Lactose Quantity

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I am relatively new to the home brewing hobby and have made a few
successful brews of both Cider and Beer as well as some not so
successful ones.  I have heard on this group about adding Lactose to
increase sweetness to the brew without adding fermentable sugars but I
have never heard in what quantity to add.
Does anyone have a rule of thumb for adding Lactose?
Also when should you add Lactose?


Re: Lactose Quantity
alt.beer.home-brewing:

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It's a personal taste, so it's hard to tell someone else.  Start with
about 1/2 pound for 5 gallons.

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When you add the malt - before the boil.

You might also want to try something a little different.  If you're
using malt extract, do a partial grain brew - at about 160 degrees,
hold the temperature for about 30 minutes.  Put a grain bag with about
a pound of Carafoam or some other similar grain (crushed, of course)
into the pot (I tie the top of the bag to one of the handles).  Dip it
like a tea bag every 5 minutes.  (Keep the temp at around 160 the
whole time.)  After 30 minutes of this, take the grain out and finish
the boil.  (Of course, if you're doing whole grain, just add the
Carafoam to the grain bill.)

Carafoam gives a kind of vanilla caramel flavor under the taste of the
hops in the finished beer.

Re: Lactose Quantity

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Well IMHO you should "never" add lactose.  

 I don't know how bitter your brews are - but since you say cider (and
presumably it is too dry for your taste) try about 2 pounds of lactose
in five gallons to start and adjust accordingly.

Or (this is decadent) add 5 lbs of honey and let it age for years.

If you were trying for a sweet porter (mildly hopped porter) and if
you were extract brewing and didn't want to mess about with a lot of
grains; lactose may be the answer.

Lactose adds sweet, without adding dry or body, or much of anything.

"The thing is,"  the grains can produce the color, body, and  starches
(with "mini mashing")  can provide the "unfermentable" sugars you want
to sweeten the brew.  If it is beer you're after . . .

If you are trying for something like a ginger root beer that will
impress your young lady, and she likes sweet wines for instance, then
I'd add lactose.  (somehow I keep hoping my wife will learn to
appreciate real beer - but it ain't happened in 20 years . . . and
I've done a lot of stuff that I won't drink in that effort-  although
a young ginger (dry) and aged meade (sweet) did get her attention)

Can't help on the "rule of thumb" though;  that will appeal to you.  I
don't have your taste.

All the ciders I've done have turned out very dry.

Another thing to realize is that "bitter" or "sweet" will trump each
other - lower the "bitter" and the brew tastes "sweeter."

It is art and science - which is to say. no one has all the variables
cataloged and controlled.

The engineer in me says lactose is the answer, the artist in me says
experiment some more.  Making beer is a lot like cooking - it is a joy
or chore, depending one one's bent.   No lactose in my beer, thank
you.

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