Author Topic: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?  (Read 8137 times)

Offline Berkyjay

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Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« on: February 11, 2010, 12:09:17 PM »
I'd like to get everyone's thoughts on when it's a good time to add sugar/syrup to the boil.  I know some people say don't add it until the end of the boil, some like to add it at the beginning.  What I would like to know, what benefits do you get by adding it at your preferred time (if you add it at all).  I prefer to add it before the boil so I can get a better idea of my pre-boil gravity and post-boil gravity.

James

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 06:43:11 PM »
Plain sugars or DME, around 20 mins left.  I figure it's just gravity and malt.  Belgian candi syrups (or similar) that contribute flavors, I do think you can vary the impact by varying the length of boil, similar to varying hop flavor additions.

Offline CR

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2010, 10:18:36 AM »
I'd say it all depends:


Offline Berkyjay

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2010, 11:10:00 AM »
I'd say it all depends:



Depends on.......?

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2010, 12:09:08 PM »
I guess for me it depends on the type and the outcome desired.

Typically, I add DME and Milk sugar at 20 min left in the boil. This would give small increases in alcohol content(maybe 1 point)

Delicate sugars like Honey and real maple syrup I preheat to no hotter than 165 for 20 min and then add when I am cooling the wort. This gives subtle flavors and spiciness.

For stepping up the alcohol to make big beers, I normally add items like Belgian Candi sugar or inverted sugar in multiple steps around 70% attenuation in the primary. Depending on the yeast and the number of times you do this, it will add flavors, and can make large increases in alcohol content.

Cheers
Preston

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Offline Berkyjay

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2010, 12:48:59 PM »
I guess for me it depends on the type and the outcome desired.

Typically, I add DME and Milk sugar at 20 min left in the boil. This would give small increases in alcohol content(maybe 1 point)

Delicate sugars like Honey and real maple syrup I preheat to no hotter than 165 for 20 min and then add when I am cooling the wort. This gives subtle flavors and spiciness.

For stepping up the alcohol to make big beers, I normally add items like Belgian Candi sugar or inverted sugar in multiple steps around 70% attenuation in the primary. Depending on the yeast and the number of times you do this, it will add flavors, and can make large increases in alcohol content.

Cheers
Preston



What does adding the inverted sugar at multiple steps do for you.  This is what I am trying to figure out.  Do you gain benefits by adding the sugar in steps like hops?  I understand the increasing of the alcohol content, but I am curious what the differences are in adding sugar before the boil, in the middle of the boil, or at the end of the boil.

Offline MaltLicker

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2010, 10:42:55 AM »
What does adding the inverted sugar at multiple steps do for you.  This is what I am trying to figure out.  Do you gain benefits by adding the sugar in steps like hops?  I understand the increasing of the alcohol content, but I am curious what the differences are in adding sugar before the boil, in the middle of the boil, or at the end of the boil.

It's a continuum from the boil into the primary as Preston added.  I think it is more "differences" than "benefits." 

Like hops, the longer a flavorful sugar is boiled the more is lost.  (And the added gravity early in the boil would also affect hops util.)  So, the brewer would decide what they wanted from that addition and time it appropriately, going all the way into post-boil cooling and primary for the very delicate (easy to lose) sugars.  I would imagine it is highly variable and whatever suits your process and works for you is best.  Lots of trial and re-trial to get the result you want. 

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 08:17:54 AM »
What does adding the inverted sugar at multiple steps do for you.
There are many things that go into making big beers. IMO Anything over 1.070 is a big beer. What I'm talking about are really big beers that start 1.100+. One of the techniques employed when making these monsters is adding sugars in steps. The alcohol content in beers in general is toxic to the yeast. This is accentuated in big beers. By selecting the right yeast and adding the sugar in steps around the 70% attenuation mark, you keep up the vigorous fermentation. Which helps the yeast make it down to your final gravity. This is just one of the techniques that I use when making these Big Beers.

Quote
This is what I am trying to figure out.  Do you gain benefits by adding the sugar in steps like hops?  I understand the increasing of the alcohol content, but I am curious what the differences are in adding sugar before the boil, in the middle of the boil, or at the end of the boil.
As ML (+1) stated adding sugars at the end of the boil (Pre-fermentation), your hops utilization is higher. Mainly because the gravity is lower which helps in the isomerization of the Alpha Acids (AA). Same kind of thing when doing extract. If you hold off on some of the extract until the end of the boil your hops utilization goes up.

