• Oct 27, 2020
  • by Moonshiner


We’re going to let you know everything you need to know about sugar. This is how much you really need to know and understand. 

Get two cylinders. Get a little bit of table sugar, and get a hydrometer and we're going to discuss every bit of that and how useful they are and what their purposes are. These are the three basic ingredients necessary in order to brew or distill. The three basic ingredients are always going to be water, sugar, and yeast.

This is before we even get into any process or operation but if you understand this, you can manipulate work so your success rate just shoots off the chart. Sugar is one of those basic molecules. That is the fuel of life. For humans, for plants, for animals, sugar is the base molecule that's converted from its form into energy in order to use to sustain and perpetuate life. So that's why it's so important. The easiest example of sugar is table sugar. And we're going to use table sugar as our example. Although sugars are found in many areas.

Let's talk about table sugar in particular. There are three basic sugars. Models monosaccharides, mono means one that's a single molecule. If you had a disaccharide it would be two. If you have a trisaccharide it would be three molecules, three different molecules in most cases. 

So let's talk about the three basic sugars that are in the sugar family in their monosaccharides which means that this is a monosaccharide is a molecule of sugar that cannot be hydrated down to a simpler molecule it's sort of the lowest form of sugar, which is the easiest form, to ferment or to absorb into your bloodstream or to be utilized.

We have glucose, galactose, and fructose. You may be familiar with fructose high fructose corn syrup. Since fruit toast is sweeter than glucose and galactose, you can increase the amount of fructose in a product and make it taste sweeter but fructose is still a single molecule sugar. 

Now, what is table sugar? 

Table sugar is really Nara sucrose. If you understand the building blocks of sugar, the world opens up for you. Sucrose is a disaccharide made up of one molecule of glucose. That's what sucrose is, like the boom that Yara inverted sugar. Inverted sugar really is just breaking this chain. 

How do we do that? 

Get your saucepan, those water it heated start to heat it up, add some citric acid to lower the pH level. It will get more getting more about pH when we start talking about water. But you lower the pH level which makes you a little bit more acidic.

Once you add your sugar in there and use it to heat it, it will break apart these chains, and you'll wind up with simple sugars, which they call inverted sugars. You can continue to do that all the way down until it's almost like a syrup. And it's extremely sweet and very fermentable. Toast maltose is just another form of sugar. 

Have you heard of the term dextrin? 

There's a difference between dextrin and dextrose. Glucose as a suffix. This is a sugar starch-based sugar that is very complex. And it's a series of glucose, very highly bonded glucose molecules stuck together, you're not going to break this down, not in the forms that we will be experimenting with. 

So this is used actually to add if you're going to use dextran, you're going to use lactose or maltodextrin. These are used to add body and mouthfeel to beer without introducing a little bit of sweetness without introducing any fermentable sugars. That's all they're there for. So don't get confused. Don't use dextrins. In your fermenting process, you want to use dextrose.

We have to have sugars before we even get to our yeast, and then we'll do the water you get you're going to garner or gain or extract or convert different products into sugar. And sugar is the basic building but remember we talked about that it's also the molecule it's necessary for the energy to produce and or extend perpetuate life to include fermentation. 

So i got some different products here. It’s a flaked corn. Flake corn is equivalent to crack corn, whole corn, it's been crushed. The only difference is it's been steamrolled, so it's hydrolyzed and all you got to really do is cook it up to a simmer. You don't have to boil it. Now, that is a starch. That's guts all bye starches in it. And what we do is we convert those starches into fermentable sugars using an enzyme.

This is rye, flaked rye. Guess what? 

It's been steamrolled. So it's been hydrolyzed. It is starch, Laden. It is full of available starches that we must convert in order to get some fermentable sugars. Now, this is a two-row barley. Two-row barley is sort of like the bass grain for almost every recipe. Almost every beer with just about every distilling recipe, you don't normally use it in wines, using fruits and wines normally, but if you look on the back end, you'll see it's white on that side. That's all the sugars that have been seen. 

