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Corn Syrup in brewing . . .

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  • Rev. David M Cunningham
    Greetings All: There have been a lot of things going on in my little area that I call life. I ve been so busy that I haven t had time to write any e-mails, let
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2002
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      Greetings All:

      There have been a lot of things going on in my little area that I call life. I've been so busy that I haven't had time to write any e-mails, let alone read it (and to those of you that I still owe a reply to, I haven't forgot about you and I will e-mail you soon).

      Anyway I thought that I would share my findings with this group. I'm sorry if you receive more than one copy of this. I've been told that Yahoo! has been real bad lately.

      (You may want to view this e-mail on the e-list web site, because the info in the html tables may become distorted.)

       

      A while back I thought I had read about someone using corn syrup in there brewing. Then one time at the store, I decided to pick some up and try it in a batch. When I got home, I was unable to find any mention of corn syrup in brewing. Frustrated, I knew that there must be something somewhere.

      I knew that you could pretty much substitute maple syrup for honey, so I figure that it should be pretty much the same. But then doubt set in, so I decided to go and research. What follows is about 6 hours of research and compiling information about corn syrup and its potential uses in brewing.

      Treating cornstarch with acids or enzymes produces Corn Syrup, which is not commonly found outside of the United States. Standard corn syrups, used by the food industry as well as the consumer, contain dextrose (dextrorotatory glucose – a sweetener derived from corn) and other saccharides. Dextrose is about 70% as sweet as sugar and is more hygroscopic (water attracting).

      Why use corn syrup? First one should look at the physical properties [freezing point depression, solubility, hydgroscopicity, textural properties, osmotic pressure, viscosity] and their significance to various functional properties and quality characteristics. Following may summarize this . . .

       

      Functional Properties and Characteristics of Corn Syrups Change as Follows

      bodying characteristics

      decrease

      browning reactions

      increase

      cohesiveness

      decrease

      crystallization

      decreases

      fermentability

      increase

      flavor enhancement

      increase

      flavor transfer medium

      increases

      foam stabilization

      decreases

      freezing point depression

      increases

      humectancy

      variable

      osmotic pressure

      increases

      sweetness

      increase

      viscosity

      decreases

       

       

      Dextrose-rich corn syrup treated with enzymes makes High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). The resulting HFCS is a liquid mixture of dextrose and fructose used by food manufacturers in soft drinks, canned fruits, jams and other foods. HFCS contains 42, 55, 90 or 99 percent fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup is extremely soluble and hydroscopic.

      Invert sugar is a liquid carbohydrate sweetener in which all or a portion of the sucrose present has been inverted: the sucrose molecule is split and converted to a mixture of glucose and fructose. The inverted corn syrups, High Fructose Corn Syrups, are classified according to the fructose content (i.e. 42%, 55%, 90%).

       

      Why use a High Fructose Corn Syrup? It is because of their attributes.

      ·        retain moisture and/or prevent drying out

      ·        control crystallization

      ·        produce an osmotic pressure that is higher than for sucrose or medium invert sugar and thereby help control microbiological growth or help in penetration of cell membranes.

      ·        provide a ready yeast-fermentable substrate

      ·        blend easily with sweeteners, acids, and flavorings

      ·        provide a controllable substrate for browning and Maillard reaction.

      ·        impart a degree of sweetness that is essentially the same as in invert liquid sugar

      ·        high sweetness

      ·        low viscosity

      ·        reduced tendency toward characterization

      ·        costs less than liquid sucrose or corn syrup blends

      ·        retain moisture and/or prevent drying out

       

       

      The one thing that should stick out to brewers is the part about increasing the fermentability.

       

      The average nutrient content per teaspoon of carbohydrate sweeteners

       

      Sugar

      Calories

      Fat, g

      Sodium, mg

      Total
      Carbohydrate, g.

      Sugars, g

      Protein, g

      Sugar
      (4 g)

      15

      0

      0

      4

      4

      0

      Honey
      (7g)

      20

      0

      0

      6

      6

      0

      Corn Syrups
      (7g)

      20

      0

      0

      5

      5

      0

      *Not a significant source of calories from fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and iron.

       

      Light corn syrup is a mixture of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup (to provide increased sweetness) and is flavored with salt and vanilla. Vanilla gives extra smoothness and richness to the flavor. The term "light" in this case refers to the color – it is clear and colorless, and not the number of calories. Many consumers refer to light corn syrup as "white" corn syrup.

      Dark corn syrup is a mixture of corn syrup and a small amount of refiners' syrup (a cane sugar product with a molasses-like flavor). Caramel flavor, sodium benzoate (a preservative), salt, and caramel color are added. Dark corn syrup has a rich brown color and a more robust flavor.

      Light and dark corn syrups perform similarly in recipes and can usually be used interchangeably, but the choice may be guided by personal preference. An equal amount of corn syrup can be substituted for honey or molasses in most recipes. Recipes using corn syrup will be less sweet, and the finished products will have different flavor characteristics.

      I found on a brewing site (http://beta.byo.com/mrwizard/751.html) the following: “When substituting brewing ingredients in recipes it is much easier to base your conversion on weight, not on volumetric measurements such as cups, because ingredient densities, especially those of malt, vary quite a bit.”

      And then on another page (http://beta.byo.com/mrwizard/809.html) I found this: “Honey contains about 25 percent water and 75 percent solids and corn sugar contains about 98 percent corn sugar and 2 percent water. I like to convert ingredient figures into the easiest to use number for ease of calculation. In this case, 1 cup of honey contains about 0.75 cup of dry solids, mainly sugars, and 1 cup of corn sugar contains 0.98 cup of dry solids. This means you need to use 1.31 cups (0.98/0.75) of honey to equal 1 cup of corn sugar.”

      Still on the last page listed above: “The dry solids basis is handy for evaluating brewing raw materials because dry solids increase the specific gravity of water when they are dissolved. Suppose you had some unusual sugary liquid and wanted to use it as an ingredient and had the same question. What I would do is read the nutritional label and find out how many grams of carbohydrate are contained in the serving size listed on the label. Suppose there are 17 grams of carbohydrate per 28 gram serving. This equates to 61 percent carbohydrate. Assuming there is not much protein, this number represents the amount of solids in the ingredient. This mystery ingredient would require 1.61 cups to equal 1 cup of corn sugar.”

       So going by this, I would look at my Light Corn Syrup label and find the carbohydrates. So I see “Total Carbohydrates 32g. (Sugars 12g),” but the serving size is in milliliters and not grams (Serving Size 2 Tablespoons [30ml]). I figured that should weigh 2 tablespoons of the light corn syrup to find out the weight – no big deal. The weight came to 38g per 2 Tablespoons of the light corn syrup. So according to the instructions above, I figure that I would have to use about 1.17 cup of light corn syrup to equate 1 cup of sugar.

      I must say that I never expected to learn so much just by trying to figure out how much corn syrup I should use for my brewing.  I hope this was of help and/or interest to you.

      Resources:

       http://foodsci.orst.edu/sugar/
      http://www.culinarycafe.com/Substitutions_Equivalents.html
      http://www.honeygb.com
      http://www.allaboutjane.com/substitute.html
      http://pages.prodigy.net/mattgreen/honey.htm
      http://homecooking.about.com/library/weekly/aa022800c.htm
       http://www.byo.com/

      Your Brother in Spirit,
      Rev. David M. Cunningham
      distiller@...

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