Author Topic: Dry pasteurizing sugar?  (Read 3577 times)

Offline anje

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2012, 04:00:49 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.
<-- microbiologist brewster n00b.

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Offline paul

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2012, 08:30:31 PM »
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.

Offline tubercle

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2012, 09:00:12 PM »
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.

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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 09:46:11 PM »
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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2012, 04:40:33 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.

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2012, 05:59:00 AM »
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.
Lennie
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 06:26:25 AM »
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.
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Offline mtnandy

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2012, 06:27:20 AM »
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?

Offline denny

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2012, 09:52:59 AM »
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.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2012, 09:56:36 AM »
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.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2012, 11:07:37 AM »
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.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2012, 11:19:15 AM »
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.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2012, 11:43:16 AM »
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.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2012, 01:04:02 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?
Lennie
Hannibal, MO

Offline weithman5

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Re: Dry pasteurizing sugar?
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2012, 01:07:27 PM »
[
Mushroom beer?  What kind of base beer is it?

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