When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

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When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby Sláinte » Tue May 27, 2014 3:47 pm

I'm planning to brew the Belgian Dark Strong recipe in Brewing Classic Styles, which includes 1 lb. of cane sugar. If the authors mentioned when to add it, it got by me.

I read something somewhere about adding sugar to the primary, after the kraeusen has fallen, so that the yeast eats the malt sugars first, before getting distracted by the sucrose.

Anybody here do that? It would be simpler to add the sugar to the boil - my inclination unless there's a big payoff for the alternative...

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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby Sláinte » Fri May 30, 2014 7:24 am

OK, I'll take that as a rousing endorsement for adding it to the boil. I wonder if there's a similar controversy about adding it at the beginning or near the end?

I think I'll just go with the easier pre-boil gravity measurement...

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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby beermikester » Fri May 30, 2014 8:34 am

Stan Hieronymous has a forum called "Ask The Experts" in which he answers questions from homebrewers.

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=19258.15

One of the questions was about when to add the sugar. Here is Stan's reply:


Quote from: ram5ey on May 17, 2014, 07:18:08 AM
Hi Stan,
When is the best time to make sugar additions such as candidate syrup in Belgian ales?




Some breweries I visited in Belgium made the addition early in the boil, others as late as in the final 10 minutes. I have never seen a study that might compare the results of different addition times. I do it after hot break

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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby turkeyjerky214 » Fri May 30, 2014 9:36 am

I always add my syrup with 15 minutes left in the boil.
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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby jeffjm » Fri May 30, 2014 12:36 pm

I've experimented a few times with making a sugar syrup and adding to the primary after a couple of days. If I make it thin, I wonder how much I'm diluting my beer, and if I make it thick, it's so viscous it doesn't pour easily and there's a fair amount that's left behind. You'll get more consistent results with adding to the boil. Just remember that the earlier you add to your boil, the less your hop utilization will be.
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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby Sláinte » Sat May 31, 2014 11:10 am

Thanks, guys.

I ended up going with an early addition out of laziness and thinking some caramelization wouldn't hurt in this ale. Didn't really consider hops utilization.

Didn't hit the 1.103 target OG, but 1.096 is still pretty big, and it's a really pretty color.

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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby rsc3da » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:14 pm

Like Jeff said, adding it early during the boil will decrease hop utilization since you are increasing the gravity during the boil. I myself usually throw in somewhere between 5 minutes left and flameout when making belgians or beers with sugar adjuncts. I guess you might get a little bit more caramelization in the beer if you add it in early, but you could just increase boil times and boil harder if you want that.

I don't think adding it post-boil is a good idea unless you can come up with some way to sterilize the sugar because it is loaded with bacteria. Also I think it depends on the yeast strain, some may get lazy after eating all the simple sugars and go dormant but I think if you pitch the right amount of healthy yeast and the amount of sugar added isn't too much you'll be ok.
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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby dvdaniels » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:12 am

I save and freeze a half gallon of the boiled wort then when primary fermentation is just about to end, I quickly thaw the frozen wort and boil simple sugar with it for 15 minutes to kill off any nasties. I also put a little whirlfloc in help clarify the beer.

I read a long time ago that it is best to add sugar separately so that the yeast don't go after it first since it is easier for them to break down and consume than maltose. Let them go through the process of breaking down and consuming maltose first since it is a little more work for them then give them the easy stuff so they don't get lazy.

It was either an article or podcast I heard that and it has worked really good for me. The only problem I ran in to is chill haze and now I add half a whirlfloc to the sugar mix.
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Re: When to add the sugar to a big Belgian?

Postby serizawa1234 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:57 pm

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