Quantcast

Sugars - What's The Difference?

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

Jeff_beazley

Member
Joined
27/2/11
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Hi,

I realise that different sugars might convert into more/less alcohol or that some may impart different flavours, but I was hoping someone could enlighten me as to how these specific ones differ?

Dextrose
Brown sugar
Raw sugar
Honey

I guess I'm just trying to understand why some recipes have 2 or 3 of the above?

Cheers,

Jeff
 

Lodan

Well-Known Member
Joined
18/5/10
Messages
399
Reaction score
67
Hi Jeff,

The secret is to look at what constitutes each sugar.

Dextrose is your straight almost entirely fermentable andplain sweet. Brown sugar has residual molasses which gives a bit of colour and leaves a different (caramel?) sweetness. Raw sugar is partially refined cane sugar (from what i have read in the past). Honey is, well, honey :)

Each have a different fermentable/nonfermentable component that will affect the alcohol content and flavour of your brew.

Don't forget malt extract as an important subsitute for straight dex

Lodan

Edit:
Here is a very helpful article
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/inde...;showarticle=16
 

MHB

Well-Known Member
Joined
1/10/05
Messages
5,996
Reaction score
3,436
Location
Newcastle
There are 4 simple sugars; the other 2.6 Million known sugars are made of these, its a bit like how many different shaped houses can you make from a truck load of bricks.
Glucose is the most common sugar one on its own with a water molecule attached is Dexter Rotated Glucose Mono Hydrate or Dextrose for short.
The most common sugar in malt is Maltose made of 2 Glucose joined together
The next most common simple sugar is Fructose common Sugar sucrose is Glucose - Fructose
Icing, raw, brown and honey are all mostly just Sucrose with various amounts of other plant products or caramelised sugar left in during refining, honey is partly inverted (some of the G-F is broken up into Glucose Mono Hydrate and Fructose Mono Hydrate)

What is really interesting and what I believe causes the potential change in the flavour of the beer is the way yeast tackles the sugars. Yeast takes Maltose into the cell and digests it there, when it detects sucrose outside it excretes Invertase the enzyme that breaks up the G-F, it then takes up the Glucose and Fructose. Clearly the change to the yeast behaviour is going to change the way the beer tastes and I suspect having a shed load of Invertase in solution will also have an effect on the beers flavour.
Mark
 

QldKev

Brew Dude
Joined
21/6/05
Messages
7,471
Reaction score
1,031
Location
Bundy
Hi,

I realise that different sugars might convert into more/less alcohol or that some may impart different flavours, but I was hoping someone could enlighten me as to how these specific ones differ?

Dextrose
Brown sugar
Raw sugar
Honey

I guess I'm just trying to understand why some recipes have 2 or 3 of the above?

Cheers,

Jeff
Try eating a spoon full of each and see how they taste, best way to learn about the ingredients.

but at a summary
Dextrose - fairly neutral, great to help thin out a beer
White sugar - cidery and thins out the beer a lot (actually important in some beers, Aussie ales, some English beers and Belgiums)
Brown sugar - molasses
Raw sugar - more molasses
Honey - honey taste, and leaves the beer dry

QldKev
 

Bribie G

Adjunct Professor
Joined
9/6/08
Messages
19,838
Reaction score
4,393
You can also get maltose (glucose-glucose) as a syrup - if thinning down a brew such as a blonde ale where I need some alcohol strength without the beer crossing over into Pale Ale territory, I often put in a 500g tub. It's cheap, about $2 a tub from Chinese supermarkets - the Chinese use it to glaze Peking Duck, Char Siu BBQ pork, spread it on their toast whatever. :p

Despite the name it's made from rice but the yeast doesn't know any differently and quite happily tackles it along with the maltose derived from the - erm - malt in the brew, so doesn't have to do anything out of its comfort zone to ferment it.

maltose__Large_.jpg

one tub = 400g dextrose equivalent.
 

Muggus

Case swap whore
Joined
9/7/07
Messages
2,361
Reaction score
15
If I might add something to this thread, alot has been covered thus far, good stuff.

Bit :icon_offtopic: but it's interesting to note that certain types of sugars have more perceived "sweetness", than others. Fructose for example is considered twice as "sweet" as glucose.

And hey, I found a table...sweet...


As you can see here glucose is twice as "sweet" as maltose, which is in abundance in malt.
Also interesting to note how far down the chain lactose is there. Which is probably why people tend to struggle a bit using it to back sweeten ciders with it to get their desired level of "sweetness"


What is also important to point out is how certain yeasts tend to have preference for certain types of sugars.
This tends to apply to winemaking, where the main sugars from the grape juice are Glucose and Fructose, at varying levels of course dependant on a HUGE number of variables. Some yeasts tend to take preference to fermenting Glucose, thus leaving a wine that is seemingly dry but perceived as sweet...and vice versa.
Many of these wine yeasts tend to struggle with fermenting Maltrose, often leaving beer somewhat underattenuated, yet without being particularly sweet. And of course, Lactose again, not readily fermentable by most yeast.
 

Muggus

Case swap whore
Joined
9/7/07
Messages
2,361
Reaction score
15
Thought I might post this article off Wikipedia because it's actually got some good info on it...will answer a few questions
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fructose

Has a few good tables comparing vegetables, fruits and processed sugars and their breakdown.
 

RobboMC

Well-Known Member
Joined
20/3/06
Messages
786
Reaction score
27
An award winning brewer once told me to never put Sucrose anywhere near your beer.

Certainly if you add a whole KG of raw sugar or plain white sugar to a kit you will taste the difference compared to a straight KG of dextrose or brewing sugar ( which is usually a mixture of sugars )

But same brewer after a few beers also said " Why add sugar when you can add malt"
worth thinking about why yu'er adding sugar in the first place.

I sometimes add small amounts brown sugar to a Porter, but that's for a specific reason - to get the flavours.

I wish they would make Brown Dextrose!

I know a brewer that once added a whole KG of molassas to a kit.
What did it taste like - "Molassas!"
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
Most of my favourite beers have sugar in them.
 

Jeff_beazley

Member
Joined
27/2/11
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Some really helpful and useful info here - thanks for the responses!

Seems there's quite a bit more to the world of sugars than I thought...might have to experiment a bit.

Cheers,

Jeff
 
Top