Friday, July 3, 2009

Cider Flavors From Sugar Experiment-the results

Alright, here are the conclusions I have come up with about this long standing wives tale about sugar adjuncts being the cause of apple/cider flavors in your beer. When I say apple/cider flavors I'm talking about the flavors associated with acetaldehyde.

In this case I'm not tasting it at all.
This beer was made with 50% cane sugar (see original post)and the volatile compound that supposedly derives from refined sugar during the fermentation process is not present.

On the other hand, the beer doesn't taste very good.

The body is thin and there is a pronounced astringency that seems to be from the high alpha hops. The flavor of the Amarillo and Cascade hops comes through in a big way, overshadowing any malt attributes. Add to that the fact that I used just the basics of 2-row and a small amount of crystal #60 to be able to judge the results of the flavors in this experiment, the beer is two dimensional and lacks the maltiness I prefer in a pale ale.

In conclusion, in spite of its other failings it still doesn't live up to the old wives tale about refined sugar adding the element of green apple/cider.
I think what is in order at this point is to brew a batch of beer similar to the above except that I would substitute the sugar with what I believe is the real reason behind the green apple flavor; old liquid malt extract. When I say old I mean oxidized and darkened with age.

I'll keep you posted about that trial.

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