This one's already been crushed. So you need to crush every one of your grains, put it through a grain mill, or beat it with a hammer, you're better off with a grain mill. You don't want to make it dust, you just want to break open all those kernels because that's the only way you can get at them.

Six-row barley is the same thing as to row is just a little bit more, a little bit more protein in it. It's got a higher dietetic power that is normally used in small amounts in our mashing recipe, and it's only there for the diastatic power that it has, which is the concentration of amylase enzymes that are resident in this green. So it only takes about 30 gravity or 30 dye static power points to convert whatever's left in the brain itself. 

At 140, there are 110 leftovers So you use that to convert these, that's why they go together. And that's why they're in every recipe and you'll notice that a lot of times you'll have six or seven pounds of a, of an adjunct or a cereal. 

And you may only have three pounds of grain you're like how could that be a green mash, it is a grain mash, but you need that and you're only using the three pounds or so to convert that so that's what turns this into sugars. And of course, all those flavors are there and you know, those profiles, those characteristics, and all that stuff is there.

Now we also have oats and these were the whole oats that have not been milled, running through my Green Mill which chopped them up. And then they also have a diastatic power and they will do the same thing. There's lower than the two-row but it is there because it's resit, the alpha-amylases resident in every green that has not been steamrolled. If it's a flake product, it does not have amylase in it. If it is a whole product that has been malted, which means that they allow it to start to sprout, then they stop the sprouting process.

What's left is some starch inside each kernel that has already started to convert to sugar with a whole bunch of enzymes leftover that has stopped working. And all you gotta do is get them started again, water and heat. Now last but not least, These are rice holes. The rice holes are in some recipes. The only thing a rice hole does Keep these things from sticking together.

So it really limits the necessity for you to stern on a regular basis to keep it from clumping together. So this is just a filler product. They're apt, they're dirt cheap, they're really easy to use and Add a pound or two of these into a mash and it keeps your grains from sticking together so it just gives it, putting space in between some of your grains. You're not going to get anything out of rice holes. You will get everything out of a two-row barley rye rice, green flake rye flake corn flake oats. The basis of them all is cellulose. 


Which is a form of sugars? 

Now there's something important that we need to understand as brewers that is the measurement. And there's only one measurement that's really important to us because all other measurements are based on that. There's actually two, one of them is gravity points and there are three ways to do that. The other one is point gravity points per pound per gallon. Here's what's important gravity points per pound per gallon.

In the United States mostly around here, we always use gallons. They use leaders just about everywhere else in the free world. So do your own conversions, just typing gangan gallons or liters, or pounds to grams. We want to know how much per pound of any of these items we can expect the result to increase our gravity points by that pound of it in one gallon. 

You'll hear this all the time. g p, p, p, G, gravity points per pound, per gallon, GP p, p p, g, gravity points per pound per gallon, got it? that was a long way around getting there. And we use that so we'll know. We're going to look at our mash. We're going to look at our beer. We're gonna look at our wine, all of those and we're gonna go What are the gravity points I'm trying to get to x.

This will tell you if it'll tell you the color of the love bond. This is an L to love Ubuntu. So it's a lightly colored green. But it'll tell you in the third column gravity of one pound in one gallon. This one in particular to row is 38. Let's move down and you'll notice that most of them are around the 30. Area 3032 3735 somewhere in that area. There are some that are off the wall, but not many. There's one brown sugar that is 46. So this will give you an idea.

And it'll give you also this is based on their efficiencies. So if you're going to do that at 65% efficiency, you'll get 38 gravity points. If your efficiency is higher than that, and you'll get a little bit more out of it. This one where it all comes together. So we can fully understand the importance of sugars, where they come from. Gravity points per pound per gallon and how to manipulate them.

This is the hydrometer, this one happens to be the triple scale colored. It could come in three different colors, and it could be totally white without any other additional color. But those colors are just there to identify what area you're in, what particular beverage you're making, whether it's just beer or wine. We're table wine. Now there are three scales here. One of them we don't normally use in the United States is the bricks, but it's the same thing. It's just a different way. You also use play dough. 

