was done to produce a wort that is almost entirely fermentable sugars, then other adjuncts such as maltodextrin will be unnecessary.

Mouthfeel is a good thing, but more isn't isn't always better just because you can make more!
 

VikeMan

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Of course the maltodextrin is only in certain Brew Enhancers but I'd like to think it aids in mouthfeel even if the carbonation drops don't necessarily thin the beer to a great extent.

The maltodextrin in the brew enhancers "aid in mouthfeel" from the perspective of counterbalancing the ***ton of simple sugar in the same brew enhancer, not the tiny amount of sugar in carbonation drops, which need no counterblancing. The brew enhancers, which provide a significant part of a Coopers kit OG/ABV, lack complex sugars and proteins, thus the need for something to provide mouthfeel. If the the brew enhancers didn't contain maltodextrin, they would cause very dry beers (relative to the ABV), because of all the added simple sugar.

If you believe that bottle primed beers need maltodextrin to make things right, then that would mean that the geniuses at Coopers do something right that nobody else on the planet even tries to do. I would bet a year's salary that among bottle conditioned beers that have won NHC medals, none of them had maltodextrin added ("brew enhancers" or otherwise), with the possible exception of the odd Brett beer (in which Maltodextrin might be added, but for a completely different reason).

The entire purpose of the brew enhancers is an attempt at cheaply emulating a barley malt wort. They don't actually "enhance" anything (compared to the same beer without the enhancer) except alcohol.
 
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CleanEmUpIves

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The maltodextrin in the brew enhancers "aid in mouthfeel" from the perspective of counterbalancing the ***ton of simple sugar in the same brew enhancer, not the tiny amount of sugar in carbonation drops, which need no counterblancing. The brew enhancers, which provide a significant part of a Coopers kit OG/ABV, lack complex sugars and proteins, thus the need for something to provide mouthfeel. If the the brew enhancers didn't contain maltodextrin, they would cause very dry beers (relative to the ABV), because of all the added simple sugar.

If you believe that bottle primed beers need maltodextrin to make things right, then that would mean that the geniuses at Coopers do something right that nobody else on the planet even tries to do. I would bet a year's salary that among bottle conditioned beers that have won NHC medals, none of them had maltodextrin added ("brew enhancers" or otherwise), with the possible exception of the odd Brett beer (in which Maltodextrin might be added, but for a completely different reason).

The entire purpose of the brew enhancers is an attempt at cheaply emulating a barley malt wort. They don't actually "enhance" anything (compared to the same beer without the enhancer) except alcohol.

Right on! And the simple sugars added by the priming sugar are a part of what is being counterbalanced.

So, if you take that concept and apply it to an all-grain recipe that used a dextrin malt (not necessarily simple sugars), which have mostly been "proven" to have no noticeable effect, you'd end up with the actual effect the dextrin malt was supposed to have to begin with.

To simplify, just add maltodextrin to an all-grain recipe that specifies dextrin malt. However, there seem to be very few if any recipes (any more?) that specifically call for dextrin malt.

I believe DME and LME formulations generally have dextrin malts include.

BTW, I find Coopers kits very palatable and pleasant to drink. Not only that but I tend to add .5lb to 1lb of a simple sugar (mainly dextrose) in a lot of my recipes.
 

VikeMan

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Right on! And the simple sugars added by the priming sugar are a part of what is being counterbalanced.

Again, the priming sugar amount is miniscule. But go ahead and "balance" it with a miniscule amount of maltodextrin if you want. (BTW, you know that maltodextrin isn't made from barley, right?)

I believe DME and LME formulations generally have dextrin malts include.

Many do. IMO, it's one of the reasons to avoid extracts. i.e. lack of recipe flexibility.

BTW, I find Coopers kits very palatable and pleasant to drink. Not only that but I tend to add .5lb to 1lb of a simple sugar (mainly dextrose) in a lot of my recipes.

It's your beer. Cheers!
 

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When using priming sugar to carbonate beer it adds approximately .5% ABV to that beer. The additional alcohol, in theory, thins the beer.

One thing I would point out is that this "theory" is false. Replacing barley or malt with sugar will lower the body and malt character of a beer. Just adding sugar to a beer will boost the alcohol and alcohol adds a bit of body and sweetness to a beer (exactly how sweet alcohol tastes seems to vary from people to people).
 
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