Author Topic: Adding sugars in the secondary  (Read 3274 times)

Offline wamille

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Adding sugars in the secondary
« on: October 23, 2012, 05:46:50 AM »
I recently made a Russian Imperial Stout... OG 1.101.  It's now down to 1.018.  I mashed at 148F and it isn't near as thick as I was wanting it to be... and  seems to be missing some of the richer flavors I was hoping for.  I am planning on adding the following into the secondary fermenter to increase the mouthfeel and give it a bigger flavor profile:

.5 lbs lactose
1 lb brown sugar
molasses (one jar)
.5 lbs dark bakers chocolate
2 cinnamon sticks broken
32 oz water

I figured I'd combine all those ingrediants and bring to a boil until most of the water was boiled off.  After, I wanted to add about 375 mL of Woodford Select bourbon to the mix once cooled.  I'd then pitch it into the fermenter.  Any issues... good or bad?

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 07:08:31 AM »
Adding that much sugar to secondary (after you've removed most of the yeast) sounds like a phenomenally bad idea to me.  A great way to make bottle bombs too.
 
If you're going to do this - brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses. Skip the brown and just add lactose and molasses. I'd also take a few small glasses and dose samples at different levels to see how they taste first.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 08:48:40 AM »
Adding that much sugar to secondary (after you've removed most of the yeast) sounds like a phenomenally bad idea to me.  A great way to make bottle bombs too.
 
If you're going to do this - brown sugar is just white sugar with molasses. Skip the brown and just add lactose and molasses. I'd also take a few small glasses and dose samples at different levels to see how they taste first.

Agreed. If you're bent on making it sweeter by addition of molasses and don't want bottle bombs (assuming you're bottling), it may be a good idea to pasteurize the bottles once you get to a carbonation level you like.

Personally though, I would just leave it alone. You'd be amazed at how different some beers taste from fermenter to bottle.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2012, 09:05:19 AM »

I agree...don't do it.
Let it age (as you should do with any RIS)...it won't gain in mouthfeel, but the aging will add some nice complexities to the flavor (which may in turn serve to make up at least somewhat for the lack of "thickness" you describe).
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2012, 09:20:06 AM »
I agree, you should not add any sugar in the hops of improving the body.  Add lactose if you like, but the brown sugar and molasses will likely cause refermentation and, at best, lighten the body further.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline bluesman

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2012, 09:42:33 AM »
+1

Adding the sugar won't increase the body, but to the contrary will decrease the gravity of the beer, and consequently lighten the body. Adding the chocolate and cinnamon sounds okay. The lactose will help improve (enhance) the body of the beer. Taste the beer and decide whether or not to make further additions.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2012, 10:14:02 AM »
Another vote for bottling as is and making adjustments for the next batch.

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Offline bwana

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2012, 11:16:09 AM »
I also would not use any sugar If anything you could boil some thick DME and add it to your secondary.

Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2012, 11:48:38 AM »

I agree...don't do it.
Let it age (as you should do with any RIS)...it won't gain in mouthfeel, but the aging will add some nice complexities to the flavor (which may in turn serve to make up at least somewhat for the lack of "thickness" you describe).

Another good point. You really don't know what it will taste like after some aging.
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Offline euge

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2012, 03:28:22 PM »
I'm not a supporter of trying to fix beer- especially once it's left the primary. If you feel like it needs some dry-hopping that is a different matter, but I can almost guarantee you won't be happy by throwing the kitchen-sink at this already huge RIS.

Congratulate yourself on a successful fermentation and let it condition. Six months down the road you will be thanking us for trying to dissuade you from ruining your beer.

Once it's carbonated you will get that mouthfeel back that you think you are missing.
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Online morticaixavier

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Re: Adding sugars in the secondary
« Reply #10 on: October 24, 2012, 07:57:22 AM »
I'm not a supporter of trying to fix beer- especially once it's left the primary. If you feel like it needs some dry-hopping that is a different matter, but I can almost guarantee you won't be happy by throwing the kitchen-sink at this already huge RIS.

Congratulate yourself on a successful fermentation and let it condition. Six months down the road you will be thanking us for trying to dissuade you from ruining your beer.

Once it's carbonated you will get that mouthfeel back that you think you are missing.

+1 to this. 1.018 is a pretty good place for a big beer like this to finish up in my opinion. Once carbed it will have more perceived body.
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