Author Topic: adding sugar to the secondary.  (Read 19743 times)

gtox

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adding sugar to the secondary.
« on: April 28, 2008, 08:24:12 PM »
Has anyone ever added just plain sugar to the secondary to up the ABV?

Offline Charlie Mops

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2008, 09:26:08 PM »
I have done that actually I over did it I kept a coopers kit going for a few months. tasted gross but you only needed a few pints.
A long time ago way back in history, when all there was to drink was nothing but cups of tea, along came a man by the name Charlie Mops and he invented a wounderfull drink and he made it out of hops. He ought to be Admiral, a Sultoun, or a King, and to his prasies we shall alwas sing.

Offline KEKO482

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2008, 10:01:02 PM »
It won't up the alcohol that much a few points at the most. Try running the recipe on beersmith and see what it adds.

Offline BeerSmith

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2008, 11:10:08 PM »
Hi,
  I would recommend adding no more than a pound - though less is better.  Sugar in excess will lead to an off-cider flavor.

Cheers,
Brad
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gtox

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2008, 06:13:05 AM »
Thanks all. Appreciate your experience.

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2008, 08:01:02 AM »
If you are wanting to boost the ABV plain table sugar wont do much. You will however get better Head retention and a sweet smell to your beer using plain sugar (Sucrose). If you want to up the alcohol the best ways it to up the grains or add Candi Sugar (glucose/fructose invert).
You can use Candi Sugar to up the the ABV but the increase it not that significant. I added 2lbs (Candi sugar) to a Single Malt Single Hop and it only took it up 1 point on a 5 gallon batch. 2lbs was 11% of total recipe and it is suggested that you don't go over 15%. The best part about this is you can make it yourself and here is a link to a WIKI. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/How_to_make_Candi_Sugar

Plain sugar has lots of sucrose which the yeast can not turn into alcohol. The WIKI will show you how to change the Sucrose to glucose/fructose(invert).

My understanding of the secondary is to clear the beer or you could add flavorings like fresh fruit then do a Tertiary clearing. If you add sugars to the secondary you are defeating the purpose of clearing and reactivating the yeast. At that point (Secondary) in the fermentation I'm not sure there are not enough yeast cells suspended in the beer to make a dent in the sugar addition, and you may get an off flavor in the beer. I would suggest making the addition to the Boil or maybe 3 days into the primary fermentation.

Hope this helps.

Preston

(Edited)
« Last Edit: April 30, 2008, 09:42:21 AM by Wastegate »
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Offline bonjour

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 02:09:48 PM »
Sucrose, aka table sugar, is completely fermentable.  Once inside the yeast cell it is broken down into glucose, but it is 100% fermentable providing other nutrients are present.

Fred

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2008, 12:13:35 PM »
Sucrose, aka table sugar, is completely fermentable.  Once inside the yeast cell it is broken down into glucose, but it is 100% fermentable providing other nutrients are present.
Fred
None of the following information is my own, it is merely my experience and interpretation of what I have read and experienced. I may be completely off base on this (I don't think so), take it as you wish or not.

Sucrose (disaccharide or C12, H12,O11) aka table sugar, is fermentable after the yeast brakes it down into fermentable sugars aka fructose (C2, H12, O6) and glucose (C6, H12, O6) (monosaccharides). To say it is completely fermentable I believe is not a correct statement, there are still four carbon molecules unaccounted for and it is missing one oxygen. It is speculated that the one oxygen molecule is to be pulled directly from the beer as it ferments. Given enough time the yeast will break the sucrose into fermenable sugars, time being the key factor. This is why you get a sweet smell to beer when enough is added (No more than 15%). From my experience the yeast does not have enough time and falls out of the beer before is has completely fermented the sucrose out. Which is why I stated that there is lots of sucrose that they yeast can not turn into alcohol. I did not state that it would not convert at all, merely that there is a large amount that still remains. I also stated that sucrose wont do much. This was in reference to ABV. In my experience I have only been able to raise the ABV an average of 1 to 1.5 points by adding either Candi sugar or Table sugar.

There may be a correlation to the flocculation of the yeast and the amount of residual sucrose left in the beer. I will have to try this with a nice Hefe to find out, but this is speculation on my part.

