From the HBD Archive
From: Jeff Miller <>
Subject: adding sugar, rinseing bottles, kegs
Date: 1989-01-06 19:11:07 GMT

I have a few responses to add this time so please bear with.


Jason Goldman's question about adding sugar as suggested by a kit is probably
one of the more commonly debated queustions around and I have found myself
shifting on it recently. I think a great many of us have always said use
malt (I usually substitute with a pale dry malt) instead of sugar. Indeed if
you are a reader of zymurgy it seems to be the number one suggestion that they

Well in the last zymurgy they tried to brew beer using sugar and malt
and then do taste trials with the two types of beer along with a mixture of
two commercial beers (I forgot which ones). It seemed that they were unable
to actually get a real concensus as to which method was best. Since then
I have been paying attention to homebrew kits and noticed that there is an
incredible difference among them. In particular I have started to notice
that some of the bigger buck kits I have been looking into ask for less
sugar to be added and that the can actually contains more sugars. If anyone
has other opinions or observations please pipe up.

I haven't really ever tried brewing with lots of added sugar but a friend of
mine started with lots of sugar and ended up with a much lighter bodied beer.
His beer did have a cider taste and it was always strong in alcohol. In
contrast my beer has usually been fairly heavy in body but also quite potent.
I have noticed that my friend is starting to brew with less sugar and the beer
seems to be getting better in taste while still keeping a fairly light body.
He also likes to use dextrose sugar, cane, and corn sugars as a mixture rather
then one type of sugar. I have been thinking about experimenting with my
brewing practices to see what kind of beers I can make with other sugars.
I have already tried brewing with rice (once with grain another time with
an extract) and it seems to work pretty good but the beers seemed to be
a bit more astringent.


Ephram Cohen had asked about rinsing bottles with tap water and whether this
might be OK. I would say go for it. I always rinse with tap water and I
think it works great because it is fairly bacteria free and even has chlorine
in it. I do like to rinse with cold water instead of hot water because I
feel their would be less dissolved chlorine in it. I always try to let
bottles sit for awhile after rinsing to allow chemicals to dissipate into
the air rather then staying in the bottle. I think a bottle drying tree
would be excellant for this and someday I may even get around to makeing


Cher Feinstein asked for comments on kegs since Cher claims to be avoiding
kegs because of a potential yeast stir-up. I have a Cornelious keg system
which when I use it works great. The yeast settles to the bottom of the
keg right next to the discharge tube. When you tap the keg the yeast simply
comes out for the first pitcher or two and then there is no more yeast left.
This works great because you remove the yeast from the beer plus you get
much better beer in a keg over bottles. I think you get better beer because
the greater quantity allows everything to blen well but probably more is
that there is much less oxygen to beer so less oxidation will go on. I
don't really like my cornelious keg because of the connectors that I have
but I will be cooking a batch this weekend that is inteded to be kegged in
a 1/4 barrel keg. I took me awhile to locate bungs but now I got them and
I'll be glad to let you know if I experience any "yeast stir-up" when I
tap it.

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