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2% Corn Sugar Make a Difference?

I’m planning a batch that I’m aiming to finish at ~8% ABV using Wyeast 1028. I’ve had good luck in the past hitting the max attenuation (77%) for this yeast.

I’m thinking about using a touch of corn sugar to ensure a slightly dry finish. I’m thinking maybe 2% of the fermentables. Would that even make a difference? I don’t normally brew with simple sugars. Should I just leave it out since I’ve had good luck hitting max attenuation with this yeast?

Probably not going to see much of an impact with only 2% sugar, so why add it in the first place? If you want to lower the FG, one lb of sugar in a five-gallon batch has the potential to lower the FG by about two points.

What kind of beer are you brewing? If you’re looking to dry out a big beer, I’d say 5-10% simple sugar is the range you would generally want to shoot for, although some styles could go higher. I don’t know if 2% is going to give you a considerable difference.

Exactly what I was looking to confirm. I didn’t think it would make a meaningful difference. I’ll just delete it. Thanks!

The old rule of thumb used to be to keep sugar under 20% of the grain bill so you don’t get a cidery flavor. I don’t see any reason not to add 2% if you want to but also don’t feel it will make much difference. Hey, sugar is cheap though.

A mutt. Doesn’t really fit any particular style.

Playing around with the recipe a bit more in Beersmith, I find that if I replace some of the base grain with 1/2 pound of corn sugar (3.7%) to achieve the same OG, my FG drops by 2 points. I think I’ll go that route.

Playing around with the recipe a bit more in Beersmith, I find that if I replace some of the base grain with 1/2 pound of corn sugar (3.7%) to achieve the same OG, my FG drops by 2 points. I think I’ll go that route.[/quote]

Using the sugar is fine, and it MIGHT decrease your FG, but don’t believe what Beersmith or ANY software predicts for FG. It has no way of really knowing.

I use a free software called QBREW that gives an estimated FG. In the help file, this is the explanation:

I rarely use it as any guide, though because there are a lot of factors that can change FG. Especially in the case of adding sugar to a batch, which is 100% fermentable. Assuming 25% of OG would result in a predicted higher FG than the finished product.

[quote=“mvsawyer”]I use a free software called QBREW that gives an estimated FG. In the help file, this is the explanation:

[/quote]
This may be a case of, “you get what you pay for.” :wink: In my experience, Beersmith is very reasonably accurate in predicting FG considering all of the factors that influence actual performance. Pretty sure Brad uses a more complex algorithm to calculate FG. For example, if I change yeast strains, estimated FG changes. Having said that, I would certainly never bet my house on it’s accuracy.

[quote=“kcbeersnob”]Pretty sure Brad uses a more complex algorithm to calculate FG…[/quote]I would be impressed if Beersmith is using more than the manufacturer’s stated attenuation for the FG; seems like it would be a lot of work (with lots of room for error) to try take into account mash temp, water:grist ratio, yeast pitching rate, aeration, grist composition, or fermentation temp (to name some of the most common FG influences). I don’t use the program, so can’t do this myself, but just for kicks, try changing mash temp and crystal malt percentages and see if the FG changes.

Yes, it does adjust FG if you change mash temp. I haven’t tried swapping out crystal for base malt (obviously have to maintain the same OG for the test to be valid), but I’ve swapped out dextrose for base malt and found that the FG changed.

I’m not claiming it’s a perfect tool that factors in every conceivable variable. In my experience–doing this just for fun–it’s been close enough and the level of effort is spot on.

I’ve noticed with Beersmith, the estimated FG actually goes UP when I add yeast to the recipe. but as long as I hit my volumes, the OG is pretty accurate.

Depends on the yeast selected. WLP002 is low attenuating and will increase FG. WLP550 is high attenuating and will decrease FG.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see why predicted FG matters until yeast is added to the recipe.

Depends on the yeast selected. WLP002 is low attenuating and will increase FG. WLP550 is high attenuating and will decrease FG.

Maybe I’m missing something, but I don’t see why predicted FG matters until yeast is added to the recipe.[/quote]
it doesn’t matter to me at all. the beer will be done when it’s done, IME. I’ve come to ignore the est. FG on Beersmith.

That’s what I was getting at. The FG 'guess" is pretty much based on yeast attenuation.

That’s what I was getting at. The FG 'guess" is pretty much based on yeast attenuation.[/quote]
But the estimated FG also changes in Beersmith when other variables change, such as mash temp and when subbing different fermentables. I’m not saying I expect it to be dead on. I don’t even care most of the time what my FG target is. My point is: when I do want to estimate what FG I might get with given ingredients and procedure (e.g., bigger beer that I don’t want to finish too sweet), I’m quite comfortable using Beersmith to make a nicely informed estimate using the right level of effort.

With respect to effects of sugar on FG, I would expect the app (or manual calculations for that matter) to be more accurate than when estimating the effects of a less predictable ingredient.

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