There's a bunch of different scales, the ones that normally concerned ourselves with or two of them. This was the gravity point scale, and it starts off at 1.000. That's way up here at the top. And you'll see it actually goes lower than that. It will go all the way down to point nine, nine 900 in the deluxe, but it starts that's Water, this thing floats at 1.000 at the water, that's our data point. So that's water with nothing in it. That's the gravity of water. If I drop that in there and allow it to bounce a little bit for a while, you'll notice that it will float. 

So the way this scale works is that you have dollar lines going off here, and the court just made it simple for themselves. And of course, there's dividing lines in between every one of those, they just right 10 2030 4050. What this represents is 1.010 1.020 1.030. You understand where I'm going with that. That's why a lot of times we'll use the term if it's 1.030, we'll just say on 1030 1030 is just a short way of saying one Point 030 in the Brewers world, we understand what they're talking about so there we go look, see it's floating it 1.000. 

Now, this scale, there's another one, it's called percent. Alcohol out cold go. There you go. It's ABV, but it has potential. And this is a very, very important scale. Because this scale is in line with this scale. So we know that 1.1 point 070 means that there's enough sugar in there to produce 8% alcohol by volume. Remember, we said gravity points per pound Her gallon. If we have 70 gravity points from one gallon in one gallon from one pound in one gallon of water, that means that water is 8% potential alcohol. 

Let's make this even easier. I'm going to use this scale on his scale: sucrose, white table sugar. I go over to the column it says I should expect 46 gravity points 1.046 per pound of sugar in one gallon of water. I've got what is equivalent to one pound of sugar in one gallon of water. If I took 150 milliliters of water, and then I found out what percent of those milliliters or how many milliliters it takes to get to a gallon, what is the percentage of that total. And I took that because it's like 4% 150 milliliters is about 4% of a gallon. I took that 4% of a pound in grams is at 454 grams somewhere around there in that neighborhood. So I added that in here. So with this is this, this is an equivalent mixture of one pound of sugar and one gallon of water.

So it would be the same thing if I had a big gallon sitting here with a pound of sugar in it. So let's take our hydrometer and drop it in here and now it tells me I should anticipate at 65% efficiency to get 46 gravity points.

That's where it should float. And we go just by adding table sugar. I get 44 evidently, I'm not at 65% efficiency. That's not too bad. So I get 44 gravity points. And that puts me right about here. So that's where my hydrometers float. Another skill I'll look across there is almost 6% alcohol by volume. That means that this particular volume of water if I ferment it all the way and completely ferment all that sugar and eat all that sugar out of there. I should end up with roughly 6% alcohol. 

You see, that's why it's so important to take a gravity reading first. So you find out what gravity is. You correlate that to what your alcohol by percentage potential is. The added yeast makes efforts all said and done. Let's say, I just fermented it. It's just finished fermenting. Remember it started here. Then I dropped this in. I got a full 6% alcohol by volume here. That means I really got only about 5% alcohol by volume. So that's why you need measurements. So you see I've just unlocked the entire world of sugars.

I'm always looking for it right at 1.090. And that brings me to somewhere near about 12% 1213 ish, somewhere in that neighborhood. And I'm happy with that. So I do that for a mash. So what I need to find out now is how Many pounds that stuff in X amount of gallons is going to take me to float my hydrometer at this level simply enough.

Please go back and review it again . It builds on itself so we know we have a Mono Saccharomyces. In sugar. Sugar is sucrose, which is made up of glucose and fructose. We know how to make invert sugar. 

All we've got to do is add some citric acid, lower the pH level, make an acidic environment, add some sugar heated up and you invert the sugars which means really what you're doing is just cutting them up. You're separating them again but the simplest forms of sugars, those single molecules, glucose, galactose, and fructose, and those are the ones that your yeast are looking for.

They're the easiest to capture, eat consumed. And turn that energy into Co2 and ethanol!