This section is from the book "The Manufacture Of Liquors, Wines, And Cordials, Without The Aid Of Distillation", by Pierre Lacour. Also available from Amazon: Manufacture of Liquors, Wines, and Cordials, Without the Aid of Distillation.
The advantages resulting from the use of honey in fermented beverages, are to be found in its feebly aromatic taste, and a peculiar quality that honey possesses when suspended in water, of commencing and sustaining a rapid fermentation, and hence a beverage that is to be formed or fermented immediately, should be composed of water, honey, yeast, etc.
Refined sugar is most generally used when the liquid is to be colored. The sugar contains no impurities that are liable to dissolve and render the liquid cloudy and heavy, which would be the case if brown sugar or liquorice root were made use of.
Brown sugar should be used in liquids that are to be of a brown or dark color, as ale, etc.
Liquorice root should be used when a sweet after taste is required, that is, a sense of sweetness remains after a liquid containing liquorice root has been swallowed. This taste is one of the peculiarities of the different preparations of sarsaparilla, porter, ale, and some cordials.
Molasses will only suit for manufacturing ale and porter, and also for any fermented beverage that is made without regard to color, as liquids fermented from this source will be of a muddy color.