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StretchNM

John Palmer - Dont Add Sugar! (?)

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I was reading an online version of John Palmers brewing book. He wrote NOT to follow a Malt Extract maker's instructions to add sugar. I can't remember the reason and can't find the passage, but I can find a passage where he repeats not to do so even if instructed. Maybe it has to do with the yeast's reaction to processed sugar while it's trying to work on the natural sugars in the wort.

 

Well, I want to brew the MRB Voodoo beer tomorrow morning. It calls for the addition of 1-cup of brown sugar. A couple members have brewed it and said the brown sugar gave the beer a licorice taste. I don't like licorice so..... I thought I might just put a cup of cane sugar in instead. But, what about John Palmer's warning?

 

Thank you

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Brown sugar is actually processed sugar with molasses added for color. The yeast will readily eat the sugar and leave the molasses which causes the licorice taste.

With processed sugar, if you don't control the temperatures it could cause an apple cider flavor. Palmer's concerns if I remember correctly are twofold. First, not all sugars are alike. Some are junk food for the yeast. After eating the junk food the yeast might not be as willing to eat the malt sugars. Secondly is the possibility of the cider flavor.

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3 hours ago, D Kristof said:

>>>>>>>>>>>>

Palmer's concerns if I remember correctly are twofold. First, not all sugars are alike. Some are junk food for the yeast. After eating the junk food the yeast might not be as willing to eat the malt sugars. Secondly is the possibility of the cider flavor.

 

Yes. That's almost exactly what he said, now that I see it written again. But it seemed his concern was to not add any type of sugar. OK, then if I brew that Voodoo, what should I use to replace the sugar?

 

I have some DME (Pale and Smooth) and I also have other LMEs (Golden and Smooth) that are for recipes but I could use one and replace it later. 2-row and Carapils grains are now on-hand, too. (The current recipe for Voodoo is one can of Bewitched HME, one Golden LME, and that brown sugar).

 

 I don't think I want to use honey (but maybe I would if the argument was strong enough) because it seems it would change the recipe too much. But FYI I do have some pure, wild-ash local honey.  I kindly want to replace that sugar somehow with something relatively close to it. I'm stuck.

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I disagree with all of this. Soooooo many breweries add a percentage of simple sugar to their beers to boost abv but keeping the beer light. The percentage differs from style to style. For example an ipa will have more dextrose than a pale. It also gets the yeasts rolling and encourages regeneration for the main course.

 

nothing i say is gospel. Nothing palmer says is gospel. Noting rick says is gospel, nothing ANYONE says is gospel. The best thing of homebrewing is individuality and freedom. Dont limit yourself

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1 hour ago, Creeps McLane said:

I disagree with all of this. Soooooo many breweries add a percentage of simple sugar to their beers to boost abv but keeping the beer light. The percentage differs from style to style. For example an ipa will have more dextrose than a pale. It also gets the yeasts rolling and encourages regeneration for the main course.

 

nothing i say is gospel. Nothing palmer says is gospel. Noting rick says is gospel, nothing ANYONE says is gospel. The best thing of homebrewing is individuality and freedom. Dont limit yourself

Don't limit yourself - try it. It may turn out tp be a disaster lol. But maybe not…….

Would Mr. Beer sell booster if it was horrible for everyone?

 

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5 hours ago, StretchNM said:

I was reading an online version of John Palmers brewing book. He wrote NOT to follow a Malt Extract maker's instructions to add sugar. I can't remember the reason and can't find the passage, but I can find a passage where he repeats not to do so even if instructed. Maybe it has to do with the yeast's reaction to processed sugar while it's trying to work on the natural sugars in the wort.

 

Well, I want to brew the MRB Voodoo beer tomorrow morning. It calls for the addition of 1-cup of brown sugar. A couple members have brewed it and said the brown sugar gave the beer a licorice taste. I don't like licorice so..... I thought I might just put a cup of cane sugar in instead. But, what about John Palmer's warning?

 

Thank you

If you do not put the sugar or something else in that will ferment, the ABV will be off from the recipe intentions. The cup will add maybe 1%.

 

So if you just are OK with  6.5% then leave it out. If you want it more caramelly and malty and 7.4% add more malt extract  e.g. Smooth from Mr B or Sparkling Amber from Briess (maybe 8 oz).

