Brewing Sugar Vs Regular Sugar – Why it Matters in 2023

brewing sugar vs regular sugar

Written by Benjamin Parr

My passion for homebrew led me to set up KegThat! I work as a software developer during the day and manage kegthat on evenings and weekends. Occasionally I write some blog posts when I get the time!

9 March 2023

Whether you are brewing a beer kit, cider kit, wine kit or even making your distilling wash, you will nearly always need sugar unless you are brewing double can kits which have everything included in the contents.

The question we often get asked is can I save money by just using normal, regular caster sugar instead of brewing sugar (Dextrose)? Well yes, you can, but you should definitely read this article to know the issues with this approach.

The Importance of Fermentable Sugars in Brewing

Fermentable sugars, which are sugars that can be broken down by yeast during fermentation, are especially crucial in brewing. These sugars provide the yeast with the necessary energy to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide, which are the primary byproducts of fermentation.

Brewing sugar, also known as dextrose, is a highly fermentable sugar that is commonly used in brewing. Unlike regular sugar, which is made up of sucrose molecules that are more complex and less easily broken down by yeast, brewing sugar is made up of glucose molecules, which are easily fermentable.

Using regular sugar in place of brewing sugar may seem like a cost-saving measure, but it can result in a less desirable end product. Regular sugar can leave residual sweetness in the finished product and can also produce off-flavours and aromas.

Benefits of using Dextrose / Brewing Sugar

Using dextrose in your brewing not only provides a range of benefits to the taste and alcohol content of your final product, but it can also result in less sediment in your brew.

Dextrose is highly fermentable, meaning it is easily broken down by yeast during fermentation. This leads to a more complete fermentation process, leaving fewer unfermented sugars that can contribute to sediment in the final product.

Dextrose can also be broken down by yeast more quickly than regular sugar, resulting in a faster fermentation process. This can be especially useful if you are brewing on a tight schedule or looking to speed up your fermentation process.

See below for a great price on our Dextrose.

Using Malt Extract instead of Sugar

If you are brewing beer kits, one alternative to using regular sugar is to use malt extract instead. Malt extract is made from malted grains, and is available in both liquid and dried forms. While it may be more expensive than regular sugar, it offers several benefits that can improve the quality of your final product.

Using malt extract can add body and flavour to your beer, resulting in a more complex and satisfying taste. Because malt extract contains more complex sugars than regular sugar, it can also contribute to a more complete fermentation process, resulting in less sediment.

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