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General Category => All Grain Brewing => Topic started by: stlaleman on June 05, 2011, 06:54:04 am

Title: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: stlaleman on June 05, 2011, 06:54:04 am
I made a Saison yesterday, 10 gallon batch, 1042 going into the fermenter. I ended up mashing a little high (155) due to a couple miss calculations (temp of grain, mash tun temp, still on winter brew mind set, that and brewing in the upper 90's). So this is going to finish a little thicker than I want. So the question is, will adding a sugar syrup to the fermenter lighten the resulting body? If so, how much sugar do I need to add?
Thanks
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bluesman on June 05, 2011, 07:19:30 am
Adding sugar in exchange for some of the base malt will help lower the finishing gravity which will dry out the beer somewhat. Sucrose is 100% fermentable and will add 46ppg. So by adding 1 pound of sugar you'll increase your gravity by 6.9 gravity points which will be 100% fermentable. You'll also finish with a higher AA% by adding the sugar.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: Will's Swill on June 05, 2011, 09:10:00 am
I would think that adding sugar at this point would only add alcohol (does that in itself lighten body?), but adding sugar and water so that you maintain the same OG would lighten the body and lower your FG.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: denny on June 05, 2011, 09:18:16 am
I would think that adding sugar at this point would only add alcohol (does that in itself lighten body?), but adding sugar and water so that you maintain the same OG would lighten the body and lower your FG.

Adding sugar at this point will lighten the body a bit, but to truly do that you;d need to replace other fermentables with it, not just add sugar to what's already there.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: Will's Swill on June 05, 2011, 09:23:19 am
Since it's already made, wouldn't adding water with the sugar do effectively the same thing?  That's assuming the OP can accomodate the extra volume, of course.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bluesman on June 05, 2011, 09:32:22 am
Since it's already made, wouldn't adding water with the sugar do effectively the same thing?  That's assuming the OP can accomodate the extra volume, of course.

Yes it will reduce the body but it will also reduce the ABV as well, which I don't know if the OP would be willing to compromise the alcohol content. He's already below lower limit of a Saison.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: Will's Swill on June 05, 2011, 09:46:25 am
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that the OP should add that much water.  I meant that water should be added with the sugar to maintain the OG.  The OP should even get a bump in abv since the added sugar would be highly fermentable.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tubercle on June 05, 2011, 09:56:10 am
No need to add any water, just sugar if desirable.
 
 The lower FG comes from the added alch because alch SG is less than 1. That is how full fermented wine reads less than 1.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: Will's Swill on June 05, 2011, 10:01:09 am
Right, but if the OP just adds sugar, will it lighten the body of the beer?  I wouldn't think you'd get much effect there, but I haven't tried this.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bonjour on June 05, 2011, 10:26:44 am
Adding sugar will only increase alcohol, it will NOT reduce the FG.

Adding sugar to a recipe NEVER (OK, slightly because pure alcohol has a lower SG than water, see below) reduces the FG.
Reducing the amount of grain/malt to accommodate the sugar does.

But . . .   It will make the body appear lighter to the taste.

a pound of sugar in 5 gallons WILL reduce the FG by 0.00207
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tubercle on June 05, 2011, 11:18:50 am
Adding sugar will only increase alcohol, it will NOT reduce the FG.


 True, but it will give a lower reading on a hyrometer due to the increased alcohol content.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bonjour on June 05, 2011, 11:41:48 am
Adding sugar will only increase alcohol, it will NOT reduce the FG.


 True, but it will give a lower reading on a hyrometer due to the increased alcohol content.
You missed
Quote
a pound of sugar in 5 gallons WILL reduce the FG by 0.00207
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bonjour on June 05, 2011, 11:44:10 am
Adding sugar will only increase alcohol, it will NOT reduce the FG.


 True, but it will give a lower reading on a hyrometer due to the increased alcohol content.
You missed
Quote
a pound of sugar in 5 gallons WILL reduce the FG by 0.00207
FYI BeerSmith2 accounts for this reduction.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: euge on June 05, 2011, 12:05:54 pm
I've found mashing lower, say 146F to yield better results than added cane sugar. I'd have thrown some ice in the mashtun to drop that 155 temp down in the first couple of minutes. This works really well BTW. Water under the bridge...

As stated above it won't really decrease the body that much, and may result in an unbalance towards alcoholic bite. That's my opinion. I really don't like trying to "fix" beer once it's in the fermenter.


What you've made is a table saison. ;) Let it ride and enjoy or maybe you could try blending. ;)

Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tubercle on June 05, 2011, 12:13:37 pm
Adding sugar will only increase alcohol, it will NOT reduce the FG.


