Cane sugar to up alcohal?

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Cane sugar to up alcohal?

Postby Toobsmp » Sun Apr 28, 2002 6:06 pm

To up the alcohol in a lighter fruitier beer would adding a pound or so of cane sugar be an execptable way to up the alcohol. What affects will this have on the flavor, ive never used it with anything before ; and if there s a better way to do it your suggestions are welcome .... Thanks for any input
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Increasing Gravity

Postby BillyBock » Sun Apr 28, 2002 8:44 pm

The bottom line is if it's fermentable you can use it. The question is, will you be able to stand the taste of it? You could use cane sugar, but it'll add a cidery twang to your brew. In my Jurassic period of brewing (read Mr. Beer) I used cane sugar per their instructions. Yuk, I'll never do that again. If you're going to use a sugar, use corn sugar. At least then you won't get that cider twang. Although it'll boost the alcohol, too much sugar will thin out the body of the beer. If this is what you're after then so be it. Personally, I think your best bet is to use a pound of malt extract instead.
Hope this helps.
--Cheers!
Bill
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In my limited experience...

Postby stumpwater » Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:38 pm

Personally I do not use sugar as I prefer my beer to have lots of malt flavour. A good website for the beginning brewer is www.howtobrew.com by John Palmer.
In an experiment, a friend of mine made a batch of ale using 3.75lbs of light malt extract syrup and 6-8 cups of corn sugar (dextrose). It wasn't too foul but it was odd how remarkably similar it was to many commercial mass market beers. There was little if no malt flavour. I guess it depends on how you like your beer. To me, the flavour is more important than the alcohol content.
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Take a hint from the Belgians

Postby andytv » Mon Apr 29, 2002 5:43 pm

The way to increase your alcohol level is to add more fermentable sugar. I agree with the other posts that flavor is paramount, so I'd prefer to use more grains (or extracts) but..... if you feel the need to boost the beer, why not do as the belgians do, and add Belgian Candi Sugar. The clear type adds no flavor, but a nice alcohol warmth, the darker types also contribute a bit of flavor. Check out recipes for belgian dubbels and tripels on this site to get an idea of how to use.I'm drinking a dubbel right now that featured clear candi sugar...and believe me, it is plenty strong (6.7%). If you are into high gravity beers, why not try a barleywine, imperial stout, dubbel, tripel, bock, etc. Oh yeah, don't forget honey as a fermentable. I added a pound to a porter I made once and wow!!! Just be sure to let it age a month or so before tasting. Some honey beers can really be tough to swallow before they have matured.

good luck,

Andy
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Nice

Postby Toobsmp » Wed May 01, 2002 6:09 pm

Thanks, ive been experimenting alot with things ... Im still relatively new and have made a couple nice flavorful beers so far, i just wanted to make something light that anyone can enjoy ; i guess from alot of people's point this is dull and lifeless. Anyway thanks
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Toning it Down

Postby andytv » Fri May 03, 2002 11:36 am

I disagree.... making a beer that everyone can enjoy is not dull, but can be quite a challenge. My neighbors enjoy Light American Lagers (i.e. Coors, Bud, Old Mill, etc) and tend to get a little turned off by say... an imperial stout or IPA. As for me.... during the Summer months, I enjoy a lighter beer on occasion. I have the luxury of having two kegs of homebrew on tap so I generally try to keep one nice thick, flavorful beer on tap, and also one for the masses. Here is what I found... by reducing the amount of bittering hops in my American Pale Ale recipe, I made something that I can share with my "non" beer-snob friends. Likewise, soften the edges on a Munich Helles and you have a good chugging beer. I still haven't brought myself to brew with rice, but I imagine I'll try to make a "pre-prohibition" type American Lager (corn) next winter. I gather from your initial post that you are planning on brewing a watered down beer and kicking up the alcohol by adding sugar?? Instead, why not try a Kolsch Ale or an American Pale Ale with a little less bittering hops? I just brewed a witbier that I believe anyone would love. In summary, don't give in completely to "beer pressure" just tame down your recipes a bit and slowly bring your friends over to your way of drinking.

Andy
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My first high gravity

Postby Veth » Sat May 04, 2002 5:50 am

I'm actually watching the airlock on my first triple bubble away as I type. I used 9 pounds of extra light and 1 pound of Belgian candy sugar (clear). It has a gravity of about 1.09. How long will this take in the primary and how long in the secondary? I used the White Labs Platinum high gravity yeast by the way which also makes it my first batch with higher end yeast as opposed to packets of dried yeast.
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Remember we are what we eat!

Postby Brewer2001 » Sun May 05, 2002 2:56 pm

This is my second attempt, my connection timed out. Here we go again.
The point is that "sugar" additions should be kept to a minimum and only used to obtain specific flavor profiles. I will give you the pactical explaination on how this affects the products (beer, ale, wine, etc.)
Yeast process certain sugar compounds for food, they prefer some more than others (are equipt to use some more than others). The compounds the like are as follows (listed in order of intake) - glucose, fructose, maltose, maltotriose, maltotetaose and dextrins. Notice that sucrose ('white' sugar) is not on the list. It is not a natural food for yeast (or us for that matter). There is a small quantity of sucrose in wort but it is low. The yeast are able to convert sucrose into glucose and fructose using the invertase enzyme. This however takes work. What this means, to us as brewers, is that these added biochemical reactions produce undesired compounds that contribute to the 'off' flavors in the finished beer.
A better way to acheve a higher alcohol content is to brew a concentrated batch of wort (low mash yield or addition of malt extract to the kettle) and add water (pre or post boil) to adjust the original gravity. This is what the majors do, mainly to 'boost' production. The low viscosity is just a by-product of the process. Minimizing the amount of kettle sugar addition will improve the quality of your beer (all else being equal).
Brew on!
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