Helles Bottle Conditioning Question

Hey All,

I’m working on a Munich Helles at the moment and as I was looking through different recipes I saw one by Jamil Zaineschaff in which he said to not use corn sugar for priming because it gives a cidery flavor to the beer. He recommended using light DME. I’ve never used anything but corn sugar to prime, but I’ve also never made a helles. Has anyone here noticed a cidery off flavor when using corn sugar on a helles or other lighter lagers? Kegging is not an option for me, so that solution is out the window.


I’ve never noticed cider flavor from priming sugar. I tried using DME to prime once. It worked, but took forever. About two months. Granted, regular sugar always takes me almost a month, but it was a tense wait.

This is brewing myth #4398. Corn sugar and table sugar will not cause a cidery taste in your beer. In fact, it’s a critical component in styles of IIPA, as well as many Belgian and French beers. And they definitely don’t taste like ciders. Brew on!


I asked the same question awhile back when researching a helles recipe. The cidery thing kept showing up in old threads. Definitely debunked now and if you check the date on that article it(probably ) is at least several years old. Table sugar is just fine. DME sounds like it would be an unpredictable pain in the a$$ to use. I bottle conditioned my helles and it was one of my better lagers. Nothing to hide in a helles. If you can make a good helles you are well on your way!

I had the cidery taste. This was the first time that happened. I couldn’t figure out why. I also had my first bottle bomb ever with this recipe.

Interesting. Have you ruled out infection? Usually a single bottle bomb is problem unique to that bottle(crud or a crack in the bottle), multiple bottle bombs are usually overcarbing. Gushers are often infection and can be single or multiple bottles. Cidery or apple/green apple flavors/esters can be from the brewing process itself.

What was your helles recipe?

That’s what I was thinking, too. Is there any chance that you were tasting acetaldehyde? Certain esters can have a distinct green or red apple flavor as well. I’d be suspicious of a fermentation issue or infection before blaming corn sugar.

I am thinking that the cidery taste was due to drinking to early. Although I waited about 6 weeks the second case taste much better. As in all my brews they get better with time. As for the bottle bomb I am chalking it up to the bottle as all the others were carbonated just fine, and I never had one before. Thanks for the help.

Thanks everyone. The article i got the recipe from was written back in 2002 or so, so maybe that’s why it was hesitant to add sugar for priming.

If I remember correctly, my Helles had a very distinct grape flavor early on even after lagering for a couple weeks. It eventually faded after a month or so in bottles. I wasn’t sure if it was a yeast character issue or what (used 34/70).

Since I don’t keg, I’ve started cold conditioning even my ales for at least a week before bottling (a month for lagers) and then another 2 weeks after they are carbed. Before then the flavors tend to have that “young beer” flavor which can be very off-putting.