The following are as it relates to normal beer, not big beers.
Before Boil = higher gravity = less hops utilization
Middle of Boil = lower gravity = better hops utilization
End of Boil = lowest gravity = best hops utilization

Most All Grain brewers don't worry about the hops utilization (I know I don't). Mainly because we have no way to know that a beer has 43IBU or 40IBU. Extract brewers sometimes will start with only half of the extract at the beginning of the boil, and add the last of their extract in the last 20 min.

Which is why most say "It Depends", and is why I state it like I did.
I guess for me it depends on the type and the outcome desired.

Typically, I add DME and Milk sugar at 20 min left in the boil. This would give small increases in alcohol content(maybe 1 point)

Delicate sugars like Honey and real maple syrup I preheat to no hotter than 165 for 20 min and then add when I am cooling the wort. This gives subtle flavors and spiciness.

For stepping up the alcohol to make big beers, I normally add items like Belgian Candi sugar or inverted sugar in multiple steps around 70% attenuation in the primary. Depending on the yeast and the number of times you do this, it will add flavors, and can make large increases in alcohol content.

Let me know if I can muddy it up more for you d:

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline Berkyjay

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 11:23:54 AM »
What does adding the inverted sugar at multiple steps do for you.
There are many things that go into making big beers. IMO Anything over 1.070 is a big beer. What I'm talking about are really big beers that start 1.100+. One of the techniques employed when making these monsters is adding sugars in steps. The alcohol content in beers in general is toxic to the yeast. This is accentuated in big beers. By selecting the right yeast and adding the sugar in steps around the 70% attenuation mark, you keep up the vigorous fermentation. Which helps the yeast make it down to your final gravity. This is just one of the techniques that I use when making these Big Beers.

Quote
This is what I am trying to figure out.  Do you gain benefits by adding the sugar in steps like hops?  I understand the increasing of the alcohol content, but I am curious what the differences are in adding sugar before the boil, in the middle of the boil, or at the end of the boil.
As ML (+1) stated adding sugars at the end of the boil (Pre-fermentation), your hops utilization is higher. Mainly because the gravity is lower which helps in the isomerization of the Alpha Acids (AA). Same kind of thing when doing extract. If you hold off on some of the extract until the end of the boil your hops utilization goes up.

The following are as it relates to normal beer, not big beers.
Before Boil = higher gravity = less hops utilization
Middle of Boil = lower gravity = better hops utilization
End of Boil = lowest gravity = best hops utilization

Most All Grain brewers don't worry about the hops utilization (I know I don't). Mainly because we have no way to know that a beer has 43IBU or 40IBU. Extract brewers sometimes will start with only half of the extract at the beginning of the boil, and add the last of their extract in the last 20 min.

Which is why most say "It Depends", and is why I state it like I did.
I guess for me it depends on the type and the outcome desired.

Typically, I add DME and Milk sugar at 20 min left in the boil. This would give small increases in alcohol content(maybe 1 point)

Delicate sugars like Honey and real maple syrup I preheat to no hotter than 165 for 20 min and then add when I am cooling the wort. This gives subtle flavors and spiciness.

For stepping up the alcohol to make big beers, I normally add items like Belgian Candi sugar or inverted sugar in multiple steps around 70% attenuation in the primary. Depending on the yeast and the number of times you do this, it will add flavors, and can make large increases in alcohol content.

Let me know if I can muddy it up more for you d:

Cheers
Preston

Hah!  No this didn't muddy up things for me.  I never thought about the sugar additions affecting the hops, that's good info.  Now when you were talking about your step additions, it sounds like you are talking about adding sugar to the fermenter.....is this correct?  Frankly I have never had an issue with high gravity beers (1.090+) attenuating down to my desired gravity (except when it's cold out).  But then again all of my big beers use Belgian yeasts which have a high alcohol tolerance.  Thanks for the input gentlmen!

James

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: Adding sugar to the boil....when's a good time?
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 08:25:46 AM »
Now when you were talking about your step additions, it sounds like you are talking about adding sugar to the fermenter.....is this correct?
Correct. I add it into the primary fermentation around the 70% attenuation mark to reactivate the Fermentation.


Quote
Frankly I have never had an issue with high gravity beers (1.090+) attenuating down to my desired gravity (except when it's cold out).  But then again all of my big beers use Belgian yeasts which have a high alcohol tolerance.
Sounds good to me. Using the right yeast goes a long way! I am also a big fan of Belgians. I have a Tripple conditioning right now. It started out at 1.134 and should be great!

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!