Self-Brewing Tips | Is There too Much Sugar?

Aug 20, 2019 


This week we are going to discuss how we can control how sweet the homebrew can be.
Is it possible to adjust the sweetness during the brewing process?
The short answer is yes. But there is some information you need to know.

When homebrewing, our app will always suggest adding a little more sugar than is required. This has gotten some people worried that the finished beverage will be too sweet. 

They needn't worry. The majority of homebrews are not very sweet and here is the reason why. Below is the chemical equation of the reaction taking place during the brewing process: 

C6H12O6 + enzyme 2 C2H5OH + 2 CO2(gas)
glucose + enzyme(yeast) 2 ethanol + 2 carbon dioxide(gas) 

During the brewing process, most of the sugar is used and turned into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The small number of unreacted sugars (AKA residual sugars) are dissolved into the homebrew giving it a sweeter taste.

The Alchema app uses an algorithm to calculate the alcohol concentration and sweetness. Once you input your desired ingredients and attributes, the app will calculate how much extra sugar to put in. No need to panic, the yeast uses the sugar to convert it into alcohol. Have a look at the animations below so that you can try it out yourself!


* Sweetness: The unit is Brix, one Brix means one gram of sugar is dissolved per 100 grams of water at 20 °C. In other words, the sweetness of the homebrew is the number of grams of residual sugar in the 100 grams of homebrew. For example, a 1-liter carton of apple juice has approximately 70 Brix. 1 liter is 1,000 grams, so that would mean that there are 7 grams of sugar in 100 grams of juice. 

Below shows an animated example of our reaction formula shown above.

According to the law of conservation of mass, we know that even if a chemical reaction is carried out in a closed system, nothing will be added in or lost as everything will be constant. So based on this, carbon dioxide gas will be produced by the reaction of the solid sugar and yeast. This will raise the gas pressure in the pitcher.

To prevent an accident from happening, Alchema's brewing pitchers are not completely sealed during the brewing process. We added a pressure relief hole at the top of the pitcher. When the pressure inside the pitcher is higher than outside it will escape from the top of the pitcher. This will reduce the pressure build-up.

Through Alchema's weight sensing system, the machine will detect any weight change immediately. Using the built-in chemical formula calculation, the machine calculates how much sugar is consumed by the yeast and how much alcohol is produced. The formula will also calculate the approximate alcohol concentration of the homebrew based on the volume of liquid in the pitcher. It will then estimate the progress of the brewing process, and thus give a timetable as to how long the process will take. 

After the machine detects that the pre-set alcohol concentration is reached, the app will send a notification to your phone. All you have to do now is sit back, relax and enjoy your homebrew!



What other things can the Alchema Machine do? Purchase one now and experience it yourself!




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