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Author Replies
08/30/07 07:51 PM  
Strong Dark
I'm making a Strong Dark, one of my favorites, using Wyeast 1388. Instead of candy sugar I'm planning on using some palm sugar I picked up at an asain market a couple weeks ago. My question is has anyone here tried palm sugar before? If so, how does it compare to table or candy sugar?
08/31/07 11:35 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
I've used jaggery/gur in two different beers - a pale Belgian specialty inspired by Allagash Four and an English mild ale. Of the two, it worked best in the mild, as it blends nicely with crystal and roast malt. So a dark strong sound delicious

However, I don't know that I'd use strickly jaggery. It is similar to light molasses with nutty and Earthy notes (tastes very much like the aroma). If it was the only sugar, it would probably be over powering. I'd suggest about half pound per five gallons, and make up the remaining balance with your favorite more neutral sugar.


Al B
08/31/07 12:21 PM  
Re: Strong Dark
You can also carmelize and darken the jaggery.
08/31/07 05:43 PM  
Re: Strong Dark
The palm sugar I picked up is made from the coconut palm. I really don't know if there is a difference between one palm and another. I can tell you that it tastes nothing like any form of table sugar I've ever had. Should make an interesting brew.
Sean White
09/03/07 02:24 PM  
Re: Strong Dark
I haven't used jaggery but I've used dark turbinado. I like it, but I think it's not going to give you all the depth or color of a dark candi sugar. So you have to compensate a bit with your specialty grains.

I have also used home-caramelized sugar, but I don't like this tactic because your're guaranteeing that that sugar won't attenuate.

There's a good basic brewing radio archive on a side-by-side sugar test that's worth taking a listen to.

09/04/07 08:06 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
I agree, neither turbinado or jaggery will contibute much to the overall color one expects in a dark strong. Jaggery does have a much stronger flavor, and will impact the taste of the beer more. I wouldn't hesitate to use tubrinado for the full sugar balance.

As for specialty grains, I find chocolate wheat a nice addition for both flavor and color. I'd also use more CaraMunich.


09/07/07 03:20 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
gday, I have tried palmsugar before, 1 from indonesia and one from china(yeah I know..)felt like it didnt contribute anything so wouldnt use it again.

keep up the brewing,amita

09/07/07 10:53 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
I have used palm sugar (light in color) several times in triples and it contributes very nicely to the flavor profile. It definitely adds a little more residual sweetness than table or candy sugar.
09/07/07 04:27 PM  
Re: Strong Dark
I have not used regular palm sugar, but have tried coconut sugar in the past (from the sap of the coconut palm). Moist but solid at room temperature, I thought it did add a perceptible flavor element - may have been wishful thinking but I thought I could detect a faint coconut aroma.

May seem funny that the sap should have this flavor associated with the "nut"/fruit of the palm, but when sampling the sugar itself before boiling it, it was definitely there.

09/10/07 06:47 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
It's been about 10 days and while the fermentation started out strong it has pretty much came to a halt. With a OG of 1.090 I expected a FG of 1.015. I seem to be stuck at 1.022. I've used the same recipe a couple times before using candy sugar and get about 80% attenuation so, I suspect the the palm sugar being unrefined is not fermenting out.
Triple Freak
09/11/07 07:35 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
I have used palm sugar in Belgian Strong Dark ales with excellent results. I grated the sugar with a box grater, & added it at 10 mins left in the boil.

The stuff I got was in a bowl shaped hunk, hard as a rock. That's why I grated it. Anyway, it fermented fully, leaving a nice, slightly nutty/molasses flavor in the final product.

Check your temps & make sure it hasn't gotten too cool.

Belgian yeast is famous for going slightly dormant, only to kick back in later on. I have brewed a lot of Saisons where the yeast seemed to stop completely, only to get very active a week later.

My advice: let it sit for a few extra days, and check your temps. If it's below 68*F, warm it back up to 75*F or so, and it should finish for you.


09/11/07 08:11 AM  
Re: Strong Dark
The jaggery I used was date palm sugar. It was a creamy off-white in color. The consistancy was very firm (similar to clay) and sticky. I used 0.5 lbs in a five gallon batch. In my opinion, the jaggery was very appearent in the finished product. I couldn't imaging using 1.5-2.0 lbs in a five gallon batch, hence my recommendation.

Like triple freak comments <<slightly nutty/molasses flavor >> - just like the aroma of the sugar - but I also had some additional earthy note that I did enjoy.

Oldaleboy, so how much palm sugar did you use? Please reoport back on you impression of the finished beer.

Cheer, Dan

Scott Jackson
09/11/07 02:04 PM  
Re: Strong Dark
I have used the dark coconut sugar in Imperial Stouts and Baltic Porters. It is hard to find (much darker and moist than palm sugar) but it is very rich and goes well with these intense styles. For Belgians I make my own sugar (start w/ beet sugar, invert it, then boil to the color I want).
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