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Sugar In My Beers

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Ray_Mills

The Old Man of Brew
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Hi all
As most of you know I have been brewing for some time and have had some unexpected success over the last few years.
The reason would be not just the brewing experience but formulating recipes, through trial and error and knowing the outcome of ingredients and finally coming up with a great beer. I have know idea whether I can keep this up, from what I can see on this forum and others the competition scene in Australia will only get better.
This gets back to the title of the topic.
Sugar in my beers: :angry:
Being a lover of all malt beers and a believer that mashing with no sugar is the only way to make beer. :) Well things have changed. :eek:
I have been brewing some BIG beers latley and have been adding table sugar only to these beers to lighten the body and sweetness of the beer but keeping the alcohol high and giving the beer a good balance.
I am going to make some future beers using sugar. :huh: I intend to start with lagers and just see the results by adding sugar in the last 10 minutes of the boil. The reason i want to do this is a few of my current lagers are too sweet and out of style, if i make the body a little lighter they will be more balanced.
Do any of you grain brewers out there use sugar in their normal beers at around 5%Alc, I would be interested to know.
Cheers
Ray
 

Gulf Brewery

Microbrewed beer at it's best
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Ray

CUB and Lion Nathan :)

Cheers
Pedro
 

Gulf Brewery

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I know Ray, but it was too good an opportunity to let pass.

I only ever use sugar in the Belgian dubbels and trippels. I think the problem with a lot of the 1040 range beers is trying to get enough body in them when you use sugar. I usually mash at 64 or 65 to get the sweetness and body down.

Cheers
Pedro
 

kungy

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If your after stuff interesting and pretty in depth stuff concerning sugar in beer, try Radical Brewing by Randy Mosher. It has stacks about sugar in brew, the different types of sugar, the uses etc......... Pity about the errata though!

Will
 

Gulf Brewery

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Ray_Mills said:
Pedro
When the Brewery is up and running. You will be thinking of sugar in your beers
Ray
[post="55541"][/post]​
Ray

Sugar is not economical to use in a smallish brewery. Gulf Brewery will only be using sugar in the strong Belgians or where sugar is required for the style. All standard beers will be all malt.

Cheers
Pedro
 

wee stu

wee stu's brury - hand made beers, award winning l
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Used chinese rock sugar recently in a saison attempt and a mash paddle rehearsal brew. Not really happy with either, both still seem to have a faint, cloying sweet taste lingering. Don't think I'll be in a hurry to use the rock sugar again.

Other than that, only ever used Belgian Candi sugar in a strong belgian pale, since going all grain.
 

PeterS

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[quote=Ray_Mills
I am going to make some future beers using sugar. :huh: I intend to start with lagers and just see the results by adding sugar in the last 10 minutes of the boil. The reason i want to do this is a few of my current lagers are too sweet and out of style, if i make the body a little lighter they will be more balanced.
Do any of you grain brewers out there use sugar in their normal beers at around 5%Alc, I would be interested to know.
Cheers


Ray.

I was only reading some club notes this afternoon that were last revised in 1991. Whilst I do not wish to be accused of plaguarising, I am not sure whether I should quote from it either, therefore, I am only going to generalise as to its contents. I feel I should mention this for I also was very interested how they brewed in those days since the first edition was in 1977. Anyhow, from the 1991 notes I noted that sugar as an adjunct was used more so than in most recipes that you find now. In fact I noted that in a Pilsner recipe they recommended 200gm of sugar. At the same time, it was also noted that although white sugars is commonly used, its fructose content is blamed for the apple or fruity taste.

Hope that the above info gives you some fruit for thought as I am not talking from experience having only brewed 4 batches of AG.

Cheers,
Keep on Brewin' :chug:
 

sluggerdog

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Would be very interested to hear the results. I have only just started mashing and tomorrow I am planning on using a little dextrose in it to lighten the brew a little.

I have found IMO that a little (10%) in extract brews makes it more to my liking.

So I thought why not try it tomorrow in my mash.

Last week I tried Flaked Rice and I am interested to see the differance.
 

Sean

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Ray_Mills said:
Do any of you grain brewers out there use sugar in their normal beers at around 5%Alc, I would be interested to know.
[post="55525"][/post]​
Yep - in quite a few of them (mostly English ales of various forms). Almost always in milds and frequently in bitters/pale ales. Usually in the form of Golden Syrup as a convenient source of Invert Sugar.

As I've said elsewhere, it's pretty common amongst the best of the old family brewers in the UK.
 

Ross

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I to use sugar in several of my English bitters, a necessary addition IMO to keep faithful to the original style...
 

jayse

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Iam still a little suprised at ray leading towards this approach.
For a 5% beer i can't see why you can't get enough attenuation, have you checked your PH of these mashes?
Can you maybe post a example of a wort you brewed up and how you did it expecting a final gravity that you just didn't reach.
I think even the mega swillers will tell you that they could get as good attenuation with a all grain brew as they do with a 10% sugar one given the right malt and mashing, its just maybe sugar is the easy way out. What iam trying to say is iam not sure if sugar is the answer for such beers. After all the german brews get the attenuation they are after with only malt.

So maybe you could look at ways you could get more attenuation out of the mash rather than having to use sugar as it is proven to be possible with all the comercial availible all malt euro swill beers.

Anyway interesting topic but i think the direction should be getting better attenuation out of a all malt beer and how to do it rather than go down the sugar route.
Of course some beers like that of english and so forth are a different story iam talking about say not getting enough attenuation out of a 100% pilsner malt brew which i think is where you may be coming from.

Trampled under foot
Jayse
 

warrenlw63

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Sugar certainly has it's uses.

Has a place in darker ales. Merely as a flavour contribution. Demerara, brown, golden syrup et al will give varying degrees of ruminess to Milds, Porters etc.

Higher grav beers are OK to lighten the finish as in Belgians. This is to try and make the beer deceiving. In other words to give the beer the body of a regular strength beer with some alcoholic kick.

Duvel best personifies this. :super:

In terms of using it to lighten the body of a regular beer like Ray's trying to achieve. With all due respects I have my doubts. Lighter beers like Pilsners will be more prone to showing the residual flavours that excess amounts of sugar adjunct will leave.

Tooheys Pils best personifies this. <_<

Reminds me of the love child of VB and Pilsner Urquell. I'd bet my bottom dollar that this has the standard amount of mega-sugar.

Bear in mind Ray that German breweries don't use sugar in their Lagers and they seem to be able to achieve dry, well-attenuated finishes.

Good luck with it though. You could make the first Oz Headbanger Lager like the Dutch, Scandinavians and the Poms seem to favour. :D

Warren -
 

AndrewQLD

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Also bear in mind that we do not reside in Germany and do not have to adhere to the Reinheitsgebot. Sugar is added to many commercial brews and not just to reduce costs but also for the flavour profile it contributes (including reducing the sweetness in a brew). It is a major component in a lot of English ales and prior to the purity laws was also used in lagers and pilsners.
I know that it is possible to brew a lager that is dry and well attenuated because the germans have had to do it, and do it very well, but they have a couple of hundred years of experience at getting it right and they tend to mash differently than most homebrewers do.

Go for it Ray!

Andrew
PS I have only added sugar to 2 brews so far so am not sold on the benefits either way.
 
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