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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * February 23, 2004 * First report on sugar brew experiment. < Previous Next >

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Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

One of research issues with my sugar brew was to find out how to dose
the yeast nutrition properly. i

1 kg sucrose + x g nutrition = 1 kg malt

Well I thought I had it pretty good figured out at least to a ballpark (good enough), but I damnit just extrapolated the bubble curve of my sucrose brew and establish that it will get stuck at about 82-85% of estimated progress. At first I got really confused and thought what the DEVIL is happening? There is NO WAY this should stop now!??

But, I reviewed my calculations and noticed that I did a mistake which
meant I had added to litte nitrogen. But the good part is that I found out I
added about 82% of the required amount. Now that's confirmation!!

Now I'm going to add the missing amount of nutrition and see if it'll get
going again :) Btw, the brew smell awful hehe :) Maybe it will get better. Wohoo... as long as the numbers match it can smell all it wants :)

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 02:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fermentations are unpredictable. Your calculation that it will stick at 82-85 percent of the expected attenuation is at best a guess. For example, you don't know precisely what the pitching rate was. Wait and see what the actual results will be.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The estimate that it will stuck at around 82-85% is based on the bubble curve exclusively. You may give or take a few % but there is little doubt to me it will stuck, or at least not perform the way expected. I've studied the bubble graphs of every brew so far, though I still have a lot of tuning to do, the shapes are all similar.

Then, I checked the calculations and found that my dosage of nutrution happens to conincide with this. I agree it may be a coincidence, but why else would it drop? It is not normal according to my limited experience.

The pitching rate should I think be in any case between 1-2 million/ml/P. Target was 1.78 based on 85% viability after rehydration. Though it is true that I still haven't received a reply from neither danstar nor wyeast regarding their counts, so there may be a problem there! Darn,
I'm giving up on those companies, I'll try to count the cell myself when I get a proper counting method. I'm still using the old Ray Daniels data. I highly doubt that oxygen limitation can be an issue here? That would be even more strange to me. I think I should even have some margin here.

I've estimated the Nitrogen requirements to be in the ballpark of
= fermentability * 40 ug / ml / P @ 5% biomass yield

Exctract from typical all-malt wort contains twice this requirement. Which means you can add up to 50% of the extract bill with say sucrose/dextrins.

In my receipe I had around 75% non-malt extract. Which I thought I accounted for, but I made a calculation mistake and added to little nutrition.

Total req is about 5.5g for my brew, I should have about 4.5g = 84% of req.

Maybe it would probably finish eventually itself, but it would definitely take at least one month, and considering such a poor finish I wonder how the flavours would be like?

/Fredrik
 

Denny Conn (63.114.138.2)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 04:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, read Bill's post again..and again...and again..and...repeat it constantly. Make it your mantra. Then, brew a bunch, observe the results, and draw your hypotheses and conclusions fronm that.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 05:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

>>I wonder how the flavours would be like?

To put it mildly, maybe cidery or solventy?

To put it more blunty, it probably will taste like crap.
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There probably is a reason that there is no commercial version of what you are making.
Kinda like the raisin, sugar, bread yeast I made a couple years ago.

PTA
 

Streb (68.166.205.79)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 05:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, I've read your posts and really enjoy the fact that your curiosity about brewing techniques causes you to try some incredibly unconventional things.

Aside from experiments and gadgets, what is your favorite recipe? I imagine that you've probably brewed some odd beers. Have any of them turned out well or have you used any promising unconventional ingredients?

Cheers!
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 05:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Streb, I haven't brewed that much yet. this is batch #8 ever. In february I've been brewing for a year. So far, my two best beers was potluck to be honest. My second batch ever, turned out excellent which was a lagerlike beer made with one can coopers real ale + one can muntons light(I think) LME :) Fermented with koelsch yeast at very low swinging temps, almost too low. But on the other hand I'm taking great chances in each brew to learn. I guess making a beer you've made before using the same technique is safer if you just want to produce a batch of good beer. But so far I am in the state of 90% learning and 10% making beer.

The next beer beer so far was my first AG, the weissbeer. Turn out great tasting, but I was dissapoined on the foam, it was bad. Used windsor.

So far I payed absolutely NO attention to my receipes. Every brew last year aimed to tune temperature control, minimise diacetyl and acetaldehyd and all kinds of strange things. My last brew last year, the xmas honey beer was very good in these respects, but it still wasn't good enough. I then realized my receipe formulations have sucked severly. I never used a receipe from a book yet. I just threw something together that looked "about right" and then put all energy into "optimizing the fermentation" :) Well that didn't help when the receipe sucked.