Acidic hydrolysis can be used to achieve the hydrolysis of sucrose into glucose and fructose (See WIKI in previous post). Both of which are much easier/quicker for the yeast to ferment out in comparison to breaking the Sucrose molecule chain into fermentables.

Wow that was long winded

Cheers!

Preston
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Offline bonjour

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2008, 01:09:10 PM »
Sucrose (disaccharide or C12, H12,O11) aka table sugar, is fermentable after the yeast brakes it down into fermentable sugars aka fructose (C2, H12, O6) and glucose (C6, H12, O6) (monosaccharides). To say it is completely fermentable I believe is not a correct statement, there are still four carbon molecules unaccounted for and it is missing one oxygen.
Look a little farther and you will see that the "unaccounted for" carbon molecules are in CO2
It is speculated that the one oxygen molecule is to be pulled directly from the beer as it ferments. Given enough time the yeast will break the sucrose into fermenable sugars, time being the key factor. This is why you get a sweet smell to beer when enough is added (No more than 15%). From my experience the yeast does not have enough time and falls out of the beer before is has completely fermented the sucrose out. Which is why I stated that there is lots of sucrose that they yeast can not turn into alcohol. I did not state that it would not convert at all, merely that there is a large amount that still remains. I also stated that sucrose wont do much. This was in reference to ABV. In my experience I have only been able to raise the ABV an average of 1 to 1.5 points by adding either Candi sugar or Table sugar.
This is not my experience.  6% boost from adding 22% sucrose and I don't believe I have that sweet smell you are referring to.

Without question you need a proper environment with sufficient nutrients for the yeasts to do the job.

Fred

Offline UselessBrewing

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2008, 02:30:33 PM »
Look a little farther and you will see that the "unaccounted for" carbon molecules are in CO2

I could see that that this could be possible/plausible. Given the yeast uses up most if not all the O2 during the early stages of fermentation it could be using the unused C4 as fuel to create CO2. I would hazard a guess this could be partially true because CO2 is a byproduct of the alcohol production and it needs to get the two oxygen molecules from somewhere. But at this point this is purely conjecture on my part. Looks like more research is in store! I will pass this on to my chemical engineer friends and see what they say. Of course I will have to bribe them with some HB for their time. :D
This is not my experience.  6% boost from adding 22% sucrose and I don't believe I have that sweet smell you are referring to.
I could see that the smell may go way depending on the Flocculation and attenuation of the yeast. Like I said I will have to try this on a HEFE to see how it turns out.
As far as 6% boost I have my reservations, I ran the numbers in BeerSmith and it only calculates out to 4.14% est ABV gain at 21.52% of total recipe. Everything I have read says not to go over 15% of total recipe or you will get off flavors.
I have enjoyed this thread thoroughly because it make me question what I think I know and understand to be true.

Preston
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Offline bonjour

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2008, 03:14:13 PM »
The 6% boost was adding sucrose to be 22% from an existing recipe.

Regarding the 15% max sugar, that is the ROT but it is meant to be broken and I break a lot of the "rules", especially with real big beers.

Fred

harebare

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Re: adding sugar to the secondary.
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2008, 12:38:18 PM »
I have no experience adding table sugar but why would you want to? I consistently get 8, 8.5 and even 9% ABV from my ales by:

a) Keeping my mash temps down to make sure I'm getting the maximum startch conversion to fermentable sugars and minimum dextrose in my wort. (I don't like spray malt for this reason.)

b) Boiling to a 1.078-1.080 OG

c) FULLY aerating my wort (air pump and air stone rig) prior to pitching and

d) Activating and pitching sufficient yeast to get me to a FG of 1.010 to 1.008 in 4 days or less.

Why add sugar?

As to adding sugar in the secondary, I agree with the comments made earlier. I rack my ales from the primary as soon as evidence of fermentation stops (no more glub-glub-glub in the airlock) and I've pretty much hit my target gravity, usually 4 days. The secondary is to let the beer clear itself of yeast and trub. The only thing I ever add to the secondary (besides hops) is a packet of powdered champagne yeast if my gravity is a bit high and I suspect excess dextrose.

- Hare