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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: paul on January 26, 2012, 02:50:55 PM

Title: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: paul on January 26, 2012, 02:50:55 PM
I forgot to add sugar to the kettle in a Belgian golden strong ale, so I'm adding the 3 lb in two doses to the fermenter.  In the first dose, I added 1.5 lb of sugar to a small amount of water heated to around 180 for 12 minutes.  I really don't want to add more water.  The fermenter is close to full, and the amount of water needed to dissolve the sugar is significant.  Could I dry pasteurize it in a pot in the oven at 180 F?  Anyone ever do this?  Sugar melts a good bit higher than this temperature doesn't it?
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: dbeechum on January 26, 2012, 04:18:08 PM
you need to get the sugar into a liquid state before adding to the fermenter. heating it dry to melting will just give you caramelized sugar.

as for water needs, you should be able to dissolve a 1.5 of sugar in about a cup of water. if you don't want more water, pull some beer from the fermenter and use it to dissolve
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 26, 2012, 04:24:36 PM
Stuff can't live on sugar so theres no need to heat it.  Ever seen mold growing on sugar?  Microbes that land on sugar get the liquid sucked out of them.

You could heat it if you wanted though.  The melting point of sucrose is 367F so you could easily do 200F for fifteen minutes and get what you are after.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Slowbrew on January 26, 2012, 04:48:08 PM
you need to get the sugar into a liquid state before adding to the fermenter. heating it dry to melting will just give you caramelized sugar.

as for water needs, you should be able to dissolve a 1.5 of sugar in about a cup of water. if you don't want more water, pull some beer from the fermenter and use it to dissolve

Drew's correct.  If you add dry sugar to your fermenter it will likely just sink to the bottom.  Without a lot of stirring you will never get it into suspension.

Paul
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 26, 2012, 04:51:34 PM
You could heat it if you wanted though.  The melting point of sucrose is 367F so you could easily do 200F for fifteen minutes and get what you are after.
Not necessarily.  The things that can survive the harsh conditions in sugar (and survive is not the same as grow) can often withstand 200F as well.  An autoclave runs at 250F, plus moisture, plus pressure, for a 30 min cycle to be considered sterile.  IMO, heating dry sugar to 200F is a waste of time.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: anje on January 26, 2012, 05:34:28 PM
Would scooping some of the wort out of the fermenter, heating it, and dissolving the sugar in that be detrimental to the wort's quality?
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: jeffy on January 26, 2012, 05:43:11 PM
you need to get the sugar into a liquid state before adding to the fermenter. heating it dry to melting will just give you caramelized sugar.

as for water needs, you should be able to dissolve a 1.5 of sugar in about a cup of water. if you don't want more water, pull some beer from the fermenter and use it to dissolve

Drew's correct.  If you add dry sugar to your fermenter it will likely just sink to the bottom.  Without a lot of stirring you will never get it into suspension.

Paul

I have poured store-bought granulated sugar directly into a fermenter at high kreusen and it successfully fermented it all.  I did not have equal success with liquid sugar as there was some dark sweet liquid left on the bottom after transfer.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Hokerer on January 26, 2012, 05:48:09 PM
Would scooping some of the wort out of the fermenter, heating it, and dissolving the sugar in that be detrimental to the wort's quality?

That should work just fine.  I'd recommend that you make sure your dissolved sugar mixture has cooled before you add it back to the fermenter.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 26, 2012, 05:53:01 PM
Would scooping some of the wort out of the fermenter, heating it, and dissolving the sugar in that be detrimental to the wort's quality?
I wouldn't do it, since at this point it is beer and heating beer seems like a bad idea - if space is an issue I would dissolve the sugar in as little water as possible, remove (and dispose of) as much wort as needed to make room, and add the sugar liquid.  Or I'd just skip it and take what I got.

You could also add it dry, as Jeff suggests.  It won't be sterile, but the low pH and nutrients with the high alcohol of a BGS should inhibit quite a lot of things.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 26, 2012, 07:25:14 PM
I have poured store-bought granulated sugar directly into a fermenter at high kreusen and it successfully fermented it all.  I did not have equal success with liquid sugar as there was some dark sweet liquid left on the bottom after transfer.

I've also added dry sugar directly to the fermenter with great success.

I wouldn't pour all 1.5 lbs in at once though.  Perhaps a half pound at a time spaced out over a day or so.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: paul on January 26, 2012, 10:05:16 PM
Wow, lots of perspectives to ponder.   ;D  But it did get me thinking!

I have heard that honey is pretty resistance to nasties because the high osmotic pressure it exerts on them.  I don't know if that would translate well to dry sugar, but probably wet sugar.  Perhaps if I made a really thick solution with sugar and partially fermented wort and let it sit for a few minutes, at room temp, that would be enough to make the solution pretty inhospitable to life.  Then add that to the fermenter.  No heating required.