Ok, my current brew is a crazy experiment and do not aim at making great beer. I expect to make some way better beers this year than last year. I will be able to learn alot from this sugar brew I am sure, regardless of the result. Even a bad beer has to behave consistently and follow the same rules right?

I learnt alot for each brew. And I've learnt at least as much in between the brews.

I think this year I'm going to focus more on the receipes, and I think that's going to make a big difference.

/Fredrik
 

Streb (69.3.11.180)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 08:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, " 90% learning and 10% making beer," wouldn't be rewarding enough for me, but more power to you. I truly enjoy the brewing process and learn the most from my finished products.

Like you, I've learned quite a bit about brewing by just throwing ingredients together that I thought would make a certain finished product. However, I wasn't trying to control anything in the process other than sanitation and the mash/grain/hops schedule I'd built for the recipe. My refrigerator is stocked with some less than perfect brews, but I learn from trying understand what caused the flaws.

Having brewed some unbalanced, out of style, wrong bodied and ecclectically hopped beers, I learned more about the interaction between ingredients and mashing schedules than I would have picked up from books or posts. It's one thing for someone to tell you that's the wrong way to do things, but it's another to truly undersand the taste ramifications certain actions. Those mistakes have really helped my understanding of building a decent recipe based on something other than luck. I guess your methods of trying to quantify the effects of each step and ingredient will help you in the way that jumping in and making mistakes helps me. You're just doing a lot of the work in advance.

Brewing beer is such a facinating hobby with so many ways of making a finished product, that it's a bit like an art form. Perhaps your unconventional techniques will make you a brewing Monet, Van Gough, or Picasso.

I used to be quite a Trekkie, and can't help but relate your efforts to trying to program a replicator to produce beer. The crew always commented that scientifically replicated food was never quite the same as the real thing. Of course that is pure fiction... Good luck in your efforts!

Cheers!
 

Hophead (167.4.1.38)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 08:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll go with Picasso.

Bubble curve? I thought that's what they did in college when everyone did badly on a test to make sure not everyone failed.

Out of curiousity, what are you planning on doing with this fermented sugar water when you are done playing, er, experimenting?
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2004 - 08:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Now when I got it halt, I expect it to turn out flawed anyhow, even if I get it up and running again. So I'm going to try and restart it only in order to verify the theory. I do not expect that the flavour flaw due to the halt can be compensated for. Right now, it *stinks* with acetaldehyde due to the halt. I'd say more than normal, so the question is if it will be reduced if I get it running but I don't count on it? This is a pity because I do think it should be pretty ok, and certainly drinkable, perhaps even good, who knows :) But that's just a guess and another reason for this experiment brew. It certainly should not lack body, I added alot of maltodextrin(!) - wich is another part of the experiment.

My main fear, is that the probably very different nitrogen profile from yeast nutrition as compared to normal wort nitrogen profile may cause some unexpected flavour issues from yeast metabolism. But this was yet another point I wanted to see for myself.

The last point I wanted to see, is how the foam potential turned out. I used alot of unmalted barley after all.

/Fredrik
 

Doug J (67.73.177.205)
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 12:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, I know you have a microscope. All you need is a hematocytometer and some methylene blue and you can have your cell counts in mc/ml very easily.

Add 1 ml wort to 1 ml methylene blue, shake, and pipette onto your hematocytometer. Count the cells in the 4 corner boxes and the center box and divide by 10. Don't count the blue ones, they are dead. Bingo, you have your cell count in mc/ml.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 02:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Chris Colby had a very good article on cell counting of yeast in the December issue of BYO.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Thursday, January 29, 2004 - 05:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the ideas! I will know how to count properly if I just get that hemacytometer. I have spotted a german brand which is fairly cheap (80 USD for a new one), a bit like an economy series, its that same are the pro ones, except you don't get a written calibration sheet for it, but it's not that dead serious for my purposes. It's not like I plan on sueing someone if I get 1% error in my counts :) But I haven't gotten around to track down a sales channel yet. I have the methylene blue already!

