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Brand new to home-brewing. Currently making 1 gal small batches. I see a lot of recipes that call for either corn sugar or cane sugar, with honey as another alternative. How does corn sugar affect the beer vs cane sugar?

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Corn sugar is a monosaccharide where cane sugar is a disaccharide. Both are entirely fermentable but the disaccharide must be cleaved first. If your yeast are stressed they'll have a easier time with the monosaccharide. Corn sugar monosaccharide is usually glucose. There is some evidence that glucose fermentations produce higher ester levels.

All things being equal, unless carefully brewed side by side one would be hard pressed to taste the differences. I find the yeast health situation to be the more important thing to keep in mind if adding sugar to a big beer late in its fermentation. In that case, I prefer monosaccharide.

  • Cane sugar is not entirely fermentable, 5-10% than the 100% fermentabilty of corn sugar. Also maltose is two bound molecules of..... Glucose. – Evil Zymurgist Dec 29 '15 at 17:31
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In short corn sugar is more similar to the sugars in the wort so it's easy for the yeast to consume both. Other sugars are harder or easier for the yeast to consume and come with their own issues. Typically corn sugar is preferred. As adjuct and priming sugar.

  • Maltose, the prevalent sugar in wort, is a disaccharide. Corn sugar however is a monosaccharide. Not sure if saying corn sugar is more similar to wort sugar is correct. – brewchez Dec 29 '15 at 15:49
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    Sucrose and Maltose are both disaccharides but different molecules. Making the monosacccharide that is corn sugar more similar to maltose for yeast digestion than other priming sugars. – Evil Zymurgist Dec 29 '15 at 16:39

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