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When to add Sugar

I’ve been loking at the Pliny the Toddler recipe from Zymurgy. It has a callout for .50 lb. of table sugar. Is there a typical point in the boil when this gets added and is there a benefit to adding it sooner or later in the boil? Is there a minimum time that it should be boiled?

I tend to add sugars (honey, brown sugar, even DME) later in the boil. Like the last 15min or so. I’ve added it earlier as well if I’m looking for a darker color. But adding sugar earlier will up the SRM a little due to caramelization. It will also up the gravity which has an effect on hop utilization. You’ll get better hop utilization if you and the sugar later in the boil. If neither of those are a concern, just add it in the beginning.

Thanks for the detailed answer, exactly what I was looking for.

I add it at the beginning of the boil and haven’t noticed any darkening. I do it mainly so I don’t forget it later, but either way is fine. And FWIW, sugar won’t truly caramelize in the boil.

From what i understand RR adds the sugar earlier in the boil. If you add it later you will get higher hop utilization and thus more IBUs…which probably is irrelevant for a beer with more than 200…

DME will caramelize and will darken your wort, which I’m sure you know, but I just wanted to clarify.

I have added sugar at every stage of brewing, but have concluded that it works best for me to add it during primary, after fermentation is underway. It helps bring out the delicate aromas, and, theoretically at least, you get a healthier fermentation because you are withholding the simple sugars until after he more complex sugars have been converted.

So do you just put it in the fermentor dry or prepare a boiled simple syrup? No worries of contamination if you don’t boil it?

That’s interesting. Do you boil it in some water, cool and then add it?

When I add table sugar to the primary I boil it with as little water it takes to get it in solution then cool and dump in.

When I add it to the boil I put the sugar in before the boil starts so that it is completely dissolved.

DME will caramelize and will darken your wort, which I’m sure you know, but I just wanted to clarify.[/quote]

It will darken the wort, but that’s due to the Maillard reaction, not caramelization. A kettle of wort doesn’t get hot enough to caramelize.

Depends on how lazy I am. I’ll usually do like Glug Master says. But I have also been known to drop honey or sugar straight into the carboy. No issues so far.

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