Posts Tagged ‘corn’

What Do They Bring

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

from theweeklybrew

There’s been discussion in the comments of this blog recently over corn and other adjuncts. The current belief in brewing seems to be one of corn and rice = bad beer. The truth is though that corn and rice are like any ingredient to a recipe. Used in moderation they can enhance a beers characteristics.

First let’s start off smashing the dreams of those that hate rice based beers, yet love Belgians. Many Belgians are made from invert sugar. This is just table sugar that has had it’s chemical bonds broken down. But table sugar is different from corn or rice right? Chemically yes they are. In terms of what they bring to the party they aren’t. All three ingredients are used to create a drier and lighter beer.

In an all malt beer there are residual sugars left in the beer that the yeast cannot break down. This often comes across as a sweeter taste. Also for higher alcohol all malt beers you need more malt to achieve the alcohol. This will result in a darker color. Combine the two and you have the complaint of light beer drinkers everywhere. A heavy, sweet, and thick beer. Replace some of that grain with straight sugar like in a Belgian Dubel and what do you have? A much lighter, and much drier beer.

Corn and rice are used in much the same way. Their starches are easily consumed producing alcohol without much flavor or color.  Also they are both historicly cheaper then sugar. With their availability, ease of atainment, and price they are more economical then sugar. While they suffer a bad reputation due to both the big guys using them, and the fact that early corn beers went rancid (due to corn oils), modern day brewers can achieve great results using them in moderation.