Craft beer enthusiasts are often curious about the ingredients used in their favorite brews. With the rise of concerns over GMOs and additives, it’s no wonder that many beer drinkers are wondering about the use of corn syrup in their favorite beers.
One popular brewery that has come under scrutiny is Lagunitas. Known for their bold and flavorful IPAs, Lagunitas has gained a loyal following of beer lovers. But does Lagunitas use corn syrup in their brewing process?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the ingredients used in Lagunitas beers and explore the use of corn syrup in the craft beer industry.
Does Lagunitas Use Corn Syrup?
After conducting research, it has been found that Lagunitas does use corn syrup in some of their beers. This is not uncommon in the craft beer industry, as many breweries use corn syrup to adjust the sweetness and body of their brews.
Some of Lagunitas’ beers that contain corn syrup include their IPA, Daytime IPA, and Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. However, it’s important to note that the use of corn syrup does not necessarily mean that a beer is of lower quality or less enjoyable.
Understanding Corn Syrup And Its Use In Brewing
Corn syrup is a common ingredient used in the brewing industry to adjust the sweetness and body of beer. It is important to note that corn syrup is different from high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which has been implicated in some studies as causing health issues. Corn syrup used in brewing is simply dextrose, a type of sugar that is easily fermentable by yeast.
During the brewing process, yeast consumes the sugars in the wort and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. Most of the sugar added to the beer, including corn syrup, is consumed by yeast during fermentation and is not present in the finished product. Therefore, the use of corn syrup in brewing does not affect the final taste or quality of the beer.
Craft breweries often use a variety of natural ingredients, including corn syrup, to achieve a specific flavor profile for their beers. Corn syrup can help lighten up the beer and lower its calorie content. It can also affect the flavor profile, leaving less flavor than if only barley was used.
Examining Lagunitas’ Brewing Process
Lagunitas’ brewing process involves combining water and grains, just like any other beer. However, they also add corn syrup to some of their beers to adjust the sweetness and body. This is done during the brewing process, before the yeast is added.
Once the corn syrup is added, Lagunitas uses yeast to ferment the sugars and create alcohol. During this process, the yeast consumes all of the sugars, including the corn syrup, leaving behind no residual sweetness.
Lagunitas’ use of corn syrup is not unique in the craft beer industry. Many breweries use alternative sugars like corn syrup or honey to achieve desired flavors and characteristics in their beers. It’s important to note that the use of these sugars does not necessarily mean that a beer is of lower quality or less enjoyable.
Ingredients Used In Lagunitas Beers
Lagunitas uses a variety of ingredients in their beers, including barley malt, wheat malts, hops, yeast, and water. In their Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale, they use high proportions of various wheat malts to create a smooth mouthfeel that pairs perfectly with the tropical and floral hop flavors.
Their IPA and Daytime IPA both contain corn syrup, which is used to adjust the sweetness and body of the beer. Lagunitas also uses hop extract in some of their beers, which can be used in place of some of the dry hopping to achieve a similar effect.
In terms of yeast, Lagunitas uses the 1968 strain in their IPA, which some homebrewers have found to create a truer form than other strains. They also recommend agitating the carboy with CO2 during dry hopping to achieve a similar effect to their own brewing process.
Corn Syrup And Craft Beer: A Controversial Topic
Corn syrup has been a controversial topic in the beer industry, especially after AB InBev’s Super Bowl commercial that called out Miller Lite and Coors Light for using corn syrup in their brewing process. While Bud Light made it clear that they do not use corn syrup in their beer, many craft breweries, including Lagunitas, do use it.
Craft breweries use corn syrup to boost the alcohol content and maintain a lighter body in some of their beers. Dextrose or corn sugar is a pure form of glucose that does not impart any flavors into the beer. It is commonly used in high gravity beers, where adding enough 2 row to get to a high ABV would overflow the mash tun.
However, the amount of corn syrup used in commercial beers has been a point of contention. Critics argue that using corn syrup is a way to cut costs and produce cheaper beer. Others argue that there is nothing inherently wrong with brewing with corn syrup, as it does not affect the health of the beer in any way.
Regardless of the controversy surrounding corn syrup, it is widely used in the beer industry, including by craft breweries like Lagunitas. While some beer enthusiasts may prefer to avoid beers that use corn syrup, others may not find it to be a significant factor in their enjoyment of a particular brew.
Other Breweries’ Use Of Corn Syrup
Corn syrup is a widely used ingredient in the brewing industry, with many large-scale breweries such as Coors, Miller, and Budweiser incorporating it into their brewing process to create consistent batches of beer for distribution. Craft breweries also commonly use corn syrup to adjust the sweetness and body of their beers. Some well-known examples of beers that use corn syrup include Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, Founders All Day IPA, New Belgium’s Fat Tire Amber Ale, and Dogfish Head’s 60 Minute IPA.
While some may view the use of corn syrup as a negative aspect in beer production, registered dietitian Suzanne Dixon explains that it does not affect the health of the beer in any way. During fermentation, yeast uses up the sugars in corn syrup, leaving no trace of it in the finished product. Even if some sugar is left behind by the yeast, it is filtered out before the beer is bottled.
It’s worth noting that not all breweries use corn syrup in their brewing process. Some big European beers like Heineken and Guinness do not incorporate it into their production. However, the use of corn syrup is not necessarily an indication of lower quality or taste in beer. In fact, many craft breweries experiment with different adjuncts to create unique and flavorful brews.