/Fredrik
 

aquavitae (134.84.195.46)
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 08:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

for you fredrik
http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/11-03/11-03-jailhouse.htm
 

Streb (68.166.203.21)
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 08:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ROFL, "It smelled like rotten underwear and looked like Satanís venereal urine, but this was for drunkard science, by God."
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Friday, January 30, 2004 - 09:03 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hehe... "Even with my nose stuffed with toilet paper". It takes what it takes, now that's my boy :)

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

As I expected it is a fact that my beer is stuck, or at least slow enough to not be amusing anymore :)

I now have two theories why.

1) Nitrogen limitation as I originally though of.

2) The amylase powder I used beeing probably mainly alpha amylase does convert the starch, BUT without the beta amylase I just realized I may end up with a VERY unfermentable extract.

Now this made me thinking. (1) is a valid idea, and maybe it's a combination of the two. But there is one reason that makes me doubt on (1). I added nutrition, waited a few days - nothing happened. Then I thought, ok, perhaps it needs more energey to actually make use of the newly added nitrogen, so I added some glucose (100g) and it boosted almost immediately, but after some days, it faded (pretty much corresponding to the 100g glucose). This makes me doubt that (1) is the entire explanation.

Then I looked closer at the enzyme stuff. I had very low diastatic power considering I used alot of unmalted grains. Therefore I added amylase powder (by assumption some kind of alpha-amylase). I did an iodine test and it was converted. But at the time I didn't pay much attention to the actual fermentability. (I postponed working on the mashing model until my ferm model is done, maybe this was a stupid thing).

By assumption, alpha-amylase attacks the alpha-1,4 bonds at random, but not next to the alpha-1,6 link in amylopectin. The amylopectins are supposed to have a alpha-1,6:alpha-1,4 braching of 30. Accounting that it can't attach the bond closest ot the alpha-1,6, this leaves 28 possible bonds.

And from a random attach at suck a segment the probability for a fermentable sugar (max 3 carbons) is 3/28 = 10.7%

This is a very crude estimate but I thinking that my darn amylase mash basically gave me an dextrin wort or at least a very unfermentable wort :) Actually the maltodextrin powder I buy, does also contain 10% fermentables. The only sensible explanation to this is that it's a natural distribution from the manufacturing process, prossible with alpha-amylase.

I've estimated things, and this would be a valid explanation to my stuck ferment. Or it can be a combination of both.

If (2) is the reason, there is only one other strange thing about this brew. It stinks acetaldehyde. I know it's still green, but this isn't normal I think. It's typical for a halted process. I have two theories for this

a) Nitrogen limitation
b) mineral inbalance, I think I overdosed the minerals, because I added more yeast nutrition than was recommended.

I (b) is the case it seems this blend is not suitable for using on sucrose only brewing, as the nitrogen requirement implies overdosing the minerals?

I will give this damn beer some more days, if it still stinks acetaldehyde I'll save some bottle for future experiment and flush the rest, and set another batch.

I would like some beer things time, maybe I should actually just make one batch of beer in between the experiments, I'm out of beer now, I've only one bottle of my xmas beer left, and I though I'd save it for next xmas as a test to see if aging improves it or makes it worse.

/Fredrik
 

Ken Anderson (24.55.255.75)
Posted on Sunday, February 01, 2004 - 09:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"...maybe I should actually just make one batch of beer in between the experiments..."
Now THIS part of your last post made sense!
Ken
 

Chris Colby (66.25.196.39)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 01:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Bill Pierce says:
"Chris Colby had a very good article on cell counting of yeast in the December issue of BYO."

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.

A lot of the advice from your ultra big beer article (from that same issue) came in handy when I brewed my Samichlaus clone. I have a "weak" version (OG 1.120) of Sami fermenting now and plan to feed the fermentation to get it to the planned 14% ABV.


Chris Colby
Bastrop, TX
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 11:50 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I threw some more amylase into the brew. I think it may help, I'll sew if it starts bubbling :)

I just did some more research and it seems that maltodextrin is typically manufactured by alpha-amylase hydrolysis. Though the fermentability and carbohydrate distribution seems to depend on alot of factors. The way I did it, a quick hot thick mash, probably gives a pretty unfermentable wort which could be my problem. I should have held the mash longer and lower. But HOW long and how low seems to call for a model nevertheless?? I am not sure to what extent the normal mashing rules applies to alpha amylase powder? and also it would depend on the dosage I guess. I used a few teaspoons for 8 l mash.

Has anyone else any experience with mashing with exclusively amylase powder? How did you do it, and what kind of fermentability did you get?