 True, but it will give a lower reading on a hyrometer due to the increased alcohol content.
You missed
Quote
a pound of sugar in 5 gallons WILL reduce the FG by 0.00207

 I did miss :-[

My tiny mind can only comprehend so many sentences at a time.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: denny on June 05, 2011, 12:26:30 pm
I really don't like trying to "fix" beer once it's in the fermenter.

I agree.  Usually when I've tried to fix a beer it ends up worse than it probably would have been if I'd just left it.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bonjour on June 05, 2011, 12:37:19 pm
I really don't like trying to "fix" beer once it's in the fermenter.

I agree.  Usually when I've tried to fix a beer it ends up worse than it probably would have been if I'd just left it.
But Denny,   You know it's all about hitting your numbers,


TASTE doesn't matter.






 ;) ;) ;)   ;D ;D ;D    ??? ??? ???

IMHO  while numbers help,  too many brewers are fixated on them.

You have brewed beer, enjoy it
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tubercle on June 05, 2011, 12:52:14 pm

IMHO  while numbers help,  too many brewers are fixated on them.


 The Tubercle Creed.

 This has stopped many a brewer from ENJOYING the craft.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: thomasbarnes on June 06, 2011, 01:54:55 am
I would think that adding sugar at this point would only add alcohol (does that in itself lighten body?), but adding sugar and water so that you maintain the same OG would lighten the body and lower your FG.

I wouldn't mess with it. Once fermentation has gotten started, I'd be too scared of oxidation. I could see adding solid sugar if you stir very carefully. I wouldn't want to add water, though, unless it was deoxygenated. Presumably, adding a boiled sugar syrup could work - high enough sugar concentration to make it hostile to bugs, plus boiling to drive off oxygen.

Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: malzig on June 06, 2011, 04:25:59 am
Adding sugar during fermentation is a pretty common technique among Belgian-style beer brewers, so I'm not sure why people think this might ruin this beer.

Not that I'm particularly advocating adding sugar to this beer.  While I think that dropping the FG by 1.002 is a noticeable difference, the difference here will probably be more subdued, since the amount of unfermentable sugars won't change.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: ccarlson on June 06, 2011, 05:29:05 am
Adding sugar during fermentation is a pretty common technique among Belgian-style beer brewers, so I'm not sure why people think this might ruin this beer.

Not that I'm particularly advocating adding sugar to this beer.  While I think that dropping the FG by 1.002 is a noticeable difference, the difference here will probably be more subdued, since the amount of unfermentable sugars won't change.

I agree, it won't ruin the beer, unless too much is added..
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: nateo on June 06, 2011, 07:56:45 am
The OP is concerned that mashing higher than intended means he'll have more a "thicker" body. On one of those brewstrong interviews with Charlie Bamforth, they talk about how it really takes a ton of dextrin, all other things being equal, to increase the "body" of the beer. So mashing a bit hotter than you wanted, by itself, will have a small-to-negligible effect on the "thickness" of your beer.

From that, and my experience, I'd say the difference between actual attenuation and potential attenuation has a bigger effect on the perceived body than any of the absolute numbers. I've had a Belgian pale ferment down to 1.010 and a Saison ferment to 1.004, with almost the same OG. The pale seemed drier and thinner than the saison.

Doing a forced ferment test gives you a number to "shoot" for. You can still mess it up, like when I overshot my pale, and undershot my saison, but at least you're not flying blind.

So back to the OP's concerns, here's what I'd do. Pull off some wort and do a forced ferment test. See how your wort ferments out as-is. If you're off your mark, rouse and warm the yeast until you get the FG where you want it to be.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tomsawyer on June 06, 2011, 10:47:18 am
Given that the FG won't change appreciably, nor will the content of unfermentables contributing to perception of body, still a higher ABV might change your overall perception of the beer.  I wouldn't go over 10% of total fermentables as sugar, although I know some people go up to 20% in some recipes.

Personally I'd just leave it alone, you really don't know that you're going to need to fix it.  155F isn't so terribly high of a mash temp, depending on your yeast and ferm temp regimen you might still wind up with a low FG.  I know the Wyeast French saison yeast (3711?)  is a great attenuator.  Some of the others need really warm ferm temps to keep going properly.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tschmidlin on June 06, 2011, 11:22:53 am
I wouldn't add any sugar either.  Let it finish, then give it a taste.  If the FG is too high and you don't like the body, I would throw some brett in there.  It should go nicely with the saison base and dry it out a bit.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bluesman on June 06, 2011, 11:46:44 am
The other option is to make another beer to blend with it. I've blended a Saison with a strong Tripel to make a really nice beer. Just another option.