You could also add Belgian Candy sugar, the dark will give some good flavors - maybe again about 8 oz.

https://beerandbrewing.com/brewing-with-candi-sugar

 

But bear in mind you are adding ABV and flavor so you have to pick what you want for each - and add the appropriate ingredients.

 

 

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The HME bag is about 8oz. I could add 1/2 or maybe a whole bag, so I could keep the malty body. Keeping the beer at 7.4% doesn't really matter to me. If it was close to the expected ABV that would be good. If it was only 6% or so, that'd be fine too. 

 

@Creeps McLane I hear you. So would you forego adding more extract and go ahead with one of the sugars?

 

i know your advice to experiment and see what happens is sound, but I still want to hear from you guys anyway. In the end, I'll still be the one making the tough decisions in my micro-brewery. Lord knows I can't count on my help if I'm not there cracking the whip. 

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Adding LME would change the flavor profile slightly but not terribly. Also, you could add booster. I'd go with either before I added sugar but that's  my preference.

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2 hours ago, StretchNM said:

The HME bag is about 8oz. I could add 1/2 or maybe a whole bag, so I could keep the malty body. Keeping the beer at 7.4% doesn't really matter to me. If it was close to the expected ABV that would be good. If it was only 6% or so, that'd be fine too. 

 

@Creeps McLane I hear you. So would you forego adding more extract and go ahead with one of the sugars?

 

i know your advice to experiment and see what happens is sound, but I still want to hear from you guys anyway. In the end, I'll still be the one making the tough decisions in my micro-brewery. Lord knows I can't count on my help if I'm not there cracking the whip. 

Im just saying that adding dextrose is not a bad thing. Back in the day most extract kits had one can of extract and a butt load of sugar. Muntons is still like that. Maybe he was against that

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On Saturday, June 08, 2019 at 1:15 PM, StretchNM said:

I was reading an online version of John Palmers brewing book. He wrote NOT to follow a Malt Extract maker's instructions to add sugar. I can't remember the reason and can't find the passage, but I can find a passage where he repeats not to do so even if instructed. Maybe it has to do with the yeast's reaction to processed sugar while it's trying to work on the natural sugars in the wort.

 

Well, I want to brew the MRB Voodoo beer tomorrow morning. It calls for the addition of 1-cup of brown sugar. A couple members have brewed it and said the brown sugar gave the beer a licorice taste. I don't like licorice so..... I thought I might just put a cup of cane sugar in instead. But, what about John Palmer's warning?

 

Thank you

Now that you've heard a couple opinions... probably more to come.

 

I could show you a youtube link of John Palmer brewing a Belgian Tripel. Watched it a couple weeks ago and he adds 2 lbs of sugar but that would only prove nothing is set in stone.

If it was my beer, I would use 1/2 cup of light brown sugar and 1/2 cup of table sugar. My first alternate recipe modifications would be to replace the sugar with MrBeers liquid malt extracts. 

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OK I'm fixing to start brewing here in a few minutes. So I'm glad I got a notification you replied, @D Kristof. After last night's opinions, I decided. The sugar is out - I hear you all clearly, but I just have so many doubts that I don't want to use it. Maybe on a different batch later.

 

I made notes to use 1 bag (8oz) of DME Smooth and use Safale US05 (59F to 71F) instead of MRB yeast. The yeast change is so I can ferment at 65F or so, and not risk the high temperatures recommended for MRB yeast. Plus, if you buy MRB yeast  on its own, it is half the cost of the other yeasts, making me doubt its quality. 31+ years working for the guvment has left me the ultimate skeptic, so....when in doubt....

 

It's still not too late for me to replace the DME with a full pack of LME Smooth. Of course it already comes with LME Smooth, so another one would make 2 LMEs (I'm a mathematician). Does it really matter - LME or DME?

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This just hit me. My Safale yeast is still in the fridge as I type this. If I start brewing in the next few minutes, that means I'll need to pitch yeast in about an hour. Is that enough time for the yeast to warm to room temperature?

Thanks

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44 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

This just hit me. My Safale yeast is still in the fridge as I type this. If I start brewing in the next few minutes, that means I'll need to pitch yeast in about an hour. Is that enough time for the yeast to warm to room temperature?

Thanks

Should be and if not just let it set on the counter a little longer.