I had this idea with the brew

sucrose (base)
maltodextrin (for body)
unmalted barley (for foam)
crystal (for maltflavour)

But this probably means that if I have enoguh unmlated barley and mash it like I did, I will get enough dextrins anyway so I can cut down on the maltodextrin alot. Maybe even completely.

I think I should do a series for amalyse-mini mashes on unmalted barely, and do a forced fermentation and see what I get.

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 01:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Such a beer as you propose might make an interesting experiment, Fredrik, but have you thought about how it would taste?
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 02:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

He doesnt actually make and drink beer, Bill...
He just experiments with yeasts..

:)
Walt
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 03:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes I thought about how it would taste. But of course I wouldn't now until I tried. That was one of the points to find out with this brew. I had great hopes though! I think it should be possible to make good beer with a sucrose base. Probably not the best beer ever but still good? :) Not that I would always use sucrose if it worked, but I just wanted to know. What would be the big magic with the sugarprofile? The main thing that's obvious is the nutrition profile, and maybe the protein profile. But I thought, maybe if I compensate for it, would there really be a big difference? The main concern are unexpeted things possible like the one I've seen with excessive residual acetaldehyde. I will correct the issues I've encountered here and make a sugar brew again. But right now I really miss some good beer, so I think I will try to make one batch in a normal way without tweaking it, once I have this bottled, I'll resume the experimenting.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 05:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Indeed the amylase seems to get it going. There is a steady 1.5 bpm the last 10 hours. Normally there would have been at least small drop. This indicates that there is probably a steady conversion by the amylase going on. Incredibly slow but still. At this rate I think it'll take about two weeks to goto completion. Now I have to wait for this junk to finish :( hmmm... I'll see what I do. Maybe I'll flush it anyway. When then point is made, and it still smells acetaldehyd I'm flushing this junk. I doubt this stuff deserves drinking. I need the bubble logger to start a batch of BEER.

/Fredrik
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 06:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

too bad you're so far away - you could use my bubble logger. :)

PTA
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Monday, February 02, 2004 - 06:24 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is why I own three primary fermentors and three bubble loggers - so I am never waiting for a fermentation to end in order to brew another batch.
 

Bill Villaume (68.85.219.210)
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 02:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey Fredrik, There is a brewed beverage that uses sucrose as the main ingredient, rum. Though molasses and or a combination of the raw cane juice is used as opposed to refined sugar. The molasses has many of the nutrients needed for the yeast metabolism. Using mainly sucrose(refined) as your main ingredient may have been hampered by the Ph , as yeast needs an acid environment to hydrolize sucrose into simple sugars dexrose and fructose, to facilitate metabolism. Maybe if you added a small amount of acid initially to your mash that would invert the sucrose in your mash. If you had ever visited a rum distillery you would probably never drink it again. The main wash is often fermented outside in open vats with a visible gray head and a very strong odor. Granted the fermentation takes place in tropical temperatures and who knows what falls in the vats, but the final product is one of the purest distilled products when finished. Drinking it before distillation is a different matter, though the locals have their homebrew versions.
 

PaulK (68.32.217.196)
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 06:06 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Frederik - Beer is as much art as it is science. You're missing a huge element getting hung up solely on experiments. Get brewing, and I mean REAL brewing and you can answer many of your questions yourself from practical experience.

My advice is this. Get some true brewing experience under you belt and then run experiments on the elements that raised questions for you. You can't live in a purely empirical world.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 06:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Paul, I am getting experience. But it takes years and years. I have virtually no experience as compared to most of you guys on here. But I get more for each brew I make, slowly. But I get so excited and I just CAN'T sit and wait until I have 10 years :) Also, for me the questions piled up before I even got started. And I'm the kind of person that believes in capturing inspiration. The first a question appears to me and gets my attention I try to (if I have time) throw myself over it in passion as soon as possible. Inspiration is my biggest guide in life. If I feel like modelling yeast in the middle of the night though I have no brewing and experience and though I should sleep because I am working tomorrow, I think that's what I should do and I would get out of bed and get to it. I just can't stand to leave good ideas and inspiration on the shelf, yet I have to do it all the time becuase there is not resources to deal with everything at once. But ideas are best when the inspiration is yound IMO. If I wait 10 years there I honestly do not think I would bother do this research because inspiration fades unless fed, for me at least. I guess I am a pretty scientifically inclined person, yet I don't plan things, I follow my inspiration. I never plan holidays, I never plan what to do on vacations. I hate planning, I love to have the freedom to do whatever weird occurs to me that day.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 10:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The pH idea is interesting Bill, thanks for the idea! I will look into it. However I'm not sure exactly what the problem would be due to? Invertas are supposed to work welll in pH 3.5-5.5 with optimum at 4.5, even though non-enzymatic hydrolysis of sucrose is favoured by more acidic pH. I'd expect a beer to be more acidic than that anyway? But you maybe be one to something anyway regarding the acetaldehyde. I just found a refernece claiming that acetaldehyde is a more common problem when cane sugar is used. However it did't explain if it was just a masking phenomenon or if it was something more deep. I'm going to look into this. Acetaldehyde is one of the absolutely worst flaws in beer IMO. Way worse than diacetyl and fuesels. I just can'tstand acetaldehyde.

