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Cleaning up after brewing my first extract-based Belgian wit, with wort already cooled and in the carboy, and yeast pitched ... I discovered to my horror i'd forgotten to add the candi syrup to the boil!

The recipe called for 1 lb golden candi syrup for a 5 gallon batch, added near the end. I've got plenty of airspace in my 6 gallon carboy, and the package is sealed. OG is 1.056 (BrewTarget suggests it should have been up around 1.068).

Can i just pitch the candi syrup in? do i need to boil it with some water to sanitize it first?


EDIT: Thanks all for the suggestions! I wanted to be extra careful, so I:

  • brought 4 c of water to a boil
  • added 5 oz Pilsen DME (proportional to the original recipe) and boiled for 5 minutes
  • turned off the heat, stirred in the candi syrup, and threw in a couple of Fuggles pellets for good measure
  • put it all in an ice bath to bring the temp down quickly to ~70 degrees
  • poured it into my carboy through my racking tube to avoid splashing, and stirred it up a bit.

It was already perking along well, so I expect there won't be any problems (but i'll report back if anything unusual results).


Results: perked along well for quite a long time. I sampled gravity today (after 3 weeks in primary) at 1.016, which is relatively close to the target FG. Taste seems fine (pre-carbonation). So i'm calling this experiment a success. Time to bottle!

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I would make a small 1/2 to 1g batch of 1.056 wort similar to your grain bill and hop profile, IBU. Then add syrup to that, chill and add to main batch.

Reason I wouldn't pull wort from batch to boil is the yeast will die in a bad way and may release bad off flavors. Also you will have a slight ABV reduction in boiling off what ever ethanol that's been made.

You could with reasonable saftey just add the syrup to the fermentor and swirl to,mix in. If it's been at room temp for storage with no signs of swelling it should be free of infecting contaminates. But the only way to be certain is to get it to a boil with the above recommendation.

  • I beg to disagree on the "ruptured yeast will release bad flavours" thing. Not that I ever pulled pitched wort out of the fermenter and boiled it, but my common practice of adding nutrition to starters is adding a tablespoon of dry baking yeast to the boil. Yeast is sorta cannibalistic, whatever gets released from one dead yeast cell will get consumed by others. Also, I don't see a problem in heating just the syrup itself without adding any water (not that I consider it needful). – Roman Apr 29 '18 at 22:56
  • @Roman heating yeast to the point of cell wall rupture basically simulates what happens with autolysys. When yeast feed on dead intact cells the cell ruptures creating the autolysys off flavors. Having yeast husk in nutrients gives the yeast what it wants from the dead cells but without the off flavors as they've been removed in the drying process. It's pretty hard to heat syrup to a pasteurization temp without damaging it. It takes some confection know how. Basically needs a double pot system with indirect heat. Much easier to just make a small dme batch so you can have the syrup mostly dilut – Evil Zymurgist Apr 29 '18 at 23:06
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Just add it to the fermenter. It's a common practice.

  • Just because it's a common practice doesn't mean it's the best or safest practice. LHBS just recently had a large shipment of LME that was recalled. Bags started spontaneous fermentation swelling and bursting. – Evil Zymurgist Apr 29 '18 at 17:25
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Just leave it out. Take careful notes of how it turns out. Brew it again when you have capacity and add the candi syrup that time. Then you will have the basis for comparison and you'll have a pretty good idea what it adds to your final product.

  • There are two things I like about this answer: a) simplicity and creation of learning experience from mistakes, b) I don't see a place for a sugar/syrup addition to a belgian wit -- especially a colored syrup (and if it was a clear candy syrup, the Op could've just added some table sugar right from a package). The style just doesn't require it. – Roman May 2 '18 at 23:17
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I have no idea how good the candy sirup will dissolve in the cold beer. Can you take out some of your wort, boil the candy sirup in it, let it cool down and add it back to the rest of the beer?

Good luck!

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    I wouldn't do this if it's already pitched. Boiling yeast will rupture active yeast releasing some bad flavors. Best to make a small batch of dme based wort to same gravity and hops, add sugar, cool and add that to fermentor. – Evil Zymurgist Apr 29 '18 at 16:16
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    Yeah, you are right, I didn't think about the yeast. The DME is better! – Oliver Hörold Apr 29 '18 at 21:31

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