5

I started my first brew this weekend with a kit,

Stupidly, I misread the instructions and added the bag of priming sugar (which was supposed to be added immediately prior to barrelling) at the start of the fermentation. (I got confused with a brewing sugar step which was including in the instructions but intended for a different recipe - it was a bit unclear!)

After a slow start it's now bubbling away and smells good (2 days later), and my plan is to just wait the given amount of time and then take a gravity reading. Hopefully it'll reach the correct gravity and I just proceed to barrel it as-per the instructions. Maybe I should take one reading and then another the day after to check that it's stable.

Any advice on this, hopefully I won't need to throw away this batch due to this mistake? Also:

  • what effect (taste, strength, yeast effects) might I expect from adding the sugar at the start of fermentation?
  • I have another bag of priming sugar, I still plan to add it prior to barrelling. This should be okay?

Thanks for any feedback on this! I bit gutting to have messed up the instructions, whoops :D

10

This is no problem at all. To address your questions:

"what effect (taste, strength, yeast effects) might I expect from adding the sugar at the start of fermentation?"

Priming sugar (almost definitely glucose a.k.a dextrose), being nearly tasteless and highly fermentable (90+%), will increase ABV% without adding either residual (unfermentable) sugar or any malt flavor, basically lightening the body of finished beer. The magnitude of this effect depends on how much sugar you added, as well as what the rest of the recipe looked like, but since the bag was intended as priming sugar, it won't have been too much sugar and the effect should be entirely minimal, if even noticeable at all. Yeast would only be affected if it was a huge amount of sugar you added (25+%, maybe), and this would be due to the dilution of essential nutrients derived from malt. You won't see a problem here.

"I have another bag of priming sugar, I still plan to add it prior to barrelling. This should be okay?"

Yes, absolutely. The sugar you added before will get fermented fully before bottling, so it's necessary to add more to achieve carbonation.

"Maybe I should take one reading and then another the day after to check that it's stable."

Do this. To be safe, most people here recommend waiting until it really looks like fermentation's done, then taking gravity readings three consecutive days to ensure it's fully fermented. When this checks out you can proceed to packaging.

Your beer shouldn't suffer at all for this mishap, so don't worry too much about it. It's probably the least costly mistake you could have made.

  • 1
    Thanks so much for that detailed reply, and very good to hear it should all be fine. Cheers! ps the priming sugar was marked as dextrose I think. – Ian Dundas Mar 9 '15 at 12:09
  • 1
    You're entirely welcome, good luck. And I should have said [gluc/dextr]ose. They're the same thing. – Franklin P Combs Mar 9 '15 at 12:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.