Dextrose vs Cane Sugar

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Deep End

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Just wondering why people used Dextrose in their Cider recipes?

I'll admit I was going to use it in my first cider, because it sounds fancier than "sugar", I fully understand why it is used in beer.

However, I was educated by my LHBS owner to just use plain ol sugar in my cider.

Why? Because sugar contains fructose, and leaves fruity flavours in your brew, which I can only assume is a positive thing if brewing a fruit based drink like cider. Dextrose is a single chain sugar derived from wheat or something, correct me if I'm wrong, does not leave any resdiual flavours and so is probably great for beer being a grain based drink.

So saying that I've never brewed a cider with Dex so dont know what the difference in taste, if any is. Just wondering what peoples reasoning for its use is? Has anyone tried both and tasted any difference? Or is there anything else to say on the matter?
 

seamad

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You don't need anything in cider besides apple juice unless you are trying to make it more alcoholic.
 

bum

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Deep End said:
However, I was educated by my LHBS owner to just use plain ol sugar in my cider.

Why? Because sugar contains fructose, and leaves fruity flavours in your brew, which I can only assume is a positive thing if brewing a fruit based drink like cider.
Hmmm...I suspect that a lot of your LHBS attendant's advice will get you green apple flavours in all your fermented products. :ph34r: You can definitely brew with plain sugar without the brew getting "fruity".

Just out of interest, does this LHBS happen to be the one that instructs its customers to fill the fermenter to the top with water after primary?
 

Airgead

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Dextrose is a fancy name for wheat derived glucose. Sucrose is, as you say a combination of glucose and fructose.

Either way, just plain old apple juice should be enough to get you up to 6% or so. Unless you really want for something stronger you don't need either.

Cheers
Dave
 

QldKev

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Are you making a cider from a kit, or from apple juice?

I haven't made a kit cider for a couple of years, but with a kit I used to prefer straight white sugar, but SWMBO prefers straight dextrose and then letting it sit for a couple of months.

If making it from apple juice, I would throw in more apple/pear juice so you don't need extra sugar
 

Deep End

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Make it from a kit, which asks for a kilo fo sugar QLDKev.

Yea I'm aware straight apple juice doesn't need any sugar unless you want more al/vol Airgead, but thanks for the input.

Bum...why would you suspect anything of my LHBS if your in Victoria and I'm not...unless you've shopped down here before, and I've never been instructed to do any such things to my FV after primary??? And I imagine you might be able to brew with sugar and not get "fruity" flavours or mask them with something else, but that wasn't the question anyway. I assume you just read the last sentence of my post and had "anything else to say" on the matter.

And seamad, yes I know this, but after reading some posts on cider in the forum and viewing alot of Dextrose use I thought I'd start a little topic on why or what for, hasn't been particularly condusive to useful fact as yet, but its early in the day so far. And maybe I should of suggested the use of either form of sugar in kit cider basis instead of straight juice and yeast type brewing.

Anyway....Next.....
 

bum

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No, I actually corrected a false statement you made for the benefit of others. Sugar doesn't inherently produce fruity flavours. Does not.

[EDIT: unfortunate typo]
 

Airgead

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Deep End said:
Make it from a kit, which asks for a kilo fo sugar QLDKev.

Yea I'm aware straight apple juice doesn't need any sugar unless you want more al/vol Airgead, but thanks for the input.
Ahh.. yep.. kit. Sorry. Thought you were making it from juice. Wasn't clear from the OP.

Sucrose, dextrose. Won't make much difference. Sucrose is cheaper.

You could even try something like raw sugar which might give a slight treacle flavour which could add something. Or honey. Honey cider (cyser) is a very fine drink indeed..

Cheers
Dave
 

Deep End

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Well Bum for the benefit of "healthy discussion", which was the original reason I posted. I'll retract "fruity flavours" and instead replace it with the following statement.

Taken from countrybrewer.com.au

Some side effects of Sucrose:
- a cidery flavour - which might be a good thing if your brewing cider!
- a yeasty/vegemite flavour
- a harsh, bitter finish

Dextrose: A simple clean fermenting sugar derived from wheat starch. Commences fermentation faster, creates a cleaner drier finish and tends to produce less sediment.

Gathered from other internet readings and condensed into the following paragraph;

Then there are other lines of thinking that put other factors down to these side effects, like I said I'm not a scientist, just repeating things I've been told, read etc
Some other information sources are in agreeance with you that neither of them of them impart any real flavours on a brew, the only real difference is Dex being single chain sugar and Cane Sugar being double chain, which the invertase in the yeast breaks down into glucose and fructose before gobbling them up and shitting alcohol.

Maybe I should just chuck the kilo of Dextrose, I have sitting behind me, in my next Cider kit wait three months and have a bottle of each and use the sugar which makes the better cider in my palates opinion.

But I'd still like to know from those who make a bit of cider (from a kit) at home what reasons, if they have one, for the use of either. Hell I might chuck a kilo of honey in the next one, then golden syrup in the following, might even go to the asian grocer and get a big ol lump of palm sugar or jaggery and see what happens.