You may find it to be just fine as is.  :)
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: redbeerman on June 07, 2011, 09:12:30 am
BTW, what yeast is being used?  Not that this will matter a lot, but I know WLP565 can trick you if you are not careful.  You'll think it's done and then it starts again.  Make sure that the fermentation is really finished.  I wouldn't add sugar either at this point.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: skyler on June 07, 2011, 01:07:04 pm
If it was my beer, I would probably add honey or inverted sugar syrup at high krausen - I have had good experience doing that.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: Kit B on June 08, 2011, 08:46:42 am
I'm surprised that no one has asked about the original recipe, to establish what might be good/bad..
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: Malticulous on June 08, 2011, 04:17:07 pm
It's hard to get a thick body with only a 1.042 OG. It's probably fine, but the recipe would help us decide.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: smizak on June 08, 2011, 08:17:52 pm
You could just throw some Wyeast 3711 in (if that's not your primary strain). That yeast doesn't seem to care about mash temps.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: MDixon on June 09, 2011, 06:28:27 am
So sometimes I'm thick. Fred said a pound of sugar in 5 gallons would lower the FG by 0.0027, for some reason I just can't get my brain around where that comes from...perhaps too much travel.

I'm thinking a pound of sugar is 45 pts (some say more, some say less). 45/5 = 9 pts per gallon, the sugar essentially ferments to completion leaving 1.000 out of the 1.009 we started with. Of course that is a pure sugar/water ferment. Take me the rest of the way to the 0.0027 since I'm not coming up with it...(where's the head scratching emoticon when needed)
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: jeffy on June 09, 2011, 06:36:45 am
So sometimes I'm thick. Fred said a pound of sugar in 5 gallons would lower the FG by 0.0027, for some reason I just can't get my brain around where that comes from...perhaps too much travel.

I'm thinking a pound of sugar is 45 pts (some say more, some say less). 45/5 = 9 pts per gallon, the sugar essentially ferments to completion leaving 1.000 out of the 1.009 we started with. Of course that is a pure sugar/water ferment. Take me the rest of the way to the 0.0027 since I'm not coming up with it...(where's the head scratching emoticon when needed)

Me, too.  Please explain.
I thought maybe they were saying that the hydrometer reading would change because of the increased alcohol.  Perhaps it has to do with apparent attenuation instead of actual, calculated attenuation, which accounts for the increase in alcohol.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: MDixon on June 09, 2011, 06:42:43 am
I thought about that and still couldn't wrap my head around it. If I threw in a pound of sugar into 5 gallons of a 1.045 beer I take the OG to 1.054. With an 85%AA of the initial wort (1.045), it would have finished at ~1.007, the sugar component should go to completion or 100%AA, so it must be in there somewhere, but the brain ain't what it once was... ;)
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bbkf on June 09, 2011, 06:44:36 am
adding sugar to "lighten body" is to raise the alcohol a touch without added dextrins.  if you had a 7% alcohol beer that you wanted to be 7.5% or 8%, adding more malt to get to that extra alcohol would add more body.  But, if you add sugar instead, you'll get the extra alcohol without adding to the mouthfeel.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: MDixon on June 09, 2011, 06:46:39 am
I certainly hope everyone understands how/why sugar is utilized in brewing...I'm looking for the mathematical proof of Fred's statement...
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tomsawyer on June 09, 2011, 07:24:56 am
Ethanol has a specific gravity of 0.8 or thereabouts.  Thats why added sugar will lower the FG very slightly, more of a low gravity solvent in your aqueous solution.

Wine is typically 12-15% ABV, and when it ferments dry it is typically 0.99 FG.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tygo on June 09, 2011, 07:31:57 am
It's a matter of apparent attenuation.  

Let me take a shot at this with the caveat that I need more coffee before I'm fully functioning.

Let's assume the beginning OG of 1.045 and 85% AA yielding an FG of 1.00675.  1 lb of sugar in 5 gallons would add 1.19% ABV according to Beersmith.  So let's say that adds 7.6 oz of volume (5 gallons x 128 oz x 0.0119) which ferments out completely and produces that volume of pure ethanol at a SG of 0.794.  

So we've got 640 oz at an FG of 1.00675 and 7.6 oz at an FG of 0.794.  That makes the final volume 640 + 7.6 = 647.6 oz

FG = (640 x 1.00675) + (7.6 x 0.794) = 650.3671 / 647.6 = 1.00425

1.00675 - 1.00425 = 0.002502  <---- Drop in FG due to adding 1 lb of sugar.



Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: jeffy on June 09, 2011, 07:33:19 am
So it is apparent attenuation then.  Here's something I found on the homebrew wiki that has a calculation that Fred may have used:

Apparent vs. Real Extract

Hydrometers are calibrated for measuring the sugar (extract) content of a water solution. This is true for wort. But when used to measure the extract of beer, which contains ethanol, the reading will be skewed by the lower specific gravity of the ethanol. As a result the hydrometer shows a lower extract content than the actual beer has. This measured extract value is called apparent extract (as opposed to the real extract that is measured when there is no alcohol in the solution) and is commonly used when refering to the extract (or specific gravity) of beer. Like the real extract it can be expressed as weight percent, degree Plato or specific gravity. To determine the real extract one can boil-off the alcohol and replace it with distilled water before using a hydrometer. Or, if the original extract is known, the following formula [Realbeer] can be used to calculate the real extract from the apparent extract:

real extract = 0.1808 * original extract + 0.8192 * apparent extract
[edit] Apparent vs. Real Attenuation

When the apparent extract of the beer is used to calculate its attenuation it is called apparent attenuation. The use of the real extract will give the real attenuation. When brewers speak of just attenuation they are most likely to mean apparent attenuation since it can easily be calculated from the hydrometer readings.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bluesman on June 09, 2011, 08:08:16 am
In the case of the OP...he has a beer that starts at 1.042 and ferments down to 1.011 for an AA%=75.

If he adds a pound of sugar (table) at 46ppg/5gal = 9.2 gravity units which will increase his OG to 1.0512. He'll ferment out all of the sugar (table) and 75% of the sugar from the original wort.

.75 (AA%) * 42 (GU) + 1.00(AA% of sugar)/.79 * 9 (GU) = 42.9 GU

51.2 - 42.9 = 8.3 GU = 1.0083 finishing gravity

So by adding the sugar the AA% increases by 5% and the finishing gravity is reduced by .0025 thus slightly altering the mouthfeel (reducing) of the finished beer.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tygo on June 09, 2011, 09:40:25 am
Bluesman - Your calculation assumes that the sugar that's added will ferment out to a volume with a SG of 1.000.  Really it will ferment out to a volume with the SG of ethanol or 0.794.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bluesman on June 09, 2011, 09:57:01 am
Bluesman - Your calculation assumes that the sugar that's added will ferment out to a volume with a SG of 1.000.  Really it will ferment out to a volume with the SG of ethanol or 0.794.

Correct.

My bad. I corrected the calculation to account for this. There's a reduction in the final gravity as shown in my previous post.

Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bonjour on June 09, 2011, 10:24:33 am
The numbers came from Palmer's book.
Quote
The "Real" attenuation is less. Pure ethanol has a gravity of about 0.800. If you had a 1.040 OG beer and got 100% real attenuation, the resulting specific gravity would be about 0.991 (corresponding to about 5% alcohol by weight).
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-1.html (http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-1.html)

The key here is that a pure (No Malt to muddy the calculations) alcohol in water will have a FG < 1.000
Per the above statement a 1.040 OG "beverage" will have a FG of 0.991

The rest is based on how much sucrose it takes to get 1.040.  This much sucrose in (pick 5 gallons) will yield a measured FG of (per Palmer above) a FG of .991.  Simple ratios will take you to the result.

Thus a pound of sucrose (chosen because sucrose does not  bind water into it's matrix, it is not hydroscopic, again to not cloud the computation.


Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: MDixon on June 09, 2011, 04:02:17 pm
Thanks guys, I figured it was something like that, but such an absolute number threw me for a loop and my four function calc and one cup of coffee brain just wasn't cutting the mustard on this one... ;D
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: stlaleman on June 11, 2011, 04:26:40 am
Thanks for all the input. I ended up adding sugar to the wort. I'll post the gravity when I dump the yeast next weekend. This turned into a most interesting discussion.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: stlaleman on June 15, 2011, 10:46:07 am
Fermentation is over, the beer has "cleared" as much as a saison does. Dropped to 1010, high end of the scale for style. It turned out very nice, pepperry aromas with intense fruit, can't wait to get it carbed and drink!
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: tomsawyer on June 15, 2011, 11:48:24 am
Sounds like a very nice summer beverage.  I made one last summer that was popular, this year I'm doing a witbier instead.
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: bluesman on June 16, 2011, 08:45:55 am
Fermentation is over, the beer has "cleared" as much as a saison does. Dropped to 1010, high end of the scale for style. It turned out very nice, pepperry aromas with intense fruit, can't wait to get it carbed and drink!

Glad it all worked out for you. It should even be better once you get it carbed.  :)
Title: Re: Sugar to lighten body
Post by: oscarvan on June 18, 2011, 03:19:19 pm
Could have put some Brett in it and let it sit three months......that WILL lower FG, by quite a bit.