I've just been reading an FAQ on different sugars used in brewing. Most kits specify usage of 1KG of brewing sugar.

The first time I made a batch of home brew I used table sugar, but this seemed to make the beer overly cloudy (even after adding beer finings), very alcoholic, and it tasted a little odd.

The second time I made a batch I used brewing sugar which improved the condition of the beer somewhat, and it was far more drinkable than the first.

But what I really want to know is what other forms of sugar can I use, and what effect will this have on the condition and flavour.

The types of sugar I am most interested in are:

  • Golden Syrup
  • Maple Syrup
  • Treacle Syrup
  • Honey
  • Brown Sugar
  • i brewed bitter with malt 1 kg and 1cup wild honey the taste is weird im not a fan i just cant drink it normaly with out the honey its very nice not recomended to use honey
    – user3943
    Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 11:48

1 Answer 1


Here is a link to an overview of sugars in beer

I have brewed with multiple sugars before but never maple and I'm not certain what golden syrup is. Honey is a very common ingredient. In my uses it leaves a mild honey flavor but ferments out almost completely. I've used brown sugar and it adds a sweetness but I personally feel the raw demerara sugar leaves a richer brown sugar taste. And Belgian candy sugar is also nice in a brew. Something I think you'll have to try to understand the flavor.

All the sugars you mention will leave some noticeable flavor to your beer however what's more important when looking for new sugars is the type of sugar you are using. Each type of sugar such as dextrose, lactose, sucrose etc. has vastly differently affects on yeast. For instance milk sugar or lactose can't be processed by yeast to the sweetness lingers in you beer after fermentation.

When you used table sugar you were using sucrose where normal malts are dextrose. I believe you can boil down sucrose to fructose to do other things. But the yeast didn't eat it up the same way it can eat up malt which I why you got strange flavors.

The main takeaway here is when using a new sugar find out the type of sugar and how it is used. Once you get that down it merely experimenting with flavors. As a hint try a pound of light Belgian candy sugar in an IPA you won't be disappointed. Good luck!

  • Excellent answer. Certainly more informative than I was expecting. Thanks. Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 12:33
  • I can't get the link right now (at work) but google "The Mad Fermentationist", which is a blog by a brilliant homebrewer. He has done at experiments with various sugars, where he used the same base beer but added up to 6 different sugars in the batches, to evaluate their differences side-by-side. That will be great data for you. Basically, as I recall, the darker sugars do kick off a lot of flavor, but the lighter/golden ones usually aren't that noticeable (honey is a slight exception).
    – GHP
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 13:40
  • Might this be the link you're thinking of? themadfermentationist.com/2009/12/…
    – object88
    Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 15:17
  • Just adding that in my experience, maple syrup tends to ferment much slower than most other sugars. Be extra careful if you bottle condition your beer with it! Commented Jul 25, 2013 at 19:01
  • I've read that sucrose (i.e. white table sugar made from cane sugar) can be broken down into glucose by yeast, but to do this requires the yeast to produce the enzyme invertase, which remains in the beer and imparts a sour taste. Presumably this only applies in large amounts because I use cane sugar to prime all my beer. Belgian Candi sugar is sucrose and glucose already so does not need to be inverted by the yeast. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 20:33

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