Using Lactose

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Nosybear, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Gents, I have a pumpkin spice ale I want to sweeten slightly to cut a bit too much hops (a process change led to more bitterness than I'm used to) and to bring out a "pumpkin pie" character. I already used ESB yeast to make the brew malt-forward, my spicing is subdued and I'm using some vanilla. So the second function is to add a bit of residual sweetness - operative here being "a bit" - to the 5 gal batch. So my thought is to dissolve 1/4 C lactose in a half-cup of water and boil 10 mins to sanitize. I'll add it to the beer, taste, and see if I need more. If so, repeat. I don't want "milk stout" sweetness, just the slightest touch.

    Any of you used lactose for this and if so, how much?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    never used lactose just because i'm allergic, I have used splenda (doesn't fermint either) and don't use much its strong
     
  3. cearum

    cearum Member

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    I have also used splenda to sweeten ciders. I'm assuming the results would be similar in a beer. Like QHB said though, only use a little as it goes a long way.
     
  4. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I have never used lactose but if I want sweetness in a beer I add Canadian Honey Malt. Half# in 10 gal. of wort takes away the tart in a hefe but but still allows banana-clove to come out(just an example of how much sweetness it adds). 1# in peach sasion experiment made belgian SWEET to the pallet. Haven't tasted the peaches in it but will do that tonite.
     
  5. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I wouldn't use any artificial sweeteners, unless you don't mind the taste. Personally I can taste the smallest amount of artificial sweeteners in just about anything and for me it is always overpowering. It drives my wife crazy because I call her on it every time she tries to sneak it in. For me the flavor is just to distant and I can't stand it.

    Nosey, you could use potassium sorbate if you were to keg this beer. Apparently potassium sorbate does not kill the yeast, but it does prevent them from reproducing. So if you rack cleanly into a keg you should be able to back sweeten with malt and not loose to much of the sweetness to the yeast especially if you keep it nice and cold.

    My experience with lactose is that it give a distinct mouth feel (feels like your mouth and tongue have been coated) similar to drinking a glass of milk. I would think even in small amounts you would still get this.
     
  6. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I ended up using a half-pound in five gallons - the low end of the milk stout range. I'm slightly lactose intolerant so I didn't want too much. Next time I want to sweeten a beer post-fermentation I may try some sucralose (Splenda). Or some Stevia. I'm getting some "sugar" mouthfeel and some lingering sweetness that isn't bad for the beer I wanted to make but that's in the uncarbonated beer. It's bottled and, in about a week, I'll report back on the overall impression.
     

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