Author Topic: Brown sugar or molasses  (Read 1016 times)

Offline riceral

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Brown sugar or molasses
« on: October 24, 2013, 07:08:40 AM »
This is my first post, though I have been lurking for a while.

I started brewing back in 2000 when my wife bought me a kit for my birthday. I brewed for close to 6 years, then took some time off to work on my doctorate and have returned to brewing. Thank God someone early in my brewing recommended keeping notes!

One of the porters I brewed back in the day was a robust porter. The recipe was:
          7.0 lbs  Maris Otter
          1.0 lb   Chocolate malt
          0.5 lbs  Special B
          0.5 lbs  60L crystal
          1.0 lb   Flaked barley
          1.0 lb   Brown sugar
Hopped with Willamette to 35 IBU.

I was thinking about changing the brown sugar to molasses. I have used brown sugar and molasses in different recipes and looking at my notes, the molasses in brews other than porters seems to give a rum-like taste.

What do you think? Brown sugar or molasses?

Any and all comments and suggestions would be appreciated.


Online kramerog

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2013, 07:21:30 AM »
brown sugar = white sugar + molasses

If you want more of what molasses gives then use molasses.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2013, 07:23:44 AM »
It depends on the molasses and what flavor you like.  Personally, I don't think I'd enjoy a beer made with that much blackstrap molasses.  But the flavor of molasses would go well in a porter, so don't be afraid to use some.

Btw, welcome to the forum, or congrats on your first post, or whatever seems most appropriate ;)
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2013, 10:10:03 AM »
I use 4 oz of Barbados molasses (sweeter than blackstrap) in my stout and it's noticeable.

A little goes a long way. 
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Offline redbeerman

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2013, 07:05:21 AM »
It is my experience that molasses, especially what is readily available in the states, is best used in small amounts.  I have used it in stouts and the flavor really comes through.  Blackstrap often gives a burnt sugar flavor which is not to my liking.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2013, 07:19:40 AM »
One lb of brown sugar is mostly white sugar (I'd guess > 95%) with a little mollasses added (a few Tablespoons probably). The mollasses portion will give good flavor - but could easily be swapped out for actual mollasses. The white sugar portion will add alcohol and lower the body. This may or may not be what you want. Certainly adding sugar and mollasses separately will give you more control over the final flavor.
 
Don't add a whole lb of mollasses though, that's a lot.
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Online kramerog

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2013, 10:17:12 AM »
Grandma's sells two types of molasses,http://www.grandmasmolasses.com/products/, original, which which is not molasses at all, and robust, which is a first molasses.  Blackstrap is a third molasses.  Third molasses has had water evaporated out of it three times and sugar crystallized out of it 3 times.  Blackstrap if you can get it in bulk is not particularly expensive; I got at gallon for ~$15 in Amish country.  It is sometimes used to feed livestock.  Too me, blackstrap is not particularly sweet and has a liquorice flavor in the finish.
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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2013, 10:58:36 AM »
Grandma's sells two types of molasses,http://www.grandmasmolasses.com/products/, original, which which is not molasses at all, and robust, which is a first molasses.  Blackstrap is a third molasses.  Third molasses has had water evaporated out of it three times and sugar crystallized out of it 3 times.  Blackstrap if you can get it in bulk is not particularly expensive; I got at gallon for ~$15 in Amish country.  It is sometimes used to feed livestock.  Too me, blackstrap is not particularly sweet and has a liquorice flavor in the finish.
I had no idea!
 
I've had 100% blackstrap molasses that was diluted and fermented for ... something else. It tasted very salty and minerally without the sugars.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2013, 11:52:52 AM »
I believe Grandma's Original is the same thing as Barbados.  Unsulphured and made from sorghum, IIRC.

As you said, technically not molasses.  But it works for me.  It's much lighter in flavor than blackstrap.
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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2013, 12:39:33 PM »
I believe Grandma's Original is the same thing as Barbados.  Unsulphured and made from sorghum, IIRC.

As you said, technically not molasses.  But it works for me.  It's much lighter in flavor than blackstrap.
Their website says original is concentrated sugarcane juice.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2013, 06:27:30 PM »
Grandma's sells two types of molasses,http://www.grandmasmolasses.com/products/, original, which which is not molasses at all, and robust, which is a first molasses.  Blackstrap is a third molasses.  Third molasses has had water evaporated out of it three times and sugar crystallized out of it 3 times.  Blackstrap if you can get it in bulk is not particularly expensive; I got at gallon for ~$15 in Amish country.  It is sometimes used to feed livestock.  Too me, blackstrap is not particularly sweet and has a liquorice flavor in the finish.
The blackstrap has all of the minerals concentrated, including iron.

I do like Grandma's Original, which is cane juice as you point out.

Edit - one should try and avoid sulfur molasses.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2013, 06:29:11 PM by hopfenundmalz »
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Offline riceral

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2013, 03:20:20 PM »
Thanks to everyone for your comments.

I was at my LHBS and they think the same as many of you have mentioned; a pound of molasses would be too much. I might go with a pound of brown sugar and maybe 2-3 ounces of molasses. Unsulfured, of course.

Again, thanks to everyone for their thoughts.


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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2013, 05:38:33 PM »
Just a correction, I got a gallon of Golden Barrel blackstrap molasses for $7.79 + tax in Amish country.  http://www.goldenbarrel.com/blackstrap-baking-molasses.php
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 07:05:55 AM »
That's just about a lifetime supply...
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

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Re: Brown sugar or molasses
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 07:10:21 AM »
That's just about a lifetime supply...

As my daughter would say, "totes!"
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