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Has anyone worked with using either burnt caramel or brewer's caramel in their recipes? I have read a few places that Fuller's is known to use this to increase the SRM of some of their product line, specifically London Pride.

What I am wondering is:

  • How much is generally used to increase the SRM? I am assuming that this will mostly end up being a trial and error sort of experiment over a few batches with no "hard and fast" rule.
  • How will this affect the OG of the recipe? Even though it is basically just caramelized sugar, I am assuming that it will not have the same properties of sugar because of the carbon reactions that have taken place. (And specifically, I would like to be able to figure out the value to add as an item in BeerSmith.)

Thanks, in advance.

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2 Answers 2

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I have not used burnt caramel so I can not advise you on it. But if you are not trying to add any flavor, but only darken your beer, you should check out Sinamar Coloring Agent from Weyerman. 4 oz will raise your beer 16 SRM for five gallons so 4 SRM per ounce for BeerSmith.

The Burnt Caramel will add flavor to your beer, if this is also what you were trying to do then I have just wasted your time. Sorry.

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No waste of time at all. I was unaware of the coloring agent, and that might be just what I need if the need arises. Based on some toying with my recipe in Beersmith, I found that removing the flaked maize and upping the grain got me into my target range for the SRM. I was worried about the flavor profile, and figured it would depend on how much burnt caramel would have need to be added. –  joseph.ferris Oct 26 '10 at 12:43
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Good formatted question, and an intriguing idea using burnt caramel for flavoring and color.

However addressing the part about London Pride. On "Can You Brew It" at The Brewing Network, they covered Fullers ESB. In that episode, it was discussed that London Pride actually is made from a partigyle process post the ESB run off. There is an actual interview with the brewer at Fullers, so its not just an assumption or hear-say. I don't remember any talk about the use of caramel to color or flavor London Pride. I could be miss remembering it though, maybe someone will set me straight. I'll try and give it another go soon.

Here is a link to the episode: Fullers ESB/London Pride

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Thank you for the additional information. I am assuming that it is quite possible that it is due to the age of the information that I had, as well. I am trying to find the exact reference, but the discussion I was reading was from the late 90's. I know that they had used flaked maize at the time, and have since abandoned that, as well. I am guessing that the removal of the flaked maize might also have removed the need for the burnt caramel. I am experimenting with a London Pride clone recipe and hope to brew this weekend. I was able to boost my SRM by eliminating the maize, as well. –  joseph.ferris Oct 26 '10 at 12:36
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