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2 hours ago, StretchNM said:

OK I'm fixing to start brewing here in a few minutes. So I'm glad I got a notification you replied, @D Kristof. After last night's opinions, I decided. The sugar is out - I hear you all clearly, but I just have so many doubts that I don't want to use it. Maybe on a different batch later.

 

I made notes to use 1 bag (8oz) of DME Smooth and use Safale US05 (59F to 71F) instead of MRB yeast. The yeast change is so I can ferment at 65F or so, and not risk the high temperatures recommended for MRB yeast. Plus, if you buy MRB yeast  on its own, it is half the cost of the other yeasts, making me doubt its quality. 31+ years working for the guvment has left me the ultimate skeptic, so....when in doubt....

 

It's still not too late for me to replace the DME with a full pack of LME Smooth. Of course it already comes with LME Smooth, so another one would make 2 LMEs (I'm a mathematician). Does it really matter - LME or DME?

MRB yeast is half the price because it's for half the volume of beer.  That packet of US-05 is made for a five-gallon batch which is why it's priced the way it is.

 

You can ferment with MRB yeast at 65F.  I keep all my ales except for saisons at 64F until high krausen is complete, regardless of whether I'm using -04,-05, MRB, or Nottingham.

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17 hours ago, Creeps McLane said:

Im just saying that adding dextrose is not a bad thing. Back in the day most extract kits had one can of extract and a butt load of sugar. Muntons is still like that. Maybe he was against that

@StretchNM Stretch, i've brewed quite a few recipes that called for X amount of table or corn sugar. just adds ABV (which i like).

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Thank you, men, for all the advice. After my last two posts this morning, I went in and brewed the batch. It's in the keg and beyond all help now. Sugar next time, maybe.

 

I mixed in 8oz of DME Smooth before my 4 cups of water was boiling (I actually added a little more water - 5 or 6 cups total). Then, at the boil I removed from heat and stirred in my HME Bewitched and LME Smooth. Sure did smell good at that point. Playing with the top-off water, I brought the temp to 70F and pitched the Safale US05 yeast.

 

It's fermenting now at about 63F +or- with frozen water bottles in the cooler. Done. Ya se acabò.

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I forgot to take my original gravity reading!!!!! :(

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18 hours ago, StretchNM said:

Thank you, men, for all the advice. After my last two posts this morning, I went in and brewed the batch. It's in the keg and beyond all help now. Sugar next time, maybe.

 

I mixed in 8oz of DME Smooth before my 4 cups of water was boiling (I actually added a little more water - 5 or 6 cups total). Then, at the boil I removed from heat and stirred in my HME Bewitched and LME Smooth. Sure did smell good at that point. Playing with the top-off water, I brought the temp to 70F and pitched the Safale US05 yeast.

 

It's fermenting now at about 63F +or- with frozen water bottles in the cooler. Done. Ya se acabò.

The recipe says you get Golden not Smooth?

But if you have Smooth and added 2, an LME and a DME, it will be REALLY MALTY. If you like that it will be nice.

 

I just made the Rocket's Red Glare, which I really like as it has Cascade hops in too making more of a balance taste - not hoppy but citrus.(Also with Golden LME)

 

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1 hour ago, Nickfixit said:

The recipe says you get Golden not Smooth?

But if you have Smooth and added 2, an LME and a DME, it will be REALLY MALTY. If you like that it will be nice.

 

I just made the Rocket's Red Glare, which I really like as it has Cascade hops in too making more of a balance taste - not hoppy but citrus.(Also with Golden LME)

 

 

@Nickfixit No Nick. Sorry. I was theorizing when I said 2 LME. AND...... it may have come with LME Golden and I misspoke ( I love that term 😎)

No, I brewed it with one can Bewitched, one (Golden?) LME, 8 oz of Smooth DME, and US05 yeast. 

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"Plus , if you buy MRB yeast  on its own, it is half the cost of the oth er yeasts, making me doubt its quality"

 

Don't disparage the Coopers yeast from down unda the lid, because it is a great yeast. I use it more often than I do US04 or US05. I hold my fermentation temperatures at 63 degrees and its a clean yeast. I let my fermentation temperatures rise to 68 and IMO similar to a British ale yeast. If you think about all of the novice brewers using MrBeer products and their kegs are on a kitchen counter probably in the low 70's and they're making passable beer... most other yeasts are more fickle and have a more narrow temperature range. 

