The Brewers' Handbook

Ordering Information
Chapter 6

Beer Adjuncts

Syrups and Sugars

Syrups and sugars are adjuncts that are used in brewing too, especially with British and Belgium brewers. Syrups and sugars can be added to the wort either at the boiling stage or as primings during racking. If added during boiling, syrups can be used to extend brewhouse capacity or to improve beer stability. Syrups that are added directly to the kettle to supplement fermentable carbohydrates effectively extend the capacity of the brewhouse to produce more fermentable wort.

Syrups

The two major syrups used in brewing are sucrose- and starch-based. The sucrose-based syrups have been refined from natural sources such as sugar cane or beets. The starch-based syrups are produced from cereals by hydrolysis using acid, exogenous enzymes, or a combination of the two to produce a range of syrups with different fermentabilities. Starch-based syrups contain both carbohydrates and nitrogenous materials, minerals, and yeast growth factors that make these materials equivalent to adding concentrated wort to the beer production stream (4).

Sugars

Sucrose (table sugar) is made from cane or beet sugar. Granulated sugar, the normal end product of the refining process, may be added directly to the kettle, but usually is dissolved in a solution before being added. Granulated sugar, as a disaccharide, is not completely fermented by yeast. It has to be hydrolyzed to change into glucose and fructose, which are fermentable. Some brewer's preparations contain both sucrose and invert sugar (4).

Sucrose

Sucrose (table sugar) is made from cane or beet sugar. Granulated sugar, the normal end product of the refining process, may be added directly to the kettle, but usually is dissolved in a solution before being added. Granulated sugar, as a disaccharide, is not completely fermented by yeast. It has to be hydrolyzed to change into glucose and fructose, which are fermentable. Some brewer's preparations contain both sucrose and invert sugar (4).

Dextrose

Dextrose is also known as corn sugar and is available in the trade in the purified form as a spray dry or as a crystalline powder. Dextrose sugar is added directly to the brew kettle during boiling.

Malto-Dextrin

Malto-dextrin is the most complex fraction of the products of starch conversion. It is tasteless, gummy, and hard to dissolve. It is often said to add body (palate fullness) to beer, increase wort viscosity, and add smoothness to the palate of low-malt beers.

Caramel

Caramel is used in brewing as a flavor and/or coloring agent. For example, many milds and sweet stouts contain caramel for both flavor and color.

Invert Sugar

Sucrose can be split into its two component sugars (glucose and fructose).

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