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Homebrewing Additives & Adjuncts

What are homebrew adjuncts?

The main ingredients used in making beer are water, malt (either grains or extracts), hops and yeast. However, many brewers will also tell you that you can make your beer even better by supplementing your malt(s) with homebrew adjuncts.

There are different types of homebrewing adjuncts, and they are classified as solids and liquid syrups. Solid adjuncts are starchy ingredients that need to be converted into simple sugar. These types of adjuncts are produced from cereals and are added to the mash tun, converting the starch to sugar, which the yeast can use during the fermentation process. If you are using solid adjuncts, you must cook them first to gelatinize the starch before adding them to the mash. This makes it easier to convert the starch into simple sugar. (more info below)

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Liquid adjuncts come in the form of sucrose or grain syrups like rice or wheat syrup. Added directly to the wort, they can reduce the loading in the mash and lauter tun (due to being liquid and not solids), thus increasing your kettle's capacity. Moreover, they can also be added after the fermentation process as a type of priming sugar to give the beer a sweeter flavour.

Adjuncts do play a part in imparting flavour to the final brew. But, more than the flavour, they also provide additional features and characteristics to the beer, such as better retention and increased nutritional value.

It is important to note that different types of adjuncts are used to create different types of beer. For instance, candi sugar (a type of solid adjunct) is used to make Belgian ales, while honey (a type of liquid adjunct) is used to create a mead.