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The Mr. Beer packet is the size it is because no more yeast is needed for a 2.13 gallon batch.  A full packet of S-05 is for a 5 gallon batch.


Reading Palmer's book is great.  However, the free online version was published in 2000, but he started it in 1995 and finally self-published the print copy.  It's over 20 years old.  The 4th edition was released in 2017 (3rd edition was in 2006), and contains quite a few updates.  You can buy it on Amazon or get it from your local library.  Changes from the 3rd to the 4th edition, per Palmer - 200 more pages, 5 new chapters, and more pictures and diagrams than every before.  Imagine the changes from the first to the third editions.

 

In a 2010 interview, Palmer said - "Stop getting the thing off the internet." referring to the first edition years after the 3rd edition was printed.  

 

It's a great source of info, but does contain several no longer popular "rules".  

 

I have read a few books, most from the library.

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2 hours ago, RickBeer said:

The Mr. Beer packet is the size it is because no more yeast is needed for a 2.13 gallon batch.  A full packet of S-05 is for a 5 gallon batch.


Reading Palmer's book is great.  However, the free online version was published in 2000, but he started it in 1995 and finally self-published the print copy.  It's over 20 years old.  The 4th edition was released in 2017 (3rd edition was in 2006), and contains quite a few updates.  You can buy it on Amazon or get it from your local library.  Changes from the 3rd to the 4th edition, per Palmer - 200 more pages, 5 new chapters, and more pictures and diagrams than every before.  Imagine the changes from the first to the third editions.

 

In a 2010 interview, Palmer said - "Stop getting the thing off the internet." referring to the first edition years after the 3rd edition was printed.  

 

It's a great source of info, but does contain several no longer popular "rules".  

 

I have read a few books, most from the library.

About yeast  per brew..............

Cooper's 6 gal kits come with a 7g packet of yeast. 

Safale packets are 11g.

Mr B yeast packets are 5g.

You can figure what you need using online calculator if you want but it seems fairly flexible, as it depends on viability from age of yeast, how it as been treated since packaging etc..

and generalizations for other things like strength of brew (need more if stronger), and brew temperature (need more if lower) and how much ester content you want (need more if less).

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I really didn't mean to cheat with Palmer's online version, in fact, it was on my list to buy. But I think I was researching something and clicked on a link that took me there. I had no idea it was so outdated.

 

Well, I used a whole packet of US05. Maybe I'll have too much yeast, but the brewing is done. Now, if the yeast don't want to do their job, I can't stop them (-YB). I took copious notes of this detailed and highly complex recipe so I will know in a month or two if it worked. Of course, either way it turns out in the end, I may not know why. I broke the cardinal rule of reloading - make one and only one change at a time.

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58 minutes ago, StretchNM said:

I really didn't mean to cheat with Palmer's online version, in fact, it was on my list to buy. But I think I was researching something and clicked on a link that took me there. I had no idea it was so outdated.

 

Well, I used a whole packet of US05. Maybe I'll have too much yeast, but the brewing is done. Now, if the yeast don't want to do their job, I can't stop them (-YB). I took copious notes of this detailed and highly complex recipe so I will know in a month or two if it worked. Of course, either way it turns out in the end, I may not know why. I broke the cardinal rule of reloading - make one and only one change at a time.

 

I agree.  He states that his 4th edition is out - 2017 - but doesn't state how old his online version is.  He should add that to his home page.

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3 hours ago, StretchNM said:

I really didn't mean to cheat with Palmer's online version, in fact, it was on my list to buy. But I think I was researching something and clicked on a link that took me there. I had no idea it was so outdated.

 

Well, I used a whole packet of US05. Maybe I'll have too much yeast, but the brewing is done. Now, if the yeast don't want to do their job, I can't stop them (-YB). I took copious notes of this detailed and highly complex recipe so I will know in a month or two if it worked. Of course, either way it turns out in the end, I may not know why. I broke the cardinal rule of reloading - make one and only one change at a time.

Shouldn't be an issue.  When I use an 11g packet I pitch the whole thing and the beer comes out fine.  If I planned out my brew schedule a little better I could use half for one batch and the remaining for the next.  But plans change and I'd rather use the yeast in what can be considered an "overkill" situation than have it go to waste. 😀

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