Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: boletivore on June 24, 2010, 06:26:52 PM

Title: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: boletivore on June 24, 2010, 06:26:52 PM
If using the same amount of corn or cane sugar by weight in a recipe how would the results differ, specifically in an Imperial IPA?

Different final gravity?  Original gravity?  Flavor?  More or less noticable alcohol presence?  What would you expect?  Which would you prefer using?
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: a10t2 on June 24, 2010, 06:52:10 PM
By weight, the cane sugar would contribute about 5% more gravity, alcohol, CO2, etc. They should both ferment out 100%, so no flavor to speak of. Cane sugar's cheaper.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: denny on June 24, 2010, 07:37:06 PM
My preference is always for cane sugar over corn sugar.  I can't detect any difference in the results and cane is less expensive.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: Hokerer on June 24, 2010, 07:39:02 PM
My preference is always for cane sugar over corn sugar.  I can't detect any difference in the results and cane is less expensive.

+1  I can get regular old cane sugar at the grocery store.  The "corn sugar" at the grocery also has cornstarch which you don't want.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: boletivore on June 24, 2010, 07:58:09 PM
I have 40 pounds of corn sugar already, I guess I should have mentioned that. 

I might barely have the 1.5# of cane sugar I need for my recipe but have no issues with picking up a new bag to cover it.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: richardt on June 24, 2010, 08:22:05 PM
Sucrose = cane (or beet) sugar = disaccharide (Glucose +Fructose)
Dextrose = Corn sugar = monosaccharide (D-glucose)
Fructose = monosaccharide (levulose)

From a flavor standpoint, there's no harm with using whatever you got (corn or cane sugar). 
If you're using the sucrose in the boil, there is a reported tendency for fructose to undergo Maillard reactions more easily than glucose does.

It is usually cheaper and easier to buy Sucrose (cane or beet sugar).  I use it for boiling and bottling.

There are some older references that seem to make a big deal about bottling with dextrose versus sucrose ("bottle bombs beware!").  As Sean says, sucrose will give slightly more carbonation than dextrose. 
See JP's table in "How to Brew" http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter11-4.html (http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter11-4.html)

I am not sure using invert sugar makes much difference, but if you want to read about how to make it: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invert_sugar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invert_sugar).  I'd like to know how others view it.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: denny on June 25, 2010, 03:54:36 PM
I have 40 pounds of corn sugar already, I guess I should have mentioned that. 

I might barely have the 1.5# of cane sugar I need for my recipe but have no issues with picking up a new bag to cover it.

If you've already got the corn, go for it.  As I mentioned, it's just not that big a deal.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: denny on June 25, 2010, 03:55:50 PM

I am not sure using invert sugar makes much difference, but if you want to read about how to make it: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invert_sugar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invert_sugar).  I'd like to know how others view it.

Any sugar will invert in the kettle due to the pH of the wort, AFAIK.
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: richardt on June 25, 2010, 04:39:56 PM
That's what I've been told, too.  Acid (be it wort, citric acid, or cream of Tartar) and heat cleaves the 1,6 bond of sucrose (yielding glucose and fructose).  Seems like yeast won't have much problem with the mono- or di-saccharides, regardless--they get 100% fermented.  Some of the resources mention it.  It puzzles me why there's even mention of making invert sugar for brewing.  I wonder "What's the point?"
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: dak0415 on June 25, 2010, 04:48:45 PM
Maybe for those who want to add it to secondary?
Title: Re: Corn vs. Cane
Post by: dmtaylor on June 25, 2010, 04:50:03 PM
By weight, the cane sugar would contribute about 5% more gravity, alcohol, CO2, etc. They should both ferment out 100%, so no flavor to speak of. Cane sugar's cheaper.

This.

Corn sugar is dumb.  Save a few bucks with cane sugar.  And don't worry about making invert sugar or saccharides or anything like that.  It's all a bunch of hooey.  All you need to know is that lactose and maltodextrin sugars are not fermentable.  Everything else is.  And yeast doesn't care much what kind of sugar it is.  They'll eat it no matter how expensive or cheap it is, and the flavor differences are negligible.