Just something to think about I guess
 

Nick JD

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Something to do with yeast needing to make sucrase and the actual process of hydrolysing the stuff makes them fart and piss out other stuff that's not particularly tasty. A bit like giving a lactose intollerant person a huge bowl of icecream - they'll happily eat it, but you don't wanna be in the bed next to them all night.

Give 'em dextrose and they have an easier time of it.

I use sucrose all the time - but I boil it aggresively for an hour in a lowered pH solution called wort. This does the work for the yeast.
 

bum

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Deep End said:
Taken from countrybrewer.com.au

Some side effects of Sucrose:
- a cidery flavour - which might be a good thing if your brewing cider!
- a yeasty/vegemite flavour
- a harsh, bitter finish
I'd just like you to have a think about the megaswill beers that use white sugar (probably not as many as people suggest but there are enough) and ask yourself how many of these beers exhibit any of those qualities.

Also have a look at those descriptors and ask yourself if they, in general, might be considered as negative descriptors. Might negative descriptors be being used in order to sell some dextrose instead?

As for your questions re:people who brew kit ciders a lot, I think you'll find that most people here ditch the kits pretty quickly when they see how much simpler and better an all-supermarket juice cider is. I made the Blackrock kit with dex once and I found it pretty white winey (in retrospect, I am certain that I drank it far too young). I can't compare it to the same kit with table sugar as I moved right on to all juice batches and they were much better (and more appley, funnily enough).
 

Muscovy_333

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Nick JD said:
Something to do with yeast needing to make sucrase and the actual process of hydrolysing the stuff makes them fart and piss out other stuff that's not particularly tasty. A bit like giving a lactose intollerant person a huge bowl of icecream - they'll happily eat it, but you don't wanna be in the bed next to them all night.

Give 'em dextrose and they have an easier time of it.

I use sucrose all the time - but I boil it aggresively for an hour in a lowered pH solution called wort. This does the work for the yeast.
I'm with Nick on this one. And I like the analogy also.
By using sucrose you are adding another step in the cycle for the yeast.
Keep your yeast happy whenever you can.
Sorry, can't speak for the flavours that may occur if you use sucrose but I believe they will be appleish if its a healthy ferment.
2c of course
 

Nick JD

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bum said:
I'd just like you to have a think about the megaswill beers that use white sugar
Question: do they add it to the boil, or raw, to the ferment?
 

Greg.L

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Cane sugar gives that "cidery" taste to beer, so I guess that would be good for cider? From a full juice cider brewer.
 

bum

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Nick JD said:
Question: do they add it to the boil, or raw, to the ferment?
I couldn't tell you in all cases and while I am certain it makes a difference no such distinction has been made by OP or his sources (as far as OP relates in any case).
 

Benchish

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Healthy yeast should chew through dex or table sugar without any problems and very little flavour. If your going higher gravity or the yeast is in bad shape you might see a more distinct difference.

Dextrose is also easier to disolve into solution than sugar
 

manticle

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Greg.L said:
Cane sugar gives that "cidery" taste to beer, so I guess that would be good for cider? From a full juice cider brewer.
Does it?
 

Greg.L

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manticle said:
I was talking about "kit and kilo" type beer, with a can of extract and a kilo of cane sugar. I've never made it but I was told the sugar makes beer taste cidery. That seemed a good description when I tried it, perhaps you don't agree.
 

Bribie G

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VB and other mainstreams are up to 30% cane sugar, as well as many UK historical recipes and they aren't cidery - I'd guess the cidery thing with KnK comes from poor temperature control and sanitation.

I'd venture an opinion that the use of a kilo of dex or a kilo of sugar would result in somewhat different fermentation profiles, as the yeast would feast on the monosaccahride dex before getting onto splitting the disaccharide maltose in the wort, whereas in the case of the disaccharide sucrose- well I don't recall any sites or literature about whether yeast actually prefers sucrose or maltose, given a choice.

I often use maltose syrup which presents to the yeast as just maltose, whether from the syrup or from the wort, and don't get any off flavours.

edit: put in a couple of references to disaccharides etc. And in the case of the OP, well I'd count on the apples to make it cidery :beerbang:
 

manticle

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Greg.L said:
I was talking about "kit and kilo" type beer, with a can of extract and a kilo of cane sugar. I've never made it but I was told the sugar makes beer taste cidery. That seemed a good description when I tried it, perhaps you don't agree.
I questioned you because cane sugar, in and of itself,in my experience does not automatically result in a cidery flavour,

Certainly my experience of adding cane sugar to beer (mainly belgian styles) does not result in cider although oversuse of raw sugar in the wrong style is not great and additions of sugar are best added in small doses..

I have read/heard about sugar and invertase resulting in aceatldehyde in final product in relation to beer but dex/white etc sugar are not, in and of themselves, a definite key. .

I've never experienced acetaldehyde in cider.
 

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