So far, so good.

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Bierman707, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Bierman707

    Bierman707 Member

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    I've had my first brew in the carboy for over a week. This Sunday will be bottling day, or at least I'm hoping so. Weird thing is, the airlock is still somewhat active. I kind of thought by now the activity would be near dead. But the yeast keeps on trucking. If there is still any activity by this Saturday, I'll put off bottling until the following weekend. The air coming out of the air lock smells great, bananas and cloves! No hoppy smell... I think it's going to turn out pretty good.
    I've looked up priming sugars and I think I'm going to use a half cup of honey. I'm working out how to make sure its sterile. I'll boil some water and add the honey, but I'm not sure that will ensure sanatation... any suggestions?
     
  2. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    The general rule of thumb for bottling is you should get stable hydrometer readings on 2 consecutive days, if not let it go for a few more days and try again.
    Adding the honey to boiling water will be enough to sanitize it, I usually boil my priming water for a few minutes to drive off some of the oxygen then dissolve my sugar (I use regular table sugar) and bring it back to a boil for another minute.
    Any particular reason you chose to use honey?
     
  3. Bierman707

    Bierman707 Member

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    I just felt like it was a more natural route. As long as it doesn't lend flavor to the beer (and from what I understand it wont) I'd prefer to use natural products for my beer.
     
  4. philjohnwilliams

    philjohnwilliams Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as long as you are not looking for a flavour contribution then honey will do fine.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The only disadvantage is that you risk wild yeast or infection....that and it's many times the price of plain sugar.
    Truth is, regular old table sugar is as "natural" as any other sugar you can use. It's a product of plant metabolism that's been extracted and concentrated through processes using heat and water, fundamentally the same as we use in turning starches into maltose and extracting and concentrating sugars for fermentation into beer.
    We tend to make arbitrary distinctions, but yeast cells don't give a damn where their glucose or sucrose molecules come from. ;)
     
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  6. Bierman707

    Bierman707 Member

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    I understood raw sugar has not been bke
    Well, I don't have anything against table sugar. I thought about raw sugar because it's not bleached and that's what me think about honey. I guess molasses would be no different then?
     
  7. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Molasses as i understand it is as unrefined version as you can get but i recon itll be a bugger to work with in the small priming doses youll need. Ive got no ideah of the sugar making process but im guessing raw sugar is dehydrated. Just north of whereni live is Bunderburg rum factory i remember doing the tour of the distillery and seeing large swimming pool size pools of molasses i remember the bloke saying you dont want to fall in youll never get out!:eek:
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Pick your battles. Priming sugar is a tiny percentage of the ingredients in a beer. You've already got "refined" maltose in the form of dried malt extract or liquid malt extract instead of starting with grain. You're making an arbitrary distinction about what's natural and what's not. Make it easy on yourself, especially for your first batch and don't introduce complicated processes or "exotic" ingredients.
    It'll be fine no matter how you do it as long as you get the right amount of sugar in your bottles and don't get an infection somehow. ;)
     
  9. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Sucrose doesn't form a hydrate, so it is naturally dehydrated. Molasses is the by-product of making cane sugar, kind of like candi syrup is a byproduct of making beet sugar. And the reason you don't want to fall in a pool of molasses is it's so viscous and sticky. It's also hard to measure for the same reasons. As JA said, a lot of the fear of "chemicals" is unfounded - everything is chemicals. "Natural" as wholesome? Let's not forget that botulism and rattlesnake venom are 100% natural. And the day anyone shows me an "unnatural" ingredient is the day I call Ghostbusters. Marketers love squishy words like "wholesome", "natural", "non-GMO" when these are meaningless platitudes. There are good reasons to use unrefined sugars in beers, I do, but fear of some "unnatural" component in my beer is not one of them.

    As JA said, as long as you get the right amount of sugar in your beer and as long as you use good sanitary procedures, you'll be fine, regardless of the source.
     
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  10. Bierman707

    Bierman707 Member

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    Bleach isnt natural, TSP isnt natural, in the sense you wont find these products in nature without mixing chemicals together. Raw sugar is as simple as it gets. No bleaching, no extra steps in the process of making it. But as i say these words, I'm breathing in air contaminated by the world's industries. The entire ocean is contaminated by the nuclear radiation from the Japanese powered plant that STILL is contaminating countless gallons of contaminated sea water everyday.
     
  11. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I didn't say anything about bleach. I don't know what TSP is, and as JA so wisely pointed out, I'm picking my battles.
     
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  12. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand. It seems just about ever time you post and ask for advice or pointers, it gets almost combative when you are given either.
    Alcohol is poison. So is sugar in just about any form. You do realize that right?
    Boil the honey with your water and call it good.
    Living is scary and dangerous! BEWARE!
     
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  13. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    From the The Sugar Association (and corroborated by information from many sources):
    "Sugar is naturally white; no artificial whitening is necessary. Molasses, which is naturally present in sugar beet and sugar cane and gives brown sugar its color, is removed from the sugar crystal with water and centrifuging. Carbon filters absorb any remaining colored plant materials."
    In the same way that salt isn't bleached, sugar is simply reduced to it's natural crystal state as "impurities" are removed. Since those impurities won't hurt you and can add character to the product (in exactly the same way that minerals left in Hawaiian or Himalayan salt do) it's perfectly fine to use it before its final stage of purification.
    No reason not to use raw sugar, just understand that it's not fundamentally different. If it makes you feel better about the beer you make, it's all good. ;) Some folks use DME for priming so as not to introduce anything but maltose to the yeast metabolism. You won't notice the difference in the final product either way.
    If you get far enough into the whole thing, you'll be kegging and force-carbing at some point and priming sugar with all it's potential pitfalls will be a thing of past. :)
     
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  14. Bierman707

    Bierman707 Member

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    Maybe you're right... but it just seems like getting the carbonation from the fermentation process would be better for some reason. I'm sure to get sick of bottling for sure
     
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  15. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    If you use sugar to prime, any sugar, you are getting the CO2 from a fermentation process. All beer lore aside, there's really no difference between CO2 molecules, regardless of the source.
     
  16. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Eventually you can explore pressurized fermenting vessels and spunding valves. That way you're using the sugars you started with. Yes, bottling is a total PIA and it's probably the most consistent source of infection and bad batches (I'm speculating). For that reason, keep it simple and focus on figuring out process and basics.
    You're still very new to the whole thing and the internet provides a lot of shiny-object-like bits of information that can take you down rabbit holes. Just figure out how to make a beer, any beer, that tastes good and is what you intended before getting off too deep into philosophy and aesthetics.
    It'll all make sense some day and you'll be able to discern which things really make a difference. And believe me, I'm not offering any wisdom from a place of all-knowing but rather from the perspective of having learned enough to understand how much there still is to learn, no matter where you are on the spectrum. ;)
     
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