That would prevent diluting the wort any more.

It would minimize the chance of infection, if sugar even presents such a risk.

It would dissolve the sugar...whether that's a concern or not.

And I could avoid heating the wort/beer.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: denny on January 26, 2012, 10:21:25 PM
Thoughts?


Yes....stop worrying about pasteurizing the sugar. 
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 26, 2012, 10:30:50 PM
You could heat it if you wanted though.  The melting point of sucrose is 367F so you could easily do 200F for fifteen minutes and get what you are after.
Not necessarily.  The things that can survive the harsh conditions in sugar (and survive is not the same as grow) can often withstand 200F as well.  An autoclave runs at 250F, plus moisture, plus pressure, for a 30 min cycle to be considered sterile.  IMO, heating dry sugar to 200F is a waste of time.
I wasn't suggesting it would sterilize the sugar, but it would kill some microbes on that stray dust particle.  Boiling is simply heating to 212F, using your logic one would worry about that not being good enough.  I also said it would make the guy feel better about dumping it in his fermentor.  We all have to feel OK about our process.

Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 26, 2012, 10:32:38 PM
Wow, lots of perspectives to ponder.   ;D  But it did get me thinking!

I have heard that honey is pretty resistance to nasties because the high osmotic pressure it exerts on them.  I don't know if that would translate well to dry sugar, but probably wet sugar.  Perhaps if I made a really thick solution with sugar and partially fermented wort and let it sit for a few minutes, at room temp, that would be enough to make the solution pretty inhospitable to life.  Then add that to the fermenter.  No heating required.

That would prevent diluting the wort any more.

It would minimize the chance of infection, if sugar even presents such a risk.

It would dissolve the sugar...whether that's a concern or not.

And I could avoid heating the wort/beer.

Thoughts?
Its possible a high osmotic pressure solution would eventually kill microbes, I don't think it would very effective in the short term.  IT might raisin them up is all.

I agree with Denny.  Throw in the sugar and swirl the carboy every so often .
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 26, 2012, 10:34:27 PM
Does the sugar production process involve any heating?  Maybe it is somewhat sterile to begin with.  It certainly doesn't seem to contain much organic matter other than sucrose.  Unless theres a hole in the corner of the sack and mouse turds nearby.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: anje on January 26, 2012, 11:00:49 PM
Wow, lots of perspectives to ponder.   ;D  But it did get me thinking!

I have heard that honey is pretty resistance to nasties because the high osmotic pressure it exerts on them.  I don't know if that would translate well to dry sugar, but probably wet sugar.  Perhaps if I made a really thick solution with sugar and partially fermented wort and let it sit for a few minutes, at room temp, that would be enough to make the solution pretty inhospitable to life.  Then add that to the fermenter.  No heating required.

.....
Thoughts?
Well, nothing grows in dry sugar or strong sugar solutions because of the low water activity.  The sugar's too concentrated for anything to grow on it.  (This is also why candying things like fruit and ginger works for preservation.)  That doesn't mean it's sterile, which is why you wanted to heat it in the beginning.  Unfortunately, sterilizing dry requires hotter temps than sterilizing with moisture, so heating your dry sugar to 200F probably wouldn't be sufficient for sterilization.

However, you just need things to be sanitary; sterility is unnecessary. (I'm still working on this distinction myself, so I get the "sterilize everything" mentality.  I still want gnotobiotic beer in my fermenter!)  If the experts say you can dump in dry sugar, I'd believe them.  Just pour it slowly and stir as you go so you don't get a big mass of sugar on the bottom of your fermenter.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: paul on January 27, 2012, 03:30:31 AM
I understand that dry sugar may not be a breeding ground for bacteria, but neither is a clean spoon, and yet I sanitize it before dipping it into wort!  Thus, I pondered sanitizing sugar.

Also, I know that you can dry pasteurize at less than 200 F.  I visited a plant that dries egg whites into powder then dry pasteurizes them.  I remember the temperature was 160 F because I spent two minutes in the room and decided I didn't want to experience a temperature hotter than 160 ever again.  A brief internet search confirms it does take longer--perhaps two hours--to dry pasteurize at this temperature.

My original concern was whether 160 - 180 F would alter the sugar...carmelize it or something.  But it sounds like a few people have just dumped it in with no worries.  Maybe I'll give that a try.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tubercle on January 27, 2012, 04:00:12 AM
Pour it in. I have done it many many times. That's how I come up with my 7% lawnmower beer. Never once has it infected the batch.

 Use the 1/2-at-a-time method. If you are adding 1.5 lb total then pour in 0.75 today, 1/2 of the 0.75 that's left the next day or so, 1/2 of the left over the next day, then the rest. An old wine makers trick.

Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 27, 2012, 04:46:11 AM
I wasn't suggesting it would sterilize the sugar, but it would kill some microbes on that stray dust particle.  Boiling is simply heating to 212F, using your logic one would worry about that not being good enough.  I also said it would make the guy feel better about dumping it in his fermentor.  We all have to feel OK about our process.
There is a big difference with boiling because it is a liquid.  You can pasteurize or sterilize at lower temps or shorter times in a moist/wet environment than in a dry one.  I agree we should feel good about our processes, but it should be for sound reasons.  You can feel good about boiling it in a little water, and from some peoples' experience you can feel good about dumping it in dry.


Thoughts?
Honey is inhospitable for growth and will kill a lot of organisms, but spores will survive just fine until it is diluted enough for them to grow.  That said, I never pasteurize my honey for beer or mead making, just add it and let the low pH and high alcohol kill anything that wants to grow.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: thomasbarnes on January 27, 2012, 11:40:33 AM
I'd just pour the sugar in.

In addition to what others have said, if the beer has hit high krausen (i.e., big old cap of foam on top and airlock bubbling like mad) the ABV in your beer will have probably gotten up to the point that the alcohol will also help to kill many of the bugs on the sugar.

While the sugar won't dissolve immediately, it will dissolve over a period of a couple of weeks.

I can't say exactly how it will affect your ferment, however. The sudden influx of sugar might restart fermentation, or it might shock the yeast and give you attenuation problems. In the latter case, you might need to pitch more yeast or rouse the existing yeast.

There's also the option of Not Messing With It. Your tripel might come in a little low in alcohol and a bit chewy for the style, but so what?  As long as it tastes good, it is good.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 27, 2012, 12:59:00 PM
If dumping it in dry works, then heating at 200F for x minutes would also work and might, just might, be safer.  You would not think it would be less safe, assuming you use a clean container and cover with foil to avoid something drifting in.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 27, 2012, 01:26:25 PM
There is a big difference with boiling because it is a liquid.  You can pasteurize or sterilize at lower temps or shorter times in a moist/wet environment than in a dry one.  I agree we should feel good about our processes, but it should be for sound reasons.  You can feel good about boiling it in a little water, and from some peoples' experience you can feel good about dumping it in dry.

Example - Stick your hand in a 200 F oven - warm, but mild. Now stick your hand in a pot of 200 F water...

Actually, don't do the second part. Really.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: mtnandy on January 27, 2012, 01:27:20 PM
The last time I dumped dry sugar into a beer (a belgian golden strong) it created a geyser because it let out all of the CO2 that was in solution, so watch out. Anyone else have this happen to them?
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: denny on January 27, 2012, 04:52:59 PM
If dumping it in dry works, then heating at 200F for x minutes would also work and might, just might, be safer.  You would not think it would be less safe, assuming you use a clean container and cover with foil to avoid something drifting in.

I'm about to put 2 lb. of unwashed, unsanitized chanterelle mushrooms into a batch of beer.  I've done it before and there have never been any problems.  If that works, putting unsanitized sugar into the fermenter will surely work.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Joe Sr. on January 27, 2012, 04:56:36 PM
I'm with Denny on this. 

I think sometimes we can go a step too far with concerns about sanitation.

But go ahead and take the extra steps if you need to for piece of mind.

They are unnecessary, but probably won't hurt anything.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 27, 2012, 06:07:37 PM
There is a big difference with boiling because it is a liquid.  You can pasteurize or sterilize at lower temps or shorter times in a moist/wet environment than in a dry one.  I agree we should feel good about our processes, but it should be for sound reasons.  You can feel good about boiling it in a little water, and from some peoples' experience you can feel good about dumping it in dry.

Example - Stick your hand in a 200 F oven - warm, but mild. Now stick your hand in a pot of 200 F water...

Actually, don't do the second part. Really.

Touch the oven, or better yet try to pick up the container of sugar without an oven mitt.  I can stick my hand in a 400F oven but I think thats because the air temp is lowered when you open the door.

I'm probably the least conscientious person when it comes to brewing sanitation.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tschmidlin on January 27, 2012, 06:19:15 PM
If dumping it in dry works, then heating at 200F for x minutes would also work and might, just might, be safer.  You would not think it would be less safe, assuming you use a clean container and cover with foil to avoid something drifting in.
Yes, it might be safer - 200F will kill yeast and bugs.  I just think its a waste of time. ;)

Touch the oven, or better yet try to pick up the container of sugar without an oven mitt.  I can stick my hand in a 400F oven but I think thats because the air temp is lowered when you open the door.
I'm not going to touch the oven!  I burned my finger the other week touching the handle in a fireplace door.  That thing was pumping out so much heat we could smell the carpet melting - and there is a row of 12" tiles around the fireplace and the carpet was covered by a fireproof rug.  Hot hot hot.