I expect acetaldehyde to be a result from a skewed redox balance. The question is how this may derive from sucrose. What I do suspect which has nothing do to with the sucrose though is that my overdosing of minerlas may have skewed something.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Tuesday, February 03, 2004 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The pH may have some influence, as soon as I get home I'm going to sample the pH.

The critical step.

pyruvate -> (pyruvate decarbooxylase) -> acetaldehyde -> (alcohol dehydrogenase) -> ethanol

I did a quick search and it seems the two enzymes have different pH optimum ranges. pyruvate decarboxylase seems to like lower pH so it would probably favour elevate the intermediate acetaldehyde level and possibly cause leakage out of the cell.

This may be a long shot but does anyone know if the sour "berliner weisse" or what it's called tend to have more acetaldehyde?

Maybe I need to buffer the wort after all?

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 01:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think Bill's suggestions about the pH was a really interesting! Thanks Bill, you got me onto a very interesting track! My sugar brew was not like I expected, and it seems to be more issues involved than my inital assumption. I am starting to think that my initial idea that it should "in principle" be possible to brew good beer with sucrose provided you add nutritions and body may be incorrect. From only this experiment it seems to be that this "cidery flavour" is one big problem. It seems I have not experienced this cidery flavour for myself, and I am starting to change my mind about things.

Here's what I come up with...

I've measured the pH and it was 3.3. This is my lowest pH ever, though I haven't measured pH on every single beer so far but still. I recalled previous pH tests and arrived at this.

pH Beer
3.8 Commercial light lager 2.8 vol%
3.5 My xmas honey beer (had lots of honey = simples sugars)
3.3 My sugar brew experiment

The commercial lager was "normal", pretty crisp lager.

When I recall in fact my honey brew had some minor hints of sourness. Some of you guys may remeber that some time ago I posted about this and I thought I might have a very subtle acetic acid infection? Then I added crystal extract and suddenly the masking made it alot better, still not perfect. Anyway, I didn't think more about it at the time because it was ALOT of cloves in there and stuff, so I honestly couldn't tell if it was really sour or just some stuff with the spices. I measured pH though and it was 3.5.

This sugar experiment is more sour. Not near as bad as wine, but still. I guess "cidery" may be a somewhat subjective description, but I can imagine that this is what people refer to as cidery! A bit sour/cidery, but not as bad as wine.

My associations goes to acetic acid. I'm starting to think that this cidery flavour, is elevated acetic acid levels in the beer. To see if this is reasonable or if it makes sense, I prepared an acetic acid dilution in tap water with pH 3.4, by diluting 24% acetic acid 1:400, and tasted it. The taste was in fact fairly similar to the component in the beer. About right flavour intensity, a subtle sour/cidery flavour.

I did some reasearch and found numbers that said that the flavour treshold for acetic acid in beer is aboub 175 ppm, and about 33 ppm in water.

I calculated the following relations, assuming it is a correct assumption that it is acetic acid, a nd that the acetic acid is the strongest and dominating the pH at this range.

pH ppm acetic acid % of flavour treshold

3.3 870 ppm 500% (clearly cidery)
3.5 360 ppm 200% (subtly cidery)
3.8 96 ppm below treshold (no cider)

If this is the flavour components in the cidery flavour, the remaining real interesting questions is why, sucrose brews seems to cause elevated acetic acid levels. Perhaps it's also related to the elevated acetaldehyde levels I think I noticed.

One am starting to think that it is the glucose levels that is responsible for this. If I had this phenomenon also in my honey brew it's not the sucrose nor invertase, because there is very little sucrose in honey. It's mainly glucose and fructose.

