Belgian Sugar Experiment (Results)
Belgian Sugar Experiment, the interview
Or listen to me have fun drinking
Pitcture of the beers www.basicbrewing.com/radio/images/belgianexperiment-lg.jpg
About five months back I made 6 gallons of base beer (Mostly Pils with Vienna, aromatic, maris otter, cane sugar, hallertau and fermented with WL 530), split it among 6 carboys and added 3.25 oz (equal to about 1 lb in a 5 gallon batch) of a different sugar to each one. OG was around 1.059 for all of them and all but one finished between 1.008-1.009.
Last week James from Basic Brewing Radio was kind enough to have me on to sample and talk about the results. Iím no sugar expert, but I think the results ended up being really interesting and have certainly changed the way I look at sugar. It's the latest podcast posted on www.basicbrewing.com/radio/
For anyone too lazy (or busy) to listen to me drink for an hour, here is the general consensus on each batch:
White: Fermented hotter than the rest, ended up tasting a bit cidery and hot.
Amber Rocks: A hint of caramelized sugar character, a solid beer Iíd call it a big Single. This was also the hardest sugar to work with because it needed to be boiled for a long time to get it to dissolve.
Dark Candi Syrup: The all around winner in my book, classic Belgain Dubbel flavors. Despite having the same finishing gravity it tasted sweeter and fuller than the rest.
Soft Candi: Midway between the Amber and the Dark, some decent Belgian caramel flavors, but nothing to make it stand out.
Muscovado: Rummy, not as much color as I expected from such a dark unrefined sugar. Much less complex than Belgian sugars, but I think it would make a good compliment.
Caramel (Karo + DAP ala BLAM): Although the sugar was basically unfermentable (FG 1.019), the beer was still really tasty with plenty of interesting caramel flavors. Iíve been adding a couple of ounces of this sugar to Belgians I have been doing recently. (Just confirmed by hiddendragonet)
Iíll certainly do another round of this at some point (maybe an English beer version), there are still so many sugars I want to play with. (more caramels, date sugar, maple syrup, Lyleís golden syrup, treacle, gur etcÖ)