Brown vs. White Sugar results

Sugar, and all about sugar washes. Where the primary ingredient is sugar, and other things are just used as nutrients.

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Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Andrew_90 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:25 am

So just want to confirm something.

Firstly I changed from BWTPW to SSSW. The resultant taste from the low wines is markedly different with Shady's being significantly cleaner more neutral and better tasting, can't wait for the spirit run.

So with Shady's the first wash was with brown sugar and was a rapid ferment taking 3.5 days.

The second wash was identical but for the brown sugar making way for white sugar. The white sugar wash is much slower in progress that the brown sugar. The time is not an issue though.

For curiosity, does the brown sugar ferment easier than white?
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Setsumi » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:56 am

brown sugar is less refind. so to me only way to measure the speed is if you have identical og and fg. i think per weight brown sugar will have less fermentables but the speed can have other factors influencing it as well.
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by JesseMarques » Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:02 pm

Setsumi said it right, brown sugar has some unfermentables that contributes to sg, lots of minerals, etc.
If you take only this to compare, brown is faster due to the presence of nutrients for yeast, but if you provide lots of yeast, it may not make much difference

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Saltbush Bill » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:28 pm

If you where trying to make a clean neutral wash why would you use brown sugar?

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Expat » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:58 pm

Setsumi wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:56 am
brown sugar is less refind.
This isn't quite true. If you're referring to common brown sugar, it's actually standard refined white sugar with a small amount of molasses added back to it.

Similar to a molasses ferment, there shouldn't be much in the way of nutrients which needs to get added; a small amount of epsom salts.

+1 to what Saltbush said. If you're goal is neutral, only use white sugar based (or similar) low flavor recipes.
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by shadylane » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:05 pm

Andrew_90 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:25 am
For curiosity, does the brown sugar ferment easier than white?
Just guessing
Brown sugar and white would ferment the same.
Brown sugar, is white sugar with a tiny amount of molasses added to it.
The difference in fermentation speed and flavor between the two recipes, is due to the extra nutrients and pH control
Last edited by shadylane on Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by rubberduck71 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:08 pm

Expat wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:58 pm
Setsumi wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:56 am
brown sugar is less refind.
This isn't quite true. If you're referring to common brown sugar, it's actually standard refined white sugar with a small amount of molasses added back to it.

Similar to a molasses ferment, there shouldn't be much in the way of nutrients which needs to get added; a small amount of epsom salts.

+1 to what Saltbush said. If you're goal is neutral, only use white sugar based (or similar) low flavor recipes.
I think I remember reading somewhere on the site that "brown sugar" title differs depending on which part of the world you live in?

In the U.S. brown sugar is indeed the same as white sugar with molasses added back in, as mentioned above. But in other places of the world, it's "unrefined sugar" which still has the molasses naturally left in it.

I could be wrong. Like I said, just a fuzzy memory of reading about the same topic elsewhere on this site... :D
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Andrew_90 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:35 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:28 pm
If you where trying to make a clean neutral wash why would you use brown sugar?
Its called the learning curve Saltbush Bill, takes a long time to become an overnight success. As we exclusively use brown sugar at home it was my go to sugar for no other reason and for lack of experience. Subsequent reading caused me to move to white sugar when I decided to try Shady's recipe.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Saltbush Bill » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:32 am

Andrew_90 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:35 pm
Tough to be a newb on this forum.
Think things are tough now?.....should have been around a few years ago.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by ZEB -WARD » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:10 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:32 am
Andrew_90 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 9:35 pm
Tough to be a newb on this forum.
Think things are tough now?.....should have been around a few years ago.
:lol: :clap: :thumbup:

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar resu

Post by Yummyrum » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:08 am

Not sure if this helps , but here in Aussie we have Raw sugar which is from first extraction . It has quite large crystals and is a pale yellow colour . The refined sugar after another extraction is white . This is the normal sugar we buy for general cooking and making neutrals .Caster sugar is refined sugar which is ground down to a finer consistantsy . Brown sugar is caster sugar with molasses mixed through it .

From top to bottom is refined sugar , caster sugar , raw sugar and brown sugar .
2E5F81E6-8D12-4F75-9A91-8B4649149F1D.jpeg
Refined and Caster sugar .
3E3D69B7-FC2B-443B-8600-A1A8AAC9EA3C.jpeg
Raw and brown sugar
B751D15F-1418-4FE3-9CFA-D8E721282FA1.jpeg

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by JesseMarques » Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:12 am

rubberduck71 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:08 pm

In the U.S. brown sugar is indeed the same as white sugar with molasses added back in, as mentioned above. But in other places of the world, it's "unrefined sugar" which still has the molasses naturally left in it.

I could be wrong. Like I said, just a fuzzy memory of reading about the same topic elsewhere on this site... :D
You are right about differences on brown sugar around the world. Here in Brasil brown sugar is the same as powdered panela sugar. Was quite shocking to me when I discovered that some places put molasses back into refined sugar.

Also we have "melaço" = molasses and "melado" = fancy molasses (panela sugar with some water left in it)

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by NineInchNails » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:09 pm

I find that my white table sugar washes ferment significantly faster if you use it to make Simple Syrup first. Supposedly inverting the sugar breaks the sugar chains into parts yeast can more easily convert and it supposedly makes it taste better or have better mouth feel. 10# sugar, 5 cups water and 0.25 tsp Citric Acid. Boil for 20 min and you're done. I add the syrup to the fermenter while it's still hot. After adding water and other ingredients the temp is usually just right for yeast.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by The Baker » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:45 pm

NineInchNails wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:09 pm
I find that my white table sugar washes ferment significantly faster if you use it to make Simple Syrup first. Supposedly inverting the sugar breaks the sugar chains into parts yeast can more easily convert and it supposedly makes it taste better or have better mouth feel. 10# sugar, 5 cups water and 0.25 tsp Citric Acid. Boil for 20 min and you're done. I add the syrup to the fermenter while it's still hot. After adding water and other ingredients the temp is usually just right for yeast.
Cool the syrup a bit so it is safe to carry.

Put some of the water in the fermenter (if it is not metal) first or you might damage the fermenter with the hot syrup.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by NineInchNails » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:00 pm

The Baker wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:45 pm
NineInchNails wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:09 pm
I find that my white table sugar washes ferment significantly faster if you use it to make Simple Syrup first. Supposedly inverting the sugar breaks the sugar chains into parts yeast can more easily convert and it supposedly makes it taste better or have better mouth feel. 10# sugar, 5 cups water and 0.25 tsp Citric Acid. Boil for 20 min and you're done. I add the syrup to the fermenter while it's still hot. After adding water and other ingredients the temp is usually just right for yeast.
Cool the syrup a bit so it is safe to carry.

Put some of the water in the fermenter (if it is not metal) first or you might damage the fermenter with the hot syrup.

Geoff
True. I should have elaborated. I do have approx half the amount of water in the fermenter first. Then add water and test SG incrementally.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Andrew_90 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:42 am

NineInchNails wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:09 pm
I find that my white table sugar washes ferment significantly faster if you use it to make Simple Syrup first. Supposedly inverting the sugar breaks the sugar chains into parts yeast can more easily convert and it supposedly makes it taste better or have better mouth feel. 10# sugar, 5 cups water and 0.25 tsp Citric Acid. Boil for 20 min and you're done. I add the syrup to the fermenter while it's still hot. After adding water and other ingredients the temp is usually just right for yeast.
Thanks, 10# would that be 10 pounds?
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Expat » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:52 am

Andrew_90 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:42 am
Thanks, 10# would that be 10 pounds?
Yes, # in north america can mean lb
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by NineInchNails » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:58 am

Yes # means pounds. It never made sense to me why lefty potato heads would put '# Me Too' in their social media. Always made me laugh.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Expat » Sat Sep 19, 2020 12:04 pm

Lol.... pound me too.... Doesn't work quite the same
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Andrew_90 » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:20 pm

So we add the sugar to boiling water I assume to avoid caramilisation? I also assume the heat is just enough to simmer rather than to boil furiously?
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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by The Baker » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:35 pm

Look up Invert Sugar.
It works fine to add the sugar to cold water and stir from time to time with say a wooden spoon or a flat small wooden slat.
Yes, simmer for I think twenty minutes or so.
Add lemon juice or citric acid to simmer with the sugar...
But look it up. Anyway Nine Inch Nails has told you...

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by NZChris » Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:43 pm

Where I live, it is far cheaper to use white sugar and add some molasses than to use brown sugar, or raw sugar.

Boiling sugar, especially with some added acidity, will invert it and the yeast can convert that into alcohol faster, but whether or not it is worth the energy costs and bother is something for you to think about and research.

If I'm using backset for the next generation of a sugar wash, it always goes onto the sugar hot because the energy to invert the sugar is free.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Saltbush Bill » Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:31 pm

Ive read a lot of threads and opinions on inverting sugar on different forums.
Its a subject thats been flogged to death many times over.
It seems to me that most folk dont think the benifits are that great..as Chris said ,probably not worth the time or energy.
Personaly ive never done it and dont plan on it any time soon.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar resu

Post by Demy » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:13 am

Yummyrum wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:08 am
Not sure if this helps , but here in Aussie we have Raw sugar which is from first extraction . It has quite large crystals and is a pale yellow colour . The refined sugar after another extraction is white . This is the normal sugar we buy for general cooking and making neutrals .Caster sugar is refined sugar which is ground down to a finer consistantsy . Brown sugar is caster sugar with molasses mixed through it .

From top to bottom is refined sugar , caster sugar , raw sugar and brown sugar .2E5F81E6-8D12-4F75-9A91-8B4649149F1D.jpeg

Refined and Caster sugar .3E3D69B7-FC2B-443B-8600-A1A8AAC9EA3C.jpeg
Raw and brown sugar
B751D15F-1418-4FE3-9CFA-D8E721282FA1.jpeg
Where I live it is very difficult to find real unrefined cane sugar. Once I saw it in the supermarket, it already had a strong aroma even with closed packaging and had a "pasty" consistency in the sense that if you press with your fingers, the mark remains. Do you confirm this?

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Demy » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:17 am

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:31 pm
Ive read a lot of threads and opinions on inverting sugar on different forums.
Its a subject thats been flogged to death many times over.
It seems to me that most folk dont think the benifits are that great..as Chris said ,probably not worth the time or energy.
Personaly ive never done it and dont plan on it any time soon.
I am of the same opinion. Perhaps with inverted sugar the yeast makes a slightly less effort but the yeast itself already has all the enzymes necessary to break down the sugar and ferment it. It is like for us having to peel an apple or eat it already peeled.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by NZChris » Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:25 am

I've had unrefined sugar that just about needed to be cut with an axe and have one that is soft and gooey and bleeds molasses. I've had light colored that has been evaporated under vacuum and dark colored from being boiled over fire. If it tastes good, it's good for rum.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by NineInchNails » Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:15 am

Andrew_90 wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:20 pm
So we add the sugar to boiling water I assume to avoid caramilisation? I also assume the heat is just enough to simmer rather than to boil furiously?
You don't need to run at a continuous, strong, rolling boil, just simmer it to maintain 'boiling temp'. You don't want to boil over (which it can if you're not paying attention at high flame) and you don't want it to scorch either. I specify 'Simple Syrup' because it requires much less water than most 'invert sugar' recipes. That means Simple Syrup is quicker to make, less volume to bring up to temp. Once brought up to temp, simmer for 20 min and you're not going to get anywhere near the temp required to caramelize the sugar.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by Yummyrum » Sun Sep 20, 2020 1:30 pm

Demy wrote:
Sun Sep 20, 2020 2:13 am
Once I saw it in the supermarket, it already had a strong aroma even with closed packaging and had a "pasty" consistency in the sense that if you press with your fingers, the mark remains. Do you confirm this?
That sounds like what we call brown sugar here ... IE. its caster sugar with molasses mixed through it hense the smell and the way it mushes or clumps .
Raw sugar is just crystals like white sugar .

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by shadylane » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:36 pm

Saltbush Bill wrote:
Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:31 pm
Ive read a lot of threads and opinions on inverting sugar on different forums.
Its a subject thats been flogged to death many times over.
It seems to me that most folk dont think the benifits are that great..as Chris said ,probably not worth the time or energy.
Personaly ive never done it and dont plan on it any time soon.
I've tried it several times and didn't see a measurable advantage to inverting sugar.
I even tried using Alpha and Gluco enzymes to convert sucrose into glucose, that didn't seem to make a difference either.

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Re: Brown vs. White Sugar results

Post by rubberduck71 » Sun Sep 20, 2020 5:45 pm

Ok, dumb question: if i just maintain high temps (call it 190F or above) for 20 min or so with citric acid & dumped white sugar, does that count as inverted "enough?"

I'm lazy. Usually I have a run going when I'm running an inverted sugar process on the induction plate.
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