Also the invertas works external to the cell, hydrolysing the sucrose, so it turns into fructose and glucose before entering the cell.

While maltose as I understand is uptaken as an entity and digested further inside the cell.

As glucose regulates alot of things this may be it? I read an article that claimed that among other things, glucose represses the reduction of acetate to acetyl-CoA. This did refer to the general crabtree effect though, but still could have some relevance as there seems to be that there is more to this glucose is more complex that just a simple switch between respiration and anaerobic fermentation?

I'm going to try and find more info. But I'm starting to flip side here and as everyone pointed out to me before, there is probably more to this than just compensating with dextrins, and proteins, and nutritions. :)

Well this is all speculation as usual... what do you guys think? Could there be something to this explanation to the cidery flavour?

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 02:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm not a biochemist so I'll forgo the discussion of the various reactions. I can say from experience that beer yeast strains do not function well at a pH of below 4.0. The typical pH of most beers (other than sour ales) is around 4.5 (dissolved CO2 lowers the pH once fermentation begins). Wine and meadmakers sometimes add calcium carbonate to raise the pH of acidic fruit wines and meads.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hmmm thanks Bill! I'm going to double check my pH meter as well as my calibration liquid to see if soemthing is possibly wrong.

Are those numbers without carbonation?

Btw, unless I slipped on some numbers 1 vol CO2 in water would make the pH ~ 3.9, considering the large amount of CO2 produced (fighting any buffers), I'd expect the pH of the wort to be at least below 3.9 during late fermentaiton? am I missing something?

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 02:48 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, take some pH readings of various beers. The pH will be lower immediately after the beer is poured and will increase as the carbonation diminishes (you can accelerate this by stirring the beer or pouring it from one glass to another). It will also increase as the temperature increases, of course because CO2 is more soluble at lower temperatures.

I wouldn't disagree with your statement that the calculated value for the pH of 1 volume of CO2 dissolved in water is 3.9. However, you must remember that the other compounds (sugars, proteins, dissolved minerals, etc.) in the beer act to buffer the pH.
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 05:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik is wondering why "beers" made out of sugar have a cidery flavor to them. Way back when, I read that it was a result of the Crabtree effect. This article might be of interest, especially concerning why you get high levels of acatic acid in your sugarbrau:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=184133
 

PalerThanAle (65.168.73.62)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 06:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That is an amasing ..(yawn) article... I was impressed with...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Obviously, PTA, you are not a man of letters. I am sure that our Swedish bubble-counting friend will glean some important information from that article for his yeast predictive model.
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 06:16 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Actually, I found it somewhat interesting, but it's certainly for geeks. It does seem to validate some of what Fredrik and chumley are saying: the cidery flavor produced by a high percentage of sugar is the result of acetaldehyde due to low nitrogen levels from the decreased malt.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2004 - 09:29 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the link Chumley! That's veery interesting and makes great sense which lots of details. Thanks!! I'm going to read it more thouroughly later!

I think the main thing here is the skewed enzyme activities, and the nutirtion limitations is probably not the main issue. I did add nutritions after all, even though I did miscalculate it. So it seems, that even in a wort with perfect nitrogen and mineral blend, the mere precence of high % glucose or sucrose may cause these things. Pretty much oppositte to what I originally guessed when making the brew.

From Bill's pointing out that my PH's were low I checked my meter and liquied today. It is fine - ie. my measurements are valid.

Moreover on my way home I bought two belgians in order to measure pH. And indeed they were higher!

Leffe brun - pH 4.4
Chimay red - pH 4.2

So the low pH in my brews high in sucrose or glucose is most probably not a coincidence. Unfortunately I haven't measure the pH of all my brews. Only the two last ones. But I'm going to flush this junk I made, and set an all malt brew, and pay extra attention to the pH throughout the process!

Btw, leffe brun is excellent! just as wonderful as the blonde one. Thogh I'd say the phenolic/fruit/diacetly were more expressed in the blonde than in brun. So I say blonde wins, but brun is very good. The aroma is perfect. A bit high bitterness.

Chimay red was from what I can recall, better than blue one. phenolic/fruity was detecalbe but weak, a bit thin flavourwise, while leffe is more full flavour IMO. But I think I should test blue again. I think I MAY have tried it too cold the last time.

To me this cidery thing is VERY interesting. I will definitely make some small scale experiments again later to verify this. This kind of thing is what I needed to realize why it may not be a good idea to use sucrose. I am very glad I did this sugar brew. My worst batch ever, still one of the most rewarding. There is nothing like a SCREWED batch :) wooo

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2004 - 08:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

That loop is definitely going into my model. The tricky part will be howto invent some sensible regulation functions for the enzymes. Man this model is just growing insanely complex. It will be very interesting too see how senseful it is once done. I fear I may end up with a large soup of rounding errors :)

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Thursday, February 05, 2004 - 02:53 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"Insanely complex" doesn't begin to do the problem justice, Fredrik.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 07:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok this is the final report from the sugar brew. It is still cooking a bit from my addition of amylase, that's why it's cloudy. But I performed a standard foam test. Consider the amount of sugar, the foam is I think fair. It's fairly creamy, but the staying power is not as good as it should. But I'd say the foam is good enough for a sugar brew. I drank some more of this, and if it hadn't been for the quite pronounce cidery notes, it would actually have been "ok". There are no other significant off flavours, no diacetyl, no fuesels, and no other unexpected things (except for the cidery flavour). The acetaldehyde has in fact fainted away alot so this is now a minor issue aside with the cidery flavour. The body is definitely good enough. If it wasn't for the cidery note, it would been pretty much close flavourwise to the cheap commercial 2.8% lagers. Thin malt flavour, pretty much typical to light lager pilsner. Not the greatest beer, but definitely drinkable.

So my conclusion SO FAR, is that the cidery thing seems to be the only actual major flaw in this sugar brew. Though this is severe enough to discard the whole idea of using a large % of sugar. But IF, there are some clever way to supress the development of this cidery flavour, THEN I think it would be able to make some good beers based on sucrose.

foam

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 07:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Try again.

fm

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Btw, another thing struck me. Some people talk about "crisp" lagers. The sugar brew was I would say very crisp IMO. Perhaps some beers with lower pH turn out more crisp due to some subtle cidery thing. Maybe adding sucrose (no too much though) to a lager beer may be a trick to make it more crisp?

Now I'm speculating again, but my guess is that crisp beers may have a lower pH.

Just a thought I had. Not sure if it makes sense.

/Fredrik
 

Chris Colby (66.25.196.39)
Posted on Sunday, February 08, 2004 - 07:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik says,
"Now I'm speculating again, but my guess is that crisp beers may have a lower pH."

I've read in more than one place that lower pH beers taste crisper or "more lively." I've never tested this scientifically, but this meshes with my experience.


Chris Colby
Bastrop, TX
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just as another datapoint for the consistency ballpark test of acetic idea.

- Assuming the pH is determined largely by the amount of acetic acid i.e fixing the relationship between pH and ppm acetic acid. This is possibly an oversimplification to the point of making no sense, but still I can't resist it :)

Plotting my 3 latest brews, ppm acetic acid vs level of glucose, fructose
or sucrose gives a fairly straight line suggesting that the acetic acid
production largely sets in close to or above 2P. Now this is interesting as
I read an article about this phenomenon in another yeast strain (no S.Cerevisae).
And for that yeast there was some treshold around 2% as well.

With only 3 datapoints this can certainly be soemthing totally different. But for
myself I find this interesting enough to leave the possibility open that it's
not a conincidence.

pic

This idea is easily tested though. I'll keep adding my nottinggham brews to this plot, if they all stick to the linear relationship there has to be more than conincidence.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 11:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Unless it wasn't clear from above. One "conclusion from this speculation" (right or wrong) is that as long as one doesn't have a partial concentration of glucose, fructose, sucrose in the wort exceeding 2P, this cidery thing may not begin to appear. Normal glucose levels in normal extract is well below 1P, except for high gravity brews of course. I figure 2P is about 17% of the extract for a 1.047 batch, so < 17% would probably not give any cidery notes at all.

Question. Has anyone brewed a bathc with very little sugar say < 20% and still had cidery notes? If so what was the details?

/Fredrik
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Thursday, February 12, 2004 - 08:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Personally, I have a hard time telling the difference between "extract tang" and "cidery notes", as the worst of these beers involves an expired 3.3 lb. can of LME and 3 lbs. of sugar. I have tasted extract tang in all LME batches before using two cans.

An all-grain kolsch I brewed afew years ago with WY2565 yeast could be considered to have "cidery notes", though some would argue that it was more "winey note". Again, I lack the palate to distinguish between those two.
 

Fredrik (62.20.8.148)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 01:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for your datapoint Chumley! I must say I find alot of the flavour descriptors out there a bit subjective too. I guess I will never know if what I label cidery is the same as what someone else label cidery unless tasting the same beer. Currently I imagine that winey and cidery may be just different levels, and also depending on the sweetness and other things making up the total image. Like in cooking, if you add vineager to a sauce it may appear a bit winey but once you add some sugar it turns sweet&sour wich is different. I figure cider is usually semisweet as compared to wine?

I've never felt anything bad extract brews so far that I would associate to the extract?
I have a feeling I have not yet felt this extract tang. I have only made one extract brew with lots of sugar before, and that was my first batch, and it didn't turn out cidery, but it gave lots of ethylacetate probably due to the excessively high ambient temp of 76F, I can only guess what the wort temp was.

> Personally, I have a hard time telling the difference between "extract tang"
> and "cidery notes", as the worst of these beers involves an expired 3.3 lb.
> can of LME and 3 lbs. of sugar. I have tasted extract tang in all LME batches
> before using two cans.

This is a interesting. I don't know what extract tang is. Can someone elaborate that flavour? So for far I've imagined it as some subtle harsh/bitterness when other people refer to it? But I really don't know.

> An all-grain kolsch I brewed afew years ago with WY2565 yeast could be
> considered to have "cidery notes", though some would argue that it was more
> "winey note". Again, I lack the palate to distinguish between those two.

What was the fermentation temp? If I'm not mistaken I think I read that low temperature fermentations generally turn out with a slightly lower pH. Wether this refers to the lower yeast temp range, or the absolute temp I am not sure. So this this make sense to me since it help explanin why my first batch didn't turn out cidery even though it had lots of sugar. My honey xmas beer was fermenting at, or just below the temp range of nottingham.

So mayve it's a combination of glucose levels, temperature and the general masking of the beer? Of course the strain most probably matters too, but the general idea probably holds regardless of strain, though the exact tresholds and levels probably is strain dependent?

/Fredrik
 

Bill Pierce (24.141.129.137)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 02:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'll add some subjective comments here. To me, "cidery" implies both acid (primarily acetic acid) and acetaldehyde. It's associated with apples to my taste. "Winey" is more of a generic sourness (acetic, lactic, malic and tannic acid) as well as sometimes tannins like those from grape skins. I agree that the finish of beers fermented with Wyeast 2565 has a slight wine-like quality, but I would not characterize it as cidery.

As for "extract tang," it has some sour components but also seems slightly oxidized and with a with somewhat metallic finish as well. It has more of a "stale" quality than an acidity.
 

Walt Fischer (24.221.196.114)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 03:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Wow..
Are we making beer here, or nuclear weapons?
Im thinking Fredrik has figured out a way to make this whole hobby into something that requires a PHd....

heh
Walt
 

chumley (199.92.192.126)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 05:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Fredrik, I fermented the kolsch at 60-62°F. I think that is pretty much the low end range for WY2565.

I think Bill's descriptors are pretty much on target. I haven't brewed or tasted an extract tang or cidery beer for so long I can't hardly remember what one tastes like. The kolsch I brewed, however, definitely had some sourness. If you brewed the exact same batch and added lager yeast instead, I bet it would taste like a helles.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 09:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is especially for Chumley. Sorry for keeping you waiting! Enjoy :)

pic

This was done with temp control leaving the window open, there has definitely been pressure and temp fluctuations. Until my model is is up and running I can not accurately make sense out of them. Also the logger wasn't properly calibrated this time. I moved the server into another room and the new acoustics requires recalibration.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 09:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hey damn. I posted this in the wrong thread! I need to get soemthing to eat! Anyway, it was for you Chumley :) It is not the sugar brew though ,it's my current brew.

/Fredrik
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 09:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Also I rebooted the server somewhere in there. Not sure where.

/Fredrik
 

chumley (63.227.170.113)
Posted on Friday, February 13, 2004 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can tell from examining the bubble graph that that batch is going to be a winner, Fredrik.
 

Fredrik (213.114.44.219)
Posted on Saturday, February 14, 2004 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm going to put up all the geeky stuff on a page. So far it's almost nothing there but there but there will be eventually... it's going to be a geek page with some juicy microscope shots and ltos of bubblegraphs :)

http://hem.bredband.net/frerad/beer/modelling

for anyone who wants more graphs.

I'm also going to add my model there once it's in alpha state.

/Fredrik

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