I think the door opening is probably part of it, but the roast doesn't brown as fast in a 400F oven as it does in a 400F pan.  I think it has more to do with the efficiency of heat transfer from metal to flesh compared to air to flesh.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Jimmy K on January 27, 2012, 06:43:16 PM
Touch the oven, or better yet try to pick up the container of sugar without an oven mitt.  I can stick my hand in a 400F oven but I think thats because the air temp is lowered when you open the door.
I'm not going to touch the oven!  I burned my finger the other week touching the handle in a fireplace door.  That thing was pumping out so much heat we could smell the carpet melting - and there is a row of 12" tiles around the fireplace and the carpet was covered by a fireproof rug.  Hot hot hot.

I think the door opening is probably part of it, but the roast doesn't brown as fast in a 400F oven as it does in a 400F pan.  I think it has more to do with the efficiency of heat transfer from metal to flesh compared to air to flesh.
Holds more energy and transfers energy more quickly.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 27, 2012, 08:04:02 PM
If dumping it in dry works, then heating at 200F for x minutes would also work and might, just might, be safer.  You would not think it would be less safe, assuming you use a clean container and cover with foil to avoid something drifting in.

I'm about to put 2 lb. of unwashed, unsanitized chanterelle mushrooms into a batch of beer.  I've done it before and there have never been any problems.  If that works, putting unsanitized sugar into the fermenter will surely work.
Mushroom beer?  What kind of base beer is it?
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: weithman5 on January 27, 2012, 08:07:27 PM
[
Mushroom beer?  What kind of base beer is it?

hallucinogenic
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: denny on January 27, 2012, 08:23:22 PM
If dumping it in dry works, then heating at 200F for x minutes would also work and might, just might, be safer.  You would not think it would be less safe, assuming you use a clean container and cover with foil to avoid something drifting in.

I'm about to put 2 lb. of unwashed, unsanitized chanterelle mushrooms into a batch of beer.  I've done it before and there have never been any problems.  If that works, putting unsanitized sugar into the fermenter will surely work.
Mushroom beer?  What kind of base beer is it?

Skotrat's Traquair House wee heavy recipe.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: paul on January 28, 2012, 12:58:50 AM
I just dumped it in, dry and dirty.  If it gets infected, I'm inviting you all over to drink it.   :o
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: jeffy on January 28, 2012, 01:57:11 AM
I made a very nice triple that way last year.  No worries.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: tomsawyer on January 28, 2012, 04:44:42 AM
I love a sour, count me in!
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: ynotbrusum on January 28, 2012, 07:19:53 PM
I have added corn sugar at high krausen in several beers and have encountered no problems.  The first time was by accident (I forgot to add it to the boil and didn't want to dilute an already pretty light beer); thereafter it just became routine.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: greenbeltbrew on November 30, 2012, 05:16:27 AM
Really happy to come across this thread, just what I was looking for.  I brewed a triple planning to add sugar late to the fermenter.

Just how late should I go?  Now or wait a bit?

I'm 5 days in and my OG was 1.075, planning to add to get up to 1.090, which is 2 lbs. in 10 gallons.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: jeffy on November 30, 2012, 11:19:55 AM
Really happy to come across this thread, just what I was looking for.  I brewed a triple planning to add sugar late to the fermenter.

Just how late should I go?  Now or wait a bit?

I'm 5 days in and my OG was 1.075, planning to add to get up to 1.090, which is 2 lbs. in 10 gallons.

I think now would be the best time.  I poured sugar directly into a Triple that had been fermenting for three days and it worked out great.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Joe Sr. on November 30, 2012, 02:37:14 PM
Really happy to come across this thread, just what I was looking for.  I brewed a triple planning to add sugar late to the fermenter.

Just how late should I go?  Now or wait a bit?

I'm 5 days in and my OG was 1.075, planning to add to get up to 1.090, which is 2 lbs. in 10 gallons.

I think now would be the best time.  I poured sugar directly into a Triple that had been fermenting for three days and it worked out great.

Agreed.  Sooner is better, IMO.  If I'm adding to the fermenter, I want to do it while the beer is at high krausen and definitely before it starts to floc out.
Title: Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
Post by: Jimmy K on November 30, 2012, 04:49:33 PM
Really happy to come across this thread, just what I was looking for.  I brewed a triple planning to add sugar late to the fermenter.

Just how late should I go?  Now or wait a bit?

I'm 5 days in and my OG was 1.075, planning to add to get up to 1.090, which is 2 lbs. in 10 gallons.

I think now would be the best time.  I poured sugar directly into a Triple that had been fermenting for three days and it worked out great.

Agreed.  Sooner is better, IMO.  If I'm adding to the fermenter, I want to do it while the beer is at high krausen and definitely before it starts to floc out.

Me too. Adding later means the yeast has started to go into dormancy. It is strongest now.