Homebrew Beer Adjuncts

Unmalted grains such as corn, rice, rye, oats, barley, and wheat are called adjuncts. They are used in brewing beer and produce beers with added body and a greater brilliancy. Adjuncts also contribute to the flavor of the beer, for example, rice has a very neutral aroma and taste, while corn results in a full flavored beer and wheat adds dryness to beer. Adjuncts also can result in a final product with higher alcohol content without altering the flavor.

Adjuncts can be used to adjust color, as in the case with dark sugars however rice, pure starches and sugars are used to lighten malt colors producing a lighter colored beer. Some adjuncts even aid in foam stability and dilute the amount of potential haze-forming proteins.

Belgian Candi Sugar imparts a smooth taste, good head retention, sweet aroma and high gravity without being apparent. Use in Belgian and holiday ales. Clear should be used for tripels, amber for dubbels, and dark for brown beer and strong golden ales. Brown Sugar imparts a rich, sweet flavor and is used in Scottish ales, old ales and holiday beers.

Corn Sugar is used in priming beer or in extract recipes where flaked maize would be used in a mash. Demerara Sugar leaves a mellow, sweet flavor and should be used in English ales. Dextrose (glucose) imparts a mild sweet taste and smoothness and is for English beers. Invert Sugar increases alcohol in some Belgian or English ales or is used as an adjunct for priming. Liquid Invert Sugar I used in English and Belgian (Chimay) ales.

Lactose adds sweetness and body in sweet or milk stouts. Licorice Stick adds a smooth flavor to stouts, porters, holiday ales and flavored beers. Lyle's Golden Syrup increases alcohol without altering the flavor. Maple Syrup imparts a dry, woodsy flavor if used in the boil. If beer is bottled with it, it gives it a smooth sweet, maple taste. Use in maple ales, pale ales, brown ales and porters. Maple Sap result in a crisp dry, earthy flavor in pale ales, porters and maple ales. Molasses imparts a strong sweet flavor in stouts and porters. Rice Solids lightens color without changing the taste and is used in American and Asian lagers. Sucrose or white table sugar increases alcohol and is used in Australian lagers and English bitters.

The use of adjuncts must be done with caution as the gain from using them can provide benefits in one area they can also cause problems in another. The potential for wort with insufficient insoluble nitrogen for yeast growth is increased if the amount of adjuncts used is too high.

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About The Author, Gregory Mclaw
Gregory McLaw is a regular contributor to http://www.makebeerathome.info and enjoys brewing and drinking his own beer.