Carbonation


I was wondering if it is possible to carbonate your beer without using sugar/carbonation drops. I would like to try and make a beer that is sugar free. The reason i mention carb drops is i assume they are made of sugar also..
Reply to
Chris *Sydney, Australia*

I have just bought a CO2 cylinder which I can use to carbonate my beer. I guess you could do this from the beginning without using sugar.
I would wait for the advice of somebody more experience though....
Reply to
PieOPah

Homebrew Beer is always "sugar" free!!! The yeast will consume ALL of the sugar (cane, beet, honey, etc.) and completely turn it into alcohol and CO2. Generally no sugar is left in the beer. Some notes/exceptions: * Some of the complex sugars that are in the MALT may not be fermentable - that is where the beer gets some slight sweetness, some body, and some of the mouth feel, perhaps. BUT CARBONATING SUGARS ARE 100% CONSUMED. * Beer being "Sugar free" does not mean carbohydrate free nor does it mean Calorie free. Most beer has a fair number of carbs and a fair amount of Calories. * Some say alcohol acts like a sugar in the body, others say it is chemically more like a fat. I tend to think the latter but I really don't know.
So... exactly what do you mean by "sugar free" - perhaps someone can help you get close to what you want...
Derric
Reply to
Derric

you ferment sugar to make the beer in the first place?
Think about it a bit. The reason the sugar gets added to carbonate the beer is because it doesn't have enough sugar to self-carbonate (unless it isn't fully fermented out). Seems likely that the added sugar (which is miniscule compared to the amount of beer and sugar that went into the beer) probably ferments out as well in a few weeks.
For an experiment put a tablespoon of sugar in a plastic pop bottle, with a few grains of yeast (baker's is fine for this). Keep the mixture warm for a few days until it is well pressurized then cool it and taste it - you won't taste much, if any, sugar - more like yeast flavored club soda.
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Reply to
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I asume that under sugar free you meen that you do not want to use any sugar in your proces, pure malt beer... Well, you could save some sterile worth and ad it to main batch after it is fermented... I'll leave calculations to you..
Andrej
Reply to
Magla

Thanks for that information it was handy.
I just find some of my beers can be a little too sweet and not have that full beer flavor... or does that come with aging which maybe I am not allowing enough of?
Reply to
Chris *Sydney, Australia*

Oh . . . that makes more sense.
The sugar you add to carbonate is corn or cane which ferments easily, and again, the amount (one half, to two cups) in five gallons of liquid is insignificant. It may be too low to taste at all, with that dilution ratio)
If your beer is too sweet the cause is not the carbonation sugar, but the brewing sugar, the conditions, or a lack of hops.
When you start saying "full beer flavor" I start thinking "body." How is the body? Hold a head of foam, with lacy foam clinging to the glass? Body and sweetness are different characteristics. Low body is an extract brewers complaint and the cure is adding steeped grains.
Back to sweetness . . .What kind(s) of sugar are you brewing with?
There is a chance that something is squelching the complete fermentation of the batch. Or, you are bottling before fermentation is finished (which can cause bottles to explode).
How was the fermentation? How long to get vigorous and how long was the total time?
Low temperatures will stop or slow fermentation - not likely to be a problem. The low limit is determined by the strain of yeast.
It is possible, but unlikely, that there is something in the water that is inhibiting fermentation (or traces of sanitizer - but that is likely to change the taste if it is enough to stop the yeast).
Hops add bitterness and mask the sweetness of beer, so under hopping makes the beer seem sweeter. Hops are also the aroma and taste characteristic of beer and that may be your "full beer flavor" criticism. Hops are perishable; old hops loose their strength. Freeze them for storage and keep air out - assuming your source supplies good hops to begin with.
Hops add bitterness, flavor and aroma. To achieve bitterness they have to boil for awhile, 20++ minutes, flavor takes ~10+ minutes, aroma 5 in the boil or cold in the fermenter. The recipe will include the "hops schedule."
The style of beer plays a part - some beers are sweeter than others by design. A light ale will be less sweet than a stout or porter.
Aging improves the taste of beer, particularly a high gravity beer that is "harsh" tasting. Stout, porter, barley wine, mead, among others. Aging mellows the bite of the alcohol and probably smoothes the taste of tannins. Aging also reduces the overall bitterness, so the hops may need increasing.
Adding a teaspoon of amylase enzyme to the wort helps to break down the more complex sugars and allows better fermentation. Enzymes are sensitive to temperature so they go in the finished cooled wort. They can also help with steeping grains and mashing.
Yeast is important too - the yeast has to survive the alcohol content to completely ferment the beer. In extreme cases, two yeasts are pitched - one to give the beer its characteristic taste and another later in the fermentation that tolerates the amount of alcohol.
Type of sugar used and hops are the most likely causes.
You could also post more about what you are doing - style of beer, amount and type of sugars, yeast, process, etc..
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On Mon, 18 Apr 2005 14:20:54 -0000, Derric said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
Not "may not" - *are not*. There's ALWAYS some unfermentable sugar in beer, unless the wort is specifically produced to be fully fermentable.
It's metabolized to a sugar, mainly.
The only way to brew completely sugar free (not carbohydrate free) beer is to start with wort that has 100% fermentable sugars - which can be done, but not by buying malt - you have to use all grain brewing for that. And even then, it's extremely difficult, and you're still left with a beer that diabetics have to not drink very much of.
Reply to
Al Klein

switch to destrose which is corn sugar. in your primary. or if you really want exceelent beer, just double your barley and forget all the sugar. the barley is able to do it, no problem. dextrose is a good substitute. the yeast eats all of it.
dextrose for your final bottling of course. make sure to boil it before you put it in the bottle is fine grade sugar full of bacteria you bet i have seen many guys sift dry granules into the bottles and they are fascinated why their final beer is full of bacteria. i just use an eyedropper or a syringe (with needle long gone) hope that helps ya.
Reply to
dug88

At this stage I am using a Extract from the local supermarket for my everyday type of beer. and just using the yeast that comes with it. The sugar I use is the Brewers Dextrose available on the shelf.
I have considered adding some hops before hand to give it a better taste. By boiling them up and then putting the boiled water into the mix before I add the extract... any comments on this idea?
when opening the bottles they tend to froth up a bit even after chilling them for a day or so.
I have never heard of amylase enzyme. when do I add that? and where can I buy it?
Reply to
Chris *Sydney, Australia*

The eye dropper sounds good... what ratio would I use per bottle?
If I used an extract and put in no sugar and put ion yeast would it still ferment with the sugars in the extract and still have a fair good alcohol rate?
Reply to
Chris *Sydney, Australia*

If I'm not mistaken Dextrose is corn sugar and will only add alcohol to the beer. Dextrose ferments out very well (unless, of course, you use more than your yeast can handle). 5-7 pounds sugar per five gallons shouldn't be a problem. I'd check the label of anything called "Brewer's Dextrose" to see what is in it.
Pure 100% Dextrose is relatively neutral in taste. Most home brewers probably use maltose for sugar (liquid or dried malt extract). It gives the beer a malty taste. It does cost a little more, but most of us aren't trying to duplicate supermarket canned beer, but the more expensive styles of beer.
Are you doing what is called "no-boil?" Heat the can, heat the water mix the two without boiling . . . throw the yeast on top and that's pretty much the whole process?
One option is to use two or three "kits" of canned wort and yeast. John Bull is marketing a kit here with two cans of concentrated wort for their no-boil porter (haven't tried it, but would like to)
Just boiling hops will work for bittering with no problems I used to do it that way when I was trying to eliminate the particles of hops in the wort. It may work for flavor and aroma - haven't tried that, but don't see why it shouldn't work..
If you get pelletized hops the particles can be a nuisance when they plug up an airlock, ditto whole hops - but they are easier to filter out. With a bucket for a fermenter that isn't too bad, the top bulges and vents. With a glass carboy it will launch the airlock or blow off tube and shower wort all over, or break the carboy - don't stuff the stopper in too far and keep an eye on it.
I boil the hops in nylon bags now. The grains go in a nylon (laundry) bag as well. Grain particles are easy to filter out.
Read the label on the canned concentrated wort - they do make hopped extract. It is already bitter (flavor and aroma may not be there). Canned wort will work long past its expiration date - the yeast is more variable in that respect. The hops bitterness seems to attenuate in the older cans.
I've used some packets of dried yeast 5 years past the expiration date (stored in the fridge) and had others that are dead in a year.
I get all of my homebrew supplies Internet order since there are no convenient brew shops and they don't stock it in the supermarkets here. When I use amylase it will usually be in the primary stage of fermentation. It gets added to the cooled wort and mixed in along with the yeast starter I prepare in advance. It makes the beer dryer and probably reduces the body a little as well.
For priming I rack the beer from the secondary fermenter (glass 5 gallon carboys for 1st and 2nd) to a bucket with a spigot and stir in a solution of 1-1/2 to 2 cups of cane or corn sugar. I boil the sugar solution to kill any bacteria. I also use a relatively large amount of priming solution - 1-1/2 quarts of water. It does dilute the beer, but I take that into account when making the wort. Using a large amount of priming solution makes it easier to mix into the beer - keeps the carbonation consistent from bottle to bottle and less risk of blowing up bottles.
You write like you're getting enthusiastic about the brewing hobby. If your goal is to save money, you're probably doing it the least expensive and least time consuming way already.
If you want to expand your horizons check out:
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More than you ever wanted to know, but they do have a condensed "how to" as well as all the detail you're ever likely to need.
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This last ingredient, often sold in Australian home brew shops as "dried malt additive" is a mixture of dextrose with an unfermentable sugar called dextrin.
If that's your "Brewer's Dextrose" that's likely to be the sweetness you're writing about - Dextrin is unfermentable and remains to sweeten the brew.
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Source of my quote above
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Note that you can use plain table sugar (sucrose/cane sugar/beet sugar) for priming and it will ferment out totally (dextrose is corn sugar over here). This might be an option if the only dextrose you can get is mixed with an unfermentable dextrin. (Use the same amount as dextrose - about 4 oz sugar (by weight) per 5 gallons beer).
To repeat what someone else said, go to www.howtobrew.com and read the beginners sections! The best way to prime is to have a 2nd bucket, boil the 4 oz sugar with a little water, mix the flat beer and the sugar water in the 2nd bucket and THEN siphon into bottles. That way you don't have to try to measure out tiny bits for each bottle - it is all mixed in evenly (certainly if you stir a little).
Derric
Reply to
Derric

On Wed, 20 Apr 2005 20:32:07 +1000, "Chris *Sydney, Australia*" said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
Depends on the amount of sugar and water you used to make the mixture. The easiest way is still to mix in the bottling bucket. That way, a small error is just a small error, and all the bottles are primed the same. (Assuming you mix the priming sugar and the beer thoroughly.)
If your mix worked out to, say, 10 drops/bottle, and you accidentally put 11 drops in 1 bottle, that's a 10% error (and a potential bottle bomb). If you used that much too much priming sugar in the bottling bucket, it would be 0.2% error - hardly worth thinking about.
Extract *IS* sugar - barley sugar. Since that's what all commercial breweries use (extract before the water is extracted from it), of course it will. The usual ratio is 6 pounds of dry extract to 5 US gallons - you actually use 6-1/2 gallons, but 1-1/2 gallons evaporates during the 60 minute boil. That should give you something like 5% or 5.5% alcohol by volume, depending on the extract.
Bring the water to a boil, then start adding the extract (that's dry extract, not the canned stuff) slowly, stirring with a paddle constantly. The first 2 or 3 pounds should go pretty easily. After that the stuff seems to want to "clot" on the surface until you stir through it. The last half pound or so can be a pain, but it *will* dissolve. Add the extract slowly, or some of it will drop to the bottom, sit on the hot pot and burn.
Then add your bittering hops (in a net bag is best), boil for 45 minutes (careful - it likes to boil over - you can't just leave it boiling for 45 minutes), add your flavor hops and boil for another 15 minutes.
You can add your aroma hops for the last 5 minutes, or just before you pitch your yeast.
Then cool it as fast as you can. A chiller is just 25 feet of copper tubing and some fittings and hose - not very expensive. You're doing two things here: you want a "cold break" - that gets the proteins out of the beer, so that you don't get "chill haze". Crystal clear beer looks nicer. And beer at boiling is safe, but cooling beer is subject to bacterial and wild yeast growth. Get it cool fast (about 20 degrees C), then pitch your already-hydrated yeast.
Oh, and don't listen to dug88 - most of what he says is completely wrong.
Reply to
Al Klein

agreed i would not listen to me when my text has been moderated. common courtesy is to remove ALL text, if you do not want to run it.
You inspire new thought with new concepts. I will leave perfection who is ready to get nailed to a cross for being god. oh, i noticed you do not think raw dry sugars are loaded with bacteriqa. tsk tsk. dugie wuggy woo woo
Reply to
dug88

If the advice is so bad, then how about you be a little constructive? Instead of slagging a guy off, point out where he has gone wrong and correct it?
Or how about realise that some people have methods that differ to yours and can be equally as good!!!!
Reply to
PieOPah

Well gee, dumbass88, I DO post all your text when I respond. When exactly have I failed to do that?
No I wouldn't. Idiots usually don't care at all.
???
Perfection is one thing...giving advice that is patently bad (and outright wrong) is something entirely different.
I never disupted bacteria are found in sugars of any type. I pointed out, in some of your past posts, how you once said this, then a couple of posts later said the exact opposite.
Reply to
NobodyMan

On 29 Apr 2005 05:44:18 -0700, "PieOPah" said in alt.beer.home-brewing:
dug's 'methods' aren't "different", they're just plain wrong. He posts like someone who's read a lot of books but hasn't brewed his first gallon. Or someone who's satisfied with making his own beer, even if it can't compare with the worst commercial brew.
Most of us posting here just know that some of the things he says won't work or are wrong - we've tried them and learned better.
As far as being constructive - 1) we *do* tell you (and others) the right way to do things and 2) I doubt that dug wants to hear any correction. He's too convinced that he knows everything.
Reply to
Al Klein

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