NOOB Corn Sugar Question

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by GoGators, Mar 31, 2013.

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  1. GoGators

    GoGators Crusader (720) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    2nd Homebrew and still a little lost. MY LHBS gave me corn sugar to add to bring up the alcohol level of a DIPA I am brewing. Can anyone help me on when to add this to the boil? Do i add this at the beginning of the boil or with 10-15 minutes left. i am reading different opinions online. Thanks in advance.
  2. billandsuz

    billandsuz Aspirant (299) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    you should follow the instructions. if this is a decent recipe the proper timing of the addition has been thought out.

    if they did not specify, adding the dextrose at the last 15 minutes will increase your hop utilization. without getting overly complex this early on, holding back until the end makes for a less dense wort while boiling your hops. this will give you better extraction of hop oils. it will also reduce the darkening and sometimes caramel flavors that can be caused by boiling sugary wort...

    or, don't sweat it. add it at any time so long as it gets a good 10 minutes of boiling.
    Good luck.
  3. AlCaponeJunior

    AlCaponeJunior Initiate (0) May 21, 2010 Texas

    The single variable of "when to add the sugar" won't be the pivotal point of this brew.

    Why a LHBS would have you doing a DIPA on your second brew is another story...:rolleyes:

    I strongly suggest keeping your beers simple until you get good at brewing tho.
  4. GreenKrusty101

    GreenKrusty101 Defender (667) Dec 4, 2008 Nevada

    If you are going to make a IIPA you probably want some sugar in it...sugar is 100% fermentable and will help lower your FG if it replaces some of the malt in the grainbill.

    The confusion might be that small amounts of corn sugar are also used for priming/bottling after fermentation
  5. pweis909

    pweis909 Meyvn (1,445) Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    I'd add it to the water you use to dissolve your extract. Dissolve and boil.
  6. GoGators

    GoGators Crusader (720) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    I added it at the 15 minute mark per billandsuz recommendation.
    Good advice by ACJ but I can't blame the home brew shop. They are not going to stop you from buying something you want. And i'd rather try a style I love and get a B- than hit a home run with a style I am not crazy about because it's easier. As always, everyone's suggestions are much appreciated though.
  7. tngolfer

    tngolfer Initiate (75) Feb 16, 2012 Tennessee

    Maybe, maybe not. From my experience at my LHBSs and in hearing from people on this site, your LHBS wants you to succeed more than up-sell you a few ounces of corn sugar.
  8. GoGators

    GoGators Crusader (720) Aug 5, 2010 New Jersey
    Beer Trader Subscriber

    Agreed but i did not go un there asking for the corn sugar, my LHBS actually suggested it in order to get to my desired abv. I just was not sure when i should be adding it.
  9. MP72

    MP72 Initiate (0) Sep 25, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Not sure if this is resolved or not but most recipes call for any types of sugars whether it be candied , corn or liquid to be added with your malt additions. I doubt it will make too much difference overall but this is what I have seen most often. I would add it when you add your Liquid and dried malt extracts.
  10. Reneejane

    Reneejane Devotee (440) Jan 15, 2004 Illinois

    Nah, brew what you like, that way homebrewing is enjoyable for you. My 2nd beer was a Russian Imperial Stout! A style that I have brewed more of than any other, with interesting variations! It's hard as hell to make an IIPA all grain because it's a ton of grain, but for an extract brewer, go for it.
  11. mattsander

    mattsander Zealot (547) Feb 3, 2010 Alberta (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    It doesn't really matter when you add it. Some believe that adding this sugar at the start of the boil will promote caramelized flavors, but IME the difference is negligible. I've added sugar to the mash, the end of boil and the start of the boil with similar results. You could even add this sugar directly to your fermentor if you wanted (boil to sanitize first).
  12. cmmcdonn

    cmmcdonn Initiate (0) Jun 21, 2009 Virginia

    I agree with the last point you made. However, I think for the most part style is irrelevant. Extract + steeping grains + dry yeast is keeping it simple IMO. It shouldn't matter how many lbs of DME or oz of hops are in the recipe. The process is fairly identical.

    Best of luck with the brew OP.
  13. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Aspirant (290) Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    That's an important point that many people miss. Simply adding sugar will not affect the FG. It will only increase the OG, making for a bigger difference between OG and FG, resulting in higher alcohol and thinner body. Since malt leaves some residual sugar that plain old sugar does not, replacing malt will the same quantity of sugar will lower the FG.
  14. cpferris

    cpferris Initiate (173) Jan 22, 2008 Indiana
    Beer Trader

    Bringing this one back to life. I will be brewing my first DIPA this weekend and was planning to add some corn sugar in the last 15 min of the boil.

    Is there any need to stir to ensure that it dissolves? Or is there best practice for physically adding the sugar? Sprinkle around the parameter? Add anywhere and stir?

    Appreciate any insight!
  15. billandsuz

    billandsuz Aspirant (299) Sep 1, 2004 New York

    the sugar will clump stick to whatever it is you are using to pour it into a steaming kettle. this is not a big deal really. just carefully ladle or pour some hot wort into whatever it is you are using to dump the sugar. swirl it around and it will dissolve. or don't. the lost ounce or two is negligible.

    you do not need to be too concerned with how it is added. sugar is light enough that it will not sink to the bottom and scorch, like LME. also remember that your hop utilization will go up slightly vs if you add all the fermentable at the beginning of the boil. this is a pretty good way to get some additional bittering, with a less dense wort.
    cpferris likes this.
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