Author Topic: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?  (Read 4684 times)

Offline merddyn2002

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Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« on: April 26, 2010, 07:53:05 AM »
Stevia is a natural herbal sweetner that's been used in other countries (especially in europe) for decades. It's just now getting a footing here in the US. As a sweetner it's VERY potent. 2-3 small leaves (just a few grams) can often sweeten a whole kettle of tea. It's completely unfermentable and has a very low to non-existent flavor profile.

We've used this extensively at the house as a non-sugar sweetner, but i'm just now getting into using it as a brewing additive and have had very promising results and will be making a few youtube videos about it soon.

General Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia
Stevia Products: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stevia&x=0&y=0

It's available commercially in grocery stores (and GNC) usually next to the Splenda (hate that stuff) under names like Purvia, Truvia and Only Sweet. Grocery stores usually have it in powdered form where they bind it to a bit of corn starch. It's so potent that without the corn starch you wouldn't be able to see the grains of stevia concentrate. GNC also caries a liquid form. Be very very conservative with this stuff. It's a highly potent sweetner.


Anyone tried this? You guys even know about it?
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Offline denny

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 08:52:21 AM »
I'm familiar with it.  Does it have any application in brewing?
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Offline merddyn2002

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 09:05:58 AM »
I'm familiar with it.  Does it have any application in brewing?

Well yeah, that's sort of my question. It can easily be used as an unfermentable sweetener to "back sweeten" brews. I'm going to begin playing with that application, but was wondering if anyone else was doing that already.
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Offline marty

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 09:14:04 AM »
Well yeah, that's sort of my question. It can easily be used as an unfermentable sweetener to "back sweeten" brews. I'm going to begin playing with that application, but was wondering if anyone else was doing that already.

sounds like it would be of more use in mead, wine and cider making

Maybe to replace the lactose in a milk stout? But lactose, while unfermentable like this stevia, isn't very sweet - unlike what you say about Stevia. And I don't know if it would have the body boosting property of lactose.

Also, if it's bound to cornstarch wouldn't that cause haze issues? Sounds kind of like how powdered sugar is made.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 09:17:57 AM by marty »

Offline nofunsally

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 03:31:42 PM »
FYI Trader Joe's sells pure stevia extract and blend made of lactose and stevia.

Cheers,
Mike

Offline merddyn2002

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 03:43:37 PM »
Maybe to replace the lactose in a milk stout? But lactose, while unfermentable like this stevia, isn't very sweet - unlike what you say about Stevia. And I don't know if it would have the body boosting property of lactose.

Also, if it's bound to cornstarch wouldn't that cause haze issues? Sounds kind of like how powdered sugar is made.

The variations of stevia that are bound to cornstarch may indeed cause hazing. For brewing I am planning on going with a tincture, or a liquid extract made from the leaves. Vodka is usually the best approach for something like that since it will grab both water and alcohol soluble solutions in the plant. I'll demonstrate this technique in an upcoming video, but there are a ton of video demos on how to make tinctures.

There are also a few commercial liquid extracts available that are clear and highly potent.

You are right, they wouldn't contribute to body, only to sweetness.
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Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 09:49:58 PM »
i've used the powdered/ground leaf in many 'food' type applications but have found that this source is not very soluble in, well, anything.  the liquid extract may be soluble and suitable for brewing.  a little 'vegetal' if overdone, which is easy to do as it is VERY SWEET.

Offline euge

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2010, 11:41:04 PM »
Stevia was the only sugar substitute available at Whole Foods for the longest time. It tasted terrible. Absolutely horrific. I've seen it lately advertised so maybe it's been fixed? Some sort of reduced concentration?
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Offline merddyn2002

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 06:17:51 AM »
Stevia was the only sugar substitute available at Whole Foods for the longest time. It tasted terrible. Absolutely horrific. I've seen it lately advertised so maybe it's been fixed? Some sort of reduced concentration?

really? not sure what's up with the whole foods stuff but most of the stuff on the market has absolutely no taste at all other than sweet, now it can be an overpowering sweet if you use too much but that's user error.
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Offline b-hoppy

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 08:59:13 AM »
the potential use of stevia may be equivalent to the introduction of the internet to the world.  it's a great alternative sweetener but it does tend to have a certain bitterness which a few large international corporations are trying to get rid of.  http://www.confectionerynews.com/Formulation/The-science-of-stevia
just think about the impact this product can have if it can be utilized to replace high fructose corn syrup.  those 'big, mean corporations' that have been dumping this stuff into the food stream for the last 40 years can now be seen as the guys with the white capes.  what an image boost!

Offline rabid_dingo

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 10:20:04 AM »
I can see the use in hard cider to make sure it is not too dry.
Ruben * Colorado :)

Offline euge

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 10:29:00 AM »
Whole Foods had little packets of Stevia instead of Sweetnlow. I eventually tried just the lightest sprinkle from the packet in my coffee and while it had a weird taste it was better than a full packet LOL. The Stevia was an 11 on the bitterness dial.

I remember asking the person serving me my coffee what the deal was with the stuff. Shoulder shrug and: "don't know- nobody likes it..."

Hopefully it'll be a better product than it was 10 years ago.

As a beer additive, I think it'll have limited appeal if any. But interesting.

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Offline merddyn2002

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2010, 09:14:56 AM »
Feel free to check out my video showing you how to make a liquid extract of the leaves for use in general cooking, in beverages and in brewing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJtJz9PYGxM

Enjoy & Happy Brewing:)
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Offline micsager

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2010, 08:37:31 AM »
Stevia is a natural herbal sweetner that's been used in other countries (especially in europe) for decades. It's just now getting a footing here in the US. As a sweetner it's VERY potent. 2-3 small leaves (just a few grams) can often sweeten a whole kettle of tea. It's completely unfermentable and has a very low to non-existent flavor profile.

We've used this extensively at the house as a non-sugar sweetner, but i'm just now getting into using it as a brewing additive and have had very promising results and will be making a few youtube videos about it soon.

General Info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia
Stevia Products: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=stevia&x=0&y=0

It's available commercially in grocery stores (and GNC) usually next to the Splenda (hate that stuff) under names like Purvia, Truvia and Only Sweet. Grocery stores usually have it in powdered form where they bind it to a bit of corn starch. It's so potent that without the corn starch you wouldn't be able to see the grains of stevia concentrate. GNC also caries a liquid form. Be very very conservative with this stuff. It's a highly potent sweetner.


Anyone tried this? You guys even know about it?


I grow stevia inmy greeenhouse, and have used it in my root beer, and hard lemonade, but never in ales or lagers.

Offline edward

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Re: Stevia (natural unfermentable sweetner) used at all?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2010, 10:23:55 AM »
I dont like the taste of Stevia either.  Xylitol on